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Director of Music

David Evans

David Evans

Our Director of Music, David Evans, is an accomplished flautist, teacher and conductor.

He studied privately with Peter Lloyd before winning a scholarship to the Royal Manchester College of Music where he was a student of Geoffrey Gilbert.

His professional playing career included such diverse orchestras as the Icelandic Symphony, the Brazilian Symphony and the Hallé as well as the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Ballet.

He has taught at the Royal Manchester College of Music Junior Department, and also in Iceland and Brazil.

David has conducted in Brazil and Italy and was Musical Director at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. He was on the music staff of City of London Girls’ School for many years.

Assistant Conductor and Strings Coach

Helen Sanders-Hewett

Helen Sanders-Hewett grew up in Hertfordshire and began playing the viola aged fifteen, having begun her instrumental studies on the violin.

She studied the viola with Martin Outram, and whilst at school was the recipient of the Hill Award for string playing and a prize-winner in the Peter Lambourne Youth Bursary competition. Helen read music at Birmingham University and then continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music, studying viola with Matthew Souter and James Sleigh, and baroque viola with Jane Rogers. She now studies with Max Baillie.

Helen now enjoys a busy and varied career as a performer, working with groups including Independent Opera, The Heritage Orchestra, The Samphire Band and the Orchestra of St Paul's, of which she is a founder member.

She is also in demand as a session musician, recording for short film scores, bands and artists including Unkle Bob and Holly Rubenstein, and working with Sting's producer Kipper.

As a baroque viola player Helen has performed in the Spitalfields Festival with the Academy Baroque Orchestra and Trevor Pinnock, toured to Italy with chamber group Camerata Serafin and worked with the London-based Belsize Baroque.

She is currently pursuing various jazz viola projects and plays jazz, funk and latin in the Camden Light Orchestra.

Education work is an important part of Helen's musical life, and as part of this she maintains a thriving private teaching practice.

Assistant Conductor and Strings Coach - Intermediate Learning Orchestra

Simon Ballard

Simon Ballard

Simon enjoys a varied career as a musician, both as a performer and educator. Performances with his string quartet, the Billroth Quartet, have taken him to concert halls and venues home and abroad, such as St Martin in the Fields, Cadogan Hall and as far away as China's Beijing Concert Hall. His quartet also feature in every episode of Dave Gorman's TV show, "Modern Life is Goodish". Other freelance music making opportunities have included performances in France, Belgium, Spain and Hungary.

Simon completed his master's degree from Trinity College of Music in 2013 studying with the phenomenal musician, Rivka Golani (generously funded by the Peter Fuller Holden Scholarship). As a student he was awarded the Nick Roth prize for string ensemble playing, and best set work prize in the Greenwich String Quartet Festival Intercollegiate String Competition. Rivka's class gave Simon the opportunity to perform viola ensemble music at the Bartók Festival in Hungary (where he also made his conducting debut).

As a teacher, aside from private tuition, Simon worked for Trinity's Junior Department for several years before becoming more involved in adult music education - now directing an amateur string ensemble in Primrose Hill as well as being string coach to the Intermediate Learning Orchestra.

Away from the viola, Simon also works as a professional portrait photographer and has a passion for nature photography, having exhibited a number of fine art landscape and macro images at Lauderdale House in Highgate.