The DCO, which is independent of the professional KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, is a community and amateur orchestra that began as Durban Philharmonic Orchestra and was later known as Gateway Philharmonic Orchestra before it became DCO. It is one of the longest running orchestras in the country and has performed at community venues in and around KwaZulu-Natal, including the Durban ICC, Marianhill Monastery, Durban Botanical Gardens, Durban Jewish Centre, as well as private institutions. The DCO is made up of active and retired music teachers, a former orchestral conductor, university music students and part time musicians who participate voluntarily for the love of music, with a complement currently of approximately 30 members over a broad age range. The orchestra includes two accomplished and professionally active musicians in Charl van der Merwe as Resident Conductor and Jitske Brien as Concert Master. Charl is also the Principal Bassoonist with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra where Jitske assists periodically as violinist. The DCO meets weekly throughout the year for rehearsals.

How long has the orchestra been in existence for?

The origins of the amateur orchestra hark back to 1888. The DCO was previously known as the Durban Philharmonic Orchestra and later, Gateway Philharmonic Orchestra, before it became DCO.

What type of music and events does the orchestra cover?

We strive to tailor the choice of programmes to audience tastes and important season related dates such as over the build-up to Christmas. A range of musical genres is covered in our concerts with an emphasis on classical scores by the recognised composers, but we also offer themed programmes. Examples include playing with bands such as Parlotones and Gangs of Ballet. Concert performances are staggered throughout the year, usually between May-June and October - December.


from 25 reviews
"Such a fabulous event. The musicians were fantastic and each musical piece chosen was beautiful. A memorable afternoon well spent."
- Adrienne
"Breathtakingly beautiful. My grandchildren knew every piece in the medleys and were thrilled."
- Marie Theron
"What a wonderful Sunday afternoon of Classical, Romantic music performed by a dedicated group of musicians. The venue was packed with an appreciative audience and we left feeling a little lighter and a lot happier. Thank you to he conductor, organizers and musicians "
- Robert
"Sad to see the church not overflowing with audience. I think you should jack up your advertising strategy"
- Eilleen
"Brilliant concert "
- Anonymous

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