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The professional
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SALLY GIBBINS

WSO Trustee

Educated in Worthing, I initially learnt the piano then the violin at school and was a regular participant in the Worthing Music Festival and leader of the Worthing Intermediate and Youth Orchestras.

 

Completing my A levels at Chichester College, I was privileged to study with some high-class musicians, many of whom went on to be very well known,Harry Gregson-Williamsthe film composer being one of them.

 

I gained my music degree at the Royal Academy of Music and my teaching qualification at Middlesex Polytechnic.

 

My roots with West Sussex stayed strong and I regularly returned in the school holidays to lead the WSCYO under the baton of Peter Turton and John Atkins, the former County Music Advisor.

 

My career began teaching class music in a secondary school in Huntingdon for two years, after which I again returned to my home county, taking up a peripatetic violin teaching role. This was in local schools in the Chichester/Bognor area and conducting string ensembles in the ChichesterMusic Centre.

 

Eight years later, I moved across to Worthing in the same role and then became involved in various management roles within the then West Sussex Music Support Service.

 

I have always been passionate about teaching young children to enjoy music and over 37 years have embraced a rich and varied career teaching thousands of children to enjoy music through the violin, piano, and recorder. I particularly enjoy mentoring young teachers, directing ensembles in music centres and teaching music within a whole class instrumental setting. These have been interspersed with a wide variety of concerts and other performing opportunities with several tours abroad.

 

When the County Music Service changed to West Sussex Music, I was appointed Area Leader for Worthing whilst continuing to teach in schools. This involved liaising with schools’ music teachers, leading the Worthing Music Centre and setting up several external opportunities within the local musical community. This is how the link with Worthing Symphony Orchestra began. 

 

Initially we set up opportunities for our higher-level students to listen to the orchestra rehearsing, which for some of them was their first time attending a live professional orchestral rehearsal. They were privileged to hear top soloists with Nicola Benedetti being a particular inspiration to them as she took the time to chat with them after rehearsing her concerto. The Schools concerts began four years ago???? where an annual performance was given in Worthing Assembly Hall by Worthing Symphony Orchestra. Over 800 pupils from local primary schools packed the Assembly Hall and enjoyed an hour of listening and learning about the instruments of the orchestra.

 

In my spare time I enjoy many interests and have played with local orchestras and in a professional string quartet named Just Strings for the last 30 years. Until lockdown we had enjoyed many years of playing at weddings, parties and corporate events including Westminster Abbey.

 

I met my husband whilst attending jive classes and my hobbies include spending time with my two daughters, keeping fit, gardening (with a miniature railway round it) walking on the downs and growing our own vegetables on our allotment.

 

My passion for teaching remains very strong and I can often be seen cycling around the local schools with a violin on my back!

 

I am very much looking forward to supporting WSO and helping to spread the word about this wonderful orchestra who are on our doorstep with their wide variety of fabulous music.