General Manager – Derek Hart
Derek came to WSSO from a background of instrumental teaching with Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Councils and took up the position of WSSO General Manager in 2005. He has since overseen significant growth in the scale & reach of the Trust’s operations during the last 12 years which now offers professional training and performance opportunities to over 300 young musicians every year.
“Several things make WSSO Trust unique; first is our close relationship with partner local authorities which helps WSSO to make membership more affordable and maintain strong links with tutors and their pupils in schools. Secondly, our professional and dedicated staff team; the instrumental & house tutors, course and artistic directors and administrative staff are a pleasure to watch, listen to, speak to, learn from and work alongside. Thirdly, our WEST community of parents, friends and family members who support WSSO, attend concerts and raise funds, help to ensure that we can offer a wider range of high quality activities each year and provide financial assistance when required.
Finally, and the most important ingredient in the WSSO recipe, is the remarkable and staggeringly impressive collection of young people who make up membership of our ensembles each year. They are our driving force, inspiration and raison d’être.
As an avid bookworm and fan of historical novels, I’ve noticed a general complaint that standards in ‘modern society’ (ie. any time in the past 600 years) are in sharp decline. Young people bear the brunt of the blame and are castigated for failing to maintain the levels of yesteryear. And yet, the truth is and has always been, somewhat different and it’s demonstrated very clearly by the well-crafted, musically expressive performances put together by our members each year.
Through sheer hard work, effort and determination, our members overcome significant technical and musical challenges to achieve wonderful things and in doing so, show us that we can feel optimistic about the future as long as we continue to invest in, support and trust our young people.