How it All Began

Tom Newall and Tom Rowan-Young met in April 2013, and it was soon after that Tom N invited Tom R-Y to lead the orchestra of Leeds Youth Opera Orchestra, which he was Musical Director of. During their weekly drives back and forth from Manchester to Leeds, the two Toms would often chat about careers, and how difficult it was to break into the classical music world.

One sunny Sunday afternoon in Leeds during a rehearsal break, the clouds departed and Tom N in passing mentioned that he had always dreamt of setting up his own orchestra, Tom R-Y flippantly responded with, “Well, why don’t you? Let’s do it!”. After triple checking that they were both being serious, the seed was planted.

A Saturday afternoon in Exchange Square, Manchester, is where the next meeting of minds took place and the name Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra was created. Minds ablaze with ideas and fuelled with coffee, the repertoire for the first concert was chosen and a search for members to join our team began.

Whilst taking a well earned break from working, Rachel was browsing on one of the worlds most popular social media sites when she stumbled upon a post from Tom N looking for people to help with various roles in the orchestra team. Always looking for a new and exciting challenge she sent her CV over pronto. A few weeks later Tom N and Rachel arranged to meet at the Willows in Blackburn to talk about how she could help PSO. A glass of red wine later and the rest was history; she became a fully fledged member of Team PSO. The hard work to get PSO up and running has been happening ever since.