In The News

Stratford Symphony Orchestra Announces Season 16

Premium Digital Mini Concert Series SSO To Go debuts December 5th.

Purchase Tickets Now!


The Stratford Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is excited to announce its unique Season 16 for 2020-21. Unlike in any previous season, the SSO will present SSO To Go, a collection of premium digital mini concert offerings for its dedicated local and growing global audience. This digital package consists of a series of documentary-style films featuring the first-class SSO musicians under the direction of one of the most dynamic conducting talents in Canada, SSO’s Music Director and Principal Conductor, William Rowson. The films are complemented by a series of engaging podcasts produced by SSO partner, the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO).


The production quality of the concert films is second to none, produced by award-winning film and television production company Ballinran Entertainment and directed by Craig Thompson along with a talented team that included sound engineer John Hazen, lighting designer Lorenzo Savoini and technical crew from IATSE Local 357. The audience-free Avondale Church was transformed into a magical concert setting, with ensembles from the SSO safely performing for the cameras.


SSO Music Director and Principal Conductor William Rowson explains:


In putting these programs together, I was looking at ways to have our SSO musicians come together in a safe way to allow for great music-making and an engaging concert experience. It was a challenge working around safety protocols and physical distancing, with limits on the number of people involved at any given time.

One of the silver linings of having to program for smaller orchestral ensembles is that we’re able to play a lot of really great music that we love, but which is not normally considered part of our repertoire.  One example of this is Baroque music, which hasn’t been performed that much by the SSO.  The same is true for Renaissance music and contemporary works. We also wanted to feature as many local artists as possible. The programs are fun, they tell stories and are full of great music!


Each SSO To Go instalment explores an interesting theme through music performance, illustrative commentary, insightful interviews, and bonus content, all of which can be enjoyed in the comfort of the viewers’ homes. The first instalment to make its online premiere will be Music in the Round on Saturday, December 5 at 8:00 pm, featuring the brass section of the SSO, joined by members of London, Ontario-based ensemble, Brassroots.


Subsequent film releases will include a festive, orchestral Christmas program; a fascinating exploration of the history of the famous tune Greensleeves, featuring guest artists Terry McKenna (lute) and Laurel Swinden (flute); Music in the Time of Plague-themed programs; and an instalment called Harmoniemusik that will feature SSO woodwind players performing the music of Mozart and Beethoven.


Each of the SSO To Go concert films will be accessible to anyone with an internet connection for a low pay-per-view fee, either by individual concert or by subscription to the full six part series. Students will be able to enjoy them for a reduced fee. The complementary SPO Great Music podcast series is offered free of charge.


SSO To Go Pricing:

Single Tickets: $10 minimum per household per concert (7-day viewing window)
6-Pack Subscription of all six concerts: $50 minimum (= one for FREE!) per household (6-month viewing window)
Students: $7 per concert or $30 for a 6-Pack Subscription to all six films


Purchase Tickets Now!



For more information contact:

Chris Sharpe, SSO Administrative Director


Wightman partners with Stratford Symphony to broadcast Cows & Classics Concert.

SSO event to be broadcast on Wightman’s Community TV.

Media Release: Stratford, Ontario, July 3, 2020 –

Wightman is pleased to announce a partnership with the Stratford Symphony Orchestra (SSO) for a broadcast of Cows & Classics, a favourite annual community music event. This year’s event, featuring internationally renowned music artists, was produced and filmed live at the David and Annamarie Murray farm by Ballinran Entertainment on June 22, 2020, without the usual live audience.

Wightman will broadcast this concert on Wightman Community TV channel 6 on Thursday, July 9 at 9:00 pm and again on Saturday, July 11, at 6:00 pm.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Stratford Symphony Orchestra for the Cows & Classics broadcast, and we look forward to sharing this unique content with our community,” said Marketing Manager Hope Reidt.

The performers for this music event include operatic stars Roger Honeywell, James Westman, and Phillip Addis, all accompanied by pianist Emily Hamper; musical theatre stars Marcus Nance, Franklin Brasz and Barbara Fulton; pianist and composer Paul Shilton; the SSO’s principal horn Andrew MacDonald with international flautist Liesel Deppe; solo violinist Ji Won Baxter, SSO member and winner of the Emerging Artist Competition; Stephen Russell, renowned actor formerly with the Stratford Festival for over 35 years; and David Murray on piano. The musical performances take place on the Hay Wagon Stage in a unique rural setting.

Wightman, a family-owned company founded in 1908, specializes in Fibre to the Home and Business technology, capable of providing multiple gigabit internet speeds, as well as high definition TV service with the latest user features, and home phone service. Wightman is currently constructing Fibre to the Home and Business throughout Stratford.

The SSO is a professional orchestra of 50 musicians under the direction of Principal Conductor, William Rowson. Now looking forward to its 16th season, the SSO is very active in Stratford and surrounding areas performing live concerts, delivering education programs, providing music outreach services, and creating engaging music activities for all ages. For more information, visit

Cows & Classics is produced by Ballinran Entertainment, a Stratford-based film and television production company, that has been producing content for audiences around the world for 25 years. “We are pleased to be working with the Stratford Symphony to bring this project to the screen,” says Director and Producer Craig Thompson. “Stratford has a wealth of musical and theatrical talent, who like us, choose to live here and want to share their creativity with the world. This project shines the spotlight on Stratford when our community needs it the most.”


For more information contact:

Hope Reidt, Marketing Manager 

Chris Sharpe, SSO Administrative Director

Stratford Symphony Orchestra concert set to bring 'Darkness Into Light' more than two years later


A Stratford Symphony Orchestra concert filmed more than two years ago feels eerily prescient today.


Entitled ‘Darkness Into Light’, the theme was chosen because the works performed were inspired and informed by a period of turbulence. Local production company Ballinran Entertainment was there to gather footage for a short promotional video and ended up filming the entire show at Stratford’s Avondale United Church.


When a global pandemic forced the orchestra to cancel its final two shows of the 2019-20 season, the decision was made to stream that March 31, 2018 performance on Mother’s Day.


Read the full story in the May 6, 2020 edition of the Stratford Beacon Herald.

Annual Phantom Ball fundraiser a COVID-friendly way to support the Stratford Symphony Orchestra


It was never intended to be an event that could be held during a viral pandemic, but the Stratford Symphony Orchestra’s annual Phantom Ball fundraiser is a COVID-friendly way to support the organization during the coronavirus crisis.


Read the full story in the April 19, 2020 edition of the Stratford Beacon Herald.

Cape Breton's Natalie MacMaster to perform in concert with Stratford Symphony Orchestra


Cape Breton fiddler and step-dancer Natalie MacMaster will perform with the Stratford Symphony Orchestra at the Avon Theatre in Stratford on January 25, 2020.

Read the full story in the December 20, 2019 edition of the Stratford Beacon Herald.

Stratford Symphony Orchestra announces lineup for 15th anniversary season


The Stratford Symphony Orchestra has announced the six concerts, from October through May, that will make up its 15th season.


Read the full story in the May 22, 2019 edition of the Stratford Beacon Herald.

What's Up Stratford?


David Murray from the Stratford Symphony Orchestra joins host Peter Maranger to talk about their upcoming season (Season 15) and some of the big name performers coming to play with the orchestra.


View the interview in its entirety on Rogers TV, What's up Stratford April 2019.

Stratford Cracks Top-10 Culture Days List


Stratford has once again been recognized for its Culture Days excellence.


The organizing body behind the annual nationwide event recently released its top-10 lists of cities and towns from this fall’s festivities and the Festival City was ranked eighth in the population under 50,000 category. Eileen Smith, regional Culture Days co-ordinator, said it’s no surprise Stratford made the list.


Read the full story in the November 12, 2018 edition of the Stratford Beacon Herald.

Province To Honour Stratford Senior


Eleanor Kane is a member of the Volunteer committee and longstanding supporter of the SSO. We are thrilled at this recognition of her extraordinary contributions to the City of Stratford.


Read the full story in the November 4, 2018 edition of the Stratford Beacon Herald.

Culture Day Hits Right Note


The goal of Culture Days is to make the arts accessible to everyone and to offer new experiences.


An event called Conduct Us, hosted by the Stratford Symphony Orchestra Saturday afternoon at the Normal School, accomplished this feat. It attracted an intrigued group of people who had little-to-no experience waving a baton and leading a collection of talented musicians. 


Read the full story in the September 30, 2018 edition of the Stratford Beacon Herald.

Stratford Symphony Orchestra Unveils 14th Season


With six concerts and a diverse slate of guest performers and conductors planned for the worship hall at Avondale United Church, the Stratford Symphony Orchestra’s 14th season is sure to have something for everyone.

Read the full story in the May 18, 2018 edition of the Stratford Beacon Herald.

Classical music at rural setting a unique fundraiser


When the Stratford Symphony Orchestra board of directors was looking for a new fundraiser four years ago, board member David Murray quickly offered up his and his wife Annamarie’s farm just outside Mitchell as a possible venue to showcase local musical talent.


Read the full story in the July 11, 2016 edition of The Mitchell Advocate.


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