About Blackpool Symphony Orchestra


Blackpool Symphony Orchestra was founded by Percy Dayman in 1921. Our centenary celebrations had to be postponed due to the COVID lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 so we will be celebrating our centenary +1.


Under the leadership of our Music Director, Helen Harrison, who was appointed in 2011, the orchestra continues to grow in stature, extending its repertoire and developing performance standards.


We appointed a Composer in Residence, Edward Rugman, in 2013. During the COVID lockdown Ed, together with his colleagues from Ten Forward Music Productions were instrumental in the production of our award winning virtual performance of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and other video projects, The Making of Over the Rainbow and Life on Pause.

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Our leader, Helen Andrews, is a well known local violinist and has played with the orchestra for over 30 years.  

Our committee is keen to work in partnership with local schools, arts organisations and run educational outreach projects. Collaborations have included Our Lady of the Assumption Primary School, Preston Opera, Poulton People's Choir and Musica Lirica.

Our members come from all over Lancashire and beyond. We also welcome young musicians, many of whom play with the Lancashire Schools Symphony Orchestra.

Music Director


Helen Harrison

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Helen Andrews

Composer in Residence


Edward Rugman

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Soloists and Guests

Workshops and Masterclasses

We run a string day in January every year which is open to members and non-members and often invite professional string players to be a guest section leader and run a coaching session.

Our woodwind and horn section have had a masterclass sectionals with Tim Jackson.

Soloists and Guest Conductors

Our soloists have included former and current members of the orchestra who are working as professional musicians or peripatetic teachers, as well as students from the Royal Northern College of Music or young musicians who are in the process of applying to study Music.