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Our string department’s mission is to train outstanding young string players to the highest possible standards in preparation for Music College and the future demands of the music profession.

Our inspirational team of teachers led by Simon Smith provide a foundation for the development of talented young musicians.

Outstanding tuition and performance opportunities provide young musicians with variety, whilst offering the chance to specialise and prepare for the enjoyment of a career in music.

What We Offer

  • Outstanding tuition by a dedicated team of high-profile teachers
  • Timetabled daily supervised practice
  • Chamber music including trios, quartets, quintets and interaction with wind, brass and percussion
  • Membership of the Symphony Orchestra, Baroque Ensemble; Contemporary Music Group and the flagship of the department, the renowned Wells Virtuosi – String Chamber Orchestra
  • Regular masterclasses with performers and teachers of international standing
  • Performance opportunities throughout the UK and abroad
  • Practical, relevant advice on preparation for auditions, competitions, music college entrance and potential career paths
  • Workshops and performance classes offering practical advice on all aspects of performance, incorporating stage etiquette, diet, coping with nerves, anxiety and concert dress
  • A healthy, happy and fun working environment that is about people and music

Ensemble and Performance Opportunities

One of the many benefits and joys of receiving a musical education at Wells is the opportunity to take part in weekly orchestral and ensemble rehearsals. Our string department offers:

Double Bass Ensemble: For all double bass pupils
Double Bass Quartet: For senior pupils
Harp Ensemble: For all pupils
String Ensemble: Lower School Specialist String Group
String Chamber Orchestra: Senior School auditioned ensemble
WYMSO: Years 4 – 6 string group for all, including external
WYMSE: Years 1 – 3 string group for all, including external

Meet Our Staff

Co-ordinator of Strings Studies
Staff Structure

Simon Smith – Co-ordinator of Strings Studies

Robert Salter
Liz Whittam

Violin & Viola
Catherine Lord
Edward Burns
Joanne Green
Ann Monnington
Simon Smith
Alex Thorndike


Simonetta Barone
Penny Driver
Richard May
Harriet Wiltshire

Double Bass
David Heyes

Ruth Faber

Classical Guitar
James Rippingale

About some of our specialist staff

Masterclasses and Visiting Artists

Latest News

Some of our Alumni

Summer Schools

International Chamber Music Easter School

Saturday 9th to Thursday 14th April 2022

Join us for an inspiring and fun week

This course is designed for students aged 12 to 18 who wish to focus on the intensive study of chamber music. Working with the distinguished team of tutors from Wells Cathedral School Players can enrol as pre-formed groups or as individuals to be formed into ensembles. Aside from rehearsals and coaching there will be workshops and informal performance opportunities, and the course will culminate in a concert that is open to family and friends.

As a special introductory offer for 2022, the course costs £730 boarding and £575 day.

International String Summer School

Sunday 7 – Saturday 13 August 2022

Join us for an inspiring and fun week

Our world-class tutors will nurture young musicians, aged 8 to 18, to develop their skills and confidence by taking part in workshops, string orchestra, ensemble playing and individual lessons. We will welcome a range of abilities from Grade 4 to very advanced students.

£945 Residential £745 Non-residential

Join our String Department