Chichester Symphony Orchestra to launch Friends group

Chichester Symphony Orchestra will be launching a Friends group this year.
Greg Slay (contributed pic)Greg Slay (contributed pic)
Greg Slay (contributed pic)

In the meantime, they are offering two concerts – a family concert on Sunday, January 28 at 3pm at Bishop Luffa School, on the theme of rhythm and one on Saturday, April 20 at 7.30pm at St Paul's Church with music by Butterworth, Holmes, Taylor-Coleridge and Sibelius. The family concert will feature music from Lord of The Rings, Sleeping Beauty, Carnival of The Animals and much more. Tickets on the door, from or

Chichester Symphony Orchestra chairman Greg Slay said: “The Chichester Symphony Orchestra, originally known as the Chichester Instrumental Society, made its first appearance in print in 1889. It is the city’s oldest secular amateur musical ensemble in continuous existence. New audiences and new players ensure the orchestra’s continued success in Chichester’s cultural life. Members of the orchestra visit local schools to promote live music performance.

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“The Friends of Chichester Symphony Orchestra is being formed in 2024 with the aim of sustaining the finances of Chichester’s premier orchestra. The Friends will exist to connect the orchestra to its wider community and also to raise the orchestra’s profile locally, regionally and further afield. It is our intention to enable the orchestra to continue to be at the centre of musical life in the city, committed to live performance for people of all ages and in a variety of venues.

“Membership of the Friends will aim to raise funds for the orchestra and, just as importantly, to bring a love of classical music to both existing and new audiences. It will provide advance information by email of our future concert programmes, a total of two concert tickets (with reserved seating) per year of your membership. A joint membership will provide four tickets in total. There will be an opportunity to meet the orchestra’s members informally through an open rehearsal. Friends will also be invited to attend the AGM and social gathering later in the year. Other exclusive activities may also be offered. The Friends scheme will be launched in summer 2024 to take effect from September. I think it is fair to say that the Chichester Symphony Orchestra is always looking for ways to appeal to new audiences. We don't want to lose sight of our core audience, however. We are mindful that getting the right venue is an important consideration – acoustics, seating volume, and accessibility are all important considerations, alongside overall cost. As a registered charity, the orchestra's finances are robust but we don't have money to spare and we would prefer to spend wisely where we need to – such as on additional players for our concert programmes where specific musicians are needed. We pay our leader and conductor a small fee for their work throughout the year and of course we have the occasional soloists in our concert programmes who would be paid a fee. The orchestra's income comes primarily from members who pay an annual subscription, the sale of concert tickets and a small occasional grant from Chichester City Council.”​

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