Music Director – Andrew Taylor

Born in Reading, Andrew’s deep belief in the power of music started with his musical training at the age of 7, as a chorister of Earley St. Peter’s Church. His determination to share the joy of musical performance was inspired by key figures in his musical upbringing: his choirmaster Gary Turner and piano teacher Anne Nunn.

As an oboist and cor anglais player, Andrew was captivated by orchestral music through his membership of Reading Youth Orchestra and enjoys playing in amateur orchestras to this day. It was while studying for his music degree at Cardiff University that he began to learn the art of conducting with Huw Gareth Williams. In 2002, Andrew returned to Reading and set up the Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra (APO). As its music director, he has developed into a professional conductor and music coach, conducting over 80 concerts and events, with repertoire ranging from Albinoni and Vivaldi (directed from the oboe and harpsichord, respectively) through to directing nearly 150 performers for Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony.

The musicians Andrew has worked with over his career range from top professionals to inexperienced youngsters, and although he enjoys working with anyone, he is particularly proud of promoting young musicians and composers, overseeing the commissioning of over 30 pieces by APO Young Composers Award winners in 21 years, conducting the world premiere of most of them.

Away from APO, Andrew has been engaged for concerts, rehearsals and tutoring engagements with Crowthorne Symphony Orchestra, University of Reading Festival Orchestra, Reading Youth Orchestra, Tewkesbury Camerata and Slough Philharmonic Orchestra.

In November 2019, Andrew was presented with a Pride of Reading award for his cultural contribution to his home town.

Assistant Music Director – Mel Le Breuilly

Mel has been a member of APO since she was persuaded to join by her friend Anne in one of the early seasons. Ever since her first rehearsal she was hooked, drawn in by the friendly, supportive community of people all passionate about making great music.

When she’s not in APO, Mel is a violin and piano teacher based in Wokingham, where she loves helping a wide range of students to play their choice of music. Mel is passionate about youth music in the area, and runs the Reading Youth Orchestra as well as co-running Henley Music Centre. In September 2022, she was given a special mention in the ‘Best music director’ category of the Making Music Awards.

Mel’s love of music stems from her own youth ensemble experience, learning violin and quartet technique with Cristian Persinaru, and playing in various string and symphony orchestras inspired by the conducting and expertise of Paul Cox, Ron Colyer and Robert Roscoe.

She is now delighted to be able to give back to other musicians in some way at APO, whether through playing violin or other musical development activities.