Orchestra Committee

The committee usually meets four times per year in March June Sept Nov from 10.30 - 11.30am.
At the AGM on 9th September 2023 the following were elected as office-bearers:

Chair   Fiona Shearer
Vice Chair Tim Barrett 
Treasurer  Jan Green 
Librarian   Leslie Mair
Orchestra members: David Breingan, Laura Armstrong, Neil Blezard, Maggie Hannah.
Ex officio: Carolyn Sparey (Leader)

Next AGM: September 2024 Dunblane

Leader: Carolyn Sparey

Carolyn Sparey won a scholarship to study violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London, later completing her studies with Gyorgy Pauk at the Royal Manchester College and moving from violin to viola. She worked closely with the counter tenor, Alfred Deller, and in 1976, following several years working in London with the London Sinfonietta, the Academy of St Martins in the Field and the English Chamber Orchestra, she accepted the position as principal viola of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, with whom she performed as soloist in Bach’s Brandenberg Concerto no. 6 for BBC television.


In the autumn of 1982 Carolyn became principal viola with the BBCSSO, featuring as soloist on radio 3 in ‘. She was also a member of the Chamber Group of Scotland, with who she performed the UK premiere of Penderecki’s string trio and clarinet quartet.

Since moving to Stirling Carolyn has plunged herself into local music making, both professional and amateur, very much believing that since music is a part of who she is and not just her profession, it’s something that she will carry on doing for as long as she possibly can!

On leaving the BBC orchestra in 2001 Carolyn began a second career as a composer, one of her first compositions being a viola concerto requested by the internationally known violist, Rivka Golani, and which, when entered for the 2008/9 International Uuno Klami competition in Finland, was chosen from186 works submitted from composers in 27 countries to be included in a list of 17 recommended works. On receiving the score, Golani wrote. “I would like you to know how grateful I am for the wonderful concerto you have written for me”, instructing her Canadian agent to find a conductor/orchestra who would premiere it. To date this concerto is still awaiting a first performance. In 2010 her commission for ‘Red Note’ Ensemble, “Out of the Ashes” was inspired by Chopinʼs Nocturne No.20 in C sharp minor, its relationship to Warsaw, and the Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman who was featured in the film “The Pianist”. The Herald music critic Keith Bruce wrote, “in the hands of conductor Garry Walker and the Red Note Ensemble, Carolyn Sparey’s commission, Out of the Ashes, was a wonderfully original approach to the telling of a story through music”. Carolyn’s composition, “Fereshtehha” [Angels], for twenty solo string players, was composed in memory of ten Iranian Baha’i women who were hanged for their faith in 1983; having studied the score Alasdair Nicholson, composer/conductor and Artistic Director of St Magnus International Festival wrote, “Carolyn Sparey's music inhabits an individual and intriguing soundworld with a deeply intense outpouring written with the expert knowledge of a professional string player.” The Dunblane Chamber Orchestra commissioned Carolyn for it’s 10th anniversary(Celebration) in May 1018, for which she composed Comharrachadh (Celebration) for string orchestra.

Since 2014 Carolyn has published six books under the name Carolyn Sparey Fox. The first two involved a period of history during the 19th century which she felt had been neglected, with the latest three written and illustrated for children. All her books are now available on Amazon.

Conductor: Steve King

Steve joined the SCO in 1984, and balances playing around the world with some of today’s most influential musicians with his role as Director of Music at Heriot-Watt University. He started playing at the age of 7, going on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music, before working for the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra.

As a composer, Steve has had his works played throughout the country, on television and radio and has won various awards to further his research into the link between composition, education and the community. Steve is also sought after throughout Scotland as a conductor, exploring both contemporary and mainstream repertoire. As a music educationalist and facilitator, Steve has led numerous creative music projects, successfully raising the profile of music as a tool for team-building and group development skills, including with high profile businesses.

In 2005 Steve was awarded an MBE for services to music. In 2006 he was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship by the International Rotary Foundation in recognition of his dedicated service to music in the community. In 2009 Steve was awarded an Honorary Doctorate [D.Litt.] by Heriot-Watt University.

Conductors – past and present

Alistair Warwick

2008 - 2009

Mark Wilson

2009 - 2014

John McGonigle


Robert Baxter

2015 - 2021

Steven Broad


Michael Graham


Steve King

2023 - current

Leaders – past and present

Hilary Dalby

2008 - 2011

Lois Stewart

2012, 2013, 2014, 2017

Mark Wilson


Carolyn Sparey

2012 – current