Lister Community Orchestra

The Lister Community Orchestra returns on Sunday May 17th

In May, musicians from our local community will be joining forces with orchestral players from across London for a very special workshop day. This time, the orchestra will be tackling another of Gustav Mahler’s symphonies – the gargantuan 6th Symphony requiring an orchestra of huge numbers, including 8 French horns, 2 harps, 6 trumpets, 2 timpani players and a whole array of exotic and unusual percussion instruments (such as this huge hammer!)

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Mahler started composing this work in 1903 and completed it in 1904, a particularly happy period of his life that was spent with his wife Alma and their two daughter. It is therefore somewhat confusing that this piece is so full of bitterness and pessimism. The symphony is by turns furious, victorious, heart-breaking, and defiant- a work that seems to encompass the whole gamut of human emotion.

Have a listen to a performance of the symphony by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Berstein, by clicking here. To read more about this piece, try these programme notes by Paul Serotsky.

Why Mahler? 

As an orchestra, we are committed to rehearsing and performing some of the most challenging orchestral repertoire there is. We want to showcase the talents of local musicians and teachers, be an aspirational ensemble for local young people and show that high art classical music still has a relevant place in the modern world. Choosing works that require a large number of players also means that we can engage with even more local musicians, and bring even more talented people to Lister and Plaistow.

How can I get involved? 

The orchestra is open to anyone who would like to play, although given the demanding nature of the repertoire we recommend that players are of a Grade 8 standard or higher. We ask for a contribution of £15 on the day to cover costs and lunch is included in that price. If you would like to play in the orchestra, please contact the relevant organiser on the email addresses below:



Brass and percussion:

We are also looking for volunteers to help on the day. If you are interesting in helping us by acting as a runner or an usher,  please email

Can I download your flyer?

You certainly can! Click here – and please share with your friends and colleagues!

LCO video highlights

Have a listen to the orchestra rehearsing Mahler’s 9th Symphony in November, and the views of students and auidence members by clicking on the video below. We hope you can join us for another memorable day of music making at Lister on Sunday 17th May


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