Next Concert:

Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique


Berlioz Hungarian March

Greig Piano Concerto, soloist Sofiia Shokhina

Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique


John Grant


Saturday 16 March 2024, 7.30pm


New Auditorium GRCH


£15 and £5, booking fees apply

GOS News

Meet Kirsten Thomson our new Leader!

February 2024

Kirsten enjoys a busy life as a Mum, property business owner, and amateur musician. Kirsten joined the Glasgow Orchestral Society as guest leader in December 2022 and was delighted to accept the permanent appointment earlier this year.

Kirsten began playing the violin at the age of 7 and toured various parts of the world from the age of 13 with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and Camerata Scotland. She went on to study violin at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama before changing her professional career to business and property.

Kirsten’s most memorable musical moments feature performances in the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and a tour of Mauritius hosted by The Princess Royal.

Kirsten has played with the Glasgow Chamber Orchestra for 15 years and was honoured to lead the orchestra for the Glasgow Coronation Concert in May 2023. To now have the opportunity to tackle the large symphony orchestra works with the Glasgow Orchestral Society provides a fantastic mix of music, and to play Mary Poppins in December 2022 was definitely a musical career highlight!

Music will also be playing a huge part in Kirsten’s life later this year when she marries her partner Chris and is already teaching her son Cameron (age 2) to ceilidh dance in preparation for the big day!


Mar 2022

Now open at Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, this exhibition in the Community Gallery space shows what being a member of GOS is like and why we love making music together!

GOS News


Mar 2022

Now open at Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, this exhibition in the Community Gallery space shows what being a member of GOS is like and why we love making music together!

About us

Glasgow Orchestral Society, founded in 1870, is a symphony orchestra with about 80 members. Our repertoire is wide and we perfrom music from the classical era to the present day including new works, most recently by Joshua Brown as part of Making Music's Adopt A Music Creator Scheme 2022, And we occasionally perform choral works with local choirs - in March 2023 we gave a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No 9 (Choral) along with the City of Glasgow Chorus.

We invite different conductors for our concerts, each bringing their own personality and distinctive style to our rehearsals and performances. And we are non-auditioning, enjoying making music to the highest standards while having as much fun as possible in the process!

We give four concerts a year and rehearse weekly on Monday evenings from 7.15pm to 9.45pm, from September to May, in Maryhill Burgh Halls, 45 Gairbraid Avenue, G20 8YE

The Orchestra has just finished celebrating its delayed 150th anniversary season with a four venue Tour of Scotland in July, playing Saint-Saens Symphony No 3 (Organ) in four different venues with four different organists, a spectacular end to an amazing year!

  • Founded 29 December 1870

    The Glasgow Amateur Orchestral Society was founded at a meeting at 37 Sauchiehall Street, “for the study and practice of orchestral music” and “practisings” were held in The Halls at 285 Bath Street.

  • 25 April 1871

    The first concert took place in the Queen’s Rooms, conducted by HD Mehul, nephew of the French composer Etienne Mehul (1763-1817)

  • 1885-86

    The orchestra was foundering and amalgamated with another struggling group, the Glasgow Southern Orchestral Society.

    Women musicians were admitted for the first time as full playing (and paying) members.

  • 1901 The Glasgow International Exhibition

    The orchestra performed two concerts as part of the official programme of events.

  • 1914 – 1918 The Great War

    The orchestra continued to rehearse and perform but abandoned its activities in 1916 and did not reconvene until 1919

  • 1930 Diamond Jubilee

    There were no celebrations planned for the Golden Jubilee because of the impact of the war but a significant celebration took place in 1930, including a civic reception with the Lord Provost present.

  • 1959 Glasgow Orchestral Society

    The Society was renamed Glasgow Orchestral Society, dropping the term “amateur “ from its title.

  • 26 October 1962 The Saint Andrew’s Halls destroyed by fire

    The blaze in the orchestra’s permanent home destroyed the Society’s extensive music library, most of its document archive and four double basses, one cello, one viola, a trombone, and all percussion apart from the timps.

  • 1970-71

    The orchestra celebrated its centenary.

  • 2013 First orchestral playing Tour abroad

    The tour took the orchestra to Umbria in Italy, with concerts in Chiusi, Gubbio, and Perugia

  • 2015-16 One hundred years of women members

    Celebrated in all four concerts with women playing in the ranks, as soloists, and as conductor.

  • 2016 Second Tour to Czech Republic

    Concerts in Marianske Lazne, Pilsen and Prague


What's on

Dates for your diary

Saturday 21 October 2023, 730pm Sherbrooke Mosspark Church Details above and link to tickets, now on sale.

Saturday 9 December 2023, 7.30pm GRCH New Auditorium

Christmas at the Movies     

Conductor Chris Swaffer

Saturday 16 March 2024, 7.30pm GRCH New Auditorium

Greig Piano Concerto

Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique

Conductor John Grant

Saturday 18 May 2024 Sherbrooke Mosspark Church

Cecil Coles Comedy of Errors Overture

Walton, Richard The Third Suite

Arnold English Dances Suite No 1

Borodin Symphony No 2.

Conductor Nicholas Wilks

Download a full history of past concerts



Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings from 7:15pm to 9:45pm in Maryhill Burgh Halls (45 Gairbraid Avenue G20 8YE).  


  • Full annual subscription: £150 (early bird discount during September £140)
  • Students and unemployed: £50


Monday 28 August 2023               Rehearsals begin 7.15 Maryhill Burgh Hall

Concert 1             Saturday 21 October                      Sherbrooke Mosspark Church

Florence Price Symphony No 1

Dvorak Symphony No 9 (From the New World)

Conductor John Grant  

Concert 2a          Thursday 7 December                   GRCH New Auditorium  

Private event

Conductor Chris Swaffer

Concert 2b          Saturday 9 December                    GRCH New Auditorium

Christmas Film Classics

Conductor Chris Swaffer

Rehearsals start Monday 15 January 2024

Concert 3             Saturday 16 March 2024              New Auditorium 9 Mondays

Grieg Piano Concerto

Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique

Conductor John Grant

Concert 4            

Saturday 18  May 2024 Sherbrooke Mosspark Church Glasgow

Cecil Coles Comedy of Errors Overture

Walton, Richard the Third Suite

Arnold English Dances Suite No 1

Borodin Symphony No 2.

Conductor Nicholas Wilks

No rehearsal on Easter Monday 1 April 2024

There will be a rehearsal on May Day Monday 6 May 2024


Download the Members’ Handbook here

Kettle drum and drum sticks

Join Us

We do not formally audition, but you should be of at least Associated Board Grade 7 standard or higher, with relevant orchestral playing experience. And you should have enough free time and be prepared to practise your parts at home between rehearsals.

New members will be invited to attend rehearsals and perform in two concerts and the committee will then decide, in consultation with the relevant section leader, to invite you to join the orchestra for the longer term.

You will be asked to pay 50% of the annual subscription for the first concert, the balance of the year's subscription to be paid on mutually satisfactory completion of the first term.

Non-playing friends are also invited to get involved in our activities.


Generally new players are welcome if we have places.  Please get in touch if you would like to discuss current vacancies.

Get Involved

You can help play a part in making GOS a success in many ways:

  • Attend our concerts regularly!
  • Volunteer to help with non-playing tasks: eg finding sponsorship, marketing/ advertising our concerts, selling advertising space in our programmes
  • Sponsor a musician, a soloist, a piece of music, or even a concert
  • Advertise your organisation or business in our programmes

You could also sign up to Easyfundraising to raise funds for us when you shop online with major retailers and travel companies:

Contact us


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