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FCO Today

Currently FCO enjoys a happy and enthusiastic identity as a unified group, and since regrouping in May 2022, it has grown with new members. However, we are still looking for more musicians to join us, especially string players.

We still have vacancies as follows:

  • Strings, all sections

  • oboe

  • various brass


The FCO was founded in late 2000 under Brian Hughes (pace) and Jane Foster. It started as a small group of enthusiastic musicians who just wanted to get together for "jam sessions" without any thought of dong concerts. With a rather unassuming name of "Soundwaves", the group took on Peter Farnbank as its conductor. However, Peter gained an award to return to university in September 2001, and Brian Hughes become its formal musical director.

FCO went from strength to strength, and concerts became a regular event. Mostly concerts were primarily aimed at raising funds for churches and charity. The first real concertmaster role (ie .orchestral leader) was then kindly taken on by Ron White (pace), who like Brian had been a professional musician in the army before he retired.

As Ron's health issues began to increase, Peter Farnbank was asked to take over as concertmaster/leader. Ron however continued to play a major part in the life of FCO, playing solos and otherwise keeping the members entertained with his humour and sociability. He was like a father to all the members.

Sadly, Covid took a toll on the FCO as with all other orchestras and meeting groups all over the world. Most tragically, we lost Brian in October 2021 and then Ron in May 2022.

As Covid's threats receded and restrictions relaxed, old members of the FCO decided to regroup, and Keith Brooks, a professionally trained retired music teacher and international examiner for Trinity College of Music, then kindly took on the role of musical director and conductor.

For further information about the people above please click on their names.