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Preston is no longer the only major UK city without an orchestra

Posted on - 9th April, 2024 - 6:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Ashton-on-Ribble, Longton & New Longton, Music, Preston News, South Ribble News, What's On in Preston
Alexander Roe MBE and Paul Heptinstall of Preston Symphony Orchestra
Alexander Roe MBE, marketing and publicity manager, and Paul Heptinstall, secretary of Preston Symphony Orchestra

Preston Symphony Orchestra has officially launched. 

A strategic corporate partnership with Porsche Centre Preston and a successful online crowdfunding campaign have combined to trigger the orchestra’s foundation.

The launch bridges a gap of over 50 years since the city’s last orchestral ensemble disbanded in the 1960s. The orchestra has already recruited over 40 classical musicians and has started rehearsing every week in Longton.

Read more: South Ribble Live to go ahead in Penwortham and Longton with Middleforth added for first time

Orchestra leaders hope to reveal the date for their inaugural concert within weeks. Once advanced negotiations with a local venue are finalised, the concert could happen as soon as this summer.

The event promises to be a significant addition to the city’s cultural calendar, offering a new platform for Prestonians to rediscover classical music with community engagement at its heart.

Until this point, Preston was the only major city in the UK without an orchestra, a fact that the new project is proud to overturn.

Alexander Roe MBE, Preston Symphony Orchestra marketing and publicity manager, said: “It’s incredible that 50 years have passed without a Preston-based orchestra. That means that two generations have never known an orchestra based in the city. That’s why we’re so thrilled to bring this community celebration of classical music back after such a long hiatus.

“The launch of the Preston Symphony Orchestra is a dream realised for many of us. It’s not just about the music; it’s about reviving Preston’s cultural heartbeat and inspiring future generations.”

Read more: Preston Orpheus Choir bringing spring concert to city

Enthusiastic support in the online crowdfunding campaign has invigorated the formation of the orchestra. The leaders hope the launch will rekindle a new love for classical music in the city and beyond.

The collaboration with Porsche Centre Preston underlines the potential for corporate partnerships to foster cultural and artistic development. It also illustrates a successful model of mutual support between the arts and the business sector.

Amy Lancaster-Hall, marketing manager at Porsche Centre Preston, said: “When we heard that Preston was the only UK city without an orchestra, we couldn’t believe it. We knew we had to do something to help. Supporting the arts is important to us.

“The orchestra represents innovation, excellence, and passion – values we share at Porsche. We are proud to participate in this historic new cultural chapter for Preston.”

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This story was made possible by support from you, our readers and a host of organisations in the city, through our Crowdfund Lancashire appeal, which unlocked support from the Lancashire Culture and Sport Fund provided by Lancashire County Council. You can see all our coverage and, if you know of an event or arts project in the city we should be covering, send details to contactus@blogpreston.co.uk.

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