ECCO was originally founded in 1982 by its first Principal Conductor, Nicholas Robinson (then of the Mathematics Department, now Headmaster of King’s College Prep School, Cambridge). Subsequent conductors have included Michael Bailey, David Angus, Timothy Johnson, Adrian Roberts and Alastair Tighe. ECCO has had the pleasure to perform under a number of guest conductors including Sir Edward Heath, Philip Ledger, Bernard Keeffe and Arthur Davison and has performed at Eltham Palace, the Fairfield Halls, St John’s Smith Square, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southwark Cathedral and Blackheath Concert Halls. In 2008 ECCO performed Rhapsody in Blue and Sibelius’s Symphony No1 at the Cadogan Hall. In 2012 ECCO presented an evening of Music from the Movies to an audience of 1500 people.
The aim of ECCO is to create an orchestra made up of all sectors of the school community – pupils, former pupils, staff, parents, friends of the school and musically gifted pupils from neighbouring schools to perform music normally too challenging for a school orchestra.
Each year ECCO presents a summer concert of classical ‘pops’, normally to an audience of 400 people in a marquee in Eltham College’s grounds. To celebrate ECCO’s 25th Anniversary in 2007 this concert became an outdoor Classical Spectacular with fireworks. Following its success the event was repeated in 2009. In 2012, to celebrate the centenary of the school’s move to Mottingham, we held another outdoor Classical Spectacular on Saturday 30th June.
Proceeds from ECCO’s concerts are used to support an instrumental project in the Junior School which gives every pupil free instrumental (strings and wind) tuition for a term. Additionally, each year, up to two charities are supported, and past charities have included El-Shaddai Charitable Trust, The Association for International Cancer Research, Demelza House, DebRA and the Queen’s Jubilee charities.
If anyone would like to play with the ECCO Orchestra please contact the Director of Music in the first instance indicating your interest.