Our Conductor

Conductor Martin BeachMartin Beach

Martin studied the flute at the Royal Academy of Music with Gareth Morris before joining Newton Park College, Bath, where he gained a PGCE with distinction, in music. He was the Head of Music at Marlborough School in St Albans for 35 years.

For fifteen years he had the privilege of training some of St Albans’ talented young musicians as Conductor of the Intermediate Youth Orchestra at St Albans Music School.

Martin took over the Abbey Gateway Orchestra as its Principal Conductor and Artistic Director in 1987, and has been responsible for producing the innovative programmes that have become the hallmark of the orchestra. He has also led the orchestra through memorable performances at venues such as Selwyn College in Cambridge and St Pancras International Station, and community events like Scrape, Bang, Blow.

Martin has composed incidental music for a number of local productions including the spectacular lakes production of ‘King Arthur’ and ‘The Quest’ for the Break-Away Theatre Group in St Albans.

Margaret Johnstone

In addition, we have a Deputy Conductor, Margaret Johnstone. Margaret is musically multi-talented, and studied at the Royal College of Music. She currently teaches piano, clarinet and flute, as well as playing the organ and choral singing.  She conducts the Cantilena Ladies Choir, who are also based in St Albans.