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, Jean Murray, Gavin Pettinger, Philip Rossiter

Committee Neil Metcalfe (chairman), Sally Day, 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.

Joanna Petrie - Conductor of the String Orchestra.  Since graduating with a BA (Hons) in music from Durham University and a Certificate of Postgraduate Studies in viola from the RSAMD (now RCS), Joanna has enjoyed building a career which has combined the complementary disciplines of teaching, playing and ensemble direction.  She spent the first 15 or so years of her career freelancing for the BBCSSO, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, the Orchestra of Scottish Ballet and smaller chamber groups, along with teaching across several councils and independent schools in Scotland.  Favourite moments from this time include going on foreign tours, especially to South America where she tried tango dancing; a production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle where she learnt the importance of a really tasty packed tea for keeping up energy; and many exciting BBC Proms concerts and recordings where she learnt that people in the queue for the Proms really do put out table-cloths and glasses on the pavement.  She also benefited from working with children and adults with additional support needs through the charity Artlink and has tutored for SScOT and other youth orchestras since 2004, where she can pass on her tips for stamina, amongst other topics, to the next generation of players.  Joanna has enjoyed learning what young players like most about ensemble playing through her five-year directorship of the string orchestras at Hillfoots Music for Youth in Alva, and is now a string teacher and Co-ordinator of Co-curricular Music at the High School of Dundee where she has the pleasure of conducting several string ensembles of different ages and levels.  She is currently undertaking further study in just what makes a string ensemble tick with the hope of giving the lasting gift of this wonderful pastime to musicians from the younger generation. 

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.