A long and distinguished history

Founders of the NSSO John Cope and Madame Reymond

The orchestra's first concert was held in the Old Town Hall in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, but the audience was very small. Choral singing at the time was a very strong tradition in The Potteries and the launch of a new purely orchestral music society was thought of as something superfluous. In fact many local choirs shunned the orchestra. Its founders, John Cope and Madame Reymond, were often ridiculed by fellow choir masters but Cope and his orchestra carried on. More here >>


Over 110 years later, the orchestra still thrives playing four major symphony concerts each year, performing in venues in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme, with renowned conductors and guest soloists and supported by The Friends of the NSSO.

The orchestra in 1906 with John Cope, conductor, in the middle, bottom row

Madame Reymond establishes her Music School in Beethoven House, Burslem

John Cope conducting the NSSO in 1930 at the Stoke-on-Trent Historical Pageant. More> 

The Orchestra's definitive history 

A Unique Orchestra, The North Staffordshire Symphony Orchestra



The 104 page history is packed with information about the orchestra, its performers, its conductors and it members.


Illustrated in colour.

Published in 2004 by the NSSO

ISBN 0-9548394-0-4

This history written by Kathy Niblett to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the NSSO is available to purchase and collect from Barewall Gallery, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent

Barewall Website details> 

Mother Town Marvels

The NSSO was established in Burslem (known as the Mother Town) by Madame Reymond and it's first concert was held in the Old Town Hall. The orchestra is now celebrated by a project in the town called 'Mother Town Marvels'.  Window vinyls depicting the NSSO have been applied to shop windows in Queen Street. Here's what they look like. 

Many thanks go to Annette Cartlidge and Our Burslem (Facebook) for the creating the NSSO's Mother Town Marvels.


Click here> to go to the NSSO History Blog site.

Opens in a new window