A NEW season of rehearsals is under way for Helensburgh’s very own community orchestra – and there’s still time for musicians of all ages and abilities to join in.

The Lomond and Clyde Community Orchestra’s members returned just a couple of weeks ago after a well-earned summer break to begin preparations for their annual winter concert.

While many orchestral groups look for members to be able to play to a particular standard in order to join, the Helensburgh group has no entry requirements.

All you need to be welcomed to their ranks is to be able to play, to be able to read music, and to have your own instrument.

And even that last requirement doesn’t apply to everyone – if you play, or have played, the drums or another percussion instrument, but don’t have your own kit, LOCCO has a stock of percussion instruments to help.

LATEST NEWS: Pictures from Rhu Hall's family health and wellbeing day

Secretary Anne Evans says: “You don’t necessarily have to play to a particular standard. The orchestra’s aim is to be as accessible to as many people as possible.

“At the moment we have about 30 members on our books, aged from seven up to 81 or 82, but we’re always looking for more.

“We’re a very friendly bunch who just enjoy making music together, so whether you’re just beginning to learn or you’re looking to get back into playing, our rehearsals for the new session have only just started so we’d love to hear from you.”

In addition to a warm welcome, and to isn’t the only thing the orchestra has to offer prospective new members – in addition to the expert leadership of professional conductor Leon Reimer, the orchestra also has regular visitors in the form of tutors who are either studying, or have recently completed their studies, at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

READ MORE: Community orchestra is eager to welcome new members

“The tutoring aspect is a really positive thing for us to be able to offer,” Anne continues, “both for our players and for the tutors.

"Being a professional musician can be hard, and it’s important for community groups like ours to be able to offer them the opportunity to pass on their skills.

“And Leon is so patient with us all – he brings out the best in us and we’re very lucky to have him.”

The orchestra’s rehearsals take place each Saturday from 10am to 12 noon at St Michael’s Church Hall in William Street. For further information call John on 01436 674469.