Music Director

David Smith


DaveDavid is passionate about conducting contemporary music alongside the more recent 20th-century music and the great masterpieces of the classical repertoire. Highlights from the 2017/18 season include his first performances of Martinu’s First Symphony and Shostakovich’s Fifth, alongside Nigel Clarke’s Symphony for Speaker and Wind Orchestra, ‘A Richer Dust’.

David is the founding Music Director of South East London Orchestra. He was Music Director of City of London Symphonic Winds (2011-2017) and has been a regular guest conductor with London Repertoire Orchestra many orchestras across the south of England and in London. As an instrumentalist David has extensive experience as an orchestral trombonist and timpanist, with rare forays into the world of the double bass.

He read Music and a Masters in Musicology at the University of Southampton, where his tutors included David Owen Norris and Michael Finnissy. He studies conducting with Robin Browning, and previously studied with Denise Ham.

When not conducting, David is a senior manager at ABRSM (the exam board of the Royal Schools of Music), overseeing all of the support for their music examiners. Away from all this, he supports the England cricket team, bakes strictly to the recipe, and enjoys debating small details with his two young children.


Assistant Conductor

Emily Singh

Emily has been conducting a variety of instrumental and choral ensembles since sixth form. While studying a Bachelor’s in Music at the University of Bristol, she co-founded an auditioned symphonic wind ensemble, performing contemporary wind band repertoire and film score arrangements. Not wishing to leave Bristol, Emily went on to read a Master’s in Performance, and studied clarinet with Catriona Scott. Alongside this, her musicological studies broadly focused on interdisciplinary research on philosophy, and 19th and 20th century European opera. Her conducting tutors in Bristol included Jonathan James and John Traill.

During her Master’s, Emily had the pleasure of conducting the Students’ Union orchestra, Symphonia; personal favourites include works such as Rachmaninoff’s turbulent Symphonic Dances, and Tchaikovsky’s fateful Fifth Symphony. She was also principal clarinet of the university Symphony Orchestra for two years, and played in the Opera and Music Theatre societies’ orchestras for a number of stage productions. This experience led to performances in local amateur and professional orchestras such as the Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra, the New Bristol Sinfonia, and the Portishead Sinfonia and Choral Society.

Emily now works with young musicians in a London school, whose ethos strongly encourages the performing arts. As a member of the Bromley Youth Music Trust as a teenager, Emily also plays in the BYMT adult band XBY.

Emily is delighted to be SELO’s Assistant Conductor, and is enjoying having the group test her baking!