Petersfield Area Schools' String Orchestra

  Extra playing opportunities for string instrumentalists in schools and sixth form colleges in Petersfield and the surrounding area.

Latest News

Happy New Year from PASSO.


PASSO Christmas Concert on December 17th at St. Peter's Church

- A "super Christmas Concert", with a magnificent performance in PASSO's first event of the season. Many new players giving their all in the spirit of Christmas, with a guest player, former PASSO member, Emily Gissing of Southampton University Symphony Orchestra (SUSO), backing PASSO up in the Cello section. Several dignitaries attended, including the Chairman of Hampshire County Council, Keith Chapman who wrote ".. the orchestra played exceptionally well and the soloists were amazing.", two former mayors of Petersfield and Head of Hampshire Music Service, Jill Larner who wrote "Thank you for a lovely concert on Saturday....PASSO members always rise to the occasion..... There are some talented players developing well in their confidence and musicality..." - Well done PASSO. A special thanks to Emily's mum, Daphne Gissing, for kindly providing a surprise "instant Xmas raffle" that night.


PASSO Playday (TheStudio@TPS) Summer Concert 2016

- A superb day, of practice and performance. With renowned Concert Pianist Warren Mailley-Smith and a final "spectacular" concert performance by PASSO themselves. See gallery & reviews.


PASSO Busking at the Petersfield Music Festival 2016

- With a very good turn out and lots of "hard playing", PASSO entertained shoppers for 2 hours at the Square in Petersfield on Monday 30th May. See gallery.


PASSO Chichester Festival of Music 2016

- Bravo PASSO! PASSO was awarded top certificate "OUTSTANDING" and the H.W.MOORE cup on Saturday 5th March.


PASSO Chamber Strings Portsmouth Festival of Music 2016

- Congratulations to Chamber Strings, for achieving HIGHLY COMMENDED and the YOUTH ORCHESTRA CUP on Sunday 7th February.


Use the tabs above to find out more about PASSO.

Updated 15:00 10/01/2017


Events & Notices

SUNDAY 12th FEBRUARY 2017 - PASSO CHAMBER STRINGS - Portsmouth Festival of Music (circa 2:15pm) - Crookhorn College, Waterlooville

- further instructions & exact times to follow


SATURDAY 4th MARCH 2017 - Full PASSO - Chichester Festival of Music (should be in the morning) - Central Junior School, Chichester

- further instructions & exact times to follow


MONDAY 20th MARCH 2017 - Full PASSO - Petersfield Festival of Music. (Performance at 7:30pm) - Festival Hall, Petersfield

- further instructions & exact times to follow



Check our Calendar for details (e.g. links to map) of festivals, concerts, notices and meetings.


Updated 14:45hrs 10/01/2017


Calendar updated 14:00hrs 10/01/2017


PASSO was created in 1979 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.

You are welcome to come and audition for PASSO. Auditions are held at the start of the Autumn Term, usually at the second or third rehearsal. You will be allocated a timed slot in which to perform a piece which best demonstrates your talent. One or two scales and arpeggios appropriate to your ability will also be required. A grade 2 standard or above is suggested as we have found that students who are not yet at this level struggle to cope with the demands of playing in an orchestra. In the week following the audition, you will be notified by post of your position in the orchestra. We realise that many people are daunted by the prospect of an audition, but it is necessary in order to produce a balanced ensemble with strength in all areas and allow less experienced players not to be put in a position where they feel out of their depth. We request that parents and carers remain outside the hall during your audition. Peter and Bridget have over 30 years of experience of PASSO between them and are well used to putting children at their ease.

If you are interested in joining or finding out more please contact:
Peter Thompson (Orchestral Director) 01730 267341 or Bridget Hughes (Staff Conductor) 01730 894006.



Hampshire Music ServicePASSO is part of the Hampshire Music Service, which is responsible for maintaining over 70 area and county music ensembles across Hampshire. These groups enjoy a high profile and an envious reputation locally, nationally and internationally. The Music Service is part of Hampshire County Council, and provides instrumental and vocal teaching from 150 specialist music teachers to more than 10,000 Hampshire children.


Site & imagery © PASSO 2014