Quotes from our President:
I am delighted to take on this role. My aim over the next few years will be to make the city aware of the great achievements the CSYO has made. Few people realise that we have one of the most admired youth orchestras in the country. We therefore need to make sure that we can keep the funding necessary to maintain the high standard that we have attained. This is important not only for the development of all the young musicians taking part but also for the soul of the city.
Quotes from our Vice Presidents:
Eric F. Clarke FBA
Heather Professor of Music
University of Oxford
"The City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra is a quite remarkable phenomenon, and an outstanding part of Sheffield's vibrant musical life. As an audience member over many years, I have been lucky to be at some astonishingly committed and communicative performances by young musicians of the highest standard directed by their inspiring conductor, Chris Gayford. And as the parent of a member of the orchestra I know how much every member of the orchestra benefits in terms of their musical education and development, thanks to the fantastic coaching staff; and how wonderfully warm, inclusive and supportive the orchestra is as a social group"
"As a founder member of CSYO, it is a great pleasure to remember the courses and what a huge amount they gave to us in so many ways. Of course mainly it was about playing incredible symphonic repertoire with really good conductors and experiencing the unique thrill that is being in an orchestra - it is a miraculous thing to be able to do, sitting in the midst of that glorious sound. But also there were the pleasures of being away from home with your really good friends (some of whom are still my really good friends), and enjoying life to the full - eating together, playing snooker in the snooker room in the evenings, going for long walks in the Lake District, and memorable coach journeys around Europe. It is these times of my life that made me want to be a professional musician, and taught me the joys of music and friendship."
David R. Greenlees
Head of the Instrumental Music Service (retired!)
When the CSYO was founded in 1980 it was the natural result of ten year’s hard work to establish a service in Sheffield which gave every child who showed an aptitude for music the opportunity to have free lessons on an instrument of choice. During that time a huge pyramid of weekly central ensembles developed ranging from small recorder ensembles to large concert bands and orchestras. By 1979 more than 3,000 young people benefitted from this opportunity.
One day a group of players who had left school came to me saying how much they missed the provision made for them here in Sheffield. They suggested that perhaps we could arrange meetings to play together during the three academic vacation periods. The City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra was born.
Before I came to Sheffield I was very much involved in the founding, organisation and running of the Lancashire County Youth Orchestra. It was there that I realised how much depended on the tutors and conductor to fire and channel the enthusiasm of the members. Among those players were David Atherton the conductor and Harrison Birtwhistle the composer.
The guiding principle of the CSYO is that if you expect the best from young people and give them the right opportunities they will rise to the challenge. Those opportunities have been provided by a dedicated staff team who have given up large chunks of their holiday periods to work with the orchestra combining musical tuition and pastoral care, and a conductor with an on-going commitment to the orchestra. The result has been a total involvement resulting in a caring social group and a near professional standard of music-making.