In October 1989, Police Constable Alex Roe from West Midlands Police, a viola player and now M.B.E. for services to charity, dreamt of creating something unique; a full symphony orchestra made up of the wider policing family. Within a year he had secured the voluntary commitment of ninety accomplished musicians and the patronage of the late Sir Yehudi Menuhin K.B.E., O.M and so the Police National Orchestra was formed.
Now approaching our 30th Anniversary and still true to our original purpose
Tours and concerts followed and it eventually became the “British Police Symphony Orchestra”. Now 28 years’ old, it has become one of the best national, non-professional orchestras in the country. Amongst an orchestra of more than 70, many are serving or past-serving members of the police forces. A small number of founding members are still playing in the orchestra.
With regular commitments throughout the year, the orchestra employs a professional Music Director and works with some of the UK’s leading soloists. Nominated for Gramophone Magazine’s ‘Music In The Community’ Prize in 2011, the orchestra is a regular fixture at “Proms in the Park” in Lichfield’s Beacon Park and in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall each year, when our fireworks really start to generate some festive sprit with concerts in early December.
Proud to commemorate fallen officers
The orchestra is also proud to provide musicians for National Police Memorial Day remembrance service each year, when police officers who have been killed or died on duty are remembered.
Being there for the community
In keeping with policing principles, the orchestra believes in being there for the community, we do not receive any financial support from public funds or from police budgets. Rather, our continued existence is entirely dependent upon a combination of our members’ subscriptions, sponsorship and the revenue from certain concerts. In addition, in order to reduce overheads, all of our players travel to rehearsal weekends and concerts in their own time and at their own expense. Given the national structure of the Orchestra, this is a major commitment but is one that our members feel privileged to give.