About the Orchestra

The Northwood String Orchestra is an amateur string orchestra based in Southampton.

The Orchestra is one of Southampton’s longest running ensembles with its origins going back to entertaining injured WW1 servicemen at Netley Hospital in the early ‘20s. The name ‘Northwood’ was adopted to enter the first Southampton Music Festival in 1926; the founder, Mrs Winifred Caesar taking the name of her house on The Avenue where the orchestra met regularly on the lawns.

We have some wonderful old photos of that time, in our archive.

The Orchestra is known for its friendly and welcoming nature and plays a variety of music from the string orchestra repertoire. We practise weekly on Mondays 19:30—21:30 at the Friends Meeting House, Southampton. We hold two concerts a year and are proud to maintain the long tradition of supporting charities each time.

Conductor and Musical Director

Our conductor and musical director is Malcolm Porter. Malcolm studied at the Guildhall School and went on to play in the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. After many years of teaching class music at secondary and sixth form level, Malcolm is now mainly focussed on the more peaceful art of viola making.


We are lucky to have Ellabeth Little as our leader this year (2018-2019). Ellabeth studied on the Specialist Music Course at Peter Symonds College, played in the National Youth Chamber Orchestra, and led the Hampshire Chamber Orchestra. Currently teaching locally both privately and at Mountbatten School, Ellabeth gives regular recitals and has a particular passion for enthusing young people in their love for music.


Here's a photo of the orchestra taken in winter 2017.

Orchestra Members Winter 2017