The Club's History
In February 1980 the BBC decided to reduce the number of its orchestras, and one scheduled to go was the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. On 1 June, the Musicians’ Union called a strike, and they and the BBC SSO got a great deal of support from the public and leading figures in the musical world. A group of like minded people got together and formed the Club to generate support for our Orchestra. This was done by letter and personal contacts, the result of which helped, with others, to save the Orchestra and secure its future.
The Club continued to grow and by the winter of 1981 could boast a membership of nearly 600 throughout the United Kingdom. To help promote the Orchestra, a Club stall was organised to sell a wide range of merchandise produced with the Orchestra logo. This included mugs, pens, pencils, free book-matches (smoking was still allowed in public places), Club ties, sweatshirts and whisky glasses, plus the Orchestra’s commercial recordings. The stall was taken to the Orchestra's concerts all over the UK and the Continent, and to Club events. The funds raised were put to good use: blue dresses for the ladies, music folders, programme covers, on-stage lighting, sponsorship of a CD, a book shelf for the Orchestra's Green Room, and Christmas decorations. The Club also commissioned from Scottish composer Edward McGuire (a club member) a suite of three encores for the Orchestra to play when on tour.
From the start, the Club organised evenings where players of the Orchestra and their friends gave of their time to perform for members. These recitals were held in various venues throughout Glasgow – the Musicians' Union, the Art Club, the staff canteen at Strathclyde University, Glasgow University, in churches and many other locations, until the BBC kindly agreed to the Club using Studio One in Broadcasting House, Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow for its concerts. When the Orchestra moved to the City Halls in 2006, St Bride's Church in Hyndland became the Club's new home until in September 2009, courtesy of the BBC SSO, the Club was given the use of the Recital Room in the City Halls, Glasgow. Since 2011 all Club recitals have been held in the City Halls.
The stall has been much scaled down, but BBC SSO's CDs continue to be sold at Club recitals. From the beginning the Club has produced a regular Newsletter and this has developed over the years into a quality publication, produced at least biannually.
Since 1980, the Club and its many members have supported one of Europe’s finest orchestras as it spreads the name of Scotland with distinction throughout the world. With your ongoing support we will continue to do so.