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.

All concerts begin at 7.30pm. Tickets at the door £12 (£10 Concessions)


Dates for 2019

Sunday 3rd February – Wesley Methodist Church

Aria “Scherza, infida” from Ariodante  (Handel)

Piano Concerto No. 1  in B flat  (Beethoven)

Aria “Una voce poco fa” from Barber of Seville (Rossini)

Symphony No.40 in G minor (Mozart)


Imogen Garner (Mezzo-Soprano)

William Green (Piano)

Adam Davies (Conductor)


Sunday 7th April – St Johns

Overture  Cosi fan tutte (Mozart)

Piano Concerto in A minor (Schumann)

Symphony No.4 in B flat (Beethoven)


Gary O’Shea (Piano)

Mark Lansom (Conductor)


Sunday 23rd June – St Johns

Programme to include Piano Concerto, Brahms


Sunday 29th September  – St Johns

Concerto for Violoncello and orchestra (Dvorak)

Symphony No. 9 in E minor “From the New World” (Dvorak)


Ursula Krukowska-Byzra (Violoncello)

Mark Lansom (Conductor)