Torbay Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra in the truest sense of the word. As a progressive local symphony orchestra, we believe in engaging with the community and embracing the talents of local aspiring artists. Our aim is to bring classical music from all eras to a wide audience, regardless of their musical knowledge and experience.

Whilst we regularly perform well-known symphonic works from the Classical and Romantic periods, TSO has also gained a reputation for exciting performances of contemporary works. For us, it is about exposing audiences and musicians to a wide range of music they might not otherwise seek out as well as supporting living composers. 

Schools nowadays are not able to provide anything more than superficial opportunities to inspire and educate within the arts – especially in music. We know that music influences the ability to learn and think and often influences behaviour. When members of our audiences listen to enthusiastic, absorbed musicians performing within arm’s length, they absorb the excitement and share the passion. In a society where art and music have been squeezed out, every live performance makes a difference. It raises aspirations, opens doors and enriches our communities.

Reaching out to young people in particular is an essential aspect of who we are as an orchestra and to this end we have participated and instigated numerous workshops in schools. We visit schools with a skeleton orchestra, play music, demonstrate different instruments and even let the school children have a go conducting!

These workshops have been phenomenally successful. Generally we visit two schools in a day and often inspire several hundred children at a time. This service is free to schools but costs us around £1500 to put on and so we are constantly looking for ways to raise funds for this important work. TSO have participated and instigated numerous workshops in schools over the past 10 or so years. We go into the school with a skeleton orchestra, play some music, demonstrate the different instruments and let the school children have a go as well, time permitting.