Members’ info

Last updated March 2014

>Welcome

Welcome to the City of Fremantle Symphony Orchestra – a community orchestra and one of Perth’s most vibrant community groups.

The orchestra is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion and enjoyment of music in the cultural life of Perth. With a regular membership of about 60 amateur musicians we present about 4 concerts each year including a subscription series of concerts at the Fremantle Town Hall and performances in other venues around Perth. In past years the orchestra has toured to Albany, Busselton and Margaret River.

The group originated in 1961 with the formation of the Melville Orchestral Society, which became the Melville Symphony Orchestra. In 1981 the orchestra became the Nedlands Symphony Orchestra. In 1993 the orchestra took on its current name.

The FSO is a great training ground for aspiring instrumentalists, conductors and composers. For many years we have offered the winner of the Fremantle Eisteddfod a soloist engagement. The FSO Young Conductors Program started in 2004 and enabled the orchestra to forge new relationships with young conductors while giving them an opportunity to develop their skills under the guidance of a more experienced conductor.  The orchestra has an established policy of performing and commissioning new works by Western Australian composers.

Highlights of recent years include Mahler’s Symphonies No. 1 and No 2, Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 and symphonic works by Shostakovich, Saint-Saens, Bruckner, Rachmaninov, Grainger and Verdi.

Our musical director David Pye has a proud history of leading the orchestra through major symphoic works for large orchestra.  In September 2006 the orchestra assembled more than 100 players for a full-scale performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.  In September 2009, in one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by a community orchestra, we performed Percy Grainger’s massive work The Warriors, scored for huge orchestra and percussion ensemble, in collaboration with Defying Gravity Percussion Ensemble and the Totally Huge New Music Festival.

In 2012 the orchestra celebrated its 50th anniversary.

>Membership policy

New membership enquiries are always welcome.

New string players can generally be accommodated immediately. New woodwind, brass and percussion players will be accommodated where possible, subject to availability of positions.

The orchestra’s policy is to give preference to players who are willing to join the orchestra and pay a membership fee. Section leaders should invite players who wish to join the orchestra and pay membership fees (or part thereof if playing for less than a year) when selecting players to fill vacancies.   However, where it is not possible to fill vacancies in this way, section leaders may invite players on a casual basis and those players are not expected to pay a membership/concert fee.

New players are not generally expected to pay a membership fee in their first season; however, they should pay a membership fee if they return as regular members of the orchestra.

>Get involved!

Like any community group, the more you put into the orchestra the more you’ll get out of it.  We encourage every member of the orchestra (in addition to paying their fees and playing their instrument beautifully!!) to get involved and make a contribution to the smooth running of the orchestra in some way. There are many ways you can help, for example:

  • setting up and packing away before and after concerts and rehearsals
  • take posters and flyers and advertise our performances to your friends, family, neighbours, work colleagues, etc
  • folding and envelope-stuffing our newsletter FreoNotes
  • volunteer for the supper roster
  • get involved in concert promotion
  • compiling information for concert programmes
  • promoting the orchestra to other instrumentalists
  • serving drinks on concert days

If you see an opportunity to help out, take it. If you’d like to help, but can’t think of anything you can do, ask your section leader or one of the committee members.

>Rehearsals

Unless otherwise advised rehearsals are held weekly on Wednesdays from 7.30 to 10pm at the Leckie Music Centre, Melvista Avenue, Nedlands (corner of Bay Road).  Out of respect for the conductor and musicians, please be ready to play at 7.30pm sharp.  There is a tea / coffee break during the rehearsal.  Members are asked to contribute 50 cents each rehearsal to cover the cost of tea and coffee and will be asked to bring a plate of supper occasionally. Visit our rehearsal schedule page for more information.

Talk to your section leader

Get to know your section leader.  Find out his/her email address and phone number and how they prefer to communicate.  Talk to them about your plans.  If you cannot attend a rehearsal or cannot play in a concert season for any reason, let your section leader know as soon as possible.

Stands

We have music stands for rehearsals and concerts, so there’s no need to bring a music stand.  Please treat the orchestra’s stands with great care.

>Concert days

Unless otherwise advised, concert dress is all black.

For concerts at the Fremantle Town Hall there is usually a rehearsal in the morning before the concert. The rehearsal will finish in time for lunch before the concert.

For each concert a section of the orchestra (violins, lower strings, brass or woodwind) will be on roster for setting up and packing away after the concert. Please help out before and after the concert when it’s your turn.  Many hands will make light work.

Orchestral concerts have traditionally been very staunch, formal affairs. We try to make our concerts more relaxed occasions; for example encouraging our conductors or soloists to introduce the work to the audience before it’s played. To the same end, the players are encouraged to meet and interact with the audience over a drink at interval or after the concert.

>Sheet music

The orchestra has a substantial library of music. We borrow from music libraries wherever possible. Nevertheless one of our major expenses is the hiring of sheet music.  At the beginning of each season you will receive sheet music for rehearsals and performance. You may be asked to sign a receipt for the music. In order to minimise costs and maintain our good standing with publishers and libraries, it is imperative that you:

  • take care of the music;
  • ensure marking-up is only in soft pencil; and
  • return all music immediately after the performance. (There’s usually a box near the door of the green room.)

Any queries, email librarian@fremantleorchestra.com.au

>Membership fees

Membership fees are an important part of the orchestra’s revenue. The fees represent excellent value when compared to other recreational clubs. Fees are payable either per calendar year or per-concert.

The current schedule of fees is available from our treasurer – email treasurer@fremantleorchestra.com.au

How to pay: Fees are payable to the orchestra’s treasurer.

  • Please bring cash or a cheque or money order payable to “City of Fremantle Symphony Orchestra” to rehearsal.
  • Or you can pay by EFT into the orchestra’s bank account: Westpac Fremantle: BSB 036306, Acc No 105942 quoting your name as a reference.

Members may pay their annual subscriptions in two equal instalments – the first at the start of the year and the balance at the start of the third season.

The orchestra’s policy is to give preference to players who are willing to join the orchestra and pay a membership fee. Section leaders should invite players who wish to join the orchestra and pay membership fees (or part thereof if playing for less than a year) when selecting players to fill vacancies.   However, where it is not possible to fill vacancies in this way, section leaders may invite players on a casual basis and those players are not expected to pay a membership fee.

New players are not generally expected to pay a membership fee in their first season; however, they should pay a membership fee if they return as regular members of the orchestra.

>Concert promotion

Our newsletter – FreoNotes

The orchestra operates a promotional mailing list which we use to keep in touch with regular patrons. Those on the list receive our newsletter FreoNotes prior to each concert containing details of the forthcoming concert, soloist, conductor and orchestra profiles, orchestra news and jokes. Add your loyal supporters to the mailing list: email freonotes@fremantleorchestra.com.au

Posters and flyers

Our audience surveys show that a significant proportion of our audience consists of people who are invited by playing members of the orchestra. The orchestra provides members with flyers and posters about a month prior to each concert.  The concert flyer will also be available in electronic form on this web site.  Please take these materials and use them to tell your supporters about our concerts.

Email

Set up a distribution list comprising any of your email contacts who might be interested in coming to our concerts. Email the concert flyer to them. Include a link to our web site.

>Ticket sales

Through members

Ticket sales are a crucial source of revenue for the orchestra. All members are encouraged to sell tickets to our concerts.  Tickets will be available for pre-sale to orchestra members at the 2 rehearsals  prior to each concert from our promotions officer.  Ticket sales and queries can also be directed to publicity@fremantleorchestra.com.au

Money from the sale of tickets and any unsold tickets must be returned to the orchestra prior to each concert.

At the door

Tickets are available for purchase at the door about 30 minutes prior to each concert. All seating is unreserved.  Tickets prices are generally $20 adults, $15 concession. Children under 12 are free.  Prices may differ depending on the venue and event.

Season tickets

Subscribers enjoy a discount on the price of single concert tickets. We contact existing subscribers with renewal invitations in about March each year. To buy season tickets, contact our promotions officer at publicity@fremantleorchestra.com.au

>Administration

An annual general meeting of all members is held in September or October each year on a Wednesday night preceding a regular rehearsal. At the AGM the members elect a committee of representatives and discuss significant matters affecting the orchestra.

Most decisions regarding the orchestra’s affairs are made by the committee of volunteers.  Visit the contact us page for committee details. Contact a committee member if you wish to raise concerns, give compliments or make suggestions about the running of the orchestra.