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SALLY GIBBINS

WSO Trustee

Educated in Worthing, Sally 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 her A levels at Chichester College, she was privileged to study with some high-class musicians, many of whom went on to be very well known – Harry Gregson-William the film composer being one of them.

 

Sally gained her music degree at the Royal Academy of Music and her teaching qualification at Middlesex Polytechnic.

 

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

 

Her career began teaching class music in a secondary school in Huntingdon for two years, after which she again returned to her 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, she moved across to Worthing in the same role and then became involved in various management roles within the then West Sussex Music Support Service.

 

Sally has always been passionate about teaching young children to enjoy music and over 37 years she has embraced a rich and varied career teaching thousands of children to enjoy music through the violin, piano and recorder.  She particularly enjoys 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, Sally 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 they set up opportunities for 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 a few 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 her spare time Sally enjoys many interests and she has played with local orchestras and in a professional string quartet named 'Just Strings' for the last 30 years. Until lockdown they had enjoyed many years of playing at weddings, parties and corporate events including Westminster Abbey.

 

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

 

Her passion for teaching remains very strong and she can often be seen cycling around the local schools with a violin on her back!  Sally says "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".