Mel Orriss

 


Mel Orriss studied flute at Chetham’s School of Music and then at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Peter Lloyd and Kathryn Lukas. As a student she was a semi-finalist in the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year Competition and also toured with the European Community Orchestra. Whilst at the Guildhall, she met and began performing with the quartet Festive Flutes.

Mel now teaches flautists of all ages, coaches flute ensembles and woodwind groups, and is the Assistant Conductor and Woodwind coach of the Devon Youth Orchestras. She is also co-director of the Brent Music Service Flute Choir with Joss Campbell.

Her passion for arranging and composing led to her co-founding Wonderful Winds in 2010. The company has since built a global reputation for excellence, providing inspiring ensemble music for wind players of all levels worldwide, and its publications have been major prize winners in the National Flute Association (USA) Newly Published Music competition.

 

                                              

 


 

Anna Cooper


Anna Cooper studied at Chetham's School of Music, and continued her studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with James Brown and Jane Marshall. Shortly after leaving Guildhall, Anna was appointed Principal Cor Anglais with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.In 1998 Anna left the RLPO to pursue a freelance career, and has since played with many of the UK's orchestras, including a season with Opera North, and regular playing with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Northern Chamber Orchestra, and the RLPO.

Anna's other passion is arranging wind ensemble music, particularly for double reed groups of all abilities. In 2010 she co-founded Wonderful Winds, and her double reed arrangements have been used by the British Double Reed Society, the LSO Education Department, the Big Double Reed Day, the National Youth Orchestra oboe section and Birmingham Music Service, among others.
Anna also teaches cor anglais reed making and coaches chamber music.



Alfie Pugh

 

Alfie Pugh is an award-winning composer and arranger, holding a first class degree in Music from Bath Spa University.
In 2011 he won the Charities Philharmonia Young Composers competition, with his piece for symphony Orchestra Vasilisa The Beautiful, which was subsequently performed and recorded at St. John's, Smith Square.His piece for Wind Orchestra Trans-Siberian Railway won the Symphonic Wind Orchestra of North London's Composition Competition in 2014.

Alfie has also enjoyed success working on the preservation of the music of Barry Gray, notably for a new soundtrack CD of the music from Thunderbirds, which reached number 1 in the Japanese classical charts. He has some solo piano arrangements of this music published, on sale through http://www.barrygray.co.uk.

His symphonic composition 'Exeter Cityscapes', written to mark Exeter Music Group Symphony Orchestra's 50th anniversary in 2017 was received with critical acclaim at its premiere in Exeter Cathedral.

Alfie works as a freelance musician in Exeter, dividing his time between writing, teaching piano, drums and bassoon, performing and musical direction. He particularly enjoys creating works for woodwind, and many of his compositions and arrangements are published by Wonderful Winds.
www.facebook.com/alfiepughmusic



Nick White

 

Nick White studied at Chetham's Scool of Music, Worcester College Oxford, and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he had clarinet lessons with Thea King, Roy Jowitt and Colin Lawson.

He has had a varied career having played with a diverse range of groups including Northern Ballet Theatre Orchestra, The Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Zippo's Circus Band and the Fabulous Good Time Party Boys.

His recent work has included playing Lead Alto Sax with the Charleston Chasers and Principal Clarinet with the Ten Tors Orchestra. He has also worked extensively as an arranger and teacher and currently holds the post of clarinet and saxophone teacher at Exeter University.

Since 2015 Nick has played clarinet and saxes with the Big Chris Barber Band.



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 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 is a regular examiner of graduate and postgraduate baroque flute and recorder students at the Guildhall, RCM and Birmingham Conservatoire.

Elizabeth also plays in the group "Continuum", with whom she has recorded the Bach Flute Sonatas to critical acclaim, and the flute quartet Festive Flutes.

Her two books, published by Wonderful Winds, Baroque Flute Studies and Baroque Studies for Modern Flute both won "Best Flute Method" in the NFA Newly Published Music Competition in successive years.
www.lizwalker.co.uk



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 considerable 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.



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.


 Geoffrey Browne

 

At the age of just twenty-one, Geoffrey Browne was a full member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, playing in the oboe section with Terence MacDonagh and Sidney Sutcliffe. At that time, the orchestra was conducted by Colin Davis and Pierre Boulez. The orchestra specialised in twentieth century music, but also covered a wide range of compositions, occasionally conducted by such people as William Walton, Rudolph Kempe, and Nadia Boulanger.

Geoffrey has made solo broadcasts as an oboist, and there are many classical records that bear his name. In 1979 he recorded "Autumn Legend" by William Alwyn, for cor anglais and string orchestra; the London Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by the composer. In 1980 he performed "Quiet City" by Aaron Copland at the Royal Festival Hall, also conducted by the composer. In 1985 he recorded Alban Berg's "Chamber Concerto" with Peter Serkin and Isaac Stern.

It was the London Symphony Orchestra that dubbed him a cor anglais player when he recorded "La Damnation de Faust" by Berlioz, with Colin Davis conducting; but he also has much experience playing principal oboe, of playing the oboe d'amore, and the bass oboe. He spent many years as the principal cor anglais player of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and played co-principal oboe at Glyndebourne. Later he moved to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra where he made major solo contributions to feature films such as "The Shooting Party", and "The Return of the Native".

His wide experience includes giving lectures on Wagner, and giving a broadcast talk for BBC Radio 3 on the subject of "The Cor Anglais". He is the author of the book "The Art of Cor Anglais", which over the last twenty years has become the industry-standard textbook worldwide. Now in its fourth edition, it is published by Emerson Edition.

More recently, after eight years working with English National Opera, Geoffrey Browne is now retired and concentrates on history.

He has a BA(Open), a Professional Certificate in Management, and a Certificate in Humanities, all from the Open University.
gbrowneblue7.wixsite.com/dacaccia

 


 Jason Carr

 

Born in Leeds (Yorkshire, UK), Jason studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. After winning the 1988 Vivian Ellis Prize for Young Writers of Musicals, Jason was invited by Sir Peter Hall to compose the musical Born Again (Chichester Festival Theatre starring Mandy Patinkin and José Ferrer). As Associate Composer at Chichester 2003-5, Jason wrote music and lyrics for two new musicals; The Water Babies and Six Pictures of Lee Miller (nominated British Composer Awards). His musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol has played Chichester, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Rep, and his new musical Lockhart has received a developmental production at Mountview Academy.

Jason has composed incidental music for over 50 plays at the NT, RSC, in the West End and on Broadway, for directors including Steven Pimlott, Sam Mendes, Sean Mathias, Howard Davies, Antony Page, Adrian Noble, Samuel West, Elijah Moshinsky, Gregory Doran, Lindsay Posner, Edward Hall, Gale Edwards…

Orchestration credits includes the Menier Chocolate Factory’s Sunday in the Park with George, La Cage aux Folles and A Little Night Music (all also Broadway, winning the Drama Desk Award and two Tony nominations for Best Orchestrations).

Jason has accompanied many notable artists, including Elisabeth Welch, Betty Garrett, Kitty Carlisle Hart, and Michael Ball. He has accompanied Dame Felicity Lott in major opera houses across Europe. He arranged, produced and played on Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid’s album You Are The Best Thing That Ever Has Happened To Me. A long association with Maria Friedman includes her Olivier Award-winning show By Extra Special Arrangement.
www.jasoncarr.org.uk

 


Arthur J. Michaels

 



Arthur J. Michaels earned a bachelor of music degree in music education from the Eastman School of Music and a master of arts degree in teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University.He has taught instrumental music in New York and in New Jersey.

Several of his concert band and string orchestra works have won contest awards and were selected in competition for performances. His published works include music for choruses, concert band, string orchestra, and instrumental ensembles.

He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Florida Music Educators Association, and ASCAP.
www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels/

 


 

 Simon M. Milton

 

Simon M. Milton graduated from the University of Reading with a combined honours degree in Music and Physics. After training as a teacher at Trent Park College in North London he taught for a number of years before moving to Munich to study oboe at the Richard Strauss Conservatoire with Gernot Schmalfuss. After two years he returned to Britain to continue his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester supported by a scholarship from the Arts Council.

He is now resident in Scotland where he is well known as oboist, teacher, conductor and arranger. He works as woodwind instructor for Fife Council and is also visiting teacher of oboe at the University of St Andrews. He has acted as oboe tutor for the Aberdeen Festival Summer School and also for the Summer School run by the Scottish School's Orchestral Trust.

In 1992 he was awarded the degree of MMus with distinction by the University of Sheffield.
He has made reductions of the orchestral accompaniments of many operas, initially for his own company in Scotland, but later for other companies, particularly in Denmark. For the Aarhus Summer Opera he has arranged La Clemenza di Tito, Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte, Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail and, most recently, L'Elisir d'Amore. For the Fyn Opera he has arranged La Cenerentola and Die Zauberfloete, that company also performed the versions of Figaro and Cosi. For the Oestre Gasvaerk Theatre in Copenhagen he has arranged the music for a production of Peter Schaffer's Amadeus. And for the North Jutland Opera he has arranged the music of Verdi's Macbeth for an orchestra of five instrumentalists and, for school performances of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, he reduced the accompaniment for violin and guitar.
www.simonmmilton.co.uk

 



Peter J. Pecora, Jr.

 

 

Peter J. Pecora, Jr. is a musician, composer and retired special education teacher living in the central area of New York State. He studied music at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, NY (Associates in Applied Science: Music, 1975) and at The State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo (Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts: Music Education, 1979). His special education degree is from Syracuse University (Master of Science: Special Education, 1992).

Pete studied clarinet with David Bomstein (1973-1974), Gerald Zampino (1974-1975, at that time Principal Clarinet of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra), and Allen Sigel at SUNY Buffalo (1975-1978). He studied flute with John Oberbrunner (1975, at that time Principal Flute of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra) and at SUNY Buffalo with Petr Kotik (1976-1977) and Robert Mols (1977-1979). He studied composing with Joe Riposo in Central New York. He has also directed and written music for church choirs.

Pete taught private clarinet and saxophone lessons in Syracuse, NY for nine years and was a special education teacher at his former high school from which he recently retired. He has performed in and written music for many bands and musical settings in the Buffalo, NY and Syracuse, NY areas, including classical, jazz, rock, R&B, gospel music.

Pete's current musical activities, besides composing, include playing flute and saxophone in the worship band at the church he attends (Wellspring Family Life Church), and playing flute, clarinet, saxophone, and whistles in a group called Butternut Creek Revival (www.butternutcreekrevival.com).
Pete's music can be found at www.reverbnation.com/petepecorajr