In common with the rational recreation ethos that surrounded brass bands they wanted to impress any subscribers with their good works. The first committee wrote, ‘Now that we have the sympathy and support of the public of Slaithwaite, it only remains to build up an Orchestral Society that shall be a benefit to its founders, a benefit to the district and to which it shall be counted an honour to belong.’
The first concert was held in the Liberal Hall in Slaithwaite. They boasted ‘a full orchestra of 30 performers’, but they had no oboe, horn, trumpet or trombone. The majority of the orchestra were string players. The first concert made a loss of one pound, eight shillings and four pence. Nevertheless, in spite of this problematic start in recent times the orchestra has been successful; recognised by the award of the National Federation of Music Societies’ Sir Charles Groves Prize in 1993 and a Performing Rights Society Enterprise Award in 1991 and again in 1996.