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The Isle of Man Symphony Orchestra


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The Isle of Man Symphony Orchestra

Some 50 years ago Dr Tom Holroyd founded a string orchestra known as the Swarthmore Players, which flourished under various conductors, eventually incorporating a small number of wind players.

In 1980 the late Geoff Nicks took over the orchestra on condition that the name was changed (Swarthmore Players sounded like an amateur dramatic group!). The new name was Manx Sinfonia. Subsequently, under the direction of Bernard Osborne, Alan Pickard and Wendy Smith, the Sinfonia gave many enterprising concerts, and became established as the Island's only permanent orchestra, its members being some of the Island's most experienced musicians.

Maurice Powell, formerly principal horn with the orchestra, was appointed Musical Director in 2004, since which time the orchestra has increased in size considerably and developed its repertoire to include many of the most popular and challenging classical pieces. The orchestra changed its name again in 2005 to become the Isle of Man Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra's policy of engaging local soloists has proved very successful and the following musicians and singers have performed with them over the past few seasons: Colin Horsley, Graham Kirkland, Jane Lancaster, Carolyn Chambers, Tony Barnsley, Jennifer Nicks, Katie Stone, Roy Baker, William Pickering, Karen Elliott, Mandy Griffin and Jennifer Cook. Recently, when undertaking our biggest challenge to date the "Tchaikovsky Spectacular", we were delighted to welcome Dimitar Pentchev and the Academy of Dance, our first concert in the Royal Hall in our own right, made possible by the generous support of the Boston Charitable Foundation. The performance was a resounding success.

The orchestra performs in various venues around the island and also joins the Isle of Man Choral Society at the Villa Marina for it's annual choral concert.

We are honoured to have as our Patron the distinguished concert pianist Colin Horsley OBE. Over the years Colin has played several concerti with the orchestra and more recently with the Mill ensemble. The Orchestra looks forward to a long and happy association with such an esteemed and generous musician.

Rehearsals are held at St.John's Primary School on Wednesday evenings during term time from 7.30pm until 9.30pm. Experienced amateur or professional string and Brass players are always welcome; there are currently no vacancies in the woodwind section.


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