The sound of EYSM in 2021


Andrew Sherwood

Principal Conductor

Andrew was born in Kenya, educated in Zimbabwe and, when he had played the violin for three years, won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music. He studied with Antonio Brosa, Sylvia Rosenberg and subsequently with Sascha Lasserson. He studied composition with Alan Ridout.

Andrew has led the Mercury Ensemble for Ballet Rambert and played in multiple London and Scottish orchestras. His solo performances range from the Wigmore Hall to East Europe, USA and Africa. Many composers have written works for him.

Andrew is in demand as a conductor and has worked with orchestras from the strings of the CBSO to the Brighton Youth Orchestras Trust, where he is the Director. He is Principal Conductor for the Musicians of All Saints and European Youth Summer Music. He is Director of the University of Brighton Choirs and Conductor of the Somerset County Youth Orchestra.

Andrew is a Professor of Violin at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London.

John Greaves

Wind Orchestra Conductor

John Greaves is recognised as one of the most outstanding youth wind orchestra conductors of the past three decades. He has been the recipient of a host of awards both in this country and the USA where he held the post of Band Director at Heritage High School in Denver, Colorado.

In the UK he has been resident conductor of many ensembles including The Northamptonshire Youth Concert Band, The West of England Schools Symphonic Wind Orchestra, The City of Truro Wind Orchestra and Carrick Winds.

John remains in demand as an adjudicator working both in Britain the USA and Canada and as a guest conductor working with School, County and National Youth Wind Orchestras.


EYSM Instrumental Tutors

Catherine Schofield


Catherine is a founder member of the Bridge String Quartet, established for nearly 30 years as one of Britain’s foremost quartets. They have recorded over a dozen CDs and regularly receive five-star ratings. They are currently the quartet for the EMR label. As Kirckman Concert Award winners the quartet performed for 3 consecutive seasons on London’s South Bank and subsequently at the Wigmore Hall. They have toured throughout Europe and further afield in Kenya and USA as ambassadors of English music in many festivals, and have played live on European stations and for BBC Radio 3.

Catherine has developed long associations with the English Chamber Orchestra and Glyndebourne Touring Opera in her freelance career. More recently, she has worked with English Touring Opera which she also co-leads. She is a regular player in Primavera and is part of their elite Octet group. Catherine was recently appointed leader of Kew Sinfonia, a fine amateur chamber orchestra.

Charlotte Higgs


Charlie enjoys a varied career as a freelance violinist, ranging from regular performances with orchestras such as English Touring Opera and English National Ballet to improvising with the storytelling company ‘Everyday Magic’, where she is resident violinist. She has played in shows in the West End and National Theatre and leads the Symposia String Quartet.

Charlie is committed to working with young people and, as well as her work at EYSM since 2005, she coaches two string ensembles weekly and is the Violin Tutor for Haringey Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra. Charlie is a qualified practitioner of the Alexander Technique. She holds positions at Junior Trinity, Tonbridge School and Sevenoaks School.

Gwen MacDonald


Originally from Neath, Gwen MacDonald was appointed sub co-leader of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in 2009. Gwen studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the tutelage of Stephanie Gonley and Ofer Falk and gained a distinction in Master of Music. As a baroque violinist, Gwen has been fortunate to share a platform as a soloist with Rachel Podger, as well as performing with the Purcell Orchestra and St James Baroque Orchestra. In addition to performing, Gwen has tutored for the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain. As one of the six BBC Performing Groups, BBCNOW has a busy schedule of recordings, broadcasts and concerts, in addition to touring extensively within Europe, China and South America.
Gwen is a founder member of the Nidum Ensemble and also performs as a principal player with CBSO, WNO and RPO.

Michael Schofield


Michael completed the Joint Course at the Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester University and subsequently joined the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Other major orchestras for whom Michael has also played worldwide include the Philharmonia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National and Glyndebourne Touring Opera companies and chamber orchestras such as the English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, London Primavera and City of London Sinfonia. Michael also has played principal viola for Sinfonia Viva and English National Ballet.

Sam Sherwood


Sam was born into a musical environment and took up the ‘cello at the age of five. He studied with David Kenedy and Natalia Pavlutskaya, winning the ‘John Barbirolli Memorial Prize for ‘Cello’ at the Trinity College of Music. On hearing Sam perform in a chamber music competition, Siegmund Nissel of the Amadeus Quartet described him as ‘an excellent ‘cellist who provides the ensemble with harmonic logic and rhythmic energy!’
As a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra of Switzerland for several years Sam had the opportunity to perform with artists such as Mischa Maisky, Maxim Vengerov and Gautier Capuçon. He was a member of the Southbank Sinfonia, and in 2008 moved to Chile to become Co-Principal ‘Cellist in the Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago
He has taught dozens of students over the years in one of Chile’s most successful youth music programmes as well as performing as soloist, chamber musician and electric ‘cellist in a rock band.

Claire Whitson

Double Bass

Claire was a member of EYSM and of the National Children’s and National Youth Orchestras and is now delighted to be a tutor for EYSM. Claire studied at the Royal Academy of Music and freelanced in London for five years playing with all major London orchestras such as LSO, BBC Symphony Orchestra and many chamber groups such as London Chamber Ensemble.

Claire has also been fortunate enough to record and play along side many stars in all genres such as Elton John, Alesha Dixon and Alison Balsom (trumpet). Claire has also developed a session and West End career, playing at the London Palladium and recording at the famous Abbey Road studios

In 2009, Claire became a member of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales where she has since toured in Asia, America and Europe with many prestigious conductors and soloists. Whilst based in Somerset, Claire has continued to further her freelance career alongside building up teaching both privately and in schools.

Matthew Featherstone


Matthew’s early studies began in France, where he gained his ‘premier prix’ for flute at the Orléans Conservatoire in 2004. Returning to the UK, he pursued his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Philippa Davies, Sarah Newbold and Ian Clarke.

Appointed Principal Flute of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in 2012, Matthew has appeared as Guest Principal Flute with Britten Sinfonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, the RTE Concert Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, RSNO, and the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

As a solo artist who was awarded the Royal Overseas League Wind Prize in February 2012, Matthew has enjoyed recital work, as well as concerto appearances with Southbank Sinfonia and with the BBC NOW.

Clare Hoskins


Clare Hoskins was a Choral Exhibitioner at Trinity College, Cambridge, who trained and worked as a primary school teacher, leaving teaching to become a post-graduate student at the Royal Academy of Music. She has worked extensively as a freelance player, including many years with Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Garsington Opera and the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed with English National Opera, the Royal Opera House and City of Birmingham Symphony, BBC Concert and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, the City of London Sinfonia and London Mozart Players.

Clare teaches for Camden and Haringey Music Services and takes part in music workshops and outreach projects for orchestras, and for Create Arts, a charity which aims to transform the lives of disadvantaged people through the creative arts.

Steve Dummer


Steve was a pupil of the late, great Jack Brymer. His recent solo concerts have included recitals at Dartington Summer School, Arundel Festival and the Chapel Royal, Brighton. He was a founder member of the zany jazz band Itchy Feet and Juan Martin’s Flamenco Group, featuring on the much-admired Musica Alhambra.

Steve is the Musical Director of Talkestra.  He has been clarinet tutor on many courses and summer Schools. He leads the Orchestral Workshop courses at Dartington Summer School, the National Strings and Wind Workshop in Scotland.  He has conducted orchestras across the UK and is presently the conductor of the Horsham Symphony Orchestra and the Worthing Philharmonic Orchestra.

Donald Lloyd


Don studied the Bassoon with Gareth Newman and became a member of the Royal Marines Band Service. He was Principal Bassoon for much of his 32-year tenure, performing for many important occasions including the handover of Hong Kong, major sporting events and private dinners for the Royal Family and HM Government. He also spent time as the Bassoon Instructor at the Royal Marines School of Music.

Don is currently the Conductor of Symphony Orchestra, Classroom and Bassoon teacher at St Catherine’s School. He is also the Conductor for Brass Roots at Southampton Music Service, where he also teaches all woodwind instruments. He has been the Musical Director of Meridian Winds since 2008 where he guided them to both Gold and Silver awards; he has also been a guest conductor for the National Wind Band Association.

Andy Tweed


Andy Tweed was born in Northern Ireland and studied clarinet and saxophone at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. He is a particularly versatile musician happily moving between the jazz and classical approach to playing the saxophone.

He was a mainstay of Saxtet for many years appearing on national TV and Radio. As a freelance player he has performed with London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra as well as jazz orchestras – the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Ed Leaker’s Swing Machine and the Syd Lawrence Orchestra as well as working on the West End and on touring shows across the country playing all the saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet and flute.

He is a regular member of the Piccadilly Dance Orchestra and Karen Street’s Streetworks and her Tango Band Carismático.

Andy teaches saxophone at Birmingham Conservatoire and Wells Cathedral School. He has given masterclasses, workshops and examined at Royal College of Music, Welsh College of Music & Drama, Leeds College of Music, Chetham’s School of Music, Aldeburgh Young Musicians and various British Saxophone Congresses.

Francesca Moore-Bridger

French Horn

Francesca read Music at Newnham College, Cambridge, holding an instrumental award scholarship. She then won a full scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music where she was Principal Horn of all Academy orchestras and winner of numerous awards, including the prestigious Dennis Brain Memorial Horn Prize. Graduating with distinction, she was appointed Principal Horn of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago before returning to London to launch a freelance career.

Francesca is Principal Horn of the Orchestra of the Swan and an established soloist, giving regular recitals around the UK. She works with many of the top UK orchestras including the RTE Symphony Orchestra, the London Chamber Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, also performing regularly with the Longborough Festival Opera and the Welsh National Opera. She also works as a film session musician with the London Metropolitan Orchestra and with theatre companies, including the Royal Shakespeare Company. She also teaches at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and tutors with the National Children’s Orchestra.

Thom Hewitt


Thom grew up in Northampton before studying Trumpet and Baroque Trumpet at the Royal College of Music with Paul Beniston and Bob Farley.

Since graduating he has had a varied freelance career ranging from performing with early music groups such as the OAE and the Armonico Consort, to backing Rick Wakeman and Deep Purple.

Some recent highlights have been performing Bach’s Magnificat at the Bach festival in Leipzig and an authentic Victorian Christmas at the Tower of London – in costume!

Thom also enjoys education work and teaches in London and Oxford. As a former EYSM student, he is thrilled to involved with such an amazing course.

David Whitson


David studied Trombone at the Royal Academy of Music before embarking on a career in music ranging from Principal Trombone at English National Opera to working in studios recording music for films, TV and major recording artists.

He has appeared as soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra playing the David Gow Concertino for Trombone and Orchestra, which was written for him. Other aspects of his work have been playing in over 48 different countries and teaching and coaching for the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music, the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain, the University of Surrey and many other organisations in and around London.

Dan Trodden


Daniel Trodden was born in Cardiff in 1983 and began playing tuba at the age of eleven, taking lessons with Matthew Thistlewood. He continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of Patrick Harrild, and upon graduation in 2006 began a varied freelance career playing with the UK’s top symphony, opera and ballet orchestras, in addition to working with artists such as Paul Weller and These New Puritans.

Daniel has been Principal Tuba of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales since 2011 and continues to enjoy a busy freelance schedule across the UK. He has been a member of the Faculty of Brass at RWCMD since 2014.

Photo by James Fear

Simon Limbrick


Simon Limbrick’s involvement in music embraces performance, composing and education, both in the UK and Internationally. His creative output, reflecting his wide-ranging experience in many disciplines of composition and performance, can be observed in musical contexts that include improvisation, contemporary music, film and theatre.

Recently, he has created a film score performed on a building, 3 Church Walk (dir. Emily Richardson), and released Relay, a double CD of music for contemporary steel-pan and electronics. He regularly performs in the UK, abroad and on BBC Radio with Apartment House, Notes Inégales, and as a soloist.

Vocal Work

Travis Baker

Vocal Director

As a Certified Master Teacher for Estill Voice Teaching Systems, Travis has worked with Estill Voice Systems in London, Australia, New Zealand and Northern Ireland. He has collaborated with Paul Farrington in the Opera New Zealand Summer School and will be doing so again in 2021. With Paul Farrington, Travis was responsible for coaching the cast of the feature film Quartet, starring Maggie Smith, and subsequently worked on the feature film of Stephen Hawking’s life The Theory of Everything. He held the position of Director of Voice at Millennium Performing Arts College, working with renowned voice specialist Mary King.

Travis works with the education department at Glyndebourne, regularly working with the Youth Opera and delivering workshops on behalf of their outreach programme. During the year, Travis will present a workshop on the changing male voice and the developing female voice.

With his colleague, Judith Colman, Travis has developed BAY Courses. Nurturing young singers locally and internationally, BAY offers four voice courses throughout the year.

Travis works with the boys of Westminster Abbey and The Bromley Boy Singers. In 2020, he will become part of the singing team at ArtsEd College.

About EYSM Vocal

There are 10–12 vocal places at EYSM which will be filled with applicants across the range of voices to create a balanced ensemble. Vocal students work on solo, ensemble and choral pieces and also on vocal technique and development. What constitutes practice? Why is the detail of warm up so important, including what exercises warm up specific areas of the voice. ‘How do I develop as a singer?’ includes understanding and marking scores, listening to and analysing recordings, thinking about phrasing, learning lyrics, researching material and translating texts.

There is also a chance to join a Pop Specialist workshop, where participants all sing lead and backing vocals, and explore some improvisation, all from a vocally healthy and sustainable place.

All EYSM orchestral and vocal students sing in Course Choir, which has a short rehearsal each day. Also, each day, there are vocal Option sessions for all, which include Chamber Choir and Musical Theatre. Vocal students are particularly asked choose Chamber Choir, in the first Option session each day.


The chance to play a movement from a concerto with one of the orchestras is an inspiring opportunity offered by EYSM.

If you want to apply to audition to play a movement from a concerto at EYSM, we will need to hear/see an audition, electronically, before the course. If you are shortlisted we will hire in the orchestral music (unless you have an orchestral set to bring) then you may be asked to undertake a live audition at the start of EYSM, which will be unaccompanied.

On this page you can hear a little from past concerto performances, which will give you an idea of the standard required.

In 2017 Enoch Li, a winner from the 250,000 entry Hong Kong Schools Music Festival played Zigeurneweisen by Sarasate as part of the 25th Anniversary Performances at EYSM with an ensemble from Sinfonia. We were delighted to welcome Enoch, as we have welcomed many other winners from the Hong Kong Festival for over 25 years.


There are four first study composition places. Composers will have the opportunity to explore ideas and write music for a full symphony orchestra, and their music will be performed and professionally recorded by the Course Orchestra towards the end of the week.
Instrumentalists also have the opportunity to choose Composition as a second study.

Simon Limbrick

Composer in Residence

Simon Limbrick’s involvement in music embraces performance, composing and education, both in the UK and Internationally. His creative output, reflecting his wide-ranging experience in many disciplines of composition and performance, can be observed in musical contexts that include improvisation, contemporary music, film and theatre.

Recently, he has created a film score performed on a building, 3 Church Walk (dir. Emily Richardson), and released Relay, a double CD of music for contemporary steel-pan and electronics. He regularly performs in the UK, abroad and on BBC Radio with Apartment House, Notes Inégales, and as a soloist

His own compositions are broadcast and streamed on radio and television networks. Six short performative films were released in 2018 and he has completed a PhD at Middlesex University, that looks at the evolving locus of new music performance. A collection of pieces for vibraphone and electronics has been recorded for release in 2020.