The Beecroft Orchestra – History

The Beecroft Orchestra was founded in 1989 by Allan Stiles and Graham Thiele who were teaching music together at the same school. Some of their students and family were playing in The Western Youth Symphony Orchestra which Allan had founded several years previously. The Beecroft Orchestra became an orchestra for graduates of the WYO, parents of WYO members, and interested musicians in general. Graham supported the project as founding manager.

Initially it was only a string orchestra and was called The Beecroft Chamber Orchestra. Allan was the conductor and under his guidance the orchestra expanded to a full symphony orchestra and became very active in the musical life of the area, performing four concerts a year and taking part in the Beecroft Festival and other community performance opportunities.

Following Allan’s departure overseas, leadership passed to Louise Keller, David Hood, Mal Hewitt, Brendan Cooper for 10 years , Luke Gilmour, Alexander Colding-Smith and currently Joanna Drimatis.