Concerts

Notable concerts in the history of the orchestra

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1896
Thursday 24 February 1896.  Madame Reymond produces a concert at The Wesleyan Chapel, Milton, Stoke-on-Trent.



1904
Thursday 8 December 1904, Burslem Town Hall.  The orchestra's first concert. Together with The Potteries Choral Society. Conducted by John Cope.



1906
First concert of the fourth season held at The Victoria Hall in Hanley. John Cope conducting.
NSSO North Staffs Symphony Orchestra
NSSO Concert Programme November 1906



1908
Fifth Season and note the new name - North Staffordshire Orchestra
NSSO Concert Programme - January 1908



1910
Special benefit concert for The North Staffs Royal Infirmary. Boxing Day 1910. With the new name: The North Staffordshire Symphony Orchestra.
NSSO Concert Programme - 26 December 1910

1912
Kings Hall, Stoke.  Festival Concert






1913
Centenary performance of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony




1915



1924
John Cope Concert



1925
Benefit concert for Madame Marie Reymond




1930
Wedgwood Pageant Concert, Victoria Hall, Hanley.




1937



1944




1951





1954
The Jubilee Concert - marking the 50th Anniversary of the Orchestra and a remarkable achievement.

North Staffs Symphony Orchestra
NSSO Concert Programme Jubilee Year 1954

NSSO Jubilee Season Review


1960



1965



1969
November 1969. Denis Mathews on piano and Percy Rogers conducting
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1971
With Campoli as violin soloist. Percy Rogers conducting.
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1973 March
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1973 December
Mahler Symphony No.4 with Janet Price, Soprano
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1974




1975 March
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1975 November
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1975 December
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1976 May
Havergal Brian Centenary Concert at St Mark's Church, Shelton





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1977
The Queens Silver Jubilee Concert
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1979
North Staffordshire Symphony Orchestra 75th Anniversary Concert
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1978 May
Many members of the NSSO played in the performance of The Gothic Symphony by Havergal Brian, the local composer. The concert on 21 May 1978, at The Victoria Hall, Hanley, was organised by Paul Shaw and conducted by Trevor Stokes. Details on Wikipedia here>  Sentinel Report here>





1981 April
Soloist Clare McFarlane, BBC Young Musician of the Year, Michael Trowski conducting
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1983



1984



1985 December
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1991



1994
90th Birthday Concert conducted by Timothy Redmond and included Symphony No.2 by Mahler - The Resurrection. This was its first performance in Hanley. The drawing of Gustav Mahler on the front cover or the programme was made by Neville Mitchison.
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2000
The Millenium Concert - Bizet's Carmen at The Victoria Hall, Hanley, with guests choirs and Timothy Redmond conducting.
More about Timothy Redmond here>

Critics Column
“A Fitting Farewell”, The Carmen Concert, by Friends Correspondent

It’s not often that one gets the opportunity to hear a concert performance of a full opera, but that was the feast provided by the North Staffordshire Symphony Orchestra, with a talented array of professional soloists, plus a choir consisting of The Barbara Walton Singers; The Ceramic City Choir and The Stone Choral Society, at the Victoria Hall, for the orchestra’s last performance of the 1999 / 2000 season.

It was an ambitious venture, needing much planning, such as size of stage, booking of solo artists, rehearsal schedules for orchestra and chorus etc.. The fact that owing to illness and unavoidable indisposition, stand-in soloists had to be found finding a third Carmen at very short notice, must have been a real headache. Having lost count of who’s who and the number of changes, I beg the forgiveness of the soloists for not mentioning them by name. To crown it all, on the day of the performance, it was ‘barbecue weather’ ensuring the absence of much potential audience. However, that did little to detract from the enjoyment of the opera. All the soloists were established professional singers of high quality. The opera, being sung in English, also helped greatly in that one was able to follow the plot and dialogue with ease as the tragedy unfolded.

If the performance is good, watching and listening to opera without the scenery is a bit like hearing a play on the radio; one can imagine the setting and so feel part of it. As it progressed, this rendition went a long way to achieving that. To start with, the Overture and opening scene showed the orchestra in fine fettle, really setting the scene and mood of what was to follow.

No fiery, hot blooded, passionate, foot stamping Carmen here, but a willowy, lithesome siren who woos the men gathered round her with her slinky body and voice to match when she tells them, in the ‘Habanera’, that “love obeys no laws”. She also showed great agility of voice in the ‘Seguidilla’ with its tricky intervals, turns and other vocal gymnastics. On the other hand, Micaela, a modest and shy peasant girl, sang her part with a purity of tone when bringing news of Don Jose’s mother. Corporal Morales, Lieutenant Zuniga and Don Jose sang their parts adequately. Jose was at his best in the ‘Flower Song’, which he sang with a touching tenderness.

Carmen was ably supported by her friends, Frasquita and Mercedes. Escamillo, the bullfighter, sang the ‘Toreador’s Song’ with conviction, but with a voice that didn’t quite match. It was the smugglers, Dancairo and Remendado, who introduced a new and refreshing dimension; their dialogue, in broad Yorkshire/Lancashire, gave it a realism that added spice to what was already an enjoyable performance. Throughout the opera, the orchestral accompaniment was extremely good. Tim Redmond took the ‘Aragonaise’ and ‘Bohemian Dance’ at great speed - and the response was immediate and with relish. The choir also gave a lively, disciplined performance with some powerful singing. It was all well rehearsed.

There were two disappointments. The first was the thinness of the audience, not entirely unexpected in view of the weather. Otherwise, a similar venture is worth considering, perhaps at a more suitable part of the season.

The other was the bald statement made to the audience by Mr. Redmond at the end of the interval, that this was his last concert with the North Staffordshire Symphony Orchestra as it’s Musical Director. What a pity that say, five minutes could not have been spared for a representative of the orchestra to make a presentation to Mr. Redmond in a way that could have been shared by the audience, including Friends and Patrons of the N.S.S.O. (all of whom are the life-blood of the orchestra) giving them the opportunity to show their deep affection and appreciation to Tim for the sterling work done during his tenure as Conductor, Orchestral Trainer and Musical Director. What is it about secrecy and confidentiality that makes it so fashionable these days? EW



2002


2011
North Staffs Symphony Orchestra - Nov 2011 Rehearsal - Shostakovich Symph No.1 Movement 2. at Wolstanton High School, Newcastle-under-Lyme, UK, with Juan Ortuno conducting.




2013
North Staffs Symphony Orchestra Concert, 22 June 2013 at Wolstanton High School, Newcastle-under-Lyme, UK, with Juan Ortuno conducting Aaron Copland's Billy the Kid Ballet Suite.



2015/6 Rehearsals