The EU referendum had unexpected consequences for Stockport's local orchestra.  Stockport Symphony Orchestra's regular concert venue is the Town Hall, one of the centres responsible for counting the referendum vote.  As a result, security considerations meant the hall was out of bounds for several days either side of the vote and that presented the orchestra with a headache.

"We were all set for a fantastic last concert of the season" said SSO Secretary, Jo Hossle-Standring. "Unfortunately the concert date of 18 June was too close to the referendum and we had to find a new venue."

Tom Hicks

As for the referendum, Jo remained diplomatic about how any of the orchestra might have voted but she didn’t expect them to have been swayed by the problems: "I don't think anyone blamed Europe!", she laughed.

In the end St George's Church on Buxton Road was able to provide a solution though a piano had to be hired and transported back and forth as well.  Jo says that the team at St George's were really welcoming and accommodating.  "They have a beautiful space in which to hear music and we think it did the orchestra and Tom proud.  It wasn’t too far from our usual home for the audience and we were able to organise parking with help from two of the nearby schools.  Everyone was so helpful.  It's a real credit to Stockport as a community to see how much goodwill and co-operation there is to support local events."

Finding a space large enough for the orchestra and audience at short notice was worrying enough but to make matters worse, as well as Sibelius' Second Symphony, the concert featured pianist Tom Hick who was flying from the USA to play the first of five Rachmaninov concertos with the orchestra. This meant that as well as the venue there was the added problem of organising a piano too!

The orchestra investigated a long list of places,before finding the solution.  "There is a surprising number of halls and churches around", says Jo, "but very few which tick all the boxes and fewer still available at short notice."