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 our Head of Strings, Matthew Souter, the internationally recognised viola soloist and Old Wellensian, 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
Video Perspectives
A View From Within
A Parent’s Perspective
A View From The 2014 Tour

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 students
Double Bass Quartet: For senior students
Harp Ensemble: For all students
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 number of performances available for you to watch on our Vimeo account with a few shown below.

Mendelssohn, Swiss Symphony
Strauss, Metamorphosen

Meet Our Staff

Co-ordinator of Strings Studies
Staff Structure

Catherine Lord – Co-ordinator of Strings Studies

Karin Leishman
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 Week

4th August – 10th August 2019

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 by taking part in exciting musical activities, including string orchestra, chamber music and individual lessons.

All abilities welcome.

£895 Residential £695 Non-residential

To find out more, please visit

encore music projects logo

Encore Music Projects International Summer School

Several of the String Department Faculty are involved in the Encore Music Projects International Summer School which takes place at Wells Cathedral School. The course is for piano, strings, guitar, composition, voice, and chamber ensembles, and is especially designed for intermediate and advanced students. Please click this link for more details: Encore Music Projects International Summer School.

Join our String Department

Join us for our
Open Morning

Saturday 5th October

Register now