About Us

Sunderland Symphony Orchestra (SSO) welcomes new members. We work closely with the Sunderland Youth Orchestra (SYO) in helping to bring on beginners who may wish to join the SSO as players when they are ready. New players in the SSO concert orchestra are by appointment of the Musical Director, and are usually players at Grade 5 level or above. 

SSO works with the Sunderland Music Education Hub and Sunderland schools to promote and support the wider playing of orchestral music. A number of music outreach projects with schools, community, and other music groups are being delivered under our Coming of Age project supported by Arts Council England. 

SSO is grateful to a number of partners, sponsors, and funders detailed on our Partners page. SSO works in partnership with a range of local musicians, choirs, and music groups and organisations including,  by agreement, Royal Northern Sinfonia. Opportunities to get involved include our SSO Patron, and Friends of SSO schemes.




West Park Church is our base and opposite the Park Lane Transport Interchange (Bus and Metro). The Metro Station is 'Park Lane’. 

Concerts, rehearsals and meetings are held in the Church. 

Entrance to the Church is from Stockton Road for concerts, and from Cowan Terrace for rehearsals and meetings. Both entrances are via steps. 

Disabled access is from the side door on Cowan Terrace. A wheelchair hoist (which also has a seat for ambulatory persons) gives  access to the ground floor and toilets. A  chairlift  gives access to the balcony. There are no toilets on the upper floor. Anyone with impaired mobility is advised to use the side door. 

Car Parking is in the multi-storey Civic Centre car park at the far end of Cowan Terrace, but may also be available in the streets on the opposite side of Stockton Road. 

Rehearsals are held on Wednesdays at 7.30 pm.



The orchestra has been based at West Park United Reformed Church for concerts, rehearsals and general meetings since its formation. 

In August 2014 the building closed as a United Reformed Church and the building was put up for sale. The owners of the building, the Northern Synod Trust of the United Reformed Church, allowed the orchestra to continue in residence until a sale was effected. The orchestra chairman acted as 'caretaker' for the building, on behalf of Synod, during this time. 

The building was sold in February 2018 to a private individual, who has allowed the orchestra to continue meeting therein for the time being. An excellent relationship has developed between the new owner and the orchestra. The building is now known simply as 'West Park Church'.

Who's Who

John Lennox
Vice President

Joy Lowther

Brian Naisby
Orchestra Manager

Judith Thompson
Orchestra Leader

Ged McCormack
Deputy Leader
Mark Greenfield
Vice President, Fundraising

David Mills

Peter Chapman
Membership Secretary

David Milner
Musical Director
Lynne Dakers
Co-opted Member



Winifred Lundgren
Vice President

Kathleen Mills

Matthew Burge
Development Manager

Paul Judson
Deputy Conductor

Emma Mapplebeck
Co-opted Member

Sunderland Symphony Orchestra - Annual Report, 2017

Autumn Newsletter, 2018

Content © 2019 Sunderland Symphony Orchestra