Greenhill Community Orchestra


Instruments:Woodwind, Strings, Percussion, Brass

Age:Adult, All ages

Meets at:Tuesdays 4:45-6:30pm


$65 | $100 | $135 – pay what you can (+$40 annual NCMA membership)


Joel Bolton QSO, conductor of the Greenhill Orchestra, has remained a steadfast presence throughout its history. The Greenhill Orchestra traces its roots back to 1991 when several amateur string players approached Joel to guide their rehearsals. Originally meeting in a residence on Greenhill Street, the group began as the Greenhill Ensemble. As the ensemble grew, larger venues were sought to accommodate the expanding number of musicians. This led to a temporary relocation to the former Nelson School of Music, and its incarnation as a community course until the venue required earthquake strengthening work several years later. During the closure of the School of Music, the orchestra continued to rehearse in the Hearing Room on Rutherford St, and as the groups grew in size, they even utilised the foyer of All Saints Church. These alternative spaces provided a supportive environment for the orchestra to flourish, showcasing their commitment to music-making even in challenging circumstances.

The Greenhill Orchestra has always embraced musicians of all ages and skill levels, offering a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that requires no auditions. With an extensive repertoire of standard orchestra music, the Greenhill Orchestra embarks on captivating musical journeys, leaving audiences and performers inspired. Joel has continuously led the ensemble for over 32 years, demonstrating unwavering commitment to its growth and success.

Alongside the Greenhill Orchestra, Joel also established a Junior and Senior Youth Orchestra, which have evolved over time to nurture young talent and foster a love for music. Furthermore, the Greenhill Orchestra has had a longstanding and very productive collaboration with the Golden Bay Orchestra spanning two decades. This collaboration has enriched the musical experiences of both orchestras, fostering a strong sense of camaraderie and artistic synergy.

In addition to regular rehearsals and performances, the Greenhill Orchestra, in collaboration with the Youth Orchestras and the Golden Bay Orchestra, presents a minimum of two exhilarating public concerts annually. These performances showcase the collective talent and dedication of all musicians involved, further cementing the orchestra’s reputation as a dynamic and influential ensemble.

Experience the enduring legacy of the Greenhill Orchestra, which has grown from a community course to a thriving musical organisation, under the skilled guidance of conductor Joel Bolton.

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