Our Conductors & Manager

Peter Ashwell

Peter is a percussionist and drummer with experience in a wide range of musical styles. A recent graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he has appeared with the London Contemporary Orchestra, as well as performing on BBC Radio 3 and at the BBC Proms. He has extensive experience in the world of theatre, most recently working at Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre and is an accomplished chamber musician, performing with An Assembly, the Masque Collective and his own quartet.  He is a former member of MYMS.

Ciara Considine

Ciara led the P&O Ferries choir to victory in Gareth Malone’s BBC series Sing While You Work, as she was the off-camera choirmaster. She then started the MYMS Voices choir in 2015 with just 5 children, developing it to the very strong choir of around 85 singers it is today. She has done the same with the Maidstone Voices, her new adult choir, while also being the Music Director of the East Malling Singers and the Vigo Singers and Conductor of the Kent County Junior Choir and the Kent Youth Singers.  Ciara is a former member of MYMS herself.

Kay Gretton

Kay grew up in Wiltshire playing 'cello in school and county ensembles; she then graduated from Dartington College of Fine Arts as a peripatetic 'cello and double bass teacher and moved to Thanet, working for the Kent Instrumental Scheme and then for Kent Music School in Maidstone.  She was Head of Wealden Music Centre, Head of a very successful Maidstone Music Centre and became Assistant Area Manager for Maidstone and Mid-Kent.  At one stage she was conducting eight school and music centre orchestras, with two of them playing in national competitions at the Festival Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.  She converted the MYMS 'Strictly Strings' ensemble into the very popular 'Orchestra for All' and directs the MYMS 'cello and double bass projects.

Phill Hyde - Manager

Having been a professional trombone player for over 25 years Phill retired from professional playing in 2018 to allow him to focus on his Orchestral Management work and teaching as well as spending more time with his family. He has managed both professional and non professional ensembles since graduating from music college and has always kept close links with music in Kent by managing the Kent Music Summer School at Benenden since 1993. In addition to this he also manages the award winning Kent Youth Wind Orchestra, Kent County Youth Orchestra and the Medway Towns Music Centre







Jeremy Shoobridge

Jeremy is a clarinet / saxophone teacher who has directed ensembles for most age ranges in Kent and Medway for over thirty years. He is also on the tutoring / supervisory team for the Kent Youth Wind Orchestra and Kent Music Summer School.

Jonathan Vincent

When not conducting the Maidstone Youth Orchestra, Jonathan composes, produces and arranges music for film and television. His music is regularly broadcast in the UK and worldwide. Jonathan is also a percussionist and pianist and will often be found playing in all types of venues around the country.  He too is a former student at MYMS.

Ben Knowles

Ben graduated from the University of Manchester with MusB(Hons) in Music. He subsequently studied postgraduate viola at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Throughout this time, he also studied conducting and works frequently in opera, musical theatre and symphonic genres. Ben is principal viola of Maidstone Symphony Orchestra and teaches both piano and violin in schools across both Kent and London.  He is a former student member of MYMS and was one of our Student Reps.

Graham Mann

Graham studied trombone, piano and percussion at Colchester Institute and was already teaching Drum Kit and Percussion by the time he graduated in 1993. As well as MYWO, he conducts various Medway Youth Orchestras, bands and ensembles and is the Musical Director of Kent Youth Jazz Orchestra. He has played in many ensembles of varied styles, from jazz quartets to  classical orchestras including appearances at Ronnie Scott’s, The Jazz Cafe, The Royal Albert Hall, the London Palladium and several Festivals with The Bluetones, Matt Berry and The Maypoles, Cobalt Chapel and David Migden & The Twisted Roots. He is an excellent chef and can definitely beat you at pool.