Who We Are?

About US

The South Hams Community Orchestra began life as The People’s Orchestra – a group of six friends meeting in the front room of Barbara Wintersgill’s home.

Barbara was the driving force for the group, organising rehearsals, sourcing music and actively finding and welcoming new members. The front room quickly became outgrown and rehearsals moved through a series of venues in Ivybridge; St John’s Church Hall, St Augustine’s Priory,  The Watermark Centre to todays’s current venue, Ivybridge Rugby Club.

Increasing numbers required a constitution and a committee to be formed and Barbara became the first Chair, guiding the orchestra through this important period of development. As the members of the orchestra came from several towns and villages across South Hams, in 2018 a decision was taken to choose a name that reflected its members so The South Hams Community Orchestra was formed.

During this process Barbara found our wonderful Conductor and Musical Director, Ian Hiscock.  He is an inspirational yet patient enabler, continually spurring us to achieve. He has a wonderful  ability to challenge us in all musical dimensions while making the rehearsals full of fun and laughter.

Our performance venues have included Ivybridge, Cornwood, Yealmpton Modbury and South Brent.

Membership of the South Hams Community Orchestra

The Orchestra welcomes new members who wish to develop ensemble skills, share the joy of playing with other musicians and who are keen to explore a range of music.

There is no audition required but the minimum standard is Grade 4 or the ability to sight-read and play to that level and above.

Prospective players are invited to two rehearsals to find out what we do and for Ian to determine if they can cope with the demands of the music.

If you are interested in joining us, please click here.


The South Hams Community Orchestra has places for violins, violas, bassoons, another oboe,  bass clarinet, trumpets, horns and trombones.

We are well served with cellos, clarinets and flutes.

Members pay a subscription which covers hire of rehearsal and concert venues, music scores and the fee of the musical director.

Not all players can be available for every concert. Consequently, it may be necessary to ask another musician from outside the orchestra to deputise. This is at the discretion of the musical director and committee. In this instance, the musician will be able to attend a rehearsal and the performance without being a member of the orchestra or paying subscription costs.

Ian Hiscock: Conductor & Musical Director 

Music Director

Janna Bulmer: Orchestra  Leader 

Hannah Griffiths: Viola & Cellist

Enriching Experiences

In concerts members often perform as soloists with the Orchestra or in a seperate item themselves.

Our Core Values

To learn and grow as individuals, raise money for our selected charity and have fun playing and making music together! 

Our team

Janna Bulmer

Orchestra Leader

Janna grew up playing cello and recorders in a very musical family with a pianist father, performing from a young age. Later, she studied classical singing with Mollie Petrie in Bristol and then gained a 1st class honours degree in Music at Dartington, specialising in composition and chamber music. Her MA took her to the Greek island of Crete, where she studied the Cretan folk fiddle, the lyra.

Janna plays and sings with a number of chamber groups, including a Cretan folk ensemble, a piano trio and several string quartets, and has performed with many orchestras and pit bands at concerts and shows. She took up the violin a few years ago and was delighted to take on the role of leader for the South Hams Community Orchestra after playing as principal cellist for the Newton Abbot Orchestra for the last 20 years. She continues to play cello at weddings and functions and has a private teaching practice.

Ian Hiscock

Musical Director

  Ian Hiscock studied music at Roehampton Institute, London University and has spent 32 years teaching music in secondary schools. In 2015 he retired as Director of Music at the Crypt Grammar School in Gloucester. He has also worked as a senior examiner for the OCR examination board. Ian continues his passion for enabling people to make music as a teacher and conductor in the South Devon area, including being co-director of ‘Recorders at Plymouth’, conducting ‘The South Hams Community Orchestra’ and as harpsichordist in ‘The Greenwood Consort’. As well as conducting commitments he teaches piano, music theory, gives talks on musical appreciation and is at presently studying for an MA with the University of Wales. His musical passions are the music of the baroque, 20th Century English music and the works of Sullivan.

Robin Bacon


Robin Bacon joined the cello section in September 2022, having revitalised his cello playing on retirement after a  considerable gap. He learned to play from the age of 9, inspired by seeing Jacqueline Du Pre performing the Elgar Cello Concerto, and was a music scholar at Wycliffe College in Gloucestershire. However, a full 33 year career in the Army was not conducive to cello playing with frequent postings and service across the world, including Hong Kong, Germany and trouble-spots such as Angola and the Balkans. He has since been  immersed in the Charity sector, primarily supporting veterans, gaining considerable expertise in charity governance. He and his wife live in Newton Abbot. He thoroughly enjoys being a member of the South Hams Community Orchestra and was delighted to join the committee in early 2023.

Hannah Bio 4

Hannah Griffiths


Hannah grew up in a musical family and learned to play the piano, the recorder and then cello from an early age. Whilst in her teens she won a place to study the Cello to an advanced level at Music School in London, but declined this opportunity in favour of a career in medicine. Life as a medical Doctor was all consuming and restricted Hannah’s instrumental playing for over twenty years. Now retired she has resumed her love of music and plays multiple combinations and permutations of instruments primarily for fun including the Cello and Viola. In addition to fulfilling a pivotal role within the orchestra she is also an accomplished solo performer.