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Media coverage

We are delighted to have had the following coverage:

Times of Tonbridge interview with conductor of our 23 November concert, Matthew Scot Rogers, page 46 20 November 2019

Times of Tonbridge interview with our new Music Director Mark Biggins - (page 46-47) 15 May 2019

Courier Community News - Requiem performance..  26 October 2018

KMTV feature on Shostakovich concert 16 February 2018

Kent Messenger paper & Online, marking anniversary of the 1st World War
16 February 2018

Times of Tonbridge, pick of the week page 61, 14 February 2018

Times of Tonbridge, What’s on - Family Carols pick of the week page 56

13 Dec 2017

Times of Tonbridge - Dream of Gerontius concert preview, front page & p68

22 Nov 2017

Interview with Matthew Times of Tonbridge page 74-75 28 Jun 2017

Kent Messenger What's on 9 Dec 2016 - Family Carols

Kent Life magazine on-line Newsletter - 8 Nov 2016

Kent Life magazine - '70 years of making music', 3 page article in Nov 2016 edition.

Front cover of the Times of Tonbridge 13 July 2016

Event of the week Page 91 in Times of Tonbridge 6 July 2016

Index Magazine - October 2015 edition

Ingenu/e magazine - Autumn edition 2015  

Concert announcements on BBC Radio 3 Breakfast show.


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 Shostakovich Strings Day announced

For those playing in what will be an unique performance locally of Shostakovich’s Symphony no 7 ‘Leningrad’, on 17 February 2018, there will be a strings practice day on Saturday 7 October at St Saviour’s Church, Tonbridge from 10am - 4pm.

Please contact Sara Young for further details of how to join the day as it is a concert not to be missed for anyone keen to broaden their musical repertoire.   email:

Shell award grant to Society's orchestra

Tonbridge Philharmonic Society are delighted to have recently received a grant from Shell International Limited, through their "Shell Employee Action Scheme", which promotes volunteering and community involvement among employees and pensioners.

The grant was awarded to support the Society's Strings Day workshop in October. enabling orchestral members, with additional guest players, to explore Shostakovich's Symphony no 7 - a demanding and poignant piece, rarely performed by amateur orchestras. The performance of the piece will take place on 17 February 2018, in Tonbridge School Chapel.

For further details of the Strings Day please see below.

TPS chosen for fundraising support

Thanks to our fundraising officer Mike Tonge, the Society was chosen as one of Tonbridge Waitrose's community organisations over the summer. Our local community kindly donated many of their green tokens to the Society after their shop, and the funds we received will go towards the additional costs there will be to put on our ambitious Shostakovich concert in February. Thank you to all those who supported the Society.

TPS announce the date of their 2018 Choral Workshop

Tonbridge Philharmonic Society  organise a very popular annual Choral Workshop, open to all, led by their Music Director Matthew Willis.

The next workshop will be ‘Discover Britten: War Requiem’ to be held on Saturday 5 May 2018  2pm- 6.30pm in The Recital Room, Tonbridge School. The price will be £20 per person (including tea, coffee & cake!).

(November 2017)

Family Carols raise funds for Hospice

The Society are delighted that thanks to the generous donations of our audience & ticket sales the Tonbridge Round Table Family Carols in December 2017 raised £2407 for Hospice in the Weald. Thanks to all who organised and supported this event.  (January 2018)

TPS is seeking a replacement Music Director

It is with great regret that we have accepted the resignation of our Music Director, Matthew Willis. Matthew has been offered an exciting opportunity which will mean he has to move to Europe.

The Executive Committee of the Society is in the process of recruiting his replacement.  

(April 2018)

Kent County Council Grant

TPS acknowledges with thanks the award of a grant of £1000 from the Kent County Council Combined Members' Fund obtained by Cllr Richard Long. This was a valuable contribution towards meeting the substantial costs of the June concert. and is very much appreciated.
(July 2018)

Mark Biggins

Music Director Designate (from April 2019)

We’re looking forward to April 2019 when Mark Biggins joins TPS as Music Director. Mark is an accomplished choral and orchestral conductor, singer and pianist, who is Assistant Chorusmaster with English National Opera. In the meantime our concerts in February and March will be conducted by Michael Waldron, as interim MD. Both are inspiring musicians who will build on the impetus and energy created by outgoing MD, Matthew Willis. Matthew’s final appearance with TPS will be on 24th November 2018, when he conducts the performance of Britten’s War Requiem. It will be a very poignant occasion for all of us.

(September 2018)

TPS in partnership with ‘Tonbridge Creates’ for Poppy-Making workshops

As part of the many activities going on in Tonbridge to commemorate the end of the WW1, Tonbridge Creates and Tonbridge Philharmonic Society are working together with local artist Hayley Hartley to create a bouquet of poppies made by local children for a display at Tonbridge Philharmonic’s upcoming performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem on 24th November 2018 in Tonbridge School Chapel. The next workshop is on Sunday 11th November from 1030-1230 at Tonbridge Creates, 2 Angel Walk, Tonbridge.

(November 2018)


The memorable recent performance of Britten’s War Requiem was Tonbridge Philharmonic Society’s final concert under our Music Director of four years, Matthew Willis. We are delighted that Matthew Willis is now our Conductor Emeritus. Our new Music Director, Mark Biggins, will take up the post in April 2019. In the meantime, we are excited to announce that Michael Waldron will conduct our concerts in February and March 2019.

Click here for further information
(December 2018)

TPS News release

The much-anticipated May concert with TonPhil’s new Music Director, Mark Biggins, was a huge success and we really enjoyed working with him. Unfortunately, though, he has had a cycling accident and has broken his shoulder.  The injury will require a concentrated period of rehabilitation following an operation to repair the damage and consequently Mark will not be able to work with us as we start our new season.

So, the hunt was on for someone to conduct the performance of Dvořàk’s Stabat Mater in November, and we are delighted to announce that Matthew Scott Rogers will be joining us in September to work with us on this wonderful piece.

He will be joined by the wonderful soprano Helena Dix, a favourite of our Society, and baritone David Kimberg, who wowed us when he sang with us in The Dream of Gerontius.

Following in the tradition of Matthew Willis, Michael Waldron and Mark Biggins, it seems that your first name has to begin with ‘M’ if you want to conduct Tonbridge Philharmonic! We very much look forward to working with Matt and are delighted that our short-term needs fitted into his busy work schedule.

(August 2019)

TPS News release

TPS is delighted to announce that Ben Westerman will be joining the Society as Music Director from January 2020. With a wealth of experience gained in the UK and Europe, Ben has conducted chamber groups, full-scale orchestras and large choirs. Recent debuts in Romania and Gran Canaria have added to his time spent completing his MA in Orchestral Conducting at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and co-ordinating an annual music festival in Avignon.

Now he is turning his focus to work in the UK, and is very excited at the prospect of joining our Society to take forward the musical development started by Matthew Willis and continued, albeit briefly, by Mark Biggins (who has stood down to focus on his recovery from surgery after his accident). They are big footsteps in which to follow, but we know that Ben will make his own mark and that we will enjoy working with him tremendously.

 Photo graph by PP Houtmorteis.     

(December 2019)