Meet The Orchestra
Stephen has been Stirling Orchestra's resident conductor since 2005. He grew up on the Isle of Mull and was introduced to orchestral music by Radio 3 and an inspirational teacher called Kenneth Way. He later joined the Music School of Douglas Academy in Milngavie and was lucky enough to conduct the whole school in a composition of his own, aged 17. University studies at Glasgow and then Oxford seemed to allow plenty of time for more conducting and some teaching too – including several years work for Community Education Strathclyde at the wonderful East Glasgow Music School. During this time, conducting became a special passion. Through Glasgow University Wind Band he realised that he wanted as many people as possible to play, enjoy and care about music. Later, a two-year stint as conductor of the talented players of Oxford University Sinfonietta helped develop his conducting skills further.
In a parallel life, Stephen is Head of Research at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, with research interests in music history and education. He is especially proud of being one of the authors of What’s Going On?, the report that started the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative.
Joëlle has been playing with Stirling Orchestra since 2006 and has been its leader since 2011. Joëlle started violin lessons aged 7 through her local peripatetic music service. She was encouraged by her violin teacher to join an orchestra, playing 3rd Violin in a string orchestra just weeks after having first opened a violin case. After tears in the very first session through complete confusion, orchestra soon became her favourite hobby. Joëlle had memorable youth orchestra experiences such as playing Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring' with Merseyside Youth Orchestra in the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. She studied at the RSAMD, now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she had two wonderful teachers, Jerre Gibson and Elizabeth Layton. Joëlle's passion has always been making connections with people through music, in performance, teaching and workshops. She works as a Musician for the Stirling based Big Noise Raploch. In this work, Joëlle loves encouraging children and families to get involved in orchestras and enjoy the great benefits of making music.