Scottish Schools Orchestra Trust

Kate Whitlock, Director

207/4 Telford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 2PR

Phone:  07763-973842

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SScOT Office Holders

Hon Patrons John Wallace, CBE & Mark Forkgen

Hon President Donald Runnicles, OBE

Hon Vice President Hilary Davan Wetton

Trustees Roger Clegg (chairman), Robert Baxter, Richard Chester, MBE, Gavin Pettinger, Philip Rossiter

Committee Neil Metcalfe (chairman), Alison Edwards, Sue Green, Jacquie Johnstone, Catriona Robertson, Vaughan Townhill, Chris Turley, Alexis Woolley

Director Kate Whitlock



Principal Staff Biographies

Matthew Rowe - Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and Grand Orchestra on the summer courses - studied conducting with Colin Metters, George Hurst, John Carewe and Frederik Prausnitz, and won prizes at a number of international conducting competitions including the 1999 Leeds Conductors Competition. He has appeared with all the BBC orchestras as well as the London Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber and Ulster Orchestras, the London Mozart Players, Manchester Camerata, Birmingham Royal Ballet and many European orchestras. Matthew enjoys coaxing the very best from all ages and abilities and has been involved with a multitude of education projects and youth orchestras. From  2009 until 2012 he was Director of Orchestral Studies at San Diego University in California.  In January 2013 he took up the position of Music Director of Dutch National Ballet and Principal Conductor of the Orchestra of Dutch National Ballet.

Susan Dingle - Conductor of the Wind Bands - has an honours degree in music from Sheffield University and an M.Mus (conducting) from the RSAMD (now the RCS) in Glasgow, where she studied with Martyn Brabbins.  She also studied at the State Conservatory in St. Petersburg with Alexander Polishchuk and Ilya Musin.  She is principal conductor of the Highland Chamber Orchestra, the Caithness Orchestra and the Wick Choral Society. She was Music Director of the Cumbernauld Choir for 14 years and founder conductor of the Glasgow Caledonian University Choir and has conducted the Renfrewshire Schools Symphony and Stirlingshire Youth Orchestras.  She relocated to Caithness in 2012 and is now running with  Katrina Gordon, providing instrumental instruction and group music-making activities for as wide a cross-section of the Caithness community as possible. They recently created the Far North Youth Orchestra for ages 8-13 from Caithness and Sutherland and established the Caithness Junior Orchestra in September 2014.

Robin Wedderburn - Conductor of the String Orchestras - was Head of Strings at St Paulís School in London from 1981 until his retirement in 2009, and has been associated with SScOT as string coach and conductor since 1992. He has always enjoyed composing and arranging with practical needs in mind and has published a number of pieces, chiefly for strings.  In 2005 he was very pleased to be commissioned by SScOT to write an orchestral piece for its 20th anniversary and the resulting Fantasy was played at the summer course that year. He continues to teach, play, coach, conduct, arrange and compose as well as adjudicating and enjoying an active church life.   

James Chamberlain - Conductor of the Brass Ensemble on the summer courses - holds an honours degree in Music Performance from the University of Huddersfield, as well as a Postgraduate Certificate of Education.  He has performed with the English Northern Philharmonia and the Classic FM award-winning ensemble "Harlequin Brass" as well as the finest brass bands in the UK, including Black Dyke Mills, Yorkshire Building Society and Brighouse & Rastrick.  He has been featured many times on BBC Radio 2's "Listen to the Band" programme as a flugelhorn soloist with the Whitburn Band.  In recent years he has conducted many brass bands including Whitburn, Lochgelly, Bo'ness & Carriden and currently the Dalkeith & Monktonhall band.  James has taught both class music and brass instruments in Edinburgh, South Lanarkshire and Fife schools and is currently a full-time member of the music staff at George Watson's College in Edinburgh.

Kate Whitlock - Director of SScOT and Co-Director of the summer courses - spent many happy years as a child taking part in holiday music courses and youth orchestras as a keen violinist.  Following a four-year diversion to study maths, she rapidly returned to the musical world as a freelance arts manager and producer and has been running education and development projects for children, young professionals and established musicians since 2009 at organisations including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Aldeburgh Music.  As well as working with SScOT, she is Producer of the East Neuk Festival and a Project Manager for Live Music Now Scotland.

Chris Turley - Co-Director of the summer courses - currently teaches History and Politics at The Edinburgh AcademyBefore joining the teaching profession in 2006 he enjoyed a six year voyage through higher education at the universities of Durham, Edinburgh and Cambridge, incorporating a stint of teaching in Malawi. A keen traveller, Chris has supervised numerous school trips. He participates in amateur choirs and orchestras around the Edinburgh area and treasures very happy memories from his own time attending SScOT as a clarinetist many years ago.