Recorder Orchestras are quickly growing in popularity throughout the world, and are particularly popular here in the UK, where we have around twenty.
Recorder Orchestras are nearly all quite large, and typical is the Cheltenham-based Phoenix Recorder Orchestra, which has thirty five members. But in 2007 Pam Smith and Steve Marshall came up with the idea of a ‘chamber’ recorder orchestra – with the same range of instrument size as the big orchestras, but with just eleven players.
Today our chamber recorder orchestra is drawn entirely from the main Phoenix Recorder Orchestra, and so it seemed natural to take a similar name.
The orchestra has been increased to twelve members, so we now encompass the whole range from Sopranino to Sub Contrabass recorders
The Phoenix Chamber Recorder Orchestra is one of only three such ensembles in the UK (one being in Manchester, and the other being a youth ensemble which plays just once a year).
For such a rare ensemble, suitable repertoire is obviously a problem, but the band is fortunate in being able to call on no less than three recorder composers in its number – Steve Marshall, Andrew Melville and Rosemary Robinson.