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
Wells Virtuosi (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

We have a few performances available for you to watch on our Vimeo account.

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
Jo 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 String Summer School (Intermediate)

2nd August – 8th August 2020

Join us for an inspiring and fun week

Our world-class tutors will nurture young musicians (aged 8-18) to develop their skills and confidence on violin, viola, cello and double bass by taking part in exciting musical activities, including string orchestra, chamber music and individual lessons.

All abilities are welcome up to Grade 7. For Grade 8+, see below.

£945 Residential £745 Non-residential

To find out more, please visit

International String Summer School (Advanced)

2nd August – 8th August 2020

Join us for an inspiring and fun week

This course, led by a distinguished team of tutors from Wells Cathedral School String Department will offer higher level participants (aged 12-18) the chance to work towards more challenging works in greater depth. Players can enrol as pre-formed groups or as individuals to be formed into ensembles on arrival.

This course is designed for experienced players who have reached, as a minimum standard, the equivalent of Grade 8 Distinction, and have the requisite skills and desire to work at the highest level. Players who have not yet reached Grade 8 should see our intermediate course.

Pupils who are not already known to the team of tutors will be asked to supply a short video of two contrasting pieces before their application will be formally accepted.

£945 Residential £745 Non-residential

To find out more, please visit

Join our String Department

Virtual Open Day

Ages 2-18

Saturday 3rd October
from 10.30am – 1.00pm
Click here to register