The orchestra was founded around 1990 by Margo Fagan with the help of Hugh McDowell who taught 'cello at Prior Weston school and Julia Munne who was wind principal at the ILEA and taught in Morley College. The School, under its Head Henry Pluckrose, was remarkable in its creative arts oriented approach to learning. As head of music at Prior Weston school in Whitecross Street, Margo organised a Christmas party with music and carols. Parents and siblings had been invited to come along but many more came with instruments than expected. It was so successful that everyone said that they should do it more often.
Regular meetings were begun and, under Islington's checker centre, the group become an evening class. Eventually it grew to the extent of putting on concerts at St Giles Cripplegate and occasionally at St. James Clerkenwell.
The group later moved to Starcross school where it remained for some time, giving performances both there and in the St Silas and All Saints church adjacent. They had some difficulties with the school as term times had to be adhered to. The schools had to begin charging, Islington withdrew its grant and in due course the vicar at St Silas suggested that they might like to move to the church permanently, where the orchestra now resides.
For the following 12 years Anthony Milledge conducted the orchestra. He took the orchestra to a completely new level, the orchestra went from playing arrangements to original classic music. The repertoire started to grow to a long list. The orchestra performed every year together with the Canonbury Choir at concerts in the Nereid room in the British Museum. Playing in front of the classic marbles, whilst acoustically challenging, was always a great treat. In 2002 and the orchestra started to be lead by a professional leader.
In 2008 Peter Fender started to conduct the orchestra, continuing Anthony's fine work of both programming a wide variety of music and pushing the orchestra to achieve greater things!
In 2010, the Orchestra began collaborative touring with an Italian orchestra, The Maberliner Orchestra. Together they have performed throughout Tuscany and in North London.