If you attended one of our recent concerts, please tell us what you thought by emailing our secretary. We’d love to hear from you.

Feedback for our 4th November 2023 concert at Holy Innocents

I was at the concert at Stoller Hall  on Saturday… it was great. All the music was well chosen and played with passion. The Armed Man was very, very moving, especially in these times of appalling civilian slaughter. Hearing music played and sung by people who participated with love, as true “amateurs”, made it more heartfelt.

Thank you


Feedback for our 6th May 2023 concert at Holy Innocents

I’ve known about Gorton Philharmonic concerts for some time as my piano teacher is a member of the orchestra but I didn’t think I’d feel comfortable going on my own. During a piano lesson he told me about Ethel Smyth, a little known but prolific composer who was a suffragette and a lesbian. He said the orchestra would be featuring a piece by her at their concert in May. I attended the performance and really enjoyed myself. It was in a church and so had a nice relaxed community feel. Women and men were equally represented in the orchestra and as a lesbian feminist I appreciated the introduction to Ethel Smyth. In July, the orchestra will be performing in a professional concert venue (Stoller Hall) and the programme looks great. I’m already looking forward to going and I think I’ll bring a friend next time.

– Concert-goer

I enjoyed the concert last night hugely.

It would be churlish to pick out any one section of the orchestra because they all were superb.  I was pleased that the cor anglais and viola solos got their own bow – they nailed it.

Well done for putting the Smyth on.  A cracking piece – but I would say that because I am one of Katie’s pupils…. It was a difficult piece well delivered so thank you.

It’s the first time that I have heard the Gorton and it won’t be the last.  May I give a cheer out to the two cello deps [Paul and Rosy Hickman] – that’s what I call sight reading!

Andrew Smithson

Many thanks for making us feel so welcome yesterday.  We really enjoyed playing with you and the orchestra again.

Paul and Rosy Hickman

Feedback for our 25th February 2023 concert at Holy Innocents

Congratulations for a very enjoyable concert last Saturday.

The horns and bassoons played fantastic in the Rossini overture, and the brass section sounded epically in the Namouna suite.  Special mention must go to Ruth for the wonderful flute solo, and to the whole orchestra for the energy that we put into this piece.  The symphony was very atmospheric, and the oboes, horn and viola section did a fantastic job in their solo passages.

I’m very glad that we now have a populated string section, with a consistent and well tuned sound.  The number of people in the audience was also great, which is a plus in such a rare programme, and I had lots of people telling me how much they enjoyed the concert.

Juan Ortuño, Gorton Phil Musical Director

Feedback for our 23rd April 2022 concert at Holy Innocents

Juan sends his congratulations to everyone for a fantastic concert last Saturday:

“The Wagner and Debussy had magical moments with a beautiful, blended sound, and the woodwind solos were wonderful!  The Poulenc ballet had a lot of character, and some audience members told me that they loved the funny elements of the piece.

Finally, the Brahms symphony was very exciting, and the orchestra played intimate passages with delicacy, but also with lots of energy in the tragic moments.  The brass choral in the last movement was superbly profound, and I think the suffering of the strings with my speed at the coda was worth it!

Juan Ortuño, Gorton Phil Musical Director

Feedback for our 26th February 2022 concert at Holy Innocents

I’d like to congratulate all members for a wonderful concert last Saturday, where everyone played to a very high level.  The brass did a fantastic job in their ensembles in Verdi and Dvorak, the woodwinds are playing with great musical taste and precise intonation and the strings are achieving a beautiful, blended sound.  Everything was spot on, with very clear textures and nuances.

From what I heard from the audience, they enjoyed the variety on the programme and discovering pieces that they hadn’t heard before.  Personally, I loved the Mahler, where Sam was superb, and we contributed portraying both the pain and rage of the songs.  I also had great fun with the Stravinsky symphony, what a great discovery!  The only problem for me is that the tunes were in my head for three days…

A big thank you to all of you, and to the players who came to help at a very short notice.

Well done everyone. 

Juan Ortuño, Gorton Phil Musical Director

Feedback for our 12th December 2021 concert at Gorton Monastery

Thank you for delivering a wonderful Christmas concert last weekend.  Many members of the audience came to me to say how much they enjoyed it, a lady even saying that it was the best musical experience of her life!  I could also see both children and grown-ups laughing and having a great time with Steve’s narration of The Snowman, and “Walking in the air” with Isla was just magical.

Many also praised the quality and the sound of the orchestra (“like in telly”, said one of them who hasn’t been to many concerts…). Indeed, the orchestra is sounding fantastic!  Everyone is playing spot on and producing a beautiful blend.  The performance of “Finlandia” was very impressive in the acoustics of the Monastery, and it was great to see the audience giving a standing ovation at the end.

Special thanks must go to Elaine for playing the whole duet part of the Snowman on her own, and to Nigel for his fantastic arrangement of White Christmas.

Juan Ortuño, Gorton Phil Musical Director

Feedback for our 23rd October 2021 concert at Holy Innocents

“I’d like to pass my congratulations for a fantastic concert last Saturday.  We were back to perform in front of an audience after a year and a half, and the result was very successful.  The strings achieved a clear and well blended sound, despite being in short numbers.  The woodwinds played beautifully in solo and ensemble, and very well in tune.  The brass had a nice round, warm sound and were very mindful of the balance, but were powerful when needed.  Everyone in the audience loved the overture and the symphony (both not very well known).  Artur passed on to me his sincere congratulations for the clarity that the orchestra achieved in the Beethoven concerto.”- Juan Ortuño, Gorton Phil Musical Director

A lady from Suffolk who plays in the Sudbury Symphony orchestra, was there with her son, who studies with Artur.  She praised the sound of the orchestra and even asked if we were professionals…

Professor Kevin Malone, from Manchester University, was so positive about the concert!  He was quite surprised that he had never heard of us before, and he said he would come to our concerts from now on!

Professor Barry Cooper, one of the world’s leading Beethoven experts, attended the concert and asked who had written the programme notes… and then he continued to say that they were very good and entertaining.

Feedback for our 22nd February 2020 concert at Holy Innocents

Congratulations to the orchestra for a great concert last Saturday. The Mendelssohn overture was very exciting, and the brass sounded really good in the fanfare excerpts. Mike was a real star: he made a fabulous rendition of the Beethoven concerto, lively and full of character, and he even took the trouble of helping in the other pieces! Finally, the symphony had lots of beautiful moments and we portrayed the drama with intensity from beginning to end. We had lots of positive comments from the audience, someone even said that it’s the best the orchestra has ever sounded! So well done to all of you, and let’s bring more members in!

Juan Ortuño, Gorton Phil Musical Director

Message from Heywood Probus Club about our 8th July 2018 concert at Gorton Monastery

I am the President of Heywood Probus Club who brought 26 members and friends to the concert last Sunday afternoon. I just wanted to say how much we all enjoyed the experience. The Orchestra were brilliant, and Juan Ortuno was so entertaining, not difficult to understand how can bring out the best in you all.

The setting and the reproduction of the sound of the movie music was wonderful.

Thank you all so much, we look forward to the next time.

Kind regards I. S


Heywood Probus Club