Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra Blog

Unprecedented viola news


The SPO violas


The SPO viola section is very special. We amaze our colleagues in the orchestra who have been used to seeing maybe two or three players, sawing away for dear life but virtually unheard. In fact the section was reduced to one stalwart player a few years ago. Now, in 2007, we are the largest viola section in any amateur orchestra in Sheffield and at last the SPO has a full section in its midst.


We hope they like our rich tone –  we aim for quality in our sound as well as quantity. We are all prepared to have a go at the music, and when we inevitably play some wrong notes at times we try not to let it upset the spirit of our music making.


We are very proud of our eleven players (we can even call on a twelfth if needed). To help keep the orchestral balance right, one of our viola players has been lent to the second violins temporarily.


We are not glued to our chairs for eternity but, apart from the section leader, move to different positions at the start of rehearsal sessions for each new concert. After all, the hardest place to play is at the back of a large section, so why should any of us be there all the time? I don’t think we feel the need of a hierarchy. Congratulations to the current viola section of the SPO.