All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge

Confirmed for BBC Four on 30 August at 9pm to 10pm

Ep 1/4

Tuesday 30 August



All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge is a four-part series for BBC Four and BBC Two to find the orchestra that best captures the spirit of great British amateur music-making in the UK.

Presented by BBC Proms host and last year’s Strictly Come Dancing finalist Katie Derham, this series attempts to get under the skin of the real musical and personal challenges that face five amateur orchestras as they attempt to truly come together and rise to new musical heights. Can the players master their sheet music while also getting on with their varied days jobs as farmers, supermarket workers, carers and undertakers? Who will rise to the challenge? And who will find themselves dismissed from the contest?

The series begins with five amateur orchestras from across the UK: the London Gay Symphony Orchestra, the North Devon Sinfonia, Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra from Yorkshire, Stirling Orchestra, and The People’s Orchestra from Birmingham.

Each orchestra receives a master class from the series’ judge, world-renowned conductor Paul Daniel, while double-bass maestro Chi-chi Nwanoku mentors each orchestra as they strive to reach their full potential.

In episode one, this week’s challenge is to master that pinnacle of orchestral playing, the symphony. Each of the five orchestras tackle an allotted extract from the likes of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov which they then perform at the BBC’s legendary Maida Vale Studios, after which one orchestra will be eliminated from the contest by Daniel.