About Frome Symphony


Welcome to Frome Symphony. We are an ambitious amateur orchestra in Somerset and our purpose is to promote high-quality live classical music in the community, and to provide education and development opportunities for local musicians of all ages. Frome Symphony was founded in 2001 and operates as a charitable music society managed by volunteer trustees. We undertake four or five projects each year, including:

  • Symphony and Concerto Performances
  • Educational courses with guest musicians and professional tutors to learn and perform large-scale orchestral works – find out about our next Orchestral Weekend
  • Collaborations with choirs and other music societies to perform choral works
  • Community concerts targeted at younger audiences

We have recently launched Frome Youth String Orchestra, which provides performance opportunities for young players of violin, viola, cello and double bass.

Frome Symphony is a Registered Charity Number 1167989

Mark Gateshill has been Frome Symphony’s Director of Music since 2009. Having grown up in South London he went on to read music at the University of Exeter. After graduating, he studied conducting with Jonathan James from 2005 and from 2009 with Peter Stark (RCM). In 2014 he was given the opportunity to observe and assist Paavo Järvi and the Orchestre de Paris rehearsing Sibelius’ Symphonies 6 and 7 for performance and recording.

Mark has been conductor of the Brunel Sinfonia since 2011 and in 2014 he started working with Keynsham Orchestra. He has also had professional freelance experience with the Bath Philharmonia and the Bristol Classical Players. Mark has toured extensively around Europe conducting concerts in France, Belgium, Germany, Poland and Estonia.

Mark is currently Head of Strings at Bristol Cathedral Choir School where he teaches violin and viola, coaches a variety of chamber ensembles as well as conducting the String Orchestra. He is also the conductor for the Senior Superstrings Course, which is a fun, exciting string project based in Wiltshire, and he works regularly with the new Frome Youth String Orchestra.

For more information, please visit www.markgateshillmusic.org.

Mark Gateshill

Tom Budden
Tom Budden, Leader of the Orchestra was born in Plymouth and started his musical career on the piano. After beginning his studies on the violin in primary school, it was during his teenage years that he really began to take it seriously. He joined the Devon County Youth Orchestra, for which he played principal second violin, the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra and the South West Camerata, an unconducted Youth String Orchestra based in the South West directed by Fiona McLean-Buechel, currently teaching at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, who has also been his teacher since completing Grade 8 in 2005.

Since leaving Plymouth, Tom has been an active orchestral and chamber musician. He played in the Imperial College Symphony Orchestra, Imperial College Sinfonietta, University of London Symphony Orchestra and Imperial College String Ensemble, which he led and with whom he has also performed several concertos. With these orchestras, he also had the opportunity to go on concert tours in Romania, Berlin, Porto and the Czech Republic. During university, he also played violin in several string quartets and piano in a piano trio and quintet, as well as graduating with first class honours in Chemistry.

Since moving to Somerset for work, he has been an active member in the Bath Symphony Orchestra, Argyle String Orchestra and, more recently, Frome Symphony, as well as the Enigma Orchestra founded in Bristol for young professionals.