Brixton orchestra revisits estates with Christmas concerts

13 December 2019

Written by: Lambeth Council

Arts, culture and events - Focus on Brixton - Housing and planning

Brixton Chamber Orchestra returns to Lambeth housing estates for a 10-concert tour featuring a barrier-busting musical mix

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Brixton orchestra revisits estates with Christmas concerts

Last Christmas, Brixton Chamber Orchestra played free concerts in the community halls of five Lambeth estates. This year, they’ve extended the tour to 10 shows in 8 locations, from 18 to 22 December

Word of mouth

Orchestra leader Matthew O’Keeffe says: ” We were invited back to last year’s venues and It seems to have been word of mouth which helped get us into the extra estates this year. The feedback to last year’s concerts was that people loved the informality, the mix of music, and having an orchestra on their doorstep was a thrilling surprise. It’s quite rare to find an orchestra reaching out like this. We champion classical music but unapologetically embrace music people already identify with. For Christmas, we’re playing Bob Marley, ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’, bringing on a singer for some jazz, and featuring 17-year-old rapper Isong on original material.”

Rock up

“There’s no need to book, just rock up and have a good time – even if you’re a latecomer” Matthew continues. “Those community halls are big places and they’re for everyone, not just people living on the estate. Even though we’ve had funding from Lambeth Council and the Arts Council, we’ll still be incredibly grateful if people visit our Crowdfunder page. Last year’s concerts were only made possible by generous donations from the amazing people of Lambeth. One of the things we’re doing is some guerrilla marketing – we want to go to the estates and play loudly outside, get people coming to their windows and then coming down to find out more about us. It’s Brixton’s Orchestra and we’re here to create events for the community!”

Word from the Cabinet

Cllr Paul Gadsby, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “I’d encourage residents to get behind the Brixton Chamber Orchestra, their efforts are really impressive. If you can afford it please contribute towards their Crowdfunder, and as their shows are free everyone can enjoy this exciting opportunity to hear exciting live music close to home.”

More information

  • Brixton Chamber Orchestra is a group of classically-trained young professionals and talented amateurs playing side by side. Founded in 2018 by conductor and musical director Matthew O’Keeffe, innovative events in 2019 included Grime Orchestrated in POW Club, a concert in Brixton SDA church with a Gospel Choir and acoustic appearances at Brixton Disco Festival.
  • For more about Brixton Chamber Orchestra, see their information pages or follow them on Facebook
  • To donate to the Christmas Concerts go to Crowdfunder