Frequently Asked Questions

Where do you rehearse?

We rehearse every Wednesday, 7.00-9:00pm in The Liddell Hall, St Andrew’s Church, Benton NE12 8AW, just 100 yards from Benton Metro station.  Car parking is available at the church and neighbouring steets. Ring the bell labelled “Liddell Hall” at the entrance.


Can I come along for a couple of weeks before deciding to commit?

Yes, we encourage players, especially beginners, who are unsure about joining an orchestra to come along for a few weeks at no charge and see how you get on.  If you let us know in advance that you are coming, we can ensure a folder of music is ready for you.

What is the recommended ABRSM grade I should have before joining?

Players do not need to have any formal ABRSM grade exam for their instrument.  You’ll need to be able to read music, and play the notes.

Is there a waiting list to join?

There is no waiting list; we welcome any instrumentalists, especially string players.

Why are you called the South Gosforth Orchestra when you meet in Benton?

When the orchestra was originally formed, it met in Gosforth, but in the 1980s it moved to Benton; however its traditional name has stuck.

How often do you give concerts?

We rarely give concerts, as we are primarily a ‘practice orchestra’ in which beginner musicians can build up their skills and confidence in orchestral playing.  You will become exceptionally good learning to sight read music with us.  Once you have developed your musical skills with us, you may want to join one of the other local orchestras that do give concerts.

Do I have to purchase or hire any music?

We will provide all the music needed for each week.  We ask you to return it at the end of each practice rather than take it home; don’t worry if you find playing difficult at first as you will soon develop excellent sight-reading skills.

How much does it cost to join the SGO?

There is no formal membership fee, but we ask players to make a monthly donation towards the hire of the church hall.  Currently this costs each player about £2.50 per week. If you are unsure whether the SGO is right for you, feel free to attend for a few weeks at no charge.