Who We Are

Musical Director

Our Musical Director: Jonathan Trim

JONATHAN TRIM has been a member of the SSO since 1984,  playing both violin and viola. During his degree studies at  Birmingham University he conducted the University Chamber Orchestra and has attended the conductors’ course at Canford under the tutorship of George Hurst and has conducted the SSO since 1993. He attended the Birmingham School of Music for instrumental tuition where he studied the violin under Jeremy Ballard and piano under Piers Lane.

While at Birmingham he was awarded a singing bursary at St. Alban’s Birmingham and has sung with the Gloucester Cathedral choir as a deputy. He was orchestral director of the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra which had five very successful concerts under his direction.  Jonathan also conducted the Cotswold String Ensemble which boasted as its members some of the best amateur string players in the county. He conducted the Swindon Symphony Orchestra from 1995 to 2002 . He is director of the Gloucester Area Youth Orchestra.

Jonathan has composed a number of works, several of which were performed while he was at university. His String Quartet was premiered at the St. Alban’s Festival in Birmingham. His symphonic poem, which was first played at the SSO concert in November 1993, is his largest work to date. His Rhapsody for piano and orchestra was performed by the SSO in November 1996. His work, ‘Beneath the angel strain’ was premiered by the combined Stroud and Swindon Symphony orchestras in July 2000 while the SSO premiered his Wind Sinfonietta in November 2001. He was commissioned by  Stroud Town Council to compose a piece commemorating Stroud 700. This was premiered in July 2004.

History of the Orchestra

THE STROUD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA was formed as the New Stroud Orchestra in 1980 by Bruce Critchenson and through his enthusiasm and encouragement grew from a dozen assorted players to a full symphony orchestra.

In 1987, having brought the orchestra through a period of improving musical standards and ever more successes, Bruce retired and handed the baton to the then principal clarinettist, Nick Spain, who for two years continued Bruce’s work. The orchestra was then fortunate to secure the services of Jan Vriend who was, and is, best known as a composer producing music in the tradition of Debussy, Varese and Xenakis. When Jan retired from conducting to devote himself full time to composing, the orchestra appointed Jonathan Trim.

In 1997 the orchestra members voted to change the name of the orchestra  to its present name as it was felt that a seventeen-year-old orchestra hardly justified the title ‘New’ and that Symphony Orchestra was a more accurate reflection of the type of orchestra into which it had  developed.

The orchestra draws its members almost entirely from the Stroud district, and is proud to be able to present three concerts each year to the high standard which the people of Stroud have come to expect. The orchestra has, over time, been supported by sponsors who include Stroud-based businesses and Stroud Town Council.

For many years it has been the custom of the orchestra to allow a charity to hold a retiring  collection and among charities benefiting have been the British Heart Foundation, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, UNICEF Children’s Fund, Survivors of Child Abuse, Homestart, and the Pied Piper Appeal.