To complement, enhance, encourage and develop
musical activities in Sunderland, through the maintenance of a good
quality community based orchestra, which will give both members and
audiences a fulfilling experience of artistic endeavour.
improve, develop, and maintain public education in, and appreciation of,
the art and science of music in all its aspects, particularly but not
exclusively through the presentation of concerts, the provision of
tuition, and by other such charitable ways as the
Orchestra, through its trustees, shall from time to time determine.
The formation of
the orchestra was a response to Sunderland Council's
initiative for each Ward to commemorate the Millennium - £2000.00 was
given to each Ward, to be spent at the discretion of the Ward
Councillors. Rather than create a monument or
hold a one-off event, the three councillors for the Thornholme Ward of the City of
Sunderland decided to facilitate a long lasting commemoration of the Millennium, that
would develop the musical potential of people in Sunderland and provide enjoyment for many
people for many years by enriching and complementing the City's musical environment.
The Three Founding Councillors, pictured left to right
Mark Greenfield, Winifred Lundgren, John Lennox
Following a public meeting in West Park Church on
Friday 1st October 1999, it was decided to go ahead and form an orchestral
society, to be known as 'The City of Sunderland Millennium Orchestral
Society' (CoSMOS). Initially, the intention
was to build an orchestra,
the Sunderland Symphony Orchestra because it was felt that Sunderland
big enough to sustain an orchestra and also that the people of Sunderland deserved the
present at the initial meeting became the first members of the new
society and the musicians among them formed the core membership of the
new orchestra. Rupert Hanson was appointed to be the first Musical
The Society became a Registered Charity on 20/09/2000.
The Sunderland Symphony Orchestra first performed a Complete Symphony
on 7th April 2001 (Symphony No. 9 - Dvorak).
death of Rupert Hanson in August 2009, Mun Ying Lin took over as interim
conductor until December 2009 when Ray Farr was appointed. In January
2014 Paul Judson took over as Musical
Director and Principal Conductor for the orchestra,
founders of the orchestra were later made Vice-Presidents of the
orchestra, and in April 2010, the name of the charity was changed to the
Sunderland Symphony Orchestra. This was done for public relations and
marketing reasons, since this was the name by which the public related
to the organisation.