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History of the Orchestra

THE STROUD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA was formed as the New Stroud Orchestra in 1980 by Bruce Critchenson and through his enthusiasm and encouragement grew from a dozen assorted players to a full symphony orchestra.

In 1987, having brought the orchestra through a period of increasing musical standards and  successes, Bruce retired and handed the baton to the then principal clarinettist, Nick Spain, who for two years continued Bruce's work. The orchestra was then fortunate to secure the services of Jan Vriend who was, and is best known as a composer producing music in the tradition of Debussy, Varese and Xenakis.

When Jan retired from conducting to devote himself full time to composing, the orchestra appointed Jonathan Trim.

The orchestra draws its members almost entirely from the Stroud district, and is proud to be able to present three concerts each year to the high standard which the people of Stroud have come to expect. Increasingly the orchestra is drawing upon the support of its sponsors which include         Stroud-based businesses and the Town Council, whose members have been particularly supportive.

In 1997 the orchestra members voted to change the name of the orchestra  to its present name as it was felt that a seventeen year old orchestra hardly justified the title 'New' and that Symphony      Orchestra was a more accurate reflection of the type of orchestra into which it had  developed.

For the last few years it has been the custom of the orchestra to allow a charity to hold a retiring   collection and among charities benefiting have been the British Heart Foundation, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, Unicef Children's Fund, Survivors of Child Abuse, Homestart, and the Pied Piper Appeal.