Twitter and all mod cons as orchestra seeks new audience

Harrogate Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Hall.
Harrogate Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Hall.

HARROGATE Symphony Orchestra has launched a campaign to raise awareness of its work as it prepares to mark 80 years of music making in the town.

The 85 musicians and their supporters are introducing a number of initiatives in an effort to increase ticket sales for their concerts and bring orchestral music to a wider audience.

Bryan Western, who has conducted the orchestra for 26 years, said: “We need to improve audience numbers and feel that many people are unaware that Harrogate has its own orchestra.”

“It is also down to changing demographics and we want to work hard to encourage a broader audience to our concerts.”

The orchestra is determined that the traditions started in Harrogate in 1931, when the Harrogate String Orchestra replaced the Municipal Theatre, will continue for many years to come but members also recognise that they must try new ideas to get their message out.

HSO has a new logo design and recently joined Twitter and Facebook. It will be using social media to help promote its events as well the more traditional marketing methods of posters, flyers and press releases.

The orchestra also recently added a page to its website where members of the public can choose the programme for next year’s summer concert, selecting from a list of popular tracks listed on Classic FM for a chance to win one of three pairs of tickets to the event.

HSO has built a strong reputation for quality and regularly performs alongside well-known musicians.

Trumpeter Alison Balsam, a former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and multiple Classic BRIT Award winner, has performed with the orchestra as well as renowned pianist Benjamin Frith.

In November they will be joined by star cellist Philip Higham who became the first British cellist to win first prize in International Bach Competition in Leipzig in 2008.

Bryan Western said the need to attract large audiences was even more important today due to the rising cost of venue hire in Harrogate.

“The Royal Hall is a superb venue for orchestral performances and we love holding our concerts there but the costs are high. If we don’t get the numbers attending we simply won’t be able to carry on using it,” he explained.

HSO’s Winter Concert will be held on Saturday, November 19 at the Royal Hall at 7.30pm. The programme includes Elgar’s Cello Concerto, The Land of the Mountain and the Flood by Hamish MacCunn and Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz.

The orchestra’s Family Christmas Concert will be held on Saturday, December 17 at Harrogate International Centre and will also feature Harrogate Choral Society and choirs from the schools in Harrogate and surrounding villages.

To book tickets contact the Harrogate Theatre Box Office on 01423 502 116 or online at

For more information about the orchestra visit

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