Who’s who

Alex Arkwright – Principal Conductor & Musical Director

Alex became the conductor of the NWSO in April 2013. Alex has enjoyed a portfolio career in the music industry and is currently Head of Wind, Brass & Percussion at Marlborough College. His trumpet playing career ranged from orchestral work and extensive appearances on theme and incidental music for BBC & ITV to recent performances of the Neruda and Arutunian trumpet concertos, as well as Quiet City by Copland. Alex has also been the principal trumpet in the North Wilts Orchestra for over ten years. His conducting studies have continued over time with Tim Reynish and Mark Heron at RNCM. Highlights include working with City of London Sinfonia at St John’s, Smith Square in London, the musical direction of Sondheim’s ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ and the world premiere of Burgon’s Saxophone Concerto. Alex has regularly conducted local community groups in the South West, including Aldbourne Band and the Swindon and Corsham Concert Bands, He is also musical director of the IAPS National Concert Band.

Sara Stagg – Leader

Growing up in Kenya, Sara was introduced to the violin at the age of 7. On her return to England, early experiences include performing at the Southbank (Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall), St John’s Smith Square and even singing grace before Tony Blair.

Sara graduated from Manchester University with Honours in Music. She has also achieved a Performance Diploma and received masterclasses from both the Lindsay Quartet and Hugh Bean. She has subsequently studied with John Ludlow and more recently with Dennis Simons.

She is a regular soloist with many different Orchestras, with a repertoire that includes Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4, Saint-Saens Havanaise, and the Mozart and Haydn Sinfonia Concertanti, amongst other works. Sara also gives regular recitals in Bath and Bristol. In addition to leading the North Wilthsire Symphony Orchestra, she is also the leader of the Bath Concertino and the Orchestra of St John’s Batheaston and leader and occasional conductor of the Argyle Orchestra in Bath. She has been asked to guest lead the Bristol Chamber Orchestra, performs regularly with Bristol Opera and has played with the Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra. In the past, Sara has been Guest Leader for the Worthing Philharmonic, the Horsham Symphony Orchestra on tour, Leader of the Dorking Chamber Orchestra and principal viola in the Sinfonia Tamesa in London. Sara has also been lead violinist of Enesque quartet, performing at the Brighton Fringe Festival, Horsham Capitol Theatre and for the Holmbury St Mary Music Society.


Chair – Meg Moss

Treasurer – Rachael Byrne

Secretary – Heather Locke

Orchestra Leader – Sara Stagg

Conductor – Alex Arkwright

Librarian – James Green

Social Rep – Menna Frost

Strings and Making Music Rep – Cully Wilcoxon

Wind rep – Christopher Joseph

Friends of NWSO & Website – Rachael Byrne

Publicity – VACANT

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