Meet the Team

Josh Kirk


We welcomed Josh as our conductor in 2021.

Joshua has recently completed his honours degree in conducting with Dr Luke Dollman at the University of Adelaide. He has participated in conducting masterclasses involving a number of professional Australian and New Zealand ensembles, including the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra where in 2020 he was also selected for conducting as a member of the NZSO’s Fellowship Programme.

In Australia he conducted the Elder Conservatorium of Music Wind Ensemble for their schools’ tour and here in New Zealand he has directed a number of ensembles, including the Auckland University Student Chamber Orchestra, the University of Auckland Medical and Health Sciences Student Symphony Orchestra and the Eastern Stars Concert Band. Upcoming engagements include working with the Devonport Chamber Orchestra, St Matthews Chamber Orchestra and the Auckland Symphony Orchestra.

As well as conducting, Joshua is an extremely capable violist and has played with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, the University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra and the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, and was a member of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra from 2017-19.

Joshua is incredibly excited to be working with Youth Orchestra Waikato. He has excellent memories of his time playing in youth ensembles and is looking forward to creating a supportive musical environment for other young musicians to enjoy.

Catherine Polglase

Artistic Manager, Orchestras Central Trust
Associate Conductor and String Tutor, Youth Orchestra Waikato
Conductor, Rusty Player Orchestra

Catherine Polglase is a freelance violinist, Suzuki violin teacher and conductor. She studied modern and baroque violin completing a Bachelor of Arts (Music and History) and Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) at University of Auckland. Catherine studied conducting under Karyn Gryls, Rita Paczian and Chad Davenport while teaching in classroom, directing and conducting a range of music ensembles and orchestras in four large Auckland Music Departments from 1994 to 2003.

Since moving to Hamilton Catherine has performed on modern and baroque violin with NZ Barok, Opus and Vox Barok. In 2017 she was selected to be part of CMNZ Nelson Bach Residency, working with Julliard415 under Maasaki Suzuki. 

YOW tutor team:

Josh Kirk - Woodwind
Bill Stoneham - Brass
Catherine Polglase - 1st Violin
Bev Oliver - 2nd Violin
Chris Nation - Viola and 3rd Violin
Elena Morgan - Cello and Double Bass

Emily Jin



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