Who are we?

The Portsmouth Philharmonic Orchestra was established in March 2009, initially named the Portsmouth Philharmonia by a small group of amateur musicians wanting to rehearse together on a regular basis. We have since grown in numbers and established a strong reputation within the local community. Locally known as the "Sunday Orchestra" or the "Charity Orchestra" we're currently the most active orchestra in Portsmouth. 

In 2017 the organisation name was changed to the Portsmouth Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Spence Bundy conducted the orchestra from its beginning until December 2014, before handing over the baton to Hugh Carpenter, who took over as Musical Director, having previously helped the orchestra out for many concerts on the tuba. 

We are ultimately a non-profit organisation and all of our ticket sales go to the selected charity of that particular concert. Members' subscriptions fund music hire, venue hire and a conductor. 

The orchestra aims to perform at least two charity concerts per year.  More than £15,000 has been raised to date for a variety of local good causes including: The Roberts Centre, The Samaritans, The RNLI, The Hayling Island Community Centre, The Ninewells Cancer Campaign, Brain Tumour Research, Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, Meningitis Now and the Solent Diabetic Association. 

The current committee 

Chair Di Lloyd 
Musical Director & Conductor  Hugh Carpenter 
Treasurer  Sue Thornton 
Secretary Elisabeth James 
Players'  Representative  Abi  Mansfield 

If you are interested in joining the orchestra contact us by email - enquiries@portsmouthphilharmonic.org  - to find out what our current vacancies are. We are an open-access orchestra and don't require an audition, however we do expect a commitment to rehearse regularly and practise pieces to ensure an acceptable standard of performance.  

More about the orchestra 

  • The Portsmouth Philharmonic is the city's most prolific charity orchestra. 
  • It performs predominantly classical and romantic repertoire. 
  • The growing professionalism and ever increasingly demanding repertoire of the Philharmonic has established the orchestra in Portsmouth's musical sphere and is building a loyal and appreciative audience. 
  • Individual abilities range from amateur to professional. 
  • The orchestra provides local players an opportunity to develop and pursue their passion in the wider community in a fair and engaging environment. 


Hugh Carpenter - Director and Conductor

Hugh Carpenter - Director and Conductor