Staffordshire is getting a new classical orchestra -thanks to a Stoke-on-Trent musician.
Joe Hearson who is originally from Kidsgrove founded Symphonia Verbum Orchestra pre-pandemic, but Covid meant his plans to push forward were delayed.
Now the 24-year-old who lives near Sandbach says plans to introduce Staffordshire to his professional classical orchestra are back on track with their first performance (post Covid) taking place next month.
Symphonia Verbum Orchestra (SVO) will launch their 2021/2022 season with the concert at the Kings Hall on Friday October 29th. It’s the first of three concerts planned there with two others taking place on March 6th and June 11th next year.
It falls under the Orchestra’s SVO Discover Programme, which aims to open up classical musical to new, diverse audiences and especially to young people. Those aged under 18 will be given FREE tickets for the performance and students over that age will only have to pay £5.
The Orchestra which has 65 members, is made up of young, passionate musicians who are really enthusiastic about the music they perform. They will be performing well known classical music as well as debuting some brand-new original material.
Joe who is the SVO’s Conductor and a Composer originally founded the Orchestra while he was studying music at Manchester University with his girlfriend Sophie Bell and a friend. Sophie is now the Orchestra Manager.
He said: “My parents were both professional musicians, so I was brought up with music in the house every single day. It was a big part of our lives, and that grounding has given me my passion and drive for it.
“We want to bring classical music to Staffordshire, so that it can have its own orchestra that the county can be proud of. Manchester and Birmingham have more than one famous classical orchestra, like the Halle – why can’t we? At the moment people have to travel if they want to see regular live classical performances, we want them to have it on their doorstep. It’ll be fantastic to be able to showcase our talent here which I believe is extraordinary.
“This isn’t a youth orchestra, we’re professional musicians – some of our members have studied for the last 15 to 20 years. We promise to entertain and will be playing timeless classics as well as premiering work from an Iranian composer called Atefeh Einali and an English composer Aaron Breeze.
Joe added: “It’s not just about widening the stage for classical music, we also want to provide an entry point for younger people into a music profession and help create job opportunities, as it’s not always an easy career to get into.
He said: “We’re looking forward to our first performance since the pandemic and to play at the King’s Hall in what is a stunning Victorian venue, is something we’re really all looking forward to.
“We’d love the community to support us as it’s a great opportunity for younger people to see what classical music all is about, without it costing them a penny.”
SVO also run Outreach workshops to schools across Staffordshire and Cheshire with the aim of bringing the orchestral world to school children with practical pupil participation sessions.
For more information, or to buy tickets please go to: www.svo.org.uk