Whilst we try to accommodate all string playing applicants, subject to their ability to play the music, the situation with woodwind and brass is a little more complicated because whilst such players “don’t grow on trees” there is a limit to the number that we can accommodate.,
This is true not only from a physical point of view (particularly at present under Covid social distancing rules for venues) but perhaps more importantly, from a musical balance point of view.
We have therefore set a “tariff” of two players for each part so that we always have the part covered in case the principal player is absent for some reason.
This means for example that while we already have two members who between them play 1st and 2nd Clarinet, we would not refuse membership to a suitably qualified third clarinetist - whom we would then treat as a second 2nd Clarinet.
In these circumstances membership is likely to be on the basis that whilst the new member is welcome to attend all the practice sessions, he or she may not necessarily be able to play in all of the works which will be performed at a concert - or (depending on their progress if they are inexperienced) whether it is the right time for them to play at all in a concert.
So far such a situation hasn’t arisen, but we would like to be able attract and encourage as many new members as we can accommodate.
Where necessary, for concerts, we hire in local professionals to fill gaps but obviously that has financial implications which to some extent dictate the sort of music we can undertake. We would much rather field a full orchestra from our own membership!