The Guest List Founders Jane And Stephen Sorrell

Posted on September 2, 2015

We recently caught up with Jane and Stephen Sorrell, founding members of The Guest List, to find out more about them, what inspired The Guest List and what being a member means to them.

Stephen & Jane SorrellStephen is a partner at Eversheds solicitors, specialising in Company and Commercial Law. He is on the board at HOME, the new arts centre in Manchester, and has a wide taste in music, from American to Jazz and Country Music. He attends numerous music festivals both in the UK and USA and also runs a small independent film company which therefore means he is involved with the film music industry.

Jane currently works part time in a primary school with special needs children and also volunteers at Manchester Camerata, one day a week, looking after Patrons. She worked in fundraising and events at the Library Theatre and fundraised for the schools she’s worked in. Her background is in ballet and opera so musical tastes are mainly classical but she also loves other kinds of music.  She plays piano and (badly!) double bass. Jane really enjoys being involved with Camerata and is very enthusiastic about the new season.

Why Camerata?
It’s a fabulous orchestra and we love the very interesting repertoire. Combined with a love of classical music ,we admire the way that Manchester Camerata is trying to do things differently with unusual venues and collaborations.

When did you get involved?
We’ve been coming to concerts for years and got to know more about Manchester Camerata a couple of years ago with a few invitations from Claire Barlow (Camerata’s then Head of Corporate Partnerships and Philanthropy), and also Arts and Business. We started coming regularly and became even more impressed with the standard of musicianship and flexibility to vary the repertoire according to the venue or guest artist.

What inspired The Guest List?
It was the idea of becoming more involved on a personal level – meeting the artists, musicians, conductor and having the chance to discuss the work with them. There is a similar group we are part of at the Manchester International Festival called the Commissioning Circle. It’s a behind-the-scenes group who have the privilege to visit rehearsals, discuss the ideas behind the programming and speak to the artists in a way that is usually impossible for the average audience member.

What do you get out of it?
A better understanding of the music and a more intimate feeling about the programme . It is thrilling to meet the musicians and be able to talk face to face with them about their performance. Also we feel more connected to the organisation and have the opportunity to see the wide array of work being done in schools and the Community around Greater Manchester by Camerata’s Learning and Participation team.

Favourite event?
Meeting Tine Thing Helseth and discussing her performance after the Albert Hall concert last Christmas.

What are you most looking forward to this season?
Concert-wise, we can’t wait for the Festive Happening event at the Albert Hall on 13 December – it’s a beautiful programme in an amazing venue. From a Guest List point of view, we’re really looking forward to meeting Nicola Benedetti again – she was so lovely when we met her after the concert last September.