Southampton Concert Orchestra was the first full amateur symphony orchestra in Southampton. It was founded in 1964 by Trevor Morgan, a local musician and teacher who trained at the Royal College of Music as a violinist, conductor and composer. Trevor emigrated to New Zealand in 1969 and the baton was handed over to Judith Bailey.
In 2001 Judith decided to return to her home county Cornwall and left the orchestra in the capable hands of Paul Ingram. In the same year Judith was awarded an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
The orchestra plays a wide range of music from light to serious to classical, and has given debut performances of works such as Concerto for Orchestra (Judith Bailey), Variations (Geoff Badley - an oboist with the orchestra) and many works by the composer Adrian Connell.
Many popular and talented musicians have played with the orchestra. Some of these to mention are David Campbell (clarinet) and his sister Jane (violin). It may be of interest to know that Graham Sheen was our principal bassoonist in his student days. Graham went on to become principle bassoonist for the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the English Chamber Orchestra, and then for the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London (where he is still in post). Many of our soloists are taken from within the orchestra.
Our members are a truly cosmopolitan group of young and old people drawn from all walks of life: clerks, teachers, academics, doctors, engineers and craftsmen to name but a few. We even have an ex-Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra member to keep us tapping in time.
Paul Ingram - Conductor
Paul Ingram studied at the Universities of Southampton and Leicester, reading Music and Management respectively. He began conducting in 1995, working with the orchestras of Southampton University. In 1997, Paul founded the Southampton University Sinfonietta and remained Music Director until 2004. In 1999, he reached the final of the British Reserve Insurance Conducting Competition and has been Music Director of Southampton Concert Orchestra since 2001. Paul was Principal Conductor of Per Piacere from 2007 to 2017 and has recently been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the professional chamber orchestra, Nova Foresta Classical Players.
Cerys Rowcliffe - Leader
Cerys started playing the violin at the age of 7, obtaining grade 8 distinction by the time she was 16. As a keen musician, she has been involved with numerous musical ensembles since a young age, including Bedfordshire County Youth Orchestras, Bedfordshire County Youth Chamber Orchestra and Bedford Sinfonia. With these ensembles she has performed at the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall as well as playing at venues in France, Italy and Edinburgh. As part of the Whatmore Quartet, Cerys won the National Chamber Music Competition for Schools in the years 1997 and 1998. This provided her with the opportunity to play at St. John’s Smith Square, London.
In 1999, Cerys began a music degree at Southampton University and during her time there she was an active member of the Southampton University Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonietta as well as playing in a string quartet for two years.
At present, Cerys works at Thornden School as Head of Year and music teacher. She is a member of the professional orchestra Nova Foresta Classical Players and also enjoys playing in String Quartets for weddings and functions. Cerys has been leading the Southampton Concert Orchestra for over 15 years and really enjoys the challenge of performing a huge variety of different orchestral music.