Free State Symphony Orchestra
The Free State Symphony Orchestra is a professional ad hoc orchestra. Since its establishment in 1974, the professional core of the orchestra has comprised UFS music lecturers, Musicon music teachers and free-lance musicians from the area. For larger concerts, extra musicians from other centres are contracted. The core is supplemented by some of the best young instrumentalists (students and learners) in the province.
The music-educational pipeline provides a unique opportunity to young musicians from all backgrounds to gain invaluable professional experience by playing in the symphony orchestra. It could be argued that no other orchestral music education programme in South Africa has contributed more to orchestral music than the one in the Free State.
To pursue our objectives, we regularly present symphony concerts in which youth musicians participate and are mentored alongside their teachers and other professional players – whilst we entertain our patrons and audiences with high quality, inspiring, beautiful music performances.
Normally the FSSO seeks to present about eight symphony concerts per year, including some light music concerts. Choral concerts and opera can also be on the agenda, depending on funding and the singing programme of the Odeion School of Music. We utilise both the Odeion Theatre on the UFS campus and the majestic Sand du Plessis theatre of Pacofs.