Patronage and funding has always been an key issue for orchestras of all types, whether professional or amateur. Madame Marie Reymond provided the funds to enable the establishment of  the North Staffs Symphony Orchestra. She then set about inviting Patrons to support the orchestra.

Sir Henry Wood
Sir Edward Elgar
Sir Granville Bantock
William Wallace
The Duchess of Sutherland
The Countess of Warwick
Bishop Weldon
Rt Hon David Lloyd George
Sir Hubert Parry
HIH The Grand Duke Michael
Charles MacLean
Rt Hon Earl of Lichfield
HIH Prince Esterhazy

Johann Julius Christian “Jean” Sibelius [1865-1957] was one of the pre-eminent composers of the twentieth century. He was born into a professional family in Hämeenlinna, a small town and educational centre about 100km north of Helsinki. After high school he attended the law and music schools in Helsinki, before travelling to Berlin and Vienna to further his studies.

Madame Reymond wrote to Sibelius,to ask that he become Patron of the North Staffordshire Symphony Orchestra – a request to which he acceded, in this punctiliously-worded autograph letter.

Letter from Jean Sibelius to Madame Marie Reymond, acceding to the request of the North Staffordshire Orchestral Society that he become their Patron, undated.

Part of a letter from Jean Sibelius to Madame Reymond
Probably 1908

Högfärade Fru, 
För den sällsynta ära mig vederfarits genom att blifva utnämnd till Patron för The North Staffordshire Orchestral Society, beder jag Eder, min Fru, vara af den godheten att till de ärade medlemmarna af Eder Förening framföra min vördnadsfulla och djupt kända tacksamhet
Med utmärkt högaktning
Jean Sibelius

Esteemed Lady
For the rare honour bestowed upon me by being named patron for The North
Staffordshire Orchestral Society, I respectfully ask you, madam to be so kind as to
offer your honourable members my respectful and deeply felt gratitude.
With supreme respect

Until 1930 Sibelius frequently traveled abroad, and some of his compositions received their premières overseas. Although he paid four visits to the United Kingdom, he is not known to have visited the North Staffs Symphony Orchestra.


The Friends of the North Staffordshire Symphony Orchestra was launched in June 1994 (exactly 90 years after the orchestra was founded) as a new 'supporters club' for the orchestra.

It replaced the Patrons as a more 'modern' way of generating interest, support, and, of course, much-needed funding.

This was a massive change for the supporters of the orchestra and it resulted from many discussions in the orchestra's committee.  Here is a copy of the document which started it all.

Once the decision had been made the existing Patrons were invited to become members of The Friends and more new Friends were sought.


Immediately after The Friends was launched in 1994 it was decided that a friendly and professional looking newsletter should be produced to keep members fully informed about what was going on in the orchestra.  The newsletter was appropriately called NOTES. Here is an image of  Number 1 from 1995.

More Notes can be seen and downloaded here>

NSSO Notes No. 1 - Spring 1995