"Music reminds me there's still goodness and beauty to be found in the world"

The Truly Terrible Orchestra is a group of enthusiastic amateur musicians, who have rediscovered their love of music-making

Despite its name, the orchestra regularly delights audiences with its concerts - and the players themselves love rehearsing and performing together. Here's what 'truly terrible oboist' Elaine Fetherston had to say about playing with TTO:

"I had played the oboe at school, and being in orchestras and wind bands had been a huge part of my teenage years. About 12 years ago I fancied getting back to playing but didn't want anything too serious or pressurised. By happy coincidence, a local teacher was setting up a new group (inspired by the Really Terrible Orchestra in Edinburgh) which would offer lapsed amateur musicians of all abilities the chance to get together for some light-hearted music-making. And so the Truly Terrible Orchestra was born! 

"I find there are great benefits in playing an instrument. There's a huge element of mindfulness, as you're totally focused in the present moment and that can help counter the stresses of work and everyday life. I have a stressful job, working with difficult social issues and music reminds me there's still goodness and beauty to be found in the world.

"I love the challenge of learning new pieces - you can always do more than you think and even if it goes horribly wrong, we just laugh! The sense of shared achievement in an orchestra is really unique - exhilarating, rewarding, therapeutic! I've met lots of lovely interesting people and made lasting friendships through music."

To find out more about the Truly Terrible Orchestra, visit their Facebook page.

In 2017, we sent poet Stewart Sanderson (pictured) to visit the Truly Terrible Orchestra, as part of our 'My Time' poetry project. You can read the poem Stewart wrote about the Orchestra here.

Here's what Stewart had to say about his time with them:

"It was a privilege and a pleasure to spend an evening with the Truly Terrible Orchestra. Listening to them practice reaffirmed my conviction that the arts have a role to play in everyone's life.

"As I say in the poem which came out of that session, virtuosity isn't everything. Though many of its members were actually very good players, I loved the way the Truly Terrible Orchestra provided an unpretentious, welcoming space for enjoyment and participation across a broad range of proficiencies - a great group doing really important work."