The Abbey Gateway Orchestra is a well-established amateur orchestra that has its roots in an evening class for St Albans College in the 1960s. When the orchestra began it was called the Education Oakwood Orchestra, and was linked to the BBC as well as many up-and-coming professionals.
In 1980 the orchestra became an independent group and started rehearsing in the 11th century gateway for the St Albans Abbey Cathedral. The orchestra took inspiration from its historical practice space and renamed itself the Abbey Gateway Orchestra.
Over the years the orchestra has performed in prestigious venues such as Luton Hoo, Wrest Park, Putteridgebury and Selwyn College (Cambridge University).
It has developed strong community links through events such as the Scrape, Bang and Blow sessions with St Albans young people and by performing alongside local theatre and arts groups. We continue these relationships today by encouraging local individuals and groups to play with us, and through performances such as the annual Christmas Carol Concert at Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire.
The orchestra eventually moved from the Abbey Gateway to its current rehearsal space at St Michaels Primary School Hall, St Michaels Street, St Albans AL3 4SJ.