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Although the players themselves are amateur musicians, we always have a friendly, professional conductor to coach us. New conductors pop up all the time, but some of our regulars are listed below.  

Sam Scheer Conductor
Sam Scheer

Sam Scheer is a postgraduate conductor at the Royal College of Music where he has a scholarship to study with Toby Purser, Peter Stark and Howard Williams. Whilst at the RCM Sam has had master-classes with Sir Andrew Davis, Martyn Brabbins and Collin Metters as well as having been assistant conductor for Sir Antonio Pappano and Vasily Petrenko.

Sam is the founder and Music Director of The Campanella Orchestra, comprising London's Conservatoires' top musicians. 

Recently Sam has enjoyed close relationships with non-professional orchestras, being a regular conductor for both Benslow Music’s chamber orchestra course and Sue Hadley’s orchestral Playdays. Experience with student ensembles include the University of London Symphony Orchestra and Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra.

Sam completed his undergraduate at the RCM on viola with a first class degree. As an orchestral violist, Sam has performed at the BBC Proms and with many world leading conductors with examples being Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Mark Elder and Vasily Petrenko.

Steve Collisson Conductor
Steve Collisson

Steve Collisson was born and educated in Hampshire. A graduate of the Universities of Manchester and London and the Royal Academy of Music, Steve has taught at all levels of music education. A former lecturer at the University of Birmingham, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, the Royal College of Music, the Royal College of Music Junior Department, Birmingham Conservatoire Junior School, and the Open University, Steve is currently Director of Music at South Hampstead High School.

As a freelance cellist Steve has worked with Sakari Oramo, Sir Mark Elder, Sir Roger Norrington, David Hill, and Sir Simon Rattle, with whom he has broadcast on Irish, Danish and Swedish radio and BBC Radio 3.


Steve has written reviews for several periodicals and is a contributor to a book published by Cambridge University Press on the music of Sir Michael Tippett entitled Tippett Studies. He was recently Consultant Specialist for the DK book Classical Music. Alongside his post in North London, Steve continues to work as a freelance musician, as an Examiner for ABRSM, and as principal cellist of the Southern Sinfonia.

Cai Isfryn Conductor
Cai Isfryn

Cai is a trumpet player, composer and conductor who’s performed with Black Dyke Mills Band, Halle Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Welsh National Opera and English National Ballet to name but a few. He’s a passionate runner who rarely misses a Saturday morning Parkrun and enjoys exploring new and creative ways of making music- especially with his brass ensemble ‘Old Dirty Brasstards’.

Micahel Whittaker copy.jpg
Michael Whittaker

London born Michael’s love of conducting was first inspired by playing with many orchestras including The London Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Britten Pears Youth Orchestra. He was also principal viola player in many ensembles at Trinity College of Music where he studied. After beginning conducting lessons with Peter Stark in 1996, he went on to undergo a postgraduate conducting course with full scholarship at Trinity College of Music and was also awarded a scholarship place on the conducting course at the renowned Dartington International Summer School where he also led performances. 


Michael has performed many times with Southgate Symphony Orchestra, Gloucester Youth orchestra, Trinity College of music orchestras, Forest Philharmonic and various Waltham Forest youth orchestras. 


Michael’s recent projects include organising and conducting a charity concert for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital; playing his viola in Kuwait and Venice and conducting live music score for the films Battle of the Somme and Battle of Ancre.


Michael has been leading Sue Hadley Playdays since 2010 conducting various programmes.

If you are a conductor and would like to hold a Playday please contact us

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