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Who we are

Orchestra for the future

We see the ever-changing landscape of future music and we want to ensure that every artist, genre, and trend gets equal opportunity to show itself to the world. Our intentions extend from collaborating with emerging artists and creating innovative methods of music development, through to breaking stereotypes of the orchestral music scene.

What We Do

At Capital, we break the stereotypes of the orchestral music scene – we engage with popular and jazz culture in a way that views ‘classical’ instruments in a different light; we break the barrier between musicians and audience in a concert setting from the outset; we bring fresh energy to the stage, as an orchestra of students, but without compromising the standard of a professional orchestra.


18th October 2019 – Cadogan Hall

After 3 sell out gigs, Capital begin collaborations with the exciting London-based 4-piece, the Lydian Collective. The 18th October will be a showcase of the development of this band’s own genre that defines them, combined with the 85-piece transformative force of Capital Orchestra

The Team

Sam Gale

Orchestra Director

Sam is a currently a student at the Guildhall School, studying trombone, jazz and arranging/composition. His orchestral experience as principal trombone of NYOGB and at the Royal College of Music Junior Department ignited a passion for the ensemble, consequently wanting to combine the most versatile ‘classical’ collection of instruments with genres he was exposed to from a young age. He has experimented with many different aspects of music through composition and arranging to find an individual style, whilst heavily contributing to the youth generation of musicians from organising concert series’ at his old music specialist state school, Guildford County, right through to recording and conducting at Birmingham Symphony Hall. Sam has arranged an array of pieces and charts for the Royal Family, NYOGB, RCMJD, and the BBC, conducting all of his orchestral arrangements to date. He also composes for film with These People Make Pictures, and works on orchestration with Universal Music Group. Sam created Capital as an opportunity for musicians at conservatoire in London to network between colleges and with artists, and be a part of an orchestra that will further the development of music, break ‘classical’ stereotypes, and further the exposure of the youth generation. He is grateful for the team of representatives he has around him, and is excited about how to the orchestra will grow in the coming years.

Millie Ashton

Orchestra Leader

Millie is 20 years old and currently in her third year at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama studying with David Takeno. In 2016, prior to joining Guildhall, Millie was the Leader of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain whilst attending the Purcell School for Young Musicians on the sixth form course. This culminated with a performance at the BBC Proms and a recording of Strauss’ ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ and Holst’s ‘The Planets’ with Chandos Records. Whilst leading NYO, Millie also had numerous appearances on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ and interviews on BBC News, London Live and was the cover of, with an interview in the JESTA magazine. 
Since being at Guildhall Millie has enjoyed Leading the Guildhall Studio Orchestra directed by Dave Arch, and the band in the musical ‘Crazy for You’, co-leading the Symphony Orchestra as well as side by side projects with the London Mozart Players and Australian Chamber Orchestra, Leading the Young Musician’s Symphony Orchestra, Leading Guildhall Pops Orchestra and also Leading Capital Orchestra. 
Whilst studying at Guildhall Millie is enjoying a varied freelance career. Millie performed a tango solo on stage, live on Strictly Come Dancing 2018 with Aljaz and Kate Silverton. In October 2018, Millie was appointed as the new 1st Violin in the Halcyon Quartet, who have been described as the “future stars of British Chamber Music” (Eaton Square Concerts) and looks forward to a production at the Royal Opera House and a recital at the Chelsea Arts Club with them in January 2019. Millie also performs with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, English Session Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, Nigel Kennedy and his Orchestra of Life, the West Wycombe Festival with Lawrence Power, a tour with Michael Bublé, and depping on the West End Musicals ‘Company’, ’The Book of Mormon’ and ‘Les Miserables’, as well as depping on Pinocchio at the National Theatre. Millie has also had appearances on the X Factor with Michael Bublé, Paloma Faith and Matt Terry, the Graham Norton Show with Michael Bublé, Britains Got Talent with Alfie Boe and Tom Walker, and the Global Awards and Strictly Come Dancing with Andrea Bocelli. 

Thea Sayer

Royal Academy of Music relations

Thea is a 19 year old originally from  Southampton, currently in her second year at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She is currently studying with Graham Mitchell and Tom Goodman, after previously learning with David Heyes. Thea played in a lot of the youth music groups back in Southampton, including the Southampton Youth Orchestra and Southampton Jazz Workshop for over 10 years. In 2015, she auditioned for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, who she played with for two years. Playing at venues like the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms, the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican and Birmingham Symphony Hall. Whilst studying at the Academy, Thea has enjoyed playing with variety of ensembles like Oxford Philharmonia, London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Junior Artists, Chineke! Orchestra and the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra directed by Edward Gardner. Recently, she played for Storzmy with Chineke! Junior Orchestra at his Adidas x #Merky tracksuit launch.

Upcoming projects include, recording a cinematic album for Joe Leader, recording an album for Bob Marley’s birthday with Chineke! Orchestra and playing at the Royal Albert Hall with Carl Craig and Chineke! Orchestra.

Alex Temple-Heald

Royal College of Music relations

Originally from Oldham, Manchester, Alex began studying percussion at the Royal College of Music in 2016. He currently studies with London session musician Ralph Salmins, BBC Symphony Orchestra principal percussion David Hockings, jazz vibraphonist Anthony Kerr and Latin percussionist Hugh Wilkinson. Along with various other groups, previously holding a seat in the Greater Manchester Jazz Orchestra and making appearances with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra has led him to perform across the country at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Royal Albert Hall, at Marsden Jazz Festival and as a co-band leader at Manchester Jazz Festival. Alex now leads ‘The Temple Quartet’, performing his original compositions. Alex also plays a variety of other styles including pop, folk and orchestral music in and around London.

James Graham

Guildhall School of Music and Drama relations

James is a trombonist and composer from Oxford who started his BMus at the Guildhall School in 2017. He is classically trained and has performed with jazz organisations including NYJO, NYJC and groups at Oxford University. Previous performance venues have included Ronnie Scott’s, the Barbican, Birmingham International Jazz Festival and Pizza Express Soho. He has received coaching from players such as Elliot Mason, Bob Mintzer, Mark Mondesir and Martin Shaw, and his varied musical tastes means he has been involved in numerous projects ranging from contemporary classical music to hip-hop. James hasn’t lost a game of chess since 2016.

Joe Tucker

Trinity Laban relations

Joe is a second year tuba player studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Hailing from Southampton, Joe was involved in most of the youth music groups in the area, in a well established music service, including being in the Brass Band system for 10 years and the orchestra. Joe has had the opportunity to play with NYO, Woodfalls and Black Dyke Brass band as well as working with musicians such as Omar Lye-Fook and Les Neish. Joe was offered the opportunity to join this orchestra, taking on an admin-role, because he has always had a passion for new styles of music, and Jazz/Pop in an orchestral setting is something that thoroughly excites him. Moving to London has seen Joe play on This Morning and in the Tower of London, and he’s grateful to Sam and the Team for bringing him in to be the Trinity Laban representative.


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