Photo of Orchestra in Concert
  • Next performance TBC


The High Peak Orchestra was founded in 1975 as The Co-operative Orchestra. We have always been based in Whaley Bridge, although membership is drawn from a wide area, including Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

The Orchestra is noted for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We rehearse on Monday evenings at the Mechanics Institute in Whaley Bridge.

We are always pleased to be given opportunities to perform for charitable organizations and glad to hear of new concert venues in the area.


The High Peak Orchestra is always keen to hear from instrumentalists who would like to play with them.

We have immediate vacancies for some string players and would also like to hear from interested players of other instruments as vacancies may occur at any time.


David Chatwin

David was Principal Bassoon at the BBC Philharmonic for 44 years from 1972 until 2016, working with many of the greatest conductors and soloists of our times.  His playing career has included at least 50 foreign tours, 250 CD’s and over 40 sessions at the Royal Albert Hall Proms.

He had the honour of representing the BBC Philharmonic in a World Chamber Orchestra with players from the Berlin, Vienna, New York and London Philharmonic Orchestras, amongst others.  As well as studying the bassoon at the Royal College of Music, he studied conducting with Harvey Phillips and Vernon Handley and attended courses with Sir Adrian Boult and George Hurst.

During his time in London, David conducted orchestras in Chelsea and Kensington and in 1970 initiated the first performance of Sir Arnold Bax’s earliest surviving work, Cathleen Ni Hoolihan; more recently, he has premiered five works by living composers.  David has conducted the BBC Philharmonic Wind Ensemble and coached several youth orchestras, including the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the Queensland Youth Orchestra.  He has been associated with the Chester Philharmonic since 1991 and became Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor in 2002.

In addition, he has conducted orchestras in Birmingham, Oldham, Sheffield, Blackburn, Kendal and York.  In 1978, David joined the teaching staff at the Royal College of Music, where he continues to be involved with ensemble work and individual bassoon tuition.  Many of his pupils now enjoy successful careers of their own.

David lives with bis wife, Rachel, in their converted Methodist Chapel in the Peak District.

David Chatwin