This is directed towards any of you with "real world" experience arranging for orchestra. I am working on a piece right now that actually started in the concert band world. Due to this and the fact that the piece almost completely in minor keys, this thing has more flats than a London tenement. Mainly Bb minor, Gm, Fm, Dm.
I know many string players prefer the convenience of sharp keys, and that a professional orchestra should be able to play in any key. But I'm trying to take into account that my piece may appeal to school and community orchestras, and also that groups appreciate pieces that take a minimum of rehearsal time - especially for lighter stuff (which this is).
So the question is: transpose it up a step to make the keys friendlier for the strings, or just have them grumble and work it out? Transposing it would alter some nice wind sonorities but it's not drastic.