Oldham Symphony Orchestra


About OSO

Oldham Symphony Orchestra has been established for nearly fifty years. It was founded in 1963 by the Whittaker brothers as the Oldham Amateur Orchestra. Locally born composer Sir William Walton was one of its patrons. Tom Whittaker remains principal clarinet to this day.

The orchestra was renamed Oldham Symphony Orchestra in 1973.

The orchestra rehearses weekly throughout the school year and gives concerts three times a year in Oldham, Rochdale and Manchester.

The orchestra supports itself almost exclusively through membership subscriptions, a patronage scheme and ticket sales. We are also a registered charity. These sources of income are unlikely in the long run to sustain the orchestra, as each concert leads to a reduction in our reserves. We are actively seeking sponsorship, which will help us to maintain our aims and improve standards.

We aim to offer a varied repertoire, including the standard symphonic works and others that are less well known.

The orchestra performs an important function for the community by giving an opportunity for school leavers to continue musical performance into adult life and by providing a platform for young soloists.

OSO in the community

The orchestra is working to involve the community in orchestral music.

Recent ventures to attract new audience members have included a film music concert, and children's concerts, which include Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, narrated by local journalist and musician Joe Dawson. Each instrument in turn is introduced and has it’s own theme depicting a character in the story.

Children and adults can learn about musical instruments with which they may not have been familiar and learn to appreciate musical culture, thus helping to ensure not only a long-term audience membership for classical music, but hopefully inspire a new generation of musicians as well.

Our family concerts include childrens' quizes with prizes.

We have also performed to raise funds for the Rotary Club.

Our most ambitious collaborative project is probably the recent concert in association with the Manchester Astronomical Society.

Contact Information

Oldham Symphony Orchestra

Turf Lane Life-long Learning Centre
Turf Lane

Tel: 0161 6246 693

Meeting times

 Mondays 7.30pm, during term-time

Where we are

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