Anna Cooper                            Mel Orriss                          

     Since studying and playing together at Chetham's School of Music, Manchester and graduating with honours from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Anna and Mel have gone on to enjoy careers as versatile and well-respected musicians.

     Anna spent 10 happy years in the oboe section of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, before meeting the man of her dreams and combining motherhood with freelance orchestral playing and teaching throughout the UK.

      Mel divides her time between playing, teaching, arranging and conducting. She is a member of the flute ensemble, Festive Flutes for whom she arranges much of the music, and also co-director of the Brent Music Service Flute Choir.

      Arranging music for the various ensembles they have played in and taught has been a common thread in both their lives, brought about by a shared ambition to extend and diversify the existing range of music available for professional ensemble, and also create new and more inclusive music for mixed groups where players from grades 1 to 8 can join in the fun.

 Alfie Pugh

Alfie Pugh graduated from Bath Spa University in 2012 with a First Class Honours degree in Music. During his time there he won multiple awards and gained a reputation for his composing and arranging skills. Among these achievements was success in the Charities Philharmonia Young Composers competition, for which Alfie composed a 16-minute piece for symphony orchestra, entitled Vasilisa The Beautiful, based on Russian fairy tales. The piece was performed and recorded at St. John's, Smith Square in December 2011.
   Currently, he is involved in many projects, including working with Gray Lady Productions LTD, who are responsible for the preservation and restoration of the music of Barry Gray, who composed the soundtracks to Thunderbirds, Stingray, and many other hit TV series of the 60s and 70s. Alfie has some solo piano arrangements of this music published, on sale through

   He also arranges and prepares music for a number of orchestras and ensembles throughout the country. He was the principal bassoonist in the Devon Youth Wind Orchestra, and studied piano and bassoon at university.

Stephen Tanner

Stephen Tanner is a freelance music educator, choral director, organist, composer, arranger and examiner based in Exeter.
   He began his musical career as a chorister in the choir of Coventry Cathedral and studied for a degree in music at the University of Huddersfield. For many years he was Director of Music at Exeter Cathedral School and Assistant Organist and Director of the Girl Choristers at Exeter Cathedral. His school music department enjoyed a wide reputation for the breadth and quality of its music making with many former pupils going on to enjoy national and international success in the music world.

   Stephen founded the Girl Choristers' section of Exeter Cathedral Choir in 1994 and directed it for 22 years. In this capacity he has numerous broadcasts, recordings and foreign tours to his credit.  He was also musical director of Exeter Cathedral's highly acclaimed Chorister Outreach Project, working to promote singing in Devon's primary schools.  He directs a group of former girl choristers from Exeter Cathedral Choir "Isca Voices" who perform a wide range of sacred and secular music, is one half of the organ duo "Organ2" and is accompanist to the Exeter Philharmonic Choir.

  Stephen has composed and arranged extensively both for his school musicians and for Exeter Cathedral Choir and has won two national composition competitions.

  He is an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music serving on both the main and jazz panels.

Elizabeth Walker

Elizabeth Walker studied a complete range of flutes whilst a junior at the Royal College of Music, (where she was awarded the Sally Wainwright woodwind prize in 1985), at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague. She studied renaissance flute with Nancy Hadden, baroque and eight- keyed classical flute with Stephen Preston and Wilbert Hazelzet, modern flute with Kathryn Lukas and Margaret Ogonovsky and recorder with Philip Pickett and Ricardo Kanji.

   Elizabeth has recorded and performed with a number of period orchestras including the English Baroque Soloists, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and the Classical Opera Company. She is principal flute for Armonico, with whom she has recently performed The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, The Barber of Seville and most recently, Verdi's Requiem. Elizabeth was a guest performer in the 2010 and 2012 British Flute Conventions, performing a baroque programme on modern flute and on her original Louis Lot flute from 1859.

   She currently teaches flute and recorder at Wells Cathedral School and at the City of London School for Girls and is a regular examiner of graduate and postgraduate baroque flute and recorder students at the Guildhall, RCM and Birmingham Conservatoire. Along with Festive Flutes, Elizabeth also plays in the group "Continuum", with whom she has recorded the Bach Flute Sonatas to critical acclaim.

More information about Elizabeth can be found on her website:

Nick White

Nick White studied at Chetham's School of Music, after which he read Music at Worcester College, Oxford. After a brief period working for H.M Customs & Excise he completed his education by doing a post graduate orchestral training course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied the clarinet with Thea King, Roy Jowitt and Colin Lawson. Since then he has had a busy and varied career involving freelance playing in the Classical, Jazz and Pop scenes, teaching, ensemble coaching and arranging.

   He has played with a diverse range of groups including the Northern Ballet Theatre Orchestra, The Sinfonietta, The Sid Lawrence Orchestra, The Pasadena Roof Orchestra, The Fabulous Good Time Party Boys, Zippo's Circus Band and The Anglo-Sax Quartet. He has also worked extensively as a featured soloist alongside Kenny Baker and Don Lusher.

   He is currently the lead alto saxophonist with the Charleston Chasers and principal clarinetist with the Ten Tors Orchestra. He also teaches in schools across the South West and at Exeter University.


Deborah Blackmore

Deborah Blackmore came late to music from a background in Chartered Accountancy. She is a principal member of the Peninsula Clarinet Choir where, under the direction of Marina Kummer, she plays 1st and alto. The ensemble now benefits from her skills as an arranger as well as a player, and we are delighted to have her join the team of arrangers at Wonderful Winds.

Maria Ackroyd



After an excellent grounding from Manchester Music Service, Maria Ackroyd went on to study music at The University of Huddersfield where she majored in composition and bassoon. She later qualified as a teacher from Leeds University and spent several years teaching in the city. In 2010, Maria decided to return to Huddersfield to study for a research Masters degree in composition for which she achieved a merit.
Since 2001, Maria has been freelancing as a reed player for pit bands throughout West Yorkshire as well as playing in several chamber ensembles. There include Slam Aaha Saxophone Quartet, Quintaphonics Wind Quintet (bassoon) and TriNamics piano/wind trio (also bassoon), all of which she has arranged music for.

Maria was also the co-founder of the symphony orchestra and choir Huddersfield Camerata for which she was principal bassoon.