Perth Orchestral Society was founded in 1951 and its playing members,
Perth Symphony Orchestra, gave their first annual concert on 26th April
1953. For fifty years the orchestra has performed two regular concerts
each year, and is often invited to give other concerts, for example for
charity. Today it has around 50 playing members with a professional conductor
and leader. It is a registered charity and is affiliated to Making
Music. For more details see our history page
The Society's aim is to provide enjoyment and give people the chance to
play in an orchestra. To playing members, amateur and professional alike,
it offers the opportunity of being part of a full symphony orchestra,
and the satisfaction of giving regular public concerts in a full-sized
hall. To listening members, it offers the pleasure of varied concert programmes
- classical, romantic, modern, popular, and sometimes adventurous - at
a modest cost, in the most central venue in Perth. The orchestra also
likes to give young professional musicians, formerly at Perth and Kinross
schools, the chance to play as augmenters. Exceptionally talented young
Perth professionals are invited to perform as soloists.
Perth Symphony Orchestra rehearses on Wednesday evenings during term time
from September to March and gives two regular public concerts each season
usually in Perth Concert Hall . While it has some highly skilled members,
it also warmly welcomes keen but less experienced players of any age.
The orchestra prides itself on its happy atmosphere. Auditions are not
required, but regular attendence at rehearsals and personal practice is
expected so that the rehearsals are meaningful and progress is made. As
a guide we find players need to be of approximately grade 6 standard or
above to be able to benefit from the orchestra. 'Extra' wind players are
accommodated, doubling in rehearsals then sharing our the parts by mutual
agreement and at the conductor's discretion for the concerts. We have
fun but we also work hard! Players pay a subscription of £60 per annum,
£40 for senior citizens, students/school pupils £10. The following profiles
will give you a 'feel' for the orchestra.
long have you been playing with the orchestra?: 3½ years
did you first become involved with PSO?: I
moved to Perth for work in 2010 and was keen to find a local orchestra
to play in. Music has always been a big part of my life so when
I found PSO's website I got in touch and was invited along to a
rehearsal. I've been a member ever since and for the last couple
of years have been on the management committee as Publicity Officer.
the best thing about being a member of PSO?: Everyone in the
orchestra is very friendly and we have a lot of fun together. Allan
(Young) creates a light-hearted atmosphere in rehearsals (most of
the time!) but at the same time pushes us to achieve our full musical
potential. We play a wide range of music to suit all tastes. Trips
to the pub after rehearsals are also a highlight of my week!
your most memorable moment with PSO?: Performing Rimsky-Korsakov's
"Sheherezade" in the last concert (November 2013). There
were some fabulous solo bassoon passages which were great fun to
play and stretched my abilities to the limit. There was some superb
solo playing throughout the wind section and Lorna (leader &
solo violin) was the star of the show. I'd previously played "Sheherezade"
with my youth orchestra over a decade ago so it also brought back
happy memories for me.
the kids were settled at school I took up the oboe as an engrossing
hobby. I enjoyed practising but wished there could be a purpose
to my playing. So when I moved to Perth in 1995 I was delighted
to find that there was an orchestra that I could join and even more
delighted when I found everyone friendly, kind and encouraging and
the choice of music manageable. In time I was invited to join the
committee and have served in the roles of secretary and chairperson
and am gradually building an archive of the orchestra's history
both on the website and in paper form.
I find it life enhancing to be part of a large and diverse group
of people all working together to create an entertainment which
is 'more than the sum of the individual parts'. Every rehearsal
and performance is different and on a good day the music really
takes on a life of its own. As well as the orchestral repertoire
members meet in smaller groups and explore chamber music too.
My most memorable moment with PSO? ... I have many, many happy memories
of my time in the orchestra. Socially the 50th Anniversary Dinner
was a special event with all the orchestra's former leaders and
most of the conductors present. Musically I really enjoyed playing
the second symphony of Sibelius, being part of his fascinating landscape
of sound, the Italian Girl in Algiers by Rossini and playing my
part in the story of Scheherazade. There are wonderful moments of
humour too: rehearsal comments such as Allan's cheerful "rests
shouldn't be called rests, they should be called counting opportunities"
been playing with PSO since I moved to Perth in 1976. I could hardly
believe my luck at finding myself in a town with a symphony orchestra
with flute vacancy. I was immediately made to feel very welcome.
Over the years I have made many friends through a shared love of
music, and I feel very fortunate to have worked through such a wide
orchestral repertoire: symphonies, overtures, and concertos with
soloists who have gone on to successful international careers. It
is thrilling to hear some work or soloist on the radio and to think:
"We played that" or "
with him or her".
Quite early on I was invited to join the committee and served for
several years as an ordinary member and, in the last few years,
as Friends' Secretary.
It is hard to pick out particular highlights, as all the concerts
have been memorable and exciting, and it is always thrilling to
feel oneself a part of a huge body of sound. I have particularly
enjoyed playing in all the Brahms symphonies and felt particularly
challenged by Scheherazade and Rachmaninov 2nd Symphony. The big
event concerts have been great fun: the Choral Symphony with Perth
Choral Society; the 50th anniversary concert; Perth 800 playing
the music for the Royal Fireworks by the Tay, in the snow; last
February's concert with PYO
Rehearsals are good fun too. Allan has a wonderful sense of humour,
endless patience, a way of getting us to listen carefully to other
sections of the orchestra and the gift of building up confidence,
so that the scary moments of exposed entries, tricky rhythms and
seemingly impossible rapid passages become manageable.
been playing the violin since the age of 7 and began orchestral
playing a couple of years later. Orchestral playing has always been
the leisure activity I enjoyed the most, but unfortunately I lost
all my musical contacts when my family relocated to Muthill in 1993.
I first became aware of PSO some years later, but childcare and
transport problems, and later work commitments, meant I was unable
to join until recently.
I finally took the plunge in September 2013, joining the 1st violin
section as rehearsals were beginning for what I was assured was
the most difficult programme so far! Everyone was very friendly
and welcoming, which gave me the confidence to just join in and
enjoy it. The atmosphere at rehearsals is always very relaxed- you
get the sense that everyone is there because they enjoy playing
- even if Allan does have to bully us into smiling!
The high point of my time with PSO so far would have to be the end
of the first rehearsal- I really could still play well enough to
keep up! Having practised hard to make up lost ground, I now feel
as if I have reached a slightly higher standard than before I stopped
playing, and am looking forward to playing with the orchestra for
many years to come.
I completed Standard and Higher Grade Music as a mature student at
Kinross High School between 1992 and 1996. I was a playing member
of the school orchestra and string ensemble.
I joined PSO in 1997 and have always found every rehearsal to be relaxed
and friendly. My playing has improved immensely with the expert guidance
of Allan and Lorna and enjoy meeting for rehearsals and coffee break
with fellow members.
My most memorable pieces I have played are: Barber's Adagio for strings,
Brahms Symphonies - they are always challenging and Allan has a way
of bringing out the best in our playing and guiding us to our full
potential. I also enjoyed the concert with PYO 2013 and of course
Scheherazade. There have been many more memorable concerts and am
looking forward to many more with PSO.
I began playing violin as a mature student because Idid not have the
chance to take up the instrument when Iwas younger. Yes! it is difficult
to learn but the rewards and satisfaction you gain with achievement
out way the difficulty. If you have always wanted to take up violin
my advice to you is GO FOR IT! Believe me you will not look back.
OF PERTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
If you do not play an instrument but wish to be involved with an orchestra
you may wish to become a Friend of Perth Symphony Orchestra. For £35 a
year Friends receive 2 tickets for each concert along with an interval
refreshemnt for two.They are also welcome to visit rehearsals at any time
and meet the orchestra members. Please email the orchestra for details.
YOU LIKE TO HELP?
There is much background work involved in the successful running of an
orchestra, ranging from making the interval tea at rehearsals to administration
and marketing. If you are an individual with time on your hands and feel
you could contribute in some way the orchestra would be delighted to hear