Latest News

  • Summer Term with our new MD
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 3 Jul 2024
    Summer Term with our new MD
    CSO would like to welcome River Edis-Smith as our new Musical Director. River was successful in getting the role following an audition and interview back in January 24 and he took over the baton in April. 

    CSO has been rehearsing all term with River in preparation for our next concert on 6th July in Matlock. The American Evening has some challenging music and River is getting good results with his positivity, motivation, musical knowledge and direction during rehearsals. The orchestra continues to thrive under his baton and we're excited for our first concert with River. 

    For more information about River, have a look at his bio under "About" 

  • A great concert and a fond farewell to Jack
  •  Date Posted: Fri, 22 Mar 2024
    A great concert and a fond farewell to Jack
    CSO continued the 2023 / 2024 season with a great concert at The Winding Wheel on 16.3.24 playing Carwithen's Bishop Rock's Overture; Bruch's Violin Concerto No 1with the amazing Lizzie Dawson and finishing with Rachmaninov's 2nd Symphony.

    The audience feedback was great with many audience members saying how much they enjoyed the concert on the night and comments on social media included:

    "Last night, I have attended a CSO concert for the first time, and I was very well impressed. Well done!"

    "Returning home from a magical concert given by CSO.....It began with Carwithen's Bishop Rock overture, definitely a piece I'll be listening to again. This was followed by Bruch's Violin concerto No 1 in G Minor Op 26. The soloist, Elizabeth Dawson, played it with sophisitication, and made it seem effortless. When she is famous, I can say I heard her at Chesterfield first! .....It was the conductor Jack Grime's last concert with CSO. I look forward to hearing them play under a new conductor. Who knew Chesterfield was home to such talented musicians?!"

    Thank you to everyone who came and supported the orchestra. A huge thank you to our soloist Lizzie Dawson, our leader Lucy Phillips and to our MD Jack Grime.

    Here's the information from the programme to show the orchestra's appreciation to Jack for all he has done for the orchestra:

    Tonight, CSO are saying a fond farewell to our Musical Director (MD) of the last 7 years, Jack Grime.
    Jack and his wife Jess are planning a move away from their current Huddersfield home which will make continuing to travel to Chesterfield every week to rehearse CSO impossible.
    The membership of CSO could not let this occasion pass without publicly saying a huge thank you to Jack for the time, effort and goodwill he has poured in to the orchestra since his appointment in 2016.
    Jack had just graduated from the University of Leeds when he applied for the role of Musical Director in 2016. Unusually,
    every single member of CSO who took part in the MD auditions selected Jack as their candidate of choice making his appointment completely unanimous. Jack repaid that confidence by being an outstanding musical director, applying his calm, direct style of lleadership from the very first rehearsal. Jack’s time as musical director has spanned the most challenging period the orchestra has faced in its 41 years of existence, the COVID 19 pandemic.
    Like everybody else in the UK, the COVID 19 pandemic halted all CSO activities. CSO did not meet to play together for over 18
    months meaning that when we did finally get back together Jack faced the challenge of rebuilding our playing and performance confidence. In true Jack style he simply worked away at the problem getting us back to our pre COVID 19 standard in a very short period of time culminating in our very successful 40th anniversary season last year.
    Over the last 7 years Jack has had a massive impact on CSO. Travelling initially from Leeds and then Huddersfield, via his
    job in Manchester, Jack has never missed a weekly rehearsal. The orchestra has flourished and grown under Jack’s direction,
    bringing in new players as well as growing our audiences. We will be for ever indebted to Jack for the significant part he has played in the growth and development of CSO.
    All the members and friends of CSO ask you, our loyal supporters, to join us in wishing Jack and Jess all the very best for the future. As is always the case in musical circles, this is farewell and not goodbye. We hope to see Jack and Jess again one day in the not too distant future.
  • Library Concert February 17th 2024
  •  Date Posted: Fri, 23 Feb 2024
    Library Concert February 17th 2024
    A huge thank you to everyone who came to our lunchtime concert at Chesterfield Library on February 17th 2024.
    The strings from the orchestra played a selection of music by Boyce, Jenkins, Warloc?, Bologne with Lucy Phillips and Andrew Marples as the soloists in Mendelssohn's violin and piano concerto. It was great to be back playing in the library again. This was the first time since 2019.
    The concert was a great success with not a spare seat in the lecture theatre and the audience gave the orchestra a great reception. 
  • Rehearsals start for the next concert on March 16th 2024
  •  Date Posted: Sun, 10 Dec 2023
    Rehearsals start for the next concert on March 16th 2024
    The orchestra would like to thank everyone for coming to the Fantasy and Fiction concert in November at the Winding Wheel. It was a great night of story telling through music and a good time was had by the orchestra and audience. The orchestra had a well earned week off before starting rehearsing Rachmaninoff's symphony number 2, Carwithen's Bishop Rock Overture and Bruch's violin concert for our concert on March 16th 2024 at the Winding Wheel (see our event and home page for ticket details)

    The orchestra are excited to be joined by Lizzie Dawson (pictured) who will be performing the Bruch violin concerto: 

    Born in Sheffield in 2002, Lizzie started playing the violin at the age of 7, receiving lessons from her dad Ralph Dawson. By the age of 12 Lizzie had achieved grade 8 on the violin, and in the same year she performed Vivaldi’s “Spring” from the 4 seasons with a Sheffield Youth Orchestra.
    She continued lessons with Richard Howarth (former leader, Manchester Camerata) before attaining a place aged 14 at the Junior RNCM studying with Deirdre Ward. In 2019, aged 17, Lizzie was appointed as leader of the Halle Youth Orchestra, and the following year she gained a place at RNCM to study with the Assistant Head of Strings, Catherine Yates.
    Lizzie has performed Beethoven’s Romance in F with the Sheffield Chamber Orchestra in 2019, as well as having a more recent performance in May 2023 with the same orchestra, playing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor.
    She enjoys exploring performing in a wide variety of styles and genres, and is currently a member of 3 different string chamber groups (on both violin and viola).  Last year she performed a new piece composed for her by Emily Pedersen, a Faber published composer, entitled “Lizzie Squared”. She has also taken part in RNCM’s New music concert, as principal 2nd violinist, playing a mix of contemporary compositions.
    Future plans include continued learning, including post graduate studies, tackling the vast repertoire for her instrument, and a fervent wish to enter the world of performing as a professional musician.

  • Women in Music
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 8 Nov 2023

    This season we are celebrating women in music in our concerts. Even though the orchestra has been in existence for over 40 years and has played a huge amount of repertoire during that time, there has so far only ever been one piece composed by a woman on the programme, so we felt it is time to address that! Each of our evening concerts includes a piece from the pen of a female composer and we hope you enjoy discovering them. 


    Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) was a successful composer and member of the women’s suffrage movement – she composed the suffragettes’ anthem and famously conducted the song with a toothbrush through her prison cell window! Doreen Carwithen (1922-2003) had huge success composing for films with Rank Organisation. Amy Beach (1867-1944) was an American pianist and composer, and the first American woman to publish a symphony. 

  •  Date Posted: Tue, 3 Oct 2023

    Chesterfield Symphony Orchestra is seeking a new conductor/musical director from Monday  18th March 2024 to take over from our current conductor.

    The orchestra was formed in the Derbyshire town of Chesterfield over 40 years ago as a self-governing amateur performing group of around 55 players. With a mainly traditional classical/romantic repertoire we are looking for someone to take over this established group and lead/enthuse them to reach new heights, work closely with the committee and leader of the orchestra to plan interesting programmes within a budget and provide a dynamic and stimulating environment for members to make music.

    season runs from September – July, rehearsing on Tuesday evenings during school term times between 19:30 and 21:30, with three concerts per year and a lunch time chamber orchestra performance. 

    Engagement will be on independent contractor basis.

    To request a candidate information pack and application instructions e-mail

    Applications must be submitted by Midnight Sunday 22nd October 2023

    (Candidate information also attached below)

  • Fantasy and Fiction
  •  Date Posted: Sat, 30 Sep 2023
    Fantasy and Fiction
    Rehearsals are well underway for our November concert. Due to the Pomegranate Theatre undergoing renovations and the pantomime now being staged at The Winding Wheel, we are once again performing in November this year. We are presenting a wonderful evening of music under the musical direction of Jack Grime. A combination of classical favourites and newer music will be performed, including Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture & Sleeping Beauty Suite – Tchaikovsky, ET, Adventures on Earth and Dartmoor 1912 (War Horse) – Williams, The Wreckers Overture – Smyth, How to Train Your Dragon – Powel, Lion King – Zimmer. 
    Tickets now available from Chesterfield Theatres website:
    The orchestra are looking forward to seeing you there.
  • Thank you for our 40th Anniversary Year
  •  Date Posted: Sat, 29 Jul 2023
    Saturday July 8th saw an evening of music at Matlock county hall celebrating composers from the UK with music depicting the countryside. The weather was typically British with a mixture of sun and rain and a dramatic storm during the 2nd half to contend with. It was a successful concert to close our significant birthday year and there are some thank yous we would like to make: 
    Thank you to Jack Grime our MD and Lucy Phillips our leader for providing the leadership and guidance through a musically challenging, but very enjoyable, season.
    Thank you to the members of CSO’s management committee for all the hard work they have put in to bring these performances alive.
    Thank you to every member of CSO, those who played during the year and through various circumstances, those who are could not be with us for the final concert. We have a great group of hard-working musicians.
    Last, but by no means least, a big thankyou to you all, our audience. We have seen faces that have come to all three concerts this season. So, thank you for supporting us this year, some of you for most of the last 40 years and we really hope for a long time in to the next 40 years. 
  • Next Concert 8th July at County Hall, Matlock 7.30pm
  •  Date Posted: Sat, 20 May 2023
    Next Concert 8th July at County Hall, Matlock 7.30pm
    Thank you to everyone who came to our Anniversary Concert in March. What a night! It was great to see such a large and enthusiastic audience.
    The orchestra have recovered and are busy rehearsing for our next concert: Mountains and Moorlands is at 7.30pm on Sat 8th July at County Hall in Matlock. It's a lovely venue where you can see views over Matlock from a balcony during the interval on a summer's evening. Come and listen to some beautiful, lyrical music which will transport you further away to the countryside.
    Tickets are available from members of the orchestra or phone 01246 273767. £10 in advance or £12 on the door; accompanied under 16s are free

  • CSO's Greatest Hits
  •  Date Posted: Sat, 7 Jan 2023
    CSO's Greatest Hits
    Join us on March 26th for our 40th Year Anniversary Concert at the Winding Wheel for a celebration of our favourite hits

    Starts 7.30pm.

    Chesterfield Symphony Orchestra - Greatest Hits

    Chesterfield Symphony Orchestra (CSO), under the baton of Jack Grime, are celebrating their 40th anniversary with a ‘Greatest Hits’ concert. The programme has been chosen by the members of CSO as their favourites from the 400+ works performed over the last four decades. Included in the programme is a performance of the greatly loved cello concerto by Elgar. CSO are delighted to welcome, as our soloist for the evening, the nationally and internationally acclaimed cellist Maxim Calver, string section winner and finalist in BBC Young Musician 2018. In addition to Elgar’s cello concerto the programme for the evening also includes Festive Overture by Shostakovich, Dvorak Symphony No 9 (New World) and Danzon No2 by Marquez. We’d love to see you all at our very significant birthday ‘party’ concert.

    Maxim Calver will be performing with the support of the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.

    Running time: 120mins

  • Winter Prom Concert
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 19 Sep 2022
    Join us for our Winter Prom Concert on Saturday 19th November 2022 at The Winding Wheel Chesterfield.

    Tickets are now available


    Arutiunian,Trumpet Concerto (featuring soloist Lucy Heeley(
    Rossini, Thieving Magpie
    Mussorgsky, Night on the Bare Mountain
    Prokofiev, Troika
    Delius, Sleigh Ride
    Elgar, Pomp and Circumstance
    Parry, Jerusalem (And did those feet in ancient time).

    And some more sing-a-long favourites!
  • Soloist Lucy Heeley
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 19 Sep 2022
    Lucy will be joining us on November 19th at the Winding Wheel in the Arutiunian Trumpet Concerto.
    Lucy started playing cornet at school at 7, joined a training brass band shortly after and was soon playing regularly with various local brass bands. Lucy's trumpet playing began at age 11 and at 12, she was given the opportunity to join Chesterfield Symphony Orchestra. She spent 4 years with the orchestra and age just 13 years old, she achieved distinction at grade 8 trumpet. At 14, Lucy joined Carlton Main Frickley, the Yorshire Championship Section Band, on her cornet, playing at prestigious concerts and competitions, including two national finals at the Royal Albert Hall. At age 15, Lucy performed as a solist with the Elbland Philharmonie Sachsen Orchestra in Riesa, Germany, playing the Haydn Trumpet Concerto alongside musicians from all over the world.
    Lucy has been the Principal Cornet of the National Children's Brass Band and a member of the National Youth Brass Band,
    In 2022, Lucy was asked to join the Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band in time for their cocerts in Switzerland performed Brass Off Lived. 
    Lucy is Principal Trumpet for Sheffield Philarmonic Orchestra and a member of the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra with whom she has toured to Germany.
    Lucy is delighted to be back with Chesterfield Symphony Orchestra to play the Arutiunian Trumpet Concert.

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