Caroline Waters


Caroline Waters was born in Jersey and began violin lessons at the age of 7.  With the help of a musical benefactor, Caroline continued her studies from the age of 14 in Manchester at Chetham’s School of Music. Continuing at the Royal Northern College of Music, she studied with Richard Deakin; throughout her time in Manchester she enjoyed opportunities to lead orchestras and perform chamber music.

Since moving to Bedfordshire Caroline has divided her time between performance work and teaching violin and viola. She performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician (with The Element String Quartet and Trio) and also regularly plays with a number of orchestras, leading Bedford Sinfonia and Bedfordshire Symphony Orchestra.

Caroline has also enjoyed working with the London-based, King’s Chamber Orchestra; she has played on tours in Italy, Germany, France and the Channel Islands.  As well as enjoying a wide range of musical styles, Caroline has a love of improvisation in Christian worship.  She plays on a specially commissioned violin made for her in 2002 by Tomáš Pilaŕ.

Emily Groom


Emily is a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) where she studied with teacher, Gabrielle Painter (London Symphony Orchestra). During her time at the college, she had the pleasure of working with esteemed artists such as Sarah Chang, James Ehnes, Rachel Podger, Christian Lindberg and Lucy Gould. As a student she performed regularly with the RWCMD Symphony Orchestra and the RWCMD Chamber Orchestra. She currently performs with the Worcester Symphony Orchestra, The Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Vitae working under the batons of conductors such as David Jones, Adrian Partington, Carlo Rizzi, James Blair, Richard Lang, Keith Slade and John Wilson. As a Chamber Musician, Emily was recently invited to form part of the quartet in residence at the Kammermusik course in Oxford. She and also collaborated with Worcestershire born Pianist, Ruth Minton and hopes to continue performing some of the major violin and piano repertoire with her friend and colleague Fernando Carreira Galban. Emily has also appeared at various classical music festivals such as the St Endellion festival in Cornwall and performed on BBC Television and Radio broadcasts.


As well as performing regularly in Bedfordshire as Guest leader and ensemble player, Emily also has a wealth of teaching and workshop experience. She has held teaching positions at Making Music Changing Lives (registered charity) Blaengwawr Comprehensive School, The Steiner Academy Hereford and is currently works as a Graduate Music Assistant at Wells Cathedral School. Emily has also been asked as a guest teacher and string chamber music coach on the Super Strings course, Wiltshire.


Emily has recently accepted her offer to study her Masters at the Royal Academy of Music, studying with Richard Ireland. She plays on a Giuseppe Gagliano violin loaned to her by RAM.

John Shayler


John Shayler’s musical life began with violin lessons at Bedford School with Helena Langford.  While studying sociology at Sussex University, he had part-time lessons at the Guildhall School of Music with Joan Spencer, who persuaded him to do a postgraduate year full-time.

His association with Bedfordshire Youth Music began in 1968, when he led the then new County Youth Orchestra for a while, before becoming tutor of the violins.  After his studies at the Guildhall the then new Music Advisor, Michael Rose, offered him a violin teaching job with the Authority, and after a year, John became Head of String Instrument Teaching, a post he held until his early retirement in 2002.

John co-founded Bedfordshire Youth Opera in 1980 as Musical Director.  Recent performances have included The Magic Flute, Carmen, and Sweeny Todd.  As well as his association with Bedfordshire, John has been a member of the Management Committee and Council of the European String Teachers’ Association for many years, and was appointed Chair of Council in December 2012.


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