Hello everyone! Welcome to the són website and thanks for stopping by. Without wishing to be too self-congratulatory, we think the site looks beautiful. So, although we can’t possibly imagine why you might feel this way (!) – if you think something needs changing, please get in touch and we’ll add it to our list of webmastering tweaks.

Here at són HQ we’re really excited because our launch events have just been confirmed and announced. Have you checked them out yet? If you haven’t, click here and take a look.

It’s such a great feeling, putting together a brand new project, seeing things grow and come together so quickly. We can’t wait to get going, and to show the world what we’re capable of. We feel like són is truly lifting off, not least because we’ve had such great advice and positive feedback over the last few weeks. We’re working very hard, connecting with musicians all across the country, and building bridges with local business people, as well as cultural leaders from all art forms including the theatre and prominent artists. We’ve been sharing many a cappuccino with concert promoters, festival directors and education hub managers – as well as orchestral players, soloists, leaders… And some potential masterclass coaches for our future series of academy projects, too.

Yes, it’s early days – as we write, the ink is still wet on the page of our launch events, and the earliest is still a few weeks away. But we know that the són project is going to travel far and wide, and that there’s both the market and support for it to do so. As we’ve been researching things (creating business plans, preparing for meetings, all that kind of thing) it’s shocked us that somewhere as large, and thriving as Southampton has never boasted a fully-professional resident orchestra – until now. Yes, there’s always been a wealth of music and culture in and around Hampshire. And of course the Bournemouth Symphony are pretty close by, too. Yet, in reality, no pro band for one of the country’s largest cities.

Now, here’s the thing: Southampton is set to become a brand new artistic pin on the UK’s cultural map, not least because a state-of-the-art cultural centre is on its way, opening 2016. The artistic tone of the city now lies in the caring hands of a large set of trustees – comprising business leaders, and both creative and industry figureheads. Southampton’s cultural identity, and its future, seems to be in good shape. So it’s difficult to square this with the long-held (and, alas completely untrue) adage that Southampton “has no culture”.

The launch of  són is perfectly timed, coinciding as it does with a huge growth in the arts scene both in the city and beyond. At són we’re already in discussion with key policy makers on the cultural trust. As we peer into the future, sensing what possibilities lie ahead for són‘s new venture, so does the whole city of Southampton, beginning its own similarly exciting adventure. Both of us – són and city – are moving towards a creatively vital future, one where we certainly hope to be fused together. So, as our homepage tagline would have it, són is definitely a new sound, for a new stage.

We hope you keep closely in touch with all the són events as they launch throughout 2015 – from our opening son | education project in late June, to our official launch concert in November. Remember, you can follow us on twitter, facebook and also via our regular newsletter, too.

Best wishes from all at the són team

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