Leadership team and Board

The OCT Executive Team

We have a team of four in the office, supported by a group of hardworking volunteers including player reps, drivers, librarians and supper providers.

The Administration team is based at The Meteor Creative Hub.

‘We believe orchestral music can inspire us, bring us together and teach us about ourselves and the world around us – in short, it just makes life better!’  Susan Trodden – CEO 

More about Susan, our CEO

More about Catherine Polglase – Orchestra Planning Manager, and Principal Conductor – Rusty Players

More about Rupert D’Cruze – Principal Conductor – TWSO

More about Tim Carpenter – Principal Conductor – YOW

The team also includes Stage Manager Moses Simpson, Finance Manager Loren Bennett, Librarian Robert Lummus and Intern, Euan Safey 

We also have a team of volunteers that support our work. 

Contact us

Board of Trustees

Katie Mayes (Chair) plays the violin with the Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra.  She played with Opus Orchestra for five years and has a good understanding of orchestras after playing in a large number over the past 35 years.  Katie was part of the OCT establishment group and has been involved in the governance of orchestras for a number of years.  Through her work experience in the public and private sectors, Katie brings strategic planning skills and sound management acumen to the trust.

Robert Johnson has been a part of Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra as a double bass player and board member for the Waikato Orchestral Society for a number of years.  A former school Principal, when he is not making music, now drives a school bus.

Tim Macindoe has been MP for Hamilton West since November 2008. Immediately prior to his election, Tim was Arts Waikato’s CEO and chaired the Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regional Orchestra Steering Committee.  Between 1996 and 2002, he was the Deputy Principal of St. Peter’s School, Cambridge.  He has directed, stage-managed and, in his younger days, performed in a number of plays and musicals.

Jeremy Bell is the manager of the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts in Hamilton, bringing with him a strong background in drama and performing arts.  He has been on staff at Waikato University for many years, where he helped develop the drama programme, after a time as a professional theatre director in London, including the Young Vic and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Sean McCormack is Chief Financial Officer of NDA Group Ltd, a Hamilton headquartered, multinational stainless steel engineering and manufacturing business and as such brings a financial and commercial focussed approach to the Trust.  Originally from Ireland, but settled in the Waikato since 2004, Sean has had a career spanning finance roles across global professional services, IT, investment management and manufacturing/engineering organisations.  Sean is a qualified Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland.

Claire van der Most is the GM of Organisational Capability & Development at Community Living, a Waikato-based organisation that supports people with intellectual disabilities to live with more choice, control and connection.  With over 19 years leadership experience across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors – primarily in Human Resources and more recently in Quality, Health & Safety and Marketing & Communications, Claire is passionate about learning and personal accountability.  She brings a sense of pragmatism and fun to the work she does.

Samantha Walker is a low carbon specialist, marketer, fundraiser and award-winning producer with international experience in the performing arts, media and local government sectors. Samantha combines specialist creative sector sustainability expertise with deep knowledge of theatre, venue, festival, orchestra and broadcasting management.  Roles within the performing arts have included Business Development Manager for Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra NZ; Marketing Director for renowned UK chamber ensemble Britten Sinfonia; and Head of Marketing and Fundraising for London’s early and contemporary music festival producer, Spitalfields Music. She now dedicates her time as a sustainability specialist, project manager and trustee to the creative, culture and event sectors.




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