Southampton Concert Orchestra was the first full amateur symphony orchestra in Southampton. It was founded in 1964 by Trevor Morgan, a local musician and teacher who trained at the Royal College of Music as a violinist, conductor and composer. Trevor emigrated to New Zealand in 1969 and the baton was handed over to Judith Bailey.
In 2001 Judith decided to return to her home county Cornwall and left the orchestra in the capable hands of Paul Ingram. In the same year Judith was awarded an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
The orchestra plays a wide range of music from light to serious to classical, and has given debut performances of works such as Concerto for Orchestra (Judith Bailey), Variations (Geoff Badley - an oboist with the orchestra) and many works by the composer Adrian Connell.
Many popular and talented musicians have played with the orchestra. Some of these to mention are David Campbell (clarinet) and his sister Jane (violin). It may be of interest to know that Graham Sheen was our principal bassoonist in his student days. Graham went on to become principle bassoonist for the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the English Chamber Orchestra, and then for the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London (where he is still in post). Many of our soloists are taken from within the orchestra.
Our members are a truly cosmopolitan group of young and old people drawn from all walks of life: clerks, teachers, academics, doctors, engineers and craftsmen to name but a few. We even have an ex-Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra member to keep us tapping in time.