Player information

ADMS welcomes new players, but in recent years we’ve grown in numbers so far that we are struggling to fit into our concert venues. The orchestra has around 40 regular members with strong string and wind sections. We bring in additional players where needed for concerts. We have an excellent leader, local musician Kate Bailey. Orchestral players are auditioned by a trial period in the orchestra. Rehearsals are on Monday evenings between September and June, except half terms and the Monday following a concert.

Admission to the orchestra depends on there being a vacancy for the instrument in question and on the player’s experience. At present we have a full woodwind and horn section, though deputies are always welcome to apply. In the brass we have vacancies for trombones and tuba, and there may be a vacancy for a trumpet player from November 2023 – though please be aware that repertoire sometimes doesn’t include all these instruments. The repertoire usually demands a standard of Grade 7 to 8 minimum.

Each year, the society performs two concerts with mixed choral and orchestral works, a purely orchestral concert, a choral concert (sometimes with a smaller orchestra) and a light-hearted charity Christmas concert.

January 2024: We currently vacancies for experienced viola and trombone players.

If you are interested in joining the orchestra please email brief details of your standard, training and orchestral experience:

>> String players – Alison Gater on 01865 247067 or  

>> Wind, brass or percussion players – Jackie Bushell on 01235 818848 or .

For details about subscriptions see membership information section below.

Rehearsal venue

The Manor Preparatory School, Faringdon Road, Abingdon OX13 6LN

Rehearsal schedule – Mondays 19.30 to 21.30

The orchestra usually meets every Monday from the beginning of September to the June concert, with the exception of the Christmas / new year break, Monday bank holidays, half term weeks, and the Monday immediately following a concert in which the orchestra has played. There may also be some weeks, e.g. after the November concert, when, if the orchestra is not involved in the December concert, there may be no rehearsals.

Health precautions:
– Please do not attend if ill (Covid or any other illness).
– If you have symptoms that could be Covid then please test and, if positive, stay away until you receive a negative test.
– Masks remain at members’ discretion.
– Ensuring good ventilation remains an important part of our precautions.

DateVenueRepertoire to be rehearsedSpecifics
Sat 8 JunSt Helens ChurchOPERA GALA 19.30Verdi, Puccini, Leoncavello, Bellini
Mon 2 SepFirst rehearsal of autumn term
Mon 9 SepManor PrepAGMOrchestral rehearsal after AGM

8-6-24: The dress code for the orchestra reverted back to the usual all black for ladies and white shirts, black DJs for gents.

Xmas concert dress (men and women): black bottom and single colour top (not black or white)

Other concert dress: Ladies: All black. Gentlemen: DJs, white shirt and black bow tie.

>> Proposed future programmes (home + concerts page)

Membership information

Subscriptions 2023-24

Prospective new members are welcome to attend for a trial period of up to one month before subscriptions are due.  Subscriptions can be paid annually or termly. The subscription rate for the whole year is £170 or £160 if paid in full before the November concert. For those who prefer to pay in instalments the rates are as follows:

TermTerm start dateTerm end dateSubscription
AutumnFirst rehearsal in SeptemberChristmas concert£65
SpringFirst rehearsal in JanuaryMarch concert£55
SummerFirst rehearsal after March concertJune concert£50


  • New members (i.e. those who have never in the past been ADMS members) receive a £20 reduction on their first payment
  • Student rate is £5 per term
  • Under 30s receive a 50% discount
  • In cases of financial hardship, members are invited to discuss their situation in confidence with the treasurer.


Members are entitled to take part in all of the Society’s activities and are expected to abide by the Society’s Constitution.

>> Constitution (May 2022)

New members

Prospective new members are asked to complete the combined application / Gift aid form and return to orchestral membership secretary Nicola Gladwell (oboe).

>> Membership application and Gift Aid form (September 2022)

Method of payment

The preferred method of payment is by direct credit transfer to the ADMS bank account. Please ask Nicola Gladwell for the account number and sort code. Please email Treasurer Tim Budd () to advise him of this transaction. He will send an acknowledgement to verify the payment.

Alternatively payment may be made by cheque payable to “Abingdon & District Musical Society” and handed to to Nicola Gladwell during an evening rehearsal, or by post to Tim Budd, 12 Kingfisher Close, Abingdon OX14 5NP.

Data protection

New members please note that the Society needs to keep records and for this reason it maintains computer spreadsheets of members’ details, and a Google Groups emailing list.  The Society regards this information as confidential and for its own administration purposes only.  If your application for membership is accepted, your details will be added to these spreadsheets but not used or distributed externally.  If this is not acceptable to you, please discuss with an officer of the Society.