Former members of ELO and Electric Light Orchestra Part II are regrouped as The Orchestra. A name, acknowledging each band member's illustrious former membership with the Electric Light Orchestra and/or Electric Light Orchestra Part II but also forging ahead to a future utilising the spectacular symphonic rock sound for which they are unequalled.

Band Members

Mik Kaminski
Mik Kaminski

Away from the spotlight, which chases him ducking and weaving across the boards, Mik has always been a shy and modest character. So much so that he had to be persuaded into taking the audition for ELO back in 1973!

Born and bred a Yorkshireman, Mik studied at Leeds College of Music and first appeared professionally at the age of fourteen, in a classical role with the city's orchestra. After session work on early seventies cult rock albums by Andy Roberts and Joe Soap, Mik became a member of ELO in 1973, introducing his exceptional sparkling skills to the band's developing sound. Mik's soaring strings sweetened most of that band's albums, while his Blue Violin solos became a highlight of all live shows, exposing a rock audience to tantalizing trips through classical tunes infiltrated by his own stunningly complex improvisations. In 1979, Mik formed, during his "off time", a band called Violinski. They toured the UK releasing two albums and enjoying an enormous hit with one of pop's great instrumental singles "Clog Dance", furthering Mik's reputation as a fine exponent of violin virtuosity.

A couple of years after Mik had taken part in ELO's final live shows in 1986, he and Kelly Groucutt called up some basic influences of their former band to put together a new ensemble, OrKestra. The band gave Mik another platform upon which to shine, where his compositional work could flourish. Two superbly crafted albums, including Roll Over Beethoven, a European hit single and successful tours of the UK and USA were all part of OrKestra's worthy career.

When the THE ORCHESTRA began, Mik's presence, particularly for the live shows was unquestionable. In all the spectacle of his stage performances, Mik's song writing skills could be in danger of being overshadowed. However, they are there for all to hear on ELO Part II's four albums while his ear for inventive tunes and intertwining counter-melodies are captured forever in the magical moments of every band in which he has been involved.

Mik was mentioned sometime back by DJ and presenter Chris Evans on Virgin Radio. Whilst talking about violinist Vanessa Mae, Chris was heard to say "...Mik Kaminski, ex-ELO, now there's your man!"

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Louis Clark
Louis Clark

Louis Clark was the man behind the majestic ELO string arrangements throughout their most prosperous years of 1974 through 1986. He has also enjoyed enormous success in a separate career, selling millions of recordings of the "Hooked on Classics" series, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. A most talented and skillful arranger, Louis has been much in demand all over the world working with Artists ranging from Ozzy Osbourne to Roy Orbison and scoring orchestral arrangements of music by Abba, The Beatles, Queen and Phil Collins. His work crosses all musical boundaries and he is equally at ease with the classics as with M.O.R., pop and the heavier side of rock. Through this, Louis has opened up many areas to audiences who may otherwise spent a lifetime stranded on a musical desert island!

An honorary Brummie, although actually raised in Shropshire, Lou had an early interest in music, taking lessons as a child. However, his imagination was ultimately captured by The Beatles and as a teenager, Louis joined the Birmingham-based Raymond Froggatt Band as bass player, recording two albums and ten singles in the late sixties. During this time, the band's need for a string arranger led Lou to learn the art literally "by the book". As his interest in this aspect of music developed, he enrolled at the Leeds College of Music, in a course studying arrangement and composition along with flute and keyboards. His studies completed, Lou returned to Birmingham and while working, once again, with Raymond Froggatt he met Jeff Lynne. Jeff and the members of ELO were experimenting with ideas for their next album and invited contributions from Louis, who went on to co-arrange the score and conduct a full orchestra on the 1974 album, "Eldorado".

Throughout the seventies, Louis Clark was never listed as touring member of ELO, but this changed in 1981 when he joined up for live touring work on string synthesizer. It was around the same time that his remarkable run of classical/pop album successes began and he has since traveled far and wide conducting live concerts of this material.

When ELO Part II was formed, there could be only one choice for orchestral arranger on the album and for a string synthesizer player at concerts. Who else could be invited to conduct the magnificent Moscow Symphony Orchestra on the band's first tour? Louis Clark, of course!

His involvement with the last four ELO Part II albums, underlines his immeasurable contributions to the band. Louis' string arrangements blend seamlessly with the other members songs, adding a rare dynamism, while his own orchestral compositions are dramatically atmospheric. Now famed for his statuesque approach to live keyboard work "Sir" Lou's visual persona has not yet challenged the colourful and crucial manner in which he impressed his character upon the band's sound!

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Eric Troyer
Eric Troyer

Eric Troyer was one of ELO Part II's founding members, initially meeting Bev Bevan in April 1989. Eric's immediate influence on the band's sound could be heard on their 1991 album upon which he sang lead and harmony vocals and is responsible for writing several tracks, "Honest Men" and "1000 Eyes" becoming the band's single releases off that album. His contribution to all four albums, is also of great significance as a performer, solo writer and on collaborations with fellow band members.

Eric, a native of Elkhart, Indiana, USA, enjoyed a childhood rich in musical variety, embracing folk, classical, religious, Broadway shows and rock n' roll and developed a particular love of British groups of the Sixties. Following his college days in Indiana and California, Eric traveled east to New York City where he gravitated towards the music business and eventually earned a reputation as one of the most sought-after session musicians around. A friendship with leading producer, Jim Steinman led to prodigious amounts of work, not only on the latter's own recordings, but also on many of the world's biggest-selling singles and albums. Eric's talents are illustrated on records by John Lennon, Bonnie Tyler, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Julian Lennon, Sisters of Mercy, Billy Joel and Celine Dion (the first voice heard on Billy's No. 1 single, "Uptown Girl" is none other than Eric!). Meat Loaf has featured Eric on albums including chart topper, "Bat Out Of Hell II - Back Into Hell", whilst also using his vocal skills on tour. Eric can also be heard on Celine Dion's latest hit "Its All Coming Back To Me Now".

An interest in history and current affair shines through on Eric's solo CD "Model Citizen", where his intelligent lyrics are deep and incisive but also reveal a man who is certainly not without a sharp sense of humour. Ideas for his songs come from current and historical events or inspiration can even be found in snippets of conversation.

Eric's concern for his fellow man was clearly illustrated by his song writing involvement in memory of twelve school children killed in a road accident. Eric recorded the song, "Perpetual Light", with the classmates as part of a healing process and to raise money for the school's music department.

All this and Eric still finds the energy to be a full time member of THE ORCHESTRA, making records and touring the world. Emerging from his shadowy bank of keyboards, Eric leaps into the spotlight playing his "walkabout" keyboard and occasional guitar, thus enabling him to join the band's fine front line of musicians.

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Phil Bates
Phil Bates

Phil Bates is a former member of ELO Part II and was born in Warwickshire, UK. His first contact with ELO came in 1978 when his band, Trickster, supported ELO during the Out Of The Blue tour. He joined ELO Part II in the spring of 1993 and quickly became popular with the fans. He wrote a number of songs on ELO Part II's second album "Moment Of Truth", most notably "Breaking Down The Walls" which was released as a single.

Phil also released a solo album, "Naked", during this period and embarked on a small "intimate venue" tour to promote the CD which also featured Mik Kaminski on a handful of tracks. Mik also joined him on stage during the tour along with Mark Knight (bass) and Phil's wife Jo.

1996 saw the release of the ELO Part II live album, "One Night - Live in Australia", which Phil was heavily involved with. Phil co-produced the album and edited it alongside top engineer Chris Tsangerides. Phil also featured on the "Access All Areas" DVD, most of which was recorded in Australia during the "One Night" tour.

In 1998 Phil decided to leave the band to spend time with his young family and also to further his education. He released a number of solo albums during this time. Phil was also a founding member of "The Eleanor Rigby Experience" which was formed from a group of musicians from around the midlands area who were devoted to re-interpreting the songs of Lennon and McCartney. Later he rejoined his old drummer colleague, Bev Bevan, when he formed the "Bev Bevan Band" which later became "Bev Bevan's Move".

During The Orchestra's 2006 UK tour, Phil stood in for Parthenon Huxley at a couple of gigs when Hux had to return unexpectedly to the States. When Parthenon Huxley decided to leave the band in 2007 there was only one name at the top of the list to replace him...Phil Bates.

Welcome back Phil.

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Gordon Townsend
Gordon Townsend

Gordon Townsend is a former member of ELO Part II and is the most recent member of the band. He has toured the world with some of the greatest names in Rock & Roll. His dynamic style of drumming was brought to the band's attention by then ELO Part II member Parthenon Huxley who immediately felt that the other band members would "see" the sound they had been looking for. An immediate friendship grew between Gordon and the other members and the die had been cast. Having already visited a number of places with the band, the old ELO Part II fans and fans of THE ORCHESTRA have warmly embraced his role as the drumming backbone of the band.

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Glen Burtnik
Glen Burtnik

Following the unexpected death of Kelly Groucutt in early 2009 the search was on for someone to take over the space left by Kelly. Glen had previously stood in for Kelly way back in 1998 in the days of ELO Part II when Kelly had been ill and unable to do a tour of the USA and did a fine job, so he was asked once again if he'd like to fill in the little chaps big shoes

Glen's pedigree goes back many years in the music industry with recording deals with Elektra Records and A&M records. He also played the part of Paul McCartney in the touring show "Beatlemania". In 1990 he was asked by John DeYoung if he'd like to audition for the band Styx which he did successfully. Glen recorded the album "Edge Of The Century" with Styx for which he wrote 5 songs. Glen has since toured many times with Styx.

In 1992, Glen and Patty Smyth co-wrote "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" which was recorded by Patty and Don Henley and reached the lofty heights of number one on the pop charts in many countries. Glen currently performs his own version of this song with The Orchestra when on tour. There are also a number of solo albums that he's recorded over the years and a compilation CD of his work is on sale at most Orchestra gigs.

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Biography

With a pedigree that stretches back over many years, with roots reaching to the 70's and 80's with Electric Light Orchestra, the 90's with ELO Part II and from 2001 to the present as The Orchestra, heralding a continuing era of unparalleled symphonic rock!

Following Bev Bevan's retirement at the end of 1999 and their triumphant sell-out concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall and Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, Mik Kaminski, Louis Clark, Kelly Groucutt, Eric Troyer, Parthenon Huxley and the latest recruit Gordon Townsend regrouped as The Orchestra. The new name acknowledged each member's illustrious former membership of the Electric Light Orchestra and/or ELO Part II but also forges ahead a future utilising the spectacular symphonic rock sound for which they are unequalled.

The completion of their first stunning album 'No Rewind' signaled the band's rebirth in a most positive manner. Produced by Eric Troyer, Parthenon Huxley and Jim Jacobsen (eels), No Rewind was recorded without a single penny from any record label - admirable and courageous when you consider how today's music industry operates. 10 tracks and more were recorded in studios in Los Angeles and New York over a two-and-a-half year period during breaks in the band's hectic worldwide touring schedule. Recording sessions were booked around shows, guaranteeing that band members would be in the same city at the same time. It's not easy to "get together and jam" with a bassist and violinist domiciled in England, a keyboardist in New Jersey, a conductor in Ohio and both guitarist and drummer in Los Angeles.

Of course, the album turned out brilliantly...

With each band member contributing in equal measure, No Rewind contained many highlights across its 10 tracks: Lou's strings in the outro of the title track, Mik's soloing in Let Me Dream; Eric and Kelly's vocal harmonies on Can't Wait and Twist & Shout (yes, that one); Gordon's fill before the final chorus of Over London Skies; the solo Hux shares with Mik during Say Goodbye... and much more. The a capella part of Before We Go includes an exquisite guest vocal appearance by Jeffrey Foskett of Brian Wilson's band.

Eric Troyer, brimful with an infectious and almost overwhelming enthusiasm, sums up just how positive The Orchestra have been in creating No Rewind:

"I have to say that all of the former ELO members showed an amazing adaptability, sparkling creativity and an adventurousness spirit in their contributions to the new album. We've stepped into new territory, inspired by the new and young blood in the band (Hux and Gordon). I think this is some of the best work of Lou's career and that goes for Mik too (check his inspiring writing and violin work on Let Me Dream and others). Kelly, who is still a killer vocalist and writer (Before We Go) provides the historic ELO-edge to the sound and creativity of the background vocals on all tracks."

No Rewind is an album you are going to want to Replay everytime...

...The end of 2007 saw the departure of Parthenon Huxley and the return of former ELO Part II member Phil Bates, although there was a transition period where depending which country they were performing in depended who you got on lead guitar and vocals until work visas got sorted out.

The following year with Phil back on guitar and vocals, the band did two UK tours and an East European tour with a few one-off gigs scattered here and there throughout the globe. 2008 also saw the "tour only" release of a live CD recorded shortly before Hux left the band. This was recorded in Vilnius in Lithuania at the 8000-seat Phillips Arena with Lithuania's National Symphony Orchestra.

Things were starting to get busy for The Orchestra when tradgedy struck early the following year. February 2009 saw the band perform to a sell out concert in Berlin but within hours of returning home, frontman and former ELO member Kelly Groucutt collapsed of a massive heart attack and died the following day. The funeral took place at a packed church in Coseley in the West Midlands, UK.

With a UK tour already booked for May the band decided to go ahead with the tour. They recruited Glen Burtnik from the USA to stand in for Kelly. Glen having previously played with ELO Part II in 1998 when Kelly was unavailable due to illness. He quickley established himself within the band.

2009 has also saw German bassist Ralf Vornberger perform in Israel when Glen was unavailable due to other work commitments booked before he joined the band.

With more dates being scheduled for the second half of 2009 for the UK and Eastern Europe, The Orchestra were kept quite busy during 2009.

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Discography

Anthology - 20 Years and Counting
Anthology - 20 Years and Counting

Anthology is a double CD compilation of recordings from ELO Part II and The Orchestra made from 1991 up to 2008 and includes a few recordings never before released. The CD is available at live gigs and the album was compiled by Eric Troyer and John Regna for The Orchestra.

Featuring

  • Eric Troyer (Vocals / Keyboards)
  • Kelly Groucutt (Vocals / Bass)
  • Mik Kaminski (Violin)
  • Louis Clark (Keyboards and Orchestral Arrangements)
  • Phil Bates (Vocals / Guitars)
  • Gordon Townsend (Drums)
  • Bev Bevan (Drums)
  • Parthenon Huxley (Vocals / Guitars)
  • Pete Haycock (Vocals / Guitars)
  • Neil Lockwood (Vocals)
  • Hugh McDowell (Cello)
Track listing
Disc 1 Disc 2
ELO Part II No Rewind
Hello Hello (Troyer / Bevan / Haycock / Lockwood) Jewel And Johnny (Huxley)
Honest Men (Troyer) Say Goodbye (Troyer)
For The Love Of A Woman (Troyer) No Rewind (Troyer)
ELO's Greatest Hits, ELO Part II With the Moscow Symphony Orchestra Let Me Dream (Troyer / Kaminski)
Turn To Stone (Lynne) Before We Go (Groucutt / Troyer / Huxley)
Thousand Eyes (Troyer) Itatdan Medleys For The San Remo Festival
Roll Over Beethoven (Berry) Medley 1 Confusion / Twitdght / Last Train To London (Lynne)
Moment Of Truth Twist And Shout (Medley/Russell)
Moment Of Truth (Overture) (Clark) Medley 2
Breakin' Down The Walls (Bates) Turn To Stone/Evil Woman/Last Train To London (Lynne)
Power Of A Miltdon Lights (Troyer) Live In Reno
Interlude 3 (Clark) If Only (Troyer)
One More Tomorrow (Bevan / Kaminski / Bates) Living Thing (Lynne)
Voices (Bates / Kaminski) Evil Woman (Lynne)
The Fox (Groucutt) Live In Lithuania
Love Or Money (Troyer) Standin' In The Rain (Lynne)
Blue Viotdn (Groucutt / Kaminski) Mr. Blue Sky (Lynne)
So Glad You Said Goodbye (Bevan / Troyer / Bates) Twist And Shout (Medley/Russell)
One Night Kelly's Last Studio Recordings with 'Orchestra' For the Russian TV show: Star Factory 5
Confusion (Lynne) - Track not tdsted on sleeve notes! Last Train To London (Lynne)
Do Ya (Lynne) Ticket To The Moon (Lynne)
Don't Bring Me Down (Lynne) Live in Lowestoft
  Midnight Blue (Lynne)
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The Orchestra Live
Orchestra Live

This live album was recorded with a full orchestra in the 8000 seat Philips Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2007 with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, shortly before Parthenon Huxley's departure from the band. This CD is currently only available from live concerts. It was produced by Alex Trevor & The Orchestra. Executive Producer is John Regna and it was released on the UK tour of Spring 2008.

Track listing

  • Evil Woman
  • Livin' Thing
  • Xanadu
  • Wild West Hero
  • Sweet Talkin' Woman
  • Shine A Little Love
  • Confusion
  • Showdown
  • Hold On Tight
  • Can't Get It Out Of My Head
  • Telephone Line
  • Standin' In The Rain
  • Mr. Blue Sky
  • Twist And Shout
  • Ticket To The Moon
  • Do Ya
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No Rewind
No Rewind

No Rewind is the first album to be released by The Orchestra and was self funded by the band. It was originally released as a very Limited Edition to coincide with the short orchestral UK tour in 2001 and was only available at the gigs or via the FTM website. It was produced by Eric Troyer, Parthenon Huxley and Jim Jacobsen with this released in 2006 while the original was in 2001.

Track listing

  • Jewel and Johnny (Huxley)
  • Say Goodbye (Troyer)
  • No Rewind (Troyer)
  • Over London Skies (Huxley / Bevan)
  • Twist and Shout (Medley / Russell)
  • Can't Wait To See You (Huxley)
  • If Only (Troyer)
  • I Could Write A Book (Troyer)
  • Let Me Dream (Troyer / Kaminski)
  • Before We Go (Groucutt / Troyer / Huxley)
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One Night (Live in Australia)
One Night (Live in Australia)

Released in 1996 and produced by Stephan Galfas.

Featuring

  • Eric Troyer (vocals and keyboards)
  • Louis Clark (orchestra arranger and conductor)
  • Phil Bates (vocals and guitar)
  • Kelly Groucutt (vocals and bass)
  • Mik Kaminski (violin)
  • Bev Bevan (drums)
Track listing
Disc 1 Disc 2
Standing In The Rain Strange Magic
Evil Woman Sweet Talking Woman
Don't Wanna Confusion
Showdown Do Ya
Can't Get It Out Of My Head Rockaria!
Whiskey Girls Roll Over Beethoven
Livin' Thing All Fall Down
One More Tomorrow Witness
Mr Blue Sky Thousand Eyes
Telephone Line Hold On Tight
Ain't Necessarily So Turn To Stone
The Fox Rock and Roll Is King
  Last Train To London
  Don't Bring Me Down
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Moment of Truth
Moment of Truth

Released in 1994 and produced by Stephan Galfas.

Featuring

  • Eric Troyer (vocals and keyboards)
  • Louis Clark (orchestral arrangements and keyboards)
  • Phil Bates (vocals and guitar)
  • Kelly Groucutt (vocals and bass)
  • Mik Kaminski (violin)
  • Bev Bevan (drums)

Track listing

  • Moment Of Truth (Overture) (Clark)
  • Breakin' Down The Walls (Bates)
  • Power Of a Million Lights (Troyer, title Bates)
  • Interlude 3 (Clark)
  • One More Tomorrow (Bevan / Kaminski / Bates)
  • Don't Wanna (Troyer)
  • Voices (Bates / Kaminski)
  • Interlude 2 (Clark)
  • Vixen
  • The Fox (Groucutt)
  • Love Or Money (Troyer / Bates)
  • Blue Violin (Groucutt / Kaminski)
  • Whiskey Girls (Bevan / Bates)
  • Interlude 1 (Clark)
  • Twist Of The Knife (Groucutt / Bevan / Bates)
  • So Glad You Said Goodbye (Bevan / Troyer / Bates)
  • Underture (Clark)
  • The Leaving
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Performing ELO's Greatest Hits Live
Performing ELO's Greatest Hits Live

Released in 1992 and produced by Jeff Glixman, it was recorded live on May 28th in 1991 at the NEC, Birmingham, UK and features the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. A VHS video recording of this show was also released around the same time on the Telstar label.

Featuring

  • Eric Troyer (vocals and keyboards)
  • Louis Clark (orchestral keyboards, conductor and orchestral arranger)
  • Pete Haycock (vocals and guitar)
  • Kelly Groucutt (vocals and bass)
  • Mik Kaminski (violin)
  • Bev Bevan (drums)
  • Neil Lockwood (vocals, keyboards, guitar)

Track listing

  • Overture (Troyer)
  • Turn To Stone (Lynne)
  • Evil Woman (Lynne)
  • Showdown (Lynne)
  • Livin' Thing (Lynne)
  • Hold On Tight (Lynne)
  • Thousand Eyes (Troyer)
  • Telephone Line (Lynne)
  • Roll Over Beethoven (Berry)
  • Can't Get It Out Of My Head (Lynne)
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Electric Light Orchestra Part Two
Electric Light Orchestra Part Two

Released in 1991 and produced by Jeff Glixman, it was the first album released by Electric Light Orchestra PartII. The USA version had a slightly different cover.

Featuring

  • Eric Troyer (vocals and keyboards)
  • Louis Clark (orchestral keyboards, conductor and orchestral arranger)
  • Pete Haycock (vocals and guitar)
  • Bev Bevan (drums)
  • Neil Lockwood (vocals, keyboards, guitar)
  • Mik Kaminski (violin)

Track listing

  • Hello Hello (Troyer / Bevan / Haycock / Lockwood)
  • Honest Men (Troyer)
  • Every Night (Troyer / Cummings)
  • Once Upon A Time (Haycock / Bevan)
  • Heartbreaker (Bevan / Haycock)
  • Thousand Eyes (Troyer)
  • For The Love Of A Woman (Troyer)
  • Kiss Me Red (Steinburg / Kelly)
  • Heart Of Hearts (Troyer)
  • Easy Street (Bevan / Haycock)
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