Parish of Chester Parish of Chester

St John’s Festival Orchestra

A group of friends, about 15 in number, meeting in a private house in Chester for music making decided to give a concert one Sunday after Evensong in support of a roof appeal. They rehearsed in St John’s church in the afternoon and while having a tea break, left their instruments in The Lady Chapel. When they returned for the concert, to their horror they saw that there had been a heavy fall of plaster from the ceiling with dust and solid lumps everywhere. Miraculously, not a single instrument had been damaged and the concert was a success.

From this modest beginning in the 1960s the orchestra grew, performing at first during the last week in June when the Church held a Festival Week round the Feast Day of John the Baptist on 24th June, hence the name of the orchestra.

We now give four concerts a year, one in Wesley Methodist Church and the remainder in St John’s.

All concerts begin at 7.30pm. Tickets at the door £10 (£8 Concessions)

Dates for 2017


Sunday 30 April

Overture Hebrides (Fingals Cave}            Mendelssohn

Piano Concerto in G minor                        Mendelssohn

Symphony in D minor                                 Cesar Franck


Piano   Elis Thomas

Conductor – Adam Davies


Sunday 25 June

All Beethoven Programme

Overture  Coriolan

Piano Concerto No.3 in  C minor

Symphony No. 1


Piano – Gary O’Shea

Conductor – Philip Rushforth


Sunday 24 September

Symphony No. 8 in B minor (Unfinished) Schubert

Peer Gynt Suite No.1  Grieg

Piano Concerto No 3   Rachmaninov


Piano – William Bracknell

Conductor – Mark Lansom