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All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge

Series 1-Episode 2

Series 1-Episode 2

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Each week my preview copy of this programme cuts out just before the end as judge Paul Daniel is about to announce which amateur orchestra he will cast out of the competition. It’s sweet that somebody thinks (a) that this might be the kind of secret an unscrupulous journalist might leak and (b) that anybody would care.

That’s not to say it’s an uninvolving series, far from it. I love the pen portraits of amateur musicians, the IT managers and social workers and cheesemakers and so on who play their hearts out in orchestras for the love of it. But the contest part? It’s hardly the point. This week the orchestras play opera arias and everybody talks about passion.


The five amateur orchestras have become four, and this week the musicians get to grips with opera. It's hard enough for professional orchestras to play with opera singers - how will the cheesemakers, lupin-growers, and GCSE students of our amateur orchestras cope? The show culminates in performances at the Halle St Peter's Hall in Manchester, after which one orchestra will be eliminated from the contest by Paul Daniel.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Katie Derham
Executive Producer Claire Whalley
Series Producer Chi Ukairo


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