Our History 

"Join us in 2022 and help us bring back our love of music safely"

The Colne Philharmonic Orchestra was formed in 1989 through the enterprise of Dr. Paul Bristol, then a local GP in Halstead. 

As a musician himself, he felt the need for an orchestra in the Colne Valley to draw on the great talent to be found in South Suffolk and North Essex. Providing good, amateur players with the opportunity of performing music together under the direction of a professional conductor. At the same time, it enabled audiences in area, whether seasoned concert goers or novices, to hear good quality classical music, without having to travel to major centres. 

The orchestra has encouraged developing young players and conductors to work with it, providing the necessary opportunities for future professionals to work with groups away from academic institutions. The approach has provided the orchestra with a rich alumni of players, soloists and conductors. 

In 2019 the Colne Philharmonic celebrated its 30th season, providing players with the opportunity to play a challenging repertoire and present the high-quality performances they have become known for. The season closed early preventing Jill Davison, the orchestra's long standing leader of 30 years, from having a final concert before retirement. 

Dr. Paul Bristol retired from playing in the orchestra, moving to South Wales to be with his family.