John Ockwell

John Ockwell has a longstanding relationship with Sydney Youth Orchestras: he was a member of the cello section when SYO started in 1973, and by the 1980s he was conducting junior string groups for the organisation. His inspiration as a musician and educator was SYO’s founder Peter Seymour, who was remarkable, he says “for being always interested in giving young people the experience of music itself”. 

John has conducted the Peter Seymour Orchestra and ran SYO Orchestral Musicianship Programs. In addition to John’s work at SYO, he is also Director of Orchestras at Fort St High School in Sydney (a post he has held for the past 25 years). John is also co-conductor of The Arts Unit NSW Public Schools Symphony Orchestra and founding conductor of the Arts Unit String Sinfonia.

He has recently retired from classroom teaching but is still involved with HSC marking both practical and written examinations.

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