The Jersey Symphony Orchestra is a true community orchestra, devoted to the needs of local players, audiences and the promotion of orchestral music for everybody on the island.
Funded entirely by the enlightened support of local business sponsorship, the orchestra is run as a charity to give local talented players of orchestral instruments the opportunity to make music together at the very highest possible level. Working with a professional conductor and leader the JSO bring over visiting players for each concert to make up a full symphonic complement and fulfil the JSOs second objective to give professional quality orchestral concerts for the large numbers of music lovers on the island. The JSOs third main objective is to educate and stimulate interest in classical music in people of all ages, through education and outreach events linked with the orchestras three concerts per year.
The Jersey Symphony Orchestra is supported by a wonderfully committed group of supporters who give their time, energy and commitment to the massive job of maintaining an orchestra, education programme and concert series of this complexity year on year.
Three concerts are held during the year. At Easter, the music is chosen to thrill serious music lovers and allow the orchestra to play more challenging works; the summer concert features popular works usually with a theme, such as from films or the Broadway Shows; then, at Christmas the music is suitable for all tastes, hopefully seasonal, and with a choir to lead the audience in singing Christmas Carols.
The orchestra was founded in 1986 by two local musicians, John Grimshaw and John Asplet with the support of Keith Baker and Marjorie Grimshaw. The first concert was held in December 1986 under the baton of conductor Robin McEwan. The orchestra has since accompanied many great soloists including Nigel Kennedy, John Lill, Julian Lloyd Webber, Tasmin Little and many others. Philip Ellis first conducted the JSO in 1992 and has been the orchestras Principal Conductor since 1995. He has worked with Birmingham Royal Ballet since 1990 and has conducted many major orchestras worldwide. Since 2001 he has worked with soprano Lesley Garrett as Music Director, collaborating with her on many tours, recordings and TV programmes.