Carla Sousa

Sousa, Carla - Sept 200702Carla Sousa was born in Madeira Island (Portugal) in 1984 and started playing the flute at the age of 12. Having initially studied with Rita Vigné, she continued her studies with Jorge Salgado at Escola Profissional de Música de Espinho, a vocational school for gifted young musicians in mainland Portugal.

In 2004 Carla was offered an entrance award to the Royal Northern College of Music where she is currently in her 4th year, studying with Richard Davis and Linda Verrier. Whilst studying here she has been a finalist in the BBC Philharmonic Professional Access Scheme and with the 64tet Flute Quartet in the Trevor Wye Chamber Music Competition. In June 2007 she was awarded the Woods/Candlin Prize at a RNCM’s competition.

Carla has also been fortunate to attend Masterclasses and receive tuition from distinguished musicians, such as Michael Cox, Anders Ljungar-Chapelon, Félix Renggli, Peter Lloyd, Elena Dúran, Emily Beynon, Lisa Bezniouk, Hansjörg Schellenberger, amongst others. Carla works actively as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician having performed in several venues with many ensembles and orchestras in continental Europe and in the UK.

Carla Sousa appears by kind permission of the Royal Northern College of Music:


Mark Harrison

Harrison,_Mark_-_May_2010Born in Salford in 1989, Mark was brought up in a musical family and began his musical career with Astley Youth Band at the age of six and went on to play solo cornet with Bolton Youth Brass Bank. He later took up the saxophone, piano and also began to pursue his talent for singing. He secured a place in the National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain, and the Halle Youth Choir under the direction of James Burton who became a huge influence to him. Mark then went on to join the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and also made history by becoming the youngest person ever to join the Halle Choir at the age of 16.

At the start of his A Levels he gained a place at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music to study cornet with Tracey Redfern and voice with Jeffrey Lawton. Whilst at the Junior RNCM he made the decision to apply for university playing the trumpet and picked up the instrument for the first time during his first term at the Junior RNCM. With the help of Tracey Redfern he quickly progressed and successfully secured a place to study at the RNCM with a scholarship on trumpet. During this time Mark was appointed as the soprano cornet player with the Fairey Band under the direction on Philip Chalk, and has enjoyed his time there immensely, being involved in various concerts and contests and trips abroad. Mark is also a keen composer, arranger and conductor.

During his time at the Junior RNCM Mark performed with the Brass Ensemble and Jazz Band, appearing both as a trumpet and vocal soloist. Mark is currently a second year student at the RNCM and aspires to be a professional trumpeter, working as a soloist and orchestral player. He has been accepted onto the ERASMUS scheme to study at the Oslo Musikkhøgskole in Norway for his third year of studies.

Mark appears by kind permission of the Royal Northern College of Music.

Siona Crosdale

 Siona Crosdale (bassoon) took up the bassoon just for fun whilst at school in  Manchester but soon gained a place at the Royal Northern Junior College to  study bassoon and piano. There she won the concerto competition and the  Ida Carroll prize. As an undergraduate, she studied at Girton College,  Cambridge as a University Instrumental Award Holder and college Choral  Exhibitioner. Whilst at Cambridge, Siona participated in several musical  ensembles including travelling to Moscow with the University Symphony  Orchestra to play under Gergiev, and performing Cosi fan Tutte in France.  She was awarded her college's highest musical award, the London Girton  Association Award for Outstanding Musicianship and, having graduated, she then  took up a scholarship place at the Royal Academy of Music.  There she studied with John Orford and Gareth Newman and was awarded  the Andrew Sykes prize and a Reckitt Award. Throughout her studies,  she was supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Newby and  William Gibbs Trusts and the Clothworkers' Foundation.

As a student, Siona was principal bassoon of the World Youth Orchestra and of the  National Youth Wind Orchestra with whom she played in Sweden and throughout Europe.  She is currently a frequent  member of the Britten-Pears Orchestra playing on both baroque and modern  bassoon, and has worked with esteemed conductors  such as Oliver Knussen, Tadaaki Otaka and Richard Hickox. As a soloist, Siona  has performed several concertos, including the Weber Concerto in Cambridge and  the Strauss Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon in the Concert Hall at the  Royal Northern College of Music. Her role as a chamber musician has taken her  as far afield as Vietnam and Hong Kong and she has been coached by several  esteemed musicians, including David Walters, Michael Collins, Douglas Boyd and  Nicholas Daniels. Recitals include those given in the West Road Concert Hall and  Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, the Duke's Hall at the Royal Academy and Snape Maltings,  Aldeburgh.

Whilst at the Academy, Siona gained her LRAM in teaching and now teaches the  bassoon at Repton School, Derby as well as privately in London. She has worked  with the Council for Music in Hospitals which involved giving educational workshops  at various schools where children get the chance to play and hear instruments  they would not otherwise have access to.

Since joining the Royal Academy, Siona has been able to fulfil her particular  interest in period instruments by studying both classical and baroque bassoon  with Andrew Watts. She won the Noble House Early Music prize at the Royal Academy  on baroque bassoon and has worked with, among others, Peter Holman, Monica Huggett  and Lawrence Cummings, as a student (through the Academy and Britten-Pears  Baroque Orchestras) and as a freelance player. She has recently played  Handel's Giulio Cesare with South Creake Opera, directed by Gary Cooper and  future engagements include Bach's B Minor Mass. Her quintet, the Gallimaufry Ensemble,  are Leverhulme Junior Chamber Music Fellows at the Academy and future venues  include St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the Purcell Room (with the Park Lane Group).

Richard Fairbank

It is almost 30 years since Richard first appeared as soloist with the Orchestra  playing Finzi’s clarinet concerto. More recently he has played the Copland  concerto with us and in our November2001 concert he will be playing arguably  the finest showpiece for clarinet and orchestra.

In the 1950s he was a pupil of Bert Brooks, the best known clarinet player  in the Hull area, who was then in his seventies and still active leading  big bands, Benny Goodman style. Playing in many types of ensemble, including  the East Riding Youth Orchestra, jazz band, dance band, military band and  salon orchestra, developed his wide interests in music. Moving to the  Manchester area in 1958, he soon became the principal clarinetist and  bandmaster of the Adamson Military Band in Dukinfield.

As a conductor, he has directed amateur operatic performances, military  bands and was the musical director of the Trafford Light Orchestra with  whom he conducted over 500 concerts. Currently he plays the clarinet with  the Gorton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dorian Wind Ensemble.

Richard has recently retired from leading the commercial activities in  the Faculty of Technology at Bolton Institute, where he was also a principal  lecturer in computer engineering. He is now developing new interests and  renewing neglected ones, for example, photography, walking and developing  bread-making recipes. Since retiring Richard has been making transcriptions  and arrangements for wind quintet and, of course, for clarinet.

Stephanie Jones

Stephanie Jones02Stephanie began learning the horn when she was 13 and joined Trafford Youth Orchestra and Sale Youth Ensemble when she was 15. She recently gained a 1st class BMus Hons degree, two Professional Performance Certificates and a Post Graduate Diploma from the Royal Northern College of Music where she studied with Julian Plummer, Frank Lloyd and Beccy Goldberg.

In 2002 Stephanie was awarded the Sir Max Bemrose Bursary, in 2004 she was awarded bursaries form the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Musicians Benevolent Fund and in 2005 she came 2nd in the RNCM Brass Competition. Stephanie is a freelancer in the Northwest and has worked with the Hallé, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera North, Sinfonia Cymru, Welsh Chamber Orchestra, Mowbray Chamber Orchestra, and the Macau Chamber Orchestra in China.

She is also on trial for the position of 1st horn with the Northern Ballet Theatre Orchestra. She also enjoys chamber music and is a member of the popular wind quintet Northerly Winds.

Stephanie appears by kind permission of the Principal, RNCM

Zoe Matthews

Zoe Matthews02Zoe began her musical education playing piano and flute and after seven years of playing flute began learning bassoon at age 17.  In 2002 Zoe was awarded an entrance award to study at the RNCM and completed in 2006, gaining a BMus first class honours degree. In 2006 Zoe was awarded an MBF Education Award and the E.A. Bardsley Scholarship to study on the Masters course at the RNCM.  She is currently studying bassoon with Graham Salvage and baroque bassoon with Sally Holman and Andrew Watts. Previously she studied with Alan Pendlebury and Peter Wesley and at the Junior RNCM with Sarah Whibley.

Zoe very much enjoys playing baroque and classical bassoon and was chosen to take part in the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s Young Players Experience Scheme 2006/2007.  Since studying full time at college she has taken part in master classes with Klaus Thunneman, Pascal Gallois, Stefano Canuti, Lyndon Watts, Tolga Alpay, Meyrick Alexander, John Orford, David Chatwin, Edward Warren, and Laurence Perkins.  Zoë has freelanced with the Hallé, Manchester Camerata and Northern Chamber Orchestra. Zoë is a member of the bassoon trio, Trio Mrio who were finalists and winners in 2006 of the Trevor Wye Prize for Wind Chamber Music. Zoe was principal bassoonist and a founding member of the Hallé Youth Orchestra and toured with them to Germany in 2004, and is a former member of the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. She also received a bursary to study at Dartington International Summer School in 2001 and has been invited several times to play in the Dartington Festival Orchestra.

Zoe Matthews appears by kind permission of the Royal Northern College of Music:

Matthew Palmer

Matthew Palmer is eighteen years old and lives in Tarleton near Preston. He has been a member of the Junior RNCM since 1997 and studies trumpet with John Miller. Matthew is in his fifth and final year with the National Youth Orchestra and he is also a former member of the National Children’s Orchestra and National Youth Brass Band. In 2002 he won the International Trumpet Guild Under 18 Solo Competition and more recently was a semi-finalist in BBC Radio 2’s Young Brass Soloist Competition. Matthew has recently completed A level study and will enter the RNCM as an undergraduate student in September.

Lucy Rugman

Rugman,_Lucy_cropped_1Lucy completed her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in July 2008. She was awarded a first class degree and a double distinction in her Post-Graduate Diploma. At college she studied with John Bradbury, Nicholas Cox, Chris Swann and Antonio Salguero.

Lucy’s performance career has been incredibly eclectic, highlights of which included winning the highest ‘Grade A’ award in the Royal Northern College of Music’s Concerto Competition, playing principal clarinet for the Young Musician’s Symphony Orchestra, touring with prestigious orchestras such the Cardiff based Sinfonia Cymru and the City of London Chamber Orchestra, winning the Royal Northern College of Music Granada Prize and the  Trinity College of Music Wilfred Hambleton Clarinet Prize and playing regularly at club nights, such as the much lauded Manchester Ceilidh, with her gypsy band Yitzak!

Lucy was awarded a place on the Music in Hospitals scheme with her professional wind quintet, Souza Winds. With this group she has performed throughout Britain and abroad, having done recitals for the Tunnell Trust, Lake District Summer Music: Young Generation Artists and the 500 Years of Funchal Festival in Madeira.

Future engagements include a performance of the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the Royal Northern College of Music Concert  Orchestra at the RNCM Concert Hall, April 2009.   

Elizabeth Ann Robinson

Robinson, Elizabeth Ann - May 2011 CompressedEighteen year old Elizabeth Ann Robinson grew up in Darwen, a small town in North East Lancashire and is now a first year undergraduate student at the Royal Northern College of Music, having been offered an unconditional place and awarded an entrance scholarship.

Elizabeth Ann began her musical life at the age of eight playing the trumpet and later progressed to the cornet and piano. She only began to play the french horn at 16 whilst studying at St Marys Sixth Form College in Blackburn.

Having achieved five grade eight ABRSM qualifications, she then gained an ABRSM Diploma as well as her formal GCSE and A level qualifications. Elizabeth Ann loves all genres of music and was previously trumpet section leader with the BwD Big Band and co-principal horn with the Hallé Youth Orchestra.

Currently under the tutelage of Lizzie Davis, Elizabeth Ann intends to embark on a Master’s degree after completing her four years as an undergraduate student. Aside from music, her other interests include craft, fashion and shoes!

Elizabeth Robinson appears by kind permission of the RNCM


Holly Melia

Melia, Holly - Sept 2010Holly comes from Ilkley and is in her third year at the RNCM. Having started to play the flute at the age of eight she then went on to win a scholarship to Chetham’s School of Music in 2002. In 2007 she was awarded the Martin Musical Sir John Mortimer Woodwind Scholarship, the Craxton Memorial Award and the 2008 Chetham’s Woodwind Prize.

Also in 2008 Holly gave solo recitals at the home of Edvard Grieg in Norway and at the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival. Holly has also performed a solo concert at The Bridgewater Hall for Remembrance Sunday and has had the privilege of working with conductors such as Mark Elder, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Franz Anton Krager and Paul McCreesh.

 In 2007 she gained a place on the London Symphony Orchestra’s St. Luke’s Academy and in the same year was a woodwind semi-finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year. Other achievements include winning the British Flute Competition and being selected for the first international Mediterranean flute competition in 2009.

More recently Holly has won the RNCM Concerto Competition as well as an RNCM Gold Medal and had has performed at the British Flute Convention 2010.

Holly Melia appears by kind permission of the RNCM

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas ConnNicholas Conn, is known for his unique tone and technical facility as a trombone soloist. He is currently studying for a Master of Music degree at the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Simon Cowen and Rob Holliday and is the recipient of the Charles Greenhough Award. Nicholas is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in trombone performance from the studio of Dr. John Marcellus.

As a soloist, Nicholas has appeared with several orchestras and wind bands all across the United States. He was invited to perform The Patriot in 2013 and Blue Bells of Scotland in 2009 by Arthur Pryor with the Heart of Texas Concert Band under the direction of Dr. Mark Rogers at the Alamo in his native San Antonio, Texas. In May 2011, Nicholas was invited to Memphis, Tennessee to perform his own re-orchestration of the Concerto for Trombone, Op. 114 by Derek Bourgeois with the Memphis Repertory Orchestra. In Spring 2010, Nicholas was awarded Honourable Mention by the International Trombone Association’s Gilberto Gagliardi Solo Competition for his performance of the Concertino in Eb Major, Op. 4 by Ferdinand David. 

Since coming to the UK, Nicholas has had the opportunity to perform with the Royal Northern College of Music Concert Orchestra and the Royal Northern College of Music Big Band. He is the current trombonist on the RNCM Professional Experience Scheme with Opera North and has had the opportunity to play alongside members of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.  While at Eastman, Nicholas was an active member of the Eastman Philharmonia, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, Eastman Trombone Choir, and the SoundExchange Orchestra. As a jazz musician he has had the opportunity to play in concert with famous artists such as Bob Brookmeyer, Wycliffe Gordon and Chuck Mangione.

Nicholas has performed in masterclasses for notable names in the classical and jazz trombone community including Joseph Alessi, Ian Bousfield, Jiggs Whigham, Kristian Bezuidenhout, and the Spanish Brass Quintet. His former principal teachers are Ed Geimer, Ron Wilkins and Dr. Carl Lobitz.

Nicholas Conn appears by kind permission of the RNCM


Richard Lowe

Richard LoweRichard Lowe received his first musical education as a treble in the Manchester Cathedral Voluntary Choir and later Sir John Deane’s College in Northwich where he was college organist.

Richard graduated with an honours degree in Theology from Oxford University in 2002. Whilst in Oxford, Richard was, for a time, organ scholar at Westminster College, Oxford, and later sang in Chapel Choir of The Queen’s College, with its reputation as Oxford’s finest mixed chapel choir, performing in many venues internationally. With the Queen’s choir he also recorded on the Guild Label.

He has been a countertenor lay clerk in the choir of Manchester Cathedral and was, until 2004 director of the St. Oswald’s Church Choir in Lower Peover. In 2004 became Director of Music at Christ Church, West Didsbury, Manchester, where he also coordinates the church’s active concert programme. In September 2005, Richard became organ adviser for the Diocese of Manchester and in 2007 became one of the 3 resident organists of The Manchester Crematorium Ltd. Since 2014 he has been organist and curator of the Cavaille-Coll organ at Manchester Town Hall and chairman of the Manchester Cavaille-Coll Organ Trust and has recently taken a role developing a range of theatre organs for an internationally renowned digital organ company.

Richard is a deputy ley clerk with the choirs of Chester and Liverpool Anglican cathedrals and an often be found at the console of ‘The Mighty WurliTzer’!


David Maxted

David_MaxtedDavid Maxted is a fourth year undergraduate studying French Horn at the Royal Northern College of Music with Julian Plummer (Hallé). Brought up in Liverpool, David played horn for many years before
gaining entry to the Junior RNCM in 2009 where he studied under Tom Redmond (Hallé). At this time, David was also successful in gaining a place into the National Childrens Chamber Orchestra and was given principal position in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. David went on to gain a place at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2013. This has seen him play as Principal in the RNCM Symphony Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Opera Orchestra and record numerous CD’s with the RNCM Wind Ensemble. Whilst at RNCM, David has taken a keen interest in chamber music as a member of ‘North Winds’ Wind Quintet and helping to set up ‘Latitude’ Brass Quintet. David has played professionally for the Hallé Orchestra, with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra as part of a professional experience scheme and will play with the Orchestra of Opera North in 2017 as part of a PES scheme. David has also recently played with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra as part of their Academy, touring around Germany with Daniel Harding; performing in Essen, Dortmund & Cologne. He has performed in well-known venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Royal Nottingham Concert Hall, The Sage Gateshead, Cologne Konzerthaus, Essen Konzerthaus and Dortmund Konzerthaus. David has also had the chance to play under conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Daniel Harding, Vasily Petrenko and Jack Van Steen. Aswell as performing, David has a keen interest in education; he has been a member of staff for the Junior RNCM since 2013, is the Brass teacher at Urmston Grammar School and is a member of Social Staff for the National Children’s Orchestra of GB. David is also a keen long distance runner and uses his running as a break between music.

David Maxted appears by kind permission of the RNCM.

Hannah Corcoran

Hannah_CorcoranHannah is currently in her third year of study at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester. Recently she was awarded the ‘Cox Memorial Prize’ and gained second place at Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra’s highly competitive ‘Young Soloist Competition 2017’. In the last year, she has also been named Coro Nuovo’s Young Musician of The Year 2016, played alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the BBC Last Night of the Proms 2016, and was selected to represent the RNCM in the Dulwich International Music Festival with the RNCM Session Orchestra in Shanghai.
As a classical artist Hannah has performed at Glyndebourne Opera House, the Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and has recently been on a two week tour of China with her saxophone quartet ‘Abelia’. Alongside this, Hannah has enjoyed performing pop and jazz at events including Kendal Calling Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Brighton Fringe Festival.

Hannah Corcoran appears by kind permission of the RNCM

Anna Murphy


Anna Murphy was born in Belgium to a French mother and Irish father. She began playing the flute at the age of ten in her town’s local music school, where she eventually won the Jean-Pierre Rampal prize at the age of seventeen. In September 2012, Anna started at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester where she studied for two years with Laura Jellicoe. She is currently in her fourth year at the RNCM under the tuition of Laura Jellicoe and Kevin Gowland.

Throughout her musical education and development Anna has had opportunities to play to many renowned flautists from around Europe such as Samuel Coles, Michael Cox, William Bennett, Julien Beaudiment, Robert Winn and Michael Hasel. Although Anna enjoys performing as a soloist, she also has orchestral experience having performed at venues such as the Bridgewater Hall, Cadogan Hall and the Royal Festival Hall with Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra. Whilst at the RNCM, Anna has performed with the college’s symphony orchestra, concert orchestra and was part of the opera production Cosi Fan Tutte. During her last two years of study, Anna has been able to participate in projects alongside professionals as part of the college’s Professional Experience Scheme, performing with the BBC Philharmonic in several concerts, and travelling to Amsterdam to play alongside the Netherlands Wind Ensemble (NBE). She was also invited to perform in their 2018 New Year’s concert in the Concertgebouw.

Anna Murphy
appears by kind permission of the RNCM

Daniel Tarrant

Dan is a second year trumpet player currently studying a joint course between the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music. He has performed alongside ensembles such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Big Band and London Symphonic Brass. Primarily an orchestral musician, but also an accomplished jazz, contemporary and natural trumpet player, Dan contributes to many ensembles at both the RNCM and UoM. Outside of the UK, he has performed the Baldassare piccolo trumpet concerto at the Musique Cordiale international festival in France, as well as competing in competitions in Germany and Holland.

Daniel Tarrant appears by kind permission of the RNCM

Sergio Tudela Sánchez

Sanchez, Sergio - August 2011Born in Linares (Andalucia, Spain), Sergio began the clarinet at the age of eight.  Three years later he was accepted into the Andrés Segovia Professional School of Music under the tutelage of Juan Manuel Ortigosa. In 2007, having obtained the highest qualification in his Professional Degree from the music school, Sergio commenced his BMus studies at the Rafael Orozco Superior School of Music in Córdoba to study with lecturer Francisco J. González. During this time, Sergio performed in a masterclass with internationally renowned soloist Antonio Salguero which resulted in a transfer to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England.  Sergio currently studies with Antonio and several other internationally acclaimed teachers including Nicholas Cox (principal clarinet - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic), Reiner Wehle (Professor of clarinet at the Musikhochschule Lübeck) and John Bradbury (principal clarinet - BBC Philharmonic). He also takes lesson in the bass clarinet with Colin Pownall (BBC Philharmonic) and the E flat clarinet with Christopher Swann.

Sergio´s passion is for solo playing and he has a particular interest in repertoire from the classical and romantic period. He was a finalist in both the prestigious RNCM Concerto Competition with Carl Marie von Weber´s Concerto No.2 and the Jaén State Band competition for soloists. He has attended masterclasses in both Spain and England with the Elias String Quartet, Enrique Pérez Piquer, Petr Prause, Matthias Müller, Carlos Gil, Walter Boeykens, Maximiliano Martín, Eric Mandat, Melinda Maxwell, Stephan Vermeersch, Matthew Hunt and Pascal Moragués.

Orchestral playing also forms an integral part of Sergio´s musical life. He has performed with the Conservatory of Córdoba Symphonic Orchestra, Taller Provincial de Baeza, RNCM Chamber Orchestra, RNCM Concert Orchestra, RNCM Wind Ensemble and RNCM Wind Collective and has played under the baton of Mark Heron, Matthew Wood, Paul Mann, Clark Rundell, Enrique Moya, Gergely Madaras and oboist Hansjorg Schellenberger (principal oboe – Berliner Philharmoniker) from whom he receives chamber music coaching.

In the future, Sergio hopes to continue his studies in Germany with a view to becoming a successful solo clarinettist.

Sergio Tudela Sánchez appears by kind permission of the RNCM.

Debbie Fuller

DebbieFuller1Originally from Hampshire, Debbie Fuller began her musical career at an early age, playing the piano and violin before taking up the oboe. Having performed at many of the UK's most prestigious venues such as Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank and Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Debbie has also given concerts in Sweden and throughout Europe. 

 Debbie first appeared as a violinist and later principal oboist in the National Children's Orchestra before taking up the position of principal oboe in the National Youth Wind Orchestra. She pursued her musical studies with a full scholarship to Wells Cathedral School, studying with Irene Pragnell and Tess Miller, where she won a coveted Concerto Prize. She then moved to Manchester to study at the Royal Northern College of Music with Jonathan Small and Val Taylor. While there, Debbie was awarded the Peter Graeme Oboe Prize and the Winfield Scholarship as well as participating in masterclasses with Nicholas Daniel, Melinda Maxwell and Douglas Boyd. 

As a keen chamber musician, Debbie was a founder member of the Brice Quartet (Wind Quartet) who amongst other performances played Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante in Basingstoke's Anvil and also the Lockwood Ensemble (Oboe Quartet) who won an audition for the Live Music Now! scheme, leading workshops and concerts in schools and residential homes around the North West. 

Debbie has now chosen a career as a primary school teacher in Derbyshire and continues to play in various orchestras and ensembles around the North. She has previously appeared as a soloist with the Deane Sinfonia and Kingsclere Orchestra, and is proud to have played principal oboe with Manchester Beethoven Orchestra since 2007.


Kevin O'Sullivan

Born in Yorkshire in the middle of the last century Kevin grew up in primitive rural Ireland and began playing bassoon in his late teens having previously played over 500 gigs as a rock drummer. He soon won a scholarship to study with Gilbert Berg in Dublin’s College of Music. He was Principal bassoonist in the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland for a number of years.

Kevin plays in a numerous orchestras and chamber groups in the Manchester area. He has performed most of the standard concertos (Mozart, Weber, JC Bach, Vivaldi, Reichenaur) as far afield as Belgium and his home country. He performed the World premiere of Jukka-Pekka Lehto’s Rhapsody for Bassoon and Wind Ensemble at the Royal Northern College in 2002.

He currently plays a cherished 1929 Heckel instrument and supplements his meager musician’s stipend working tirelessly as a Doctor.


Katherine Curlett

Katherine Curlett1Katharine belongs to a musical family and began playing the trumpet when she was eight years old. At the age of eleven, she was awarded a place in the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain.

At sixteen, Katharine gained a place at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester where she learnt with Murray Greig. Her musical experiences were many and varied and by the start of her second and final year at Chetham's, Katharine became a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. This took her to prestigious venues such as The Sage Gateshead in Newcastle, Barbican Centre, London and the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

After leaving Chetham’s with four music college offers and a Diploma in performance with distinction, she went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music. She is currently in her final year studying with Tracey Redfern and is kindly sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust. During her time at the RNCM, Katharine has had the opportunity to perform in several chamber ensembles and orchestras. Other opportunities include performing in public masterclasses with the famous Hakan Hardeneberger and touring around the globe with the pop band ‘The Ting Tings’.  Katharine has appeared as a soloist with the Dorset Chamber Orchestra, Crowthorne Symphony Orchestra and is soon to perform concertos with the Manchester Beethoven Orchestra and Dorset County Orchestra.

Katharine Curlett appears by kind permission of the Royal Northern College of Music:


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