Triple treat on orchestra’s 30th birthday!

by rob
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Published on: July 6, 2023

Don’t miss the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra’s celebration of young musical talent at its anniversary concert at Parkend Church on Saturday (July 8) at 7.30pm. Tickets £10 on the door (free for children/students and Ukrainian families).

Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year 2023 finals at Pittville Pump Room
Winner Isaac Williams on violin
Picture by Mikal Ludlow Photography
Tel; 07855177205

In the spotlight will be: The world premiere of upcoming Forest composer Ryan Probert’s work The Bears, Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year violinist Isaac Williams performing Saint-Saens and songs from Ukrainian super soprano Nadia Postolatii.

Ryan Probert – Composer
Nadia Postolatii – Singer

Musical director Fiona Crawley has come up with yet another standout programme also featuring Mozart’s much-loved The Magic Flute Overture and Ravel’s Bolero. Co-conductor is Will Sharma.

Sponsors for this special anniversary event include Ernest Heal & Sons Construction Ltd, The Forest of Dean Rotary Club, West Dean Parish Council and The Honourable Company of Gloucestershire Charitable Trust. The retiring collection will benefit Parkend Community Orchard.

Composer Ryan Probert and Musical Director Fiona Crawley
Guest conductor Will Sharma
Musical Director Fiona Crawley


Press Release: Spring 2020 Concert Cancelled

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Published on: March 16, 2020

Press release: Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra

Spring Concert cancelled at St Peter’s Church, Newnham-on-Severn

For immediate release March 2020





The Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra has taken the difficult decision to cancel its Spring Concert devoted to Gloucestershire composers because of imminent Government advice for the elderly to stay at home during the coronavirus crisis.

The concert was planned for Saturday (March 21) at St Peter’s Church, Newnham-on-Severn – a favourite venue for the orchestra for their Spring event.

The programme was to have featured Vaughan Williams’ Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus, and his Symphony No 2 ‘The London’, as well as First World War poet Ivor Gurney’s A Gloucestershire Rhapsody.

A spokesman for the orchestra said: “We are very disappointed not to be able to perform this glorious Gloucestershire programme because of the coronavirus outbreak but certainly hope to put on another concert later this summer.”

The Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra is known as one of the friendliest orchestras in the county and meets during term time at Newnham St Peter’s CofE Primary School on Thursday evenings. For more details visit their website at

Summer Concert 2019 Press Release

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Published on: June 14, 2019


Emily leaves EU to perform at Cathedral of Forest

Accomplished Gloucestershire oboist Emily Stephens is flying home from her studies in Germany to perform at the historic Cathedral of the Forest.

She will be performing 19th century composer Kalliwoda’s Oboe Concertino with the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra at their Summer Concert on Saturday June 29.

Emily, who has been a commended finalist in the Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year contest, has been studying in Lübeck as part of her course at the Royal Academy of Music.

The former Pate’s Grammar School pupil has played in the National Children’s and Youth Orchestras and was a member of the Junior Academy. Now living in London, she regularly plays with the Academy Symphony Orchestra with Oliver Knussen, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, as well as freelancing in and around London.

The Summer Concert is the Forest orchestra’s second this year featuring young musical talent under the baton of dynamic Stefano Boccacci, who has just completed two weeks’ experience with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales as part of his studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

The concert programme will feature favourites such as Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni, Verdi’s Prelude to La Traviata and Schubert’s famous Unfinished Symphony.

The concert is at The Cathedral of the Forest, Newland, Coleford on Saturday 29 June at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8, £6 concessions and schoolchildren free.

A retiring collection will be held for All Saints’ Church Fabric Fund.

Summer Concert in Cathedral of Forest

Date: Saturday June 29, 2019

Time: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Cost:  £8 adults, £6 concessions over-65s, schoolchildren free

Venue: The Cathedral of the Forest All Saints’ Church, Newland, Coleford GL16 8NL

Tickets: £8 adults, £6 concessions over 65s, schoolchildren free

on the door  

For more info: Contact Viv Hargreaves on 01452 750386/07740448262

Spring 2019 Concert Review

by rob
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Published on: April 4, 2019

Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra

Concert at St Peter’s Church, Newnham, Saturday 30th March 2019

The Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra were on top form on Saturday, with a new musical director who is bringing the best out of the players, a varied and challenging programme, and a local clarinet soloist who gave an outstanding performance in what was the highlight of a great evening, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A major.

The first item was Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, an expressive and positively unmournful tribute in four parts to French victims of the First World War. The piece is underlaid with traditional folk dance music, and was a fitting introduction to the well-loved Mozart Clarinet Concerto, which may be more familiar to Forest Brass Band musicians as the basis of the popular brass piece ‘Stay with me till morning’. The Orchestra always secures a brilliant soloist for its concerts, and this time it was Christopher Gibbons of Yorkley Wood, who is a fine all-round musician, as teacher and conductor, and a freelance performer who has played at concerts throughout the UK and Europe.

He had only one opportunity to rehearse with the Orchestra before the concert, but you wouldn’t have known as there was a great rapport between orchestra, conductor and soloist, and this performance was something very special.

After the interval Delius’s famous Cuckoo emerged in a spring evening to entertain the audience, and the final piece was another orchestral delight, Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, a fiendishly difficult work which was carried off with verve and confidence by a fine local orchestra.

I have been following the RFODO for 25 years now, from the uncertain days of the nineties to now when they have become a significant regional orchestra. The journey has been driven by a series of passionate and sympathetic musical directors, and the current incumbent, Stefano Boccacci, is taking the orchestra to an even higher level. I think that this was the Orchestra’s best ever concert.

Dave Kent

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Important Dates

Saturday 7th September 2024. The Planets by Gustav Holst, 10am St, Mary’s Priory Church, Chepstow. NP16 5HA. Orchestral workshop day. Free for observers throughout the day.

Saturday 14th December 2024. Christmas concert, “Northern Lights”. Music by Sibelius and Rautavaara.

Saturday 26th April 2025. Spring Concert – Newnham Church.

Saturday  12th July 2025. Summer Concert – Parkend Church.

Saturday 13th December 2025. Christmas and Winter Concert – Coleford Baptist Church.


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