A WOMAN from Tunbridge Wells has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to music in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

Sarah Alexander is the Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the National Youth Orchestra (NYO), a group of teenage musicians.

The NYO has expanded under Ms Alexander’s ten-year leadership from reaching 164 young people in 2008 to 10,000 in 2018.

Ms Alexander said: “NYO is unique, the most vivid demonstration of the importance of music in young people’s lives. I accept this award with deep gratitude to everyone who has supported the work of NYO over the last 10 years.”

Brigadier John Henry Ridge, from Tunbridge Wells, was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Military Division of the New Year’s Honours List.

Brigadier Ridge, who is married to BBC South East’s weather forecaster Nina Ridge and helps coach with the Tunbridge Wells youth rugby team, was recognised for his contribution to defence operations overseas and in the UK.

He said he was ‘tremendously honoured’ to be recognised with a CBE.

Colin John Moore, from Uckfield, was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to music in East Sussex.

Mr Moore – who played the double bass for the Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra – founded the Crowborough Choral Society in 1967.

He retired in April 2017 after the choir’s 50th anniversary concert.