Membership of the orchestra when at full strength is of the order of 50 players and is drawn from keen competent amateur musicians, students and teachers of music in Wolverhampton and the surrounding areas. The orchestra meets on a regular weekly basis throughout the academic year and produces on average four to five public concerts a year. It has been invited on several occasions to perform major choral works with local choral societies, in 1999 performing Beethoven’s Choral Symphony to commemorate its Silver Jubilee. The orchestra regularly engages as soloists professional musicians of national and international reputation, as well as local young players of outstanding promise.
The Wolverhampton Symphony Orchestra is a fully independent amateur orchestra formed in 1973 by a group of keen amateur players. The idea behind the formation of the orchestra was to satisfy a need for local players to prepare to as high a standard as possible interesting works for public performance. This is still the primary aim of the orchestra today.
The orchestra is managed by a committee consisting of the Musical Director and the leader plus members elected by the orchestra. It is financed through concert receipts and an annual subscription paid by the members.
It is also affiliated to Making Music (previously known as the National Federation of Music Societies).
The repertoire of the orchestra spans works from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, although a symphony orchestra of this type will tend to concentrate on works from the nineteenth century.
The orchestra has performed a large number of symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Mahler, Schubert, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky etc. Earlier works are represented by Albinoni, Bach, Boyce and Handel, whereas twentieth century composers whose works have been performed include Barber, Copland, Joubert, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Meirion Williams, a former musical director of the orchestra, and Rory Freckleton, a member of the viola section.