The Bury St Edmunds Friendly Orchestra (BFO), a local community orchestra, was founded in the autumn of 2006 by Mike Baynes and Sally Haslewood, with the intention of creating an orchestra that would accommodate players of varying ages and abilities, so that they could enjoy themselves making music together.
Since those early days of rehearsals in the old Bury St Edmunds Cricket Pavilion, with just 22 players and their first conductor Jenny Sewell, the orchestra has grown rapidly, changing rehearsal venues three times to accommodate the 54 members of the orchestra they have today. Jenny conducted the BFO for 6 years and then in 2012 Christopher Moore took over as Musical Director and took the orchestra to perform their first public concert at the Apex venue in Bury St Edmunds in 2014. They went on to perform two more concerts at the Apex under Christopher and following his retirement in 2016, Chris Parsons took over as Musical Director and Conductor. Since then, the BFO now performs three public concerts a year, including a Christmas charity concert.