PASSO logo

PASSO Documentary link

Please click on the link above for the 10 minute PASSO documentary; a film made of this year's orchestra by students at Winchester University.

See photos from our photo gallery, just click on the link at the foot of this page.

PASSO was created over 30 years ago by Alison Little, a local violin teacher who was inspired to form a children's orchestra for strings. With ongoing financial support from Hampshire County Council through the Hampshire Music Service, together with contributions from the public and local businesses, her dream materialised and continues to flourish to this day.

PASSO is part of a network of over 70 ensembles run by Hampshire Music Service, and gives a unique opportunity to young string players in the Petersfield, Alton, Liphook, Liss, Clanfield, Cowplain and Meon Valley area of East Hampshire, from both state and private sector schools, enabling them to play together and explore ensemble playing to a high level of excellence.

Public concerts.

The orchestra rehearses weekly, gives several public concerts a year and plays in competitive and non – competitive festivals throughout the district. PLAYDAYS and musical outings are organised periodically. There is further coaching opportunity and smaller ensemble playing in the PASSO Chamber Strings. PASSO owns several instruments for loan including a viola and double bass.


These take place at the Petersfield School, Cranford Road, Petersfield, on every Wednesday of term. Players are asked to arrive at 4.15 and the rehearsal runs from 4.30 to 5.30 and includes a break for drinks and biscuits.


There is a wide range of standards and ages throughout all sections of PASSO: music is selected to cater for this and sometimes commissioned music is tailored to the orchestra’s specific needs. Many players will start in year 5 or 6 and spend a number of years with the orchestra, often staying until year 11, thus the group takes on a team spirit and character of its own each year.


These are held at the start of the Autumn Term. If players are interested in joining it is best to book an audition in the Summer Term. A Grade 2 standard, or above, is expected.

From September 2013, Hampshire Music Service will be charging 60 per year for membership of PASSO, which may be paid in termly instalments. This is as a result of recent budgetary cuts to the service. The Friends of PASSO, a group of interested parents of current members, request a voluntary contribution of 30 per year to help to pay for hire of transport to festivals, hire of venues for performances, refreshments during rehearsals etc. This contribution request is reviewed annually at the beginning of every school year.

Cups and trophies

At the end of each year several cups and trophies are awarded to reward exceptional service to the orchestra these  include the Rachel Drake Prize and the Alison Little Cup.

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If you are interested in joining or finding out more please contact:

Peter Thompson (Orchestral Director) 01730 267341

or Bridget Hughes (Staff Conductor) on 01730 894006

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