A very warm welcome to the ISCA ENSEMBLE SOUTH WEST which is a leading orchestra based in the South West of England, U.K.

This new website contains many details concerning the activities and concerts of the Isca Ensemble, Isca String Quartet and other Isca Chamber Ensembles.


The full Ensemble comprises of over 60 experienced amateur and some former professional players drawn from the South West of England. The orchestra rehearses in the centre of Exeter on Sunday afternoons leading to the presentation of a series of classical concerts each year. National and international soloists often feature in concerts that frequently take place in Sidmouth Parish Church, Devon. This beautifully renovated church near the famous Victorian seafront has fine acoustics and accommodates a large audience. Concerts raise funds for important national and international charities as well as support for ongoing development projects associated with the church.

The very distinctive ethos of the orchestra is its friendliness and openness to all who are enthusiastic about playing music, including those who are returning to orchestral playing after a break. Social life of the orchestra often extends beyond the rehearsals.


The Musical Director is Roger Hendy who has for many years featured in the presentation of orchestral and choral concerts in the South West of England as well as abroad. He is also a viola player in the Isca String Quartet.


The leader is Dr. Antony Clements who has worked with Roger for many years to build up the orchestra and quartet to a high level of performance. Thanks to him and the players, the orchestra continues to receive much critical acclaim. The other two founder members of the Isca Ensemble are Trevor Taylor (principal second violin) and Stephen Guy (cello). Antony is also leader of the Isca String Quartet.


New string players interested in joining the orchestra as vacancies arise are cordially invited to contact the Musical Director or leader. There is special provision for young talented players.

At the present time, there is a full complement in all other sections but enquiries are very welcome.

The slides below show of some of the activities, concerts, venues and personalities of the Isca Ensemble and String Quartet. Click to start.

The names of both the orchestra and string quartet are derived from the Latin name for Exeter.

Isca Dumnoniorum was a town in the Roman province of Britannia and the capital of Dumnonia in the sub-Roman period. Today it is known as Exeter, located in the English county of Devon. Excavations in the 1970s and 1980s established the presence of a Roman military fortress at Exeter (constructed around AD55) almost certainly for the Second Augustan Legion. The town grew up around this fort and became prosperous, but started to decline even before the Romans left Britain in the early 5th century. The city walls of Exeter, of which some 70% survive, still mark the perimeter of the town of Isca Dumnoniorum.


Comments relating to the general acitivities of the orchestra and

the presentation of its concerts are most welcome

and can be entered in the comment box below.


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  • Dr. K. Orrell (Thursday, December 03 15 02:17 pm GMT)

    Isca Concert with Emmanuel Bach - Sidmouth 28 November 2015.
    Wow! What a talent – it clearly goes with the name! I’m sure you know who I’m referring to. Thanks also for playing my favourite Beethoven symphony. A hugely enjoyable concert.

  • David Jones (Thursday, December 03 15 10:58 am GMT)

    Many thanks for a fantastic concert on 28 November with Emmanuel Bach - thoroughly enjoyed!

  • Jenny Golding (Thursday, December 03 15 10:55 am GMT)

    Fantastic performance last night - the orchestra gets better every time we hear them, and both the Tchaikovsky Concerto and the Beethoven 'Eroica' were brilliantly executed.

  • Mark Baker (Monday, May 19 14 09:23 pm BST)

    Mozart Choral Orchestral Concert
    Sidmouth 17th. May 2014.
    This was a hugely enjoyable and highly professional concert. Thank you. Some lovely singing and very fine playing. We look forward to the next Isca presentation.

  • Keith Orrell (Sunday, March 23 14 11:39 am GMT)

    Sidmouth Mahler 4 concert.
    Brilliant concert! I never expected to hear a live Mahler symphony in Sidmouth! Very well done, all of you. Most impressive.

  • Martyn Daldorph (Thursday, December 05 13 09:11 pm GMT)

    Thank you so much for a great concert on 30th. November in Sidmouth Parish Church - an enormous tribute to you and to all your players, and to your courage in taking on some quite complex music. The
    audience loved the whole concert, as you will know from the reception for each item. Your hard work for these occasions is legendary, but what you achieve is also becoming legendary. Well done

  • Richard Jenkinson - cellist (Thursday, December 05 13 08:45 pm GMT)

    A big thank-you to both yourself Roger and the orchestra for a really memorable Dvorak tonight in Sidmouth. I thought that the orchestra played really splendidly and were so sensitive in those
    special sections in the concerto.

  • Audrey and George Dyke, Sidmouth. (Thursday, December 05 13 08:28 pm GMT)

    Congratulations. A most enjoyable concert last Saturday. The ISCA Ensemble played so well and of course the lovely Dvorak cello concerto was great and had us on our feet at the end.