Principal Conductor – David Hedges

David Hedges, Somerset County OrchestraDavid has an amazing ability to bring a bunch of amateur musicians together, to harness their passion and commitment into creating fantastic music. Although an amateur group his approach to the orchestra is as a professional. He brings to rehearsals a wonderful sensitivity touched always with his inimitable sense of humour. A wonderful combination when conducting an amateur orchestra.

About David

David studied violin under Frederick Grinke and viola under Prunella Pacey. While at Durham University, he conducted the University Chamber Orchestra; since moving to Somerset he’s conducted Somerset Opera, Taunton Sinfonietta and Taunton Youth Orchestra. He has been a soloist with Somerset County Orchestra in Walton’s Viola Concerto and in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola. As a freelance viola player, David has worked for HTV, Welsh National Opera, English National Ballet, Travelling Opera and Chrystal Clear Opera.

He is currently Head of Strings at Queens College.

Leader – Alex Ennis

Alex Ennis, Somerset County OrchestraThe Orchestra is extremely privileged to have Alex as its leader. It is unusual and hugely exciting for an amateur orchestra to have such a talented and competent player at its helm.

About Alex

Alex graduated from Trinity College of Music with a Diploma in Performance on the violin and then followed that with a post graduate certificate in viola and the principles of teaching.  Teaching has become a large part of her life, starting in the early days,  teaching in schools in and around Marylebone when she was still a student.

After graduating Alex worked as a freelance performer in London for a couple of years then went to Antigua in 1998 for six months, where she both taught members of the Antigua and Barbuda Philharmonic Orchestra and coached the string sections.  She came back to Somerset and taught at Wellington School for five years and Bridgewater College where she also coached string quartets and ensembles.

Today she teaches in Taunton at Kings College and Queens College and Holyrood Academy in Chard as well as giving private lessons. Although enjoying teaching Alex still loves performing and playing and as well as leading the Somerset County orchestra she leads the Bridport Chamber Orchestra, the Axe Vale Orchestra and plays with Orchestra West, English National Baroque, Somerset Opera and other ensembles in the West Country.

Not just a violinist, Alex is a keen fiddler! She plays fiddle in the well known and successful Ceilidh band ‘Hobson’s Choice and also forms half of Thalia a classical violin and guitar duo which performs regularly throughout the South at recitals, weddings and private functions.