Broken Consort

A 'broken consort' is an ensemble made up of instruments from more than one family, for example, a group featuring both string and wind instruments.

History of the Broken Consort

The Broken Consort started in 1972 as an adult education music class at what was then called Ealing College of Technology. It was founded by Denis Sobrielo who took over what had previously been a group for wind players only.

George Goodall, one of the group’s long-standing players, was one of the original members. Of today’s membership about a third have been attending for twenty years or more. Members’ ages span several decades, and the group includes players of piano, flute, recorder, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, violin, viola, 'cello and bass. Some members play more than one of these instruments!

Over fifteen years ago Helen Brammer replaced Denis Sobrielo, and under her directorship the group has tackled a very wide repertoire from Bach to Shostakovich, and from orchestral music to small chamber pieces. A great deal of this music is arranged by Helen to suit the range of instruments played, and also to suit the varying levels of players. In addition to all this, Helen is a key player at the post-concert parties and at the very informal summer sessions in members’ homes when her delicious home-made cakes are the star attraction!

After meeting for 38 years at what became Thames Valley University, the class was cut in June 2010. After a vociferous, but ultimately unsuccessful protest, a decision was made to continue as an independent organisation. As a result of this, the group now rehearses each week on a Thursday evening at Drayton Manor High School, Hanwell, London W7 3EU.

Members of the Broken Consort look forward to many more years of relaxed and informal music-making, and to welcoming new players who are interested in joining them.