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Next season's concert dates for your diary:

Winter Gala - Saturday 28th November 2015, Firth Hall
Soloist: Ben Holland (violin)

Masterworks - Saturday 5th March 2016, Firth Hall
Programme to include Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante, soloists: Peter and Martin Cropper

Summer Festival - Saturday 21st May 2016, St Andrew's Church, Psalter Lane
Soloist: Sam Castle (violin)

The SCO will also be performing at the Classical Sheffield Festival in the city centre over the weekend of 24th-25th October 2015. Watch out for more details.

GKpublicitypx018Each year the orchestra gives three concerts in Sheffield, normally two in Firth Hall at the University of Sheffield and one at High Storrs School. Our concert programme usually includes a concerto and it is the orchestra's policy to work with and provide a performance opportunity for young professional musicians who are just starting out in their careers as concert soloists. The relatively small size of our orchestra enables us to be adventurous with our wide-ranging and innovative repertoire from the baroque to the present day.

The Sheffield Chamber Orchestra regularly includes contemporary music in its concert programmes. In addition to performing existing works by contemporary composers, in the last few years the orchestra has commissioned new music by Stephen Dodgson, Arthur Butterworth, and most recently, Leo Birtwhistle and Ed Bennett as well as Sheffield-based composers Chris Wiltshire and Ray Hensher. As such, the variety of music performed by the orchestra is unique in the Sheffield region.

ralph2smallThe Sheffield Chamber Orchestra is a registered charity and is financed mostly by ticket sales, subscriptions paid by the members themselves and kind donations by a loyal group of Friends of the Sheffield Chamber Orchestra. In 2001 the orchestra received a generous gift in the form of a legacy following the death of Arthur Humphrey, one of the orchestra's patrons. Other than professional fees paid to the conductors and leader, the orchestra is managed on an entirely voluntary basis by a dedicated committee of members.

New members are welcome, subject to available vacancies. Generally, a mininum playing standard of Grade 8 is expected. Currently, vacancies exist only for double bass. There are no other strings, wind or brass vacancies at this time.
For more details, please click here.

Making Music

The Orchestra is a member of Making Music, (formerly the National Federation of Music Societies) whose aim is to represent and support amateur and semi-professional music groups, including orchestras and music promoters throughout the UK. Making Music represents over 130,000 musicians and music lovers in the UK and is a source of finance for its members via subsidies for young concert artists and project funding.

The Sheffield Chamber Orchestra usually showcases at least one Making Music Award Winner each year. Our chairman Peter Dyke (viola) is the Orchestra's Making Music representative.


Listen to the Sheffield Chamber Orchestra!

Schubert Symphony No.6, 1st movement (excerpt, mp3 format 3.3 MB)

Schubert Symphony No.6, 3rd movement (excerpt, mp3 format 2.3 MB)

Sheffield Chamber Orchestra, conductor, Richard Howarth.
Recorded live at a concert at Firth Hall, University of Sheffield, 27th February 2010

Leo Birtwhistle's Five Movements for Chamber Orchestra written especially for the Sheffield Chamber Orchestra can be heard here (complete download, mp3 format, 22.15 MB)

Sheffield Chamber Orchestra, conductor, Robin McEwan
Recorded live at a concert in Firth Hall, University of Sheffield, 27th November 2010,

Some of the photos on this website are the copyrighted work of Sheffield-based photographer David Shapiro. We are grateful for permission to use David's photos on this website.

About the Sheffield Chamber Orchestra

The Sheffield Chamber Orchestra was formed in 1950 and is a small classical orchestra of around 40 musicians, comprising of woodwind, horns, trumpets and percussion, in addition to the usual complement of strings.


This core orchestra is supplemented by additional instruments, such as trombones, as required. It is essentially a body of amateur musicians but has the benefit of being professionally trained by its conductor, George Kennaway, and leader, Ralph Dawson.

A Sheffield Chamber Orchestra rehearsal at Firth Hall, with previous conductor Richard Howarth.
Photo: © David A. Shapiro, 2009

Welcome to the Sheffield Chamber Orchestra website!
Use the links on the left to find information about the Orchestra and our concert programme.
Listen to the Orchestra - here

Ralph Dawson

This website was last updated: 25th June 2015.

George Kennaway

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© The Sheffield Chamber Orchestra
Registered Charity No.508649


The Sheffield Chamber Orchestra gratefully acknowledges assistance from

Making Music


The University of Sheffield

The Sheffield Chamber Orchestra

About the Orchestra

George Kennaway

Ralph Dawson

Concert programme
29th November 2014
7th March 2015
16th May 2015
Ticket information

Graham Russell
Adrian Wilson
Lily Frascina

Members' page
Rehearsal schedule
New members
Gift Aid
Publicity and tickets

The Committee

Friends of SCO
Help fund the Orchestra

Gallery 1

Gallery 2

Contact the SCO