square logo red

Patron: Juan Gonzalez

President: Adrienne Cleary

Conductor: Andrew Parnell

Leader: Judith Jenks

WSO is a member of

Top Banner 4


On this page we profile some of the key personnel of Wymondham Symphony Orchestra - our Musical Director, President, Patron and Leader.

Andrew Parnell

Musical Director - Andrew Parnell

Andrew Parnell has conducted choirs and orchestras since his student days in Cambridge. For 25 years, he lived and worked in St Albans, as Assistant Master of the Music at the Cathedral (where he also founded the Abbey Girls Choir), as Choral Director at St Albans School and Conductor of the city's Symphony Orchestra. Highlights during that time were Verdi's Requiem with St Albans School and St Albans High School; Bach's St Matthew Passion with St Albans Bach Choir; Britten's War Requiem and Berlioz's Te Deum with combined local societies. He also directed the Cathedral Choristers in a performance and recording of Orff's Carmina Burana with the LPO conducted by Franz Welser-Möst at the Royal Festival Hall. Andrew often directed or played for the BBC Singers in Radio 4's Daily Service.

As an organist, he performed in Cathedral services; high-profile special occasions, often attended by royalty; foreign tours; recordings; broadcasts on radio and TV; and solo recitals both home and abroad.

Conducting has remained a major part of Andrew's three-fold career after he turned freelance in 2001. In addition to Wymondham Symphony Orchestra, he conducts the Ely Choral Society and Ely Youth Choir, and has directed the Cambridgeshire Choral Society and the St Albans-based chamber choir Carillon.

As well as conducting, Andrew's present career sees him playing the organ in solo recitals, accompanying choirs, or deputising at cathedrals around the country. These have included Ely, Canterbury, Wakefield, St Edmundsbury, Rochester, Peterborough and Southwell.

Andrew's compositions, sacred and secular, choral, instrumental and orchestral, have been performed in the UK and abroad. He has written major works for Ely Choral Society and Cambridgeshire Choral Society which have been performed in Ely Cathedral and King's College Chapel, Cambridge. Fenland Images, commissioned for the 2017 Isle of Ely Arts Festival, was performed in Ely Cathedral during the concluding concert of the Arts Festival in July 2017. A second performance was given in Wymondham Abbey in 2019. Everyone Sang, for choir, organ and clarinet, was premiered in October 2018.

Andrew specialises in working with amateur music-makers, encouraging them to enjoy their playing or singing, while they work to develop their skills to the highest standard of performance.

Leader - Judith Jenks

Judith Jenks has only just been appointed the new Leader of the orchestra and this 40th Anniversary concert is her first in charge.

Judith was born in Norwich and grew up there. Her love for orchestral playing was fostered and developed while playing violin in the Norfolk County Youth Orchestra, the Norwich Student Orchestra, Norwich High School Senior Orchestra and ultimately the Norwich Philharmonic.

After graduating with a music degree from Birmingham University she worked in London in classical music administration whilst playing violin in numerous orchestras. In 2000 she moved to Lincolnshire to become a peripatetic violin teacher at a range of schools within the county. She gained her ATCL Violin Recital Diploma and took up the viola; she developed a passion for playing in musical theatre pit bands. A highlight before the pandemic was playing violin in ‘The Sound of Music’, a professional production in Limasol and Nicosia theatres in Cyprus.

Since moving back to Norwich Judith has been a violin extra with the International Film Orchestra for a couple of ‘The Spectacular Music of Harry Potter’ concerts in 2023, performed in ‘The Norwich Halls’ and Lincoln Cathedral. She has recently played in a concert for ‘Encore: A Night with West End Stars’ at the Koningin Elisabethzaal, in Antwerp, Belgium with the Northern Musical Theatre Orchestra.

Judith is excited to be leading Wymondham Symphony Orchestra in Wymondham Abbey in her first concert with them.

Juan Gonzalez

Patron - Juan Gonzalez

Juan started his musical education at the Sistema of the Youth Orchestras in Venezuela and was member of the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra. He works regularly with orchestras such London Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, London Mozart Players and the London Contemporary Orchestra among others. Juan also lived in Germany, where he was a member of the German Chamber Orchestra ( DKO Berlin) and worked with the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, Deutsche Oper, Runfunk Symphonie Orchestra Berlin, KammerAkademie Potsdam and the Ensamble Resonanz in Hamburg. He was invited to lead the Berliner Symphoniker in several occasions whilst in Berlin. As a soloists and chamber musician Juan has performed in many Latin American countries, Germany, England and Switzerland and has recorded for Deutsche Grammphon, Sony Clasic, Costa Records, Signum Classics as well as many recordings with the BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and film scores at Abbey Road Studios in London. Most recently Juan played at Westminster Abbey in the Coronation Orchestra during the Coronation of King Charles.

Ren with basedrum

President - Adrienne Cleary ARCM

Born in Wiltshire Adrienne has lived in both Suffolk and Norfolk. She studied at the Royal College of Music and for all her working life she has been teaching piano and recorder privately and at Old Hall School, Hethersett, and Wymondham College in Norfolk. She was a founder member of the Friends of Norfolk Youth Music (FONYM), running workshops for young musicians, and is frequently invited to be a guest conductor of the Norfolk Recorder Society.

She founded the Wymondham Symphony Orchestra in 1984 and has kept busy behind the scenes not only as secretary for the first ten years and then its President. She is also an active member of the orchestra playing piano, celeste and percussion.

In December 2019 Adrienne was shortlisted for the Cultural/Arts Person of the Year Award, sponsored by Broadland & South Norfolk Council, as part of the Stars of Norfolk & Waveney Awards 2019. Later at a ceremony in the 'Open', Bank Plain, Norwich, she was presented with the winner's prize.

[Home] [Concerts] [Rehearsals & membership] [Profiles] [Vacancies] [Friends] [History] [Contact Us] [Privacy Policy]

Wymondham Symphony Orchestra - Registered Charity No 1065005