The full orchestra currently has about sixty members and performs many times each year, often in smaller groups that are assembled to suit the venues involved.  

There are three specialised groups within the orchestra:

The Russian Folk 
has six members and plays Russian Folk Music. It is led by Malcolm Reid and Cathy Haines - (see the menu at left).

The Yardarm Ceilidh Band with seven members plays for ceilidhs and barn dances - with a caller if required. Callers are independent of the orchestra and often are paid a fee for their services.
The Yardarm Ceilidh band is led by Graham Byde.

Katjama, (pronounced Kat-yar-ma) has four members, accordion, violin, clarinet and percussion and plays Klezmer and eastern European folk and gipsy music.

Development and New Members

We want to bring folk music to as many people as possible, either as audience members or by involving them as participants.  We welcome new players and encourage beginners and all levels of skill. There is a place for everyone who can play an instrument to some degree and who is prepared to join in and have some fun developing their potential. 

Young people are very welcome but for legal reasons we do have to ask that under sixteens have a parent, guardian or other responsible adult with them at ALL times.  We do not set ourselves up as music teachers, but we do provide advice, coaching and support - and then the rest is up to the individual!

We are a very friendly group of people and we will make sure that you feel welcome.  There is lots of help for beginners and for those just lacking in a little confidence!  Most types of instruments will be suitable for a folk orchestra.  We also have a group of supporting members and helpers and you are guaranteed not to feel 'out of place'.

Location and Practice Details

We  rehearse at the Benfleet Methodist Church, 67 High Road, BENFLEET, Essex, SS7 5LH where we meet on MONDAYS at 7.30 pm - doors open at 7.15 pm.  New members are welcome to come along.  It's £2 entry for members and registered supporters and £4 for non members.  Free entry for first-time visitors who are interested in joining. Please email us in advance if you'd like to come along as a non-member and we will make sure it all runs smoothly for you.  The email address appears in the next paragraph.  We are not connected with the church other than hiring their hall and rooms as a base but we do try to interact with the very active and friendly community in the church which provides us with such excellent facilities.


The Orchestra is available for performances at your function or event - either as a full Orchestra or as a smaller group.  We prefer to play in groups larger than 10 where possible but have often played with as few as 2 where necessary! Voluntary donations are always welcome when we play for you and all money received goes straight back into developing the orchestra.  Whatever your requirements, please get in touch by email to  or via the Contact page.  You may also phone 07586 083 669

4th JUNE 2018          07:17:19


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