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Leadership Team for Herts Music Service

Katherine Wolfenden
Deena Day
Angela Gilby
Rebecca Kelly
Nick Denham

Hertfordshire Schools' Symphony Orchestra


Principal Conductor: Chloe van Soeterstede

Required Standard: Grade 7
Age range: 12 - 18 years

HSSO meets during the Autumn, Spring and Summer holidays. The courses are usually for 3-4 days. HSSO is an orchestra that has successfully developed an exciting mix of opportunities from ‘traditional’ orchestral courses and concerts through collaborations with other County Groups to creative projects.

Recent repertoire has included Elgar Enigma Variations, Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet Ballet suites, Ginastera Four Dances from Estancia, Arnold Symphony No. 6, Mahler Totenfeier & Marquez Danzon No. 2. The orchestra also runs occasional courses as the Hertfordshire Schools’ String Orchestra. The orchestra led the Hertfordshire Schools' Gala at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 13th March 2016 in a performance including specially commissioned works for orchestra and massed choirs with a choir involving over two and a half thousand Hertfordshire school children.

The orchestra works with professional conductors and experienced sectional tutors from within the County teaching staff. Auditionees will usually be senior members of their Area Youth Orchestra, having reached a minimum standard of Grade 7.

All members of HSSO have the opportunity to progress to the County Youth Orchestra. This is normally by further audition or invitation. 

 "...full of energy and enthusiam...the repertoire was fantastic" - Miles Bruce-Jones, oboe 2015

County Activities Team contact information

Tel.: 01707 292399 / 292761

We are based at the Hertfordshire Music Service Central Office, Mid-Herts Centre for Music & Arts, Birchwood Avenue, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 0PS.


Next Course

HSSO is next meeting for their Summer Course at Mid Herts Centre for Music & Arts on 29th-31st July, in preparation for their tour to The Rhineland from 1st to 5th of August. The orchestra will be taking on Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, Dvorak's Symphony No.8 and Sibelius' Karelia Suite as well as Curtis' Fiesta in preparation for the tour.

HSSO will be working intensively with new Principal Conductor Chloe van Soeterstede and expert tutors towards their performance of this music on the tour. 

Forthcoming Events

  • Summer 2019 - course and tour to The Rhineland, Germany

Orchestra member downloads

> Click here to download scores


We accept applications all year round. 

Benslow Instrument Loan Award

An annual award made to a young musician in Hertfordshire for the loan of an instrument from Benslow for 3 years.  The first year of loan will be  funded by Benslow and the second and third years by the Friends of County Youth Music Groups.

Recent Events

CONCERT - 17th April 2019 at 7pm, Haileybury College, Hertford
Conductor Ben Glassberg
Curtis Fiesta
Sibelius Karelia Suite
Dvorak Symphony No. 8

Course - 14th-17th April 2019, at Haileybury College, Hertford

CONCERT - 23rd December 2018 at 3pm, Haileybury College, Hertford (joint with CYO)
Conductor Ben Glassberg
Tchaikovsky Overture from Romeo and Juliet
Prokofiev Troika from Lieutenant Kije
Bartok Rumanian Folk Dances

Course - 21st-22nd December 2018, at Haileybury College, Hertford

CONCERT - 31st August 2018 at 7pm, St Mary's Church, Hitchin
Conductor Ben Glassberg
Joan Tower Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman
Elgar Cello Concerto
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5

Summer Course - 28th-31st August 2018, Residential at Purcell School, Bushey

Hertfordshire Schools' GALA 2018 11th March at 1.45pm and 7.45pm at the Royal Albert Hall

CONCERT - 23rd December 2017 at 7pm, Haileybury College, Hertford
Conductor Ben Glassberg
William Walton Richard III Prelude
Joby Talbot Hovercraft
Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Suite
Nigel Hess Christmas Overture

Autumn Course - 20th-23rd December 2017 at Haileybury College, Hertford 

CONCERT - 23rd August 2017 at 7.30pm, Weston Auditorium, University of Hertfordshire
Conductor Ben Glassberg
Arnold Four Cornish Dances
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue - Soloist Kira Frohlu
Vaughan Williams Job: A Masque for Dancing

Summer Course - 19th-22nd August 2017 , Residential at Haileybury College, Hertford 

CONCERT - 13th April 2017 at 7.30pm, Barbirolli Hall, Chorleywood
Conductors Ben Glassberg & Peter Stark
Rimsky Korsakov Russian Easter Festival Overture
Barber Adagio for Strings 
Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Elgar In the South 
Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story 

Spring Course 10th-13th April 2017 as part of a joint course with the County Youth Orchestra and Hertfordshire Schools' Symphony Orchestra