Harrogate Symphony Orchestra

Harrogate Symphony Orchestra “Family Fun Time” at the Royal Hall this weekend

22 July 2022

The Harrogate Symphony Orchestra is showcasing “Family Fun Time”  on Saturday, 23 July 2022 at the Royal Hall in Harrogate.

We went along to their last practice session at Constance Green Hall on Oatlands Drive, to chat to the orchestra and to photograph.

Harrogate Symphony Orchestra

We put a few questions to Bryan Western, the conductor.

What is the HSO ?

A local community based orchestra with nearly 100 members coming from Knaresborough and Harrogate as well as Leeds, Castleford, Otley, Bingley, York and even as far as Hull.

What sort of musicians has joined the orchestra ?

Ages range for 16 to over 80 and all are amateurs.

As an orchestra, does it have a particular style ?

HSO is known for its wide-ranging approach to programming to encourage wide-ranging tastes from audiences who like challenging, sometime reflective, fun, exciting music covering all aspects of music including Classical, Romantic, 20th and 21st century, opera, dance, film, and music from the shows.

We also have a reputation for encouraging younger players and listeners and regularly hold child based events. Children 14 and under are able to come to the 3 seasonal concerts free of charge.


Harrogate Symphony Orchestra Harrogate Symphony Orchestra

Are there key people in the orchestra ?

No, everyone is a vital part of the team, but we do have exceptional leaders of each section of the orchestra and rehearsals are always based on hard work and efforts whilst at the same time being fun and enjoyable.

Do you have any vacancies ?

At the moment, every section is full to brimming over. we must have the largest section of strings players in the country, with over 80 players.

What’s the Saturday evening show about/ who is it for ?

Saturday is for all the family; not just young listeners. There will be something for the not so young too! The Blake ‘Nursery Rhyme Overture’ will have older people humming away, whilst the’ Old MacDonald had a farm’ will appeal to the youngsters.

The ‘Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra’ is certainly a well-loved work for all ears and the ‘King of the Birds’ is certainly so entertaining, it will capture everyone’s imagination.

Harrogate Symphony Orchestra Harrogate Symphony Orchestra Harrogate Symphony Orchestra

How do you approach a new concert ?

It is based on what I think the players will gain from each work, to widen their experiences and develop their skills, whilst at the same time will inspire them and the people for whom they are performing.

Is there still time to come on Saturday evening ?

Absolutely yes. Although tickets sales are improving, take up has been disappointing : this kind of concert in the past has always been a sell out!

About the event

A special family focused concert with a shorter running time (1hr 15mins) and an earlier start – 6.30pm.

Featured works include:

  • Blake – Nursery Rhyme Overture
  • Western – Old MacDonald Had a Farm
  • Britten – Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
  • Western/Button – King of the Birds (narrator Sonja Miller) – World Premiere

To book clcik on  Harrogate Theatres |

or call 01423 502 116 (Harrogate Theatre)



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