History of the Patrons
Many of the early Cheltenham Sunday Players concerts took place in small churches across the north Cotswolds, such as in Chedworth, Bredon, Toddington, Moreton in Marsh, Amberley and others, where orchestral music had seldom if ever been heard before. Running costs even in those days were quite substantial, so in 1973 one of the Players’ early supporters, D Carroll Jones, together with Douglas Smith, the founder of the Sunday Players, formed the “Friends of Cheltenham Sunday Players”, made up mainly of people living in those communities who were keen to see the concerts continue. They began to make a significant contribution, and what is more they came to concerts, partly perhaps to see whether their “investment” was being put to a good use! Over forty years later, some of those original Friends still support the Orchestra!
“The Friends of Cheltenham Sunday Players” subsequently became a registered charity (#268654), changing its name to “The Friends of Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra” when the Players’ name was changed in 1990.
Since the year 2000 the charitable status has allowed taxpayers to Gift Aid their donations, so that the Treasurer is able subsequently to reclaim a significant sum from the Inland Revenue.
During the 2016-17 season the CSO became a registered charity in its own right (#1165359), and the Friends came to be known as Patrons. The Patrons continue to give valuable financial support to the Orchestra, whose running costs today are much higher than they ever were in the past. So the need for Patrons is a strong as ever, and their donations help keep orchestral music alive (in fact, in robust health) in this part of the world.