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Chris Astles

Chris started to study the oboe with Christine Swain at the age of 16 and after obtaining a distinction in Grade 8 prior to leaving school, he attended the University of Leicester to study Law with French. In 1999, Chris studied for and was awarded the Associated Board Advanced Certificate in Oboe. He now concentrates on his main interest, the cor anglais. Chris is a qualified solicitor working in-house with the City and Guilds of London Institute and currently studies with Christine Pendrill and plays cor anglais with the Kensington Symphony Orchestra.

Gemma Beeson

After studying at Manchester High School for Girls, Gemma entered Chetham's School of Music. Gemma began playing the piano at the age of four, her main teachers being Helen Krizos and John Gough. At Chetham's she studied with Peter Lawson and played in masterclasses with Peter Donohoe, Noriko Ogawa and Norma Fischer.  She has enjoyed considerable success as a pianist in festivals throughout the North of England and, in addition to winning the Mrs Sunderland Junior Recital Prize and the Concerto Competition in Huddersfield, Gemma was awarded, in 1998, the Sheila Mossman Prize of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music for gaining the highest national mark in Grade 8 Piano Examination.

In addition to playing the piano, Gemma is also an accomplished violinist, having spent three years as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Gemma also enjoys composing and her works include several piano pieces, a xylophone rag (written for her sister Lucy who is also studying at Chetham's and was a Finalist in the 2004 Young Musician of the Year) and a movement for String Quartet. In September 2002, Gemma began studying on the Joint Course at the Royal Northern College of Music and the University of Manchester. Her ambition is to play the piano professionally both as soloist and chamber musician. 

Denise Beynon

Born in Cardiff, Denise Beynon read music at Bristol University from where she graduated in 1975. At Bristol she studied conducting with Kenneth Mobbs and Dr. Derek Bourgeois. She then spent a further year studying the viola at the Welsh College of Music and Drama. Denise has worked abroad and in the UK, both as an orchestral player and as a freelance player in London and Glasgow.

Denise now devotes much of her time to her two children and to some private teaching. She works for Salford Education Authority as well as teaching in Stockport schools.

Simon Bowler

Photo of Simon BowlerSimon Bowler was born in Sheffield in 1970 and his musical training began with piano lessons from his father. In 1980, he became a cathedral chorister at Southwell Minster. On leaving the choir, he studied the organ with Kenneth Beard and was appointed to his first post in 1983 as Organist and Choirmaster at Upton Parish Church in Nottinghamshire. After studies at London University and the Royal College of Music where he gained his B.Mus (Hons) and his ARCM (Organ Performance), Simon was appointed Assistant Master of Music at Peterborough Cathedral in 1993. During his time at Peterborough, he made three recordings on CD and made several live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 as an organist.

In 1995, he moved to Brighton as Director of Music at St. Peters Church and in 1997, was appointed to the staff in the Academic Music Department at Chetham‘s School of Music, Manchester, where he also directed the chamber choir.

After conducting local youth orchestras and several choirs whilst at school, Simon organised and conducted many concerts with fellow students at the Royal College. He was also assistant conductor of New Sussex Opera and founded a chamber orchestra and choir in Brighton. He was conductor of the Macclesfield Youth Orchestra and was Choral Musical Director of the King Edward Musical Society, Macclesfield. He also worked with other orchestras in the North West, such as the Northern Baroque and Liverpool Mozart Players.

In January 2000, Simon was appointed the Musical Director of the Gorton Philharmonic Society but in September 2001, he took up an appointment as Director of Music, Bryanston School, Dorset.

Rosie Brown 

Rosie  lives in Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire. She started playing the piano at the age of 5 and has since won many prizes in music festivals around the country. In July 2001 she played the Shostakovich 2nd Piano Concerto with Stockport Youth Orchestra and in September 2002 played the first movement of the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Manchester Camerata. Rosie played the piano in her school jazz band and also gave piano lessons to a few young pupils. She played the cello in the Stockport Youth Orchestra and the new Hallé Youth Orchestra and passed Grade 8 cello with distinction. She studied English literature, history, music and biology at Cheadle Hulme School and is now studying music at York University. Her main interests are art and music and her hobbies include tennis, which she played for the Stockport Borough Squad and Ryecroft tennis club.

Corallia Duo

The Corallia Duo was formed in 2003 by Fiona Slominska (flute) and Louise Thomson (harp) whilst both were studying at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. They have performed extensively throughout the United Kingdom in recitals, private functions and corporate events. The music they perform is diverse and exciting, displaying their instruments' unusual and impressive abilities. 

Fiona was a music scholar at Uppingham School, Rutland and studied the flute at RNCM with Peter Lloyd. She won the Geoffrey Gilbert Flute Prize and was a finalist in the Granada Prize, performing Ravel's Chanson Madecasses. In her final year, Fiona was awarded the RNCM's  Diploma in Professional Performance, completing her studies with a B.Sc (1st class Hons) degree. She made her professional debut with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and has also worked with the Halle Orchestra. She is now the flute tutor on the National Schools Symphony Orchestra course and teaches at Uppingham and Oundle Schools.

Louise studied at Chethams School of Music, Manchester with Eira Lynn Jones and in her final year won the Ida Carroll String Prize. She continued to study with Eira Lynn Jones whilst at the RNCM and in 2003, was awarded 1st place at the Open Harp Finals of the Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales. In January 2005, Louise made her professional debut with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Louise graduated from the RNCM with a First Class Honours in her Bachelor of Music degree. She performs regularly as a member of the Corallia Duo as well as solo recitals.

Julia Cupman

Julia began playing the 'cello at the age of seven. Currently taught by Priscilla Hills, she enjoys playing her  much-loved German 'cello in small chamber ensembles, in various orchestras and for charity concerts. She is presently studying Modern Languages at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where she also plays in the University Orchestra. 

As a career, Julia's ultimate aim is to work behind the scenes in television and she was privileged to obtain work experience at the BBC in London. Although her career may not necessarily involve music, her 'cello will continue to play an important role throughout her life. 

Catherine Dawson

Catherine comes from Camberley, Surrey and started playing the cello when she was ten years old. She attended Guildford High School for Girls as a Music Exhibitioner and held a County Junior Music Award to the Junior Department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studied with Gillian Thoday.

In 1998, Catherine entered Chetham's School of Music in Manchester where she studied with David Smith. She performed regularly in school, participating in masterclasses with Yo Yo Ma, Steven Doane and David Strange. Catherine attended the Royal Academy of Music on a major scholarship in 2001 and planned to continue her studies at Trinity College, Cambridge.

Philip Dewhurst 

Born and educated in Bolton, Philip's principal instrument is the oboe. He studied music at Newcastle on Tyne with Denis Matthews and was appointed Director of Music at Cheadle Hulme School five years ago.

As an oboist, Philip gives instrumental recitals and also enjoys orchestral work. He is an Adjudicator on the Music Festival circuit and is an Examiner for Trinity College of Music, London. One of his interests is Marathon running and he has taken part in both London and Manchester Marathons.

Alex Edmundson

Alex, aged fifteen, lives in Lytham St. Annes and comes from a musical family. His brother and sister are also musicians and his mother is a violin and cello teacher. He began playing the piano aged five and took up the French horn at the age of seven after hearing his parents perform in a Blackpool Symphony Orchestra concert which included a Horn Concerto by Mozart. At the age of nine, Alex was awarded a place at Chethams School of Music, Manchester where he studies with Lizzie Davies.

Alex has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra (NYO) since he was twelve and has worked under conductors such as Marin Alsop, Gianandrea Noseda and Sir Colin Davis. He has also played in masterclasses with horn players such as David Pyatt, Michael Thompson and Richard Watkins. Alex recently achieved his DipABRSM and hopes to continue his musical education, after his A levels, at a London music college. Alex was recently a semi-finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition 2006. 

He would like to be a soloist, orchestral player and teacher and, aside from music, Alex enjoys football, cricket and listening to Stevie Wonder and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Rebecca Gilliver

Rebecca Gilliver studied at the Menuhin School, the Royal Northern College of Music and in Basel; her teachers included Ralph Kirshbaum, Melissa Phelps and Moray Welsh. Success in competitions in the UK and the US led to critically acclaimed debuts in the Wigmore Hall (Pierre Fournier Award) and Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, New York (East-West Artists).

Currently co-principal cellist at the London Symphony Orchestra, Rebecca also works as principal with orchestras abroad and has played in Sweden, Holland, South Africa and Australia. She has recorded for the BBC in various roles; as recitalist with Roger Vignoles; on television with the Andrusier Ensemble, which specialises in suppressed music; and with various new music ensembles. Other chamber music pursuits include a recent release of a CD of Ensescu chamber music with the Solomon Ensemble and participation in IMS Prussia Cove. Rebecca enjoys the generous loan of an old English cello by Gilkes.

Nicola Hatfield

Nicola studied with Clare McFarlane before entering the Royal Northern College of Music, where she was taught by Richard Deakin and Roger Raphael. With the support of the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, she then studied for her postgraduate diploma at the Royal College of Music in London with Levon Chilingirian, graduating with distinction in July 2001.

Over the past few years, Nicola has taken part in masterclasses with Ida Haendel, Mauricio Fuks and Franco Gulli. Recent performances include the Vivaldi Concerto for Four Violins at the RCM and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor  in Wales.

From 1995 to 1999 she was the Leader of the Hatfield String Quartet, formed at the RNCM where they won the Terence Weil Prize for chamber music. During this time, the Quartet performed extensively in the Midlands and the North, including concerts in the Sheffield Crucible Theatre and the Uppingham Concert Series.

Nicola was a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugend Orchester in 1999 and now works with orchestras including the City of London Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra and Manchester Camerata. She is currently on trial for a position in the BBC Symphony Orchestra and was recently appointed co-principal of the Philharmonisches Orchester Erfurt in Germany.

Andrew Hodkinson

Andrew studied Viola and Piano at the Royal College of Music under Bernard Shore and Hilda Klein and studied conducting with John Russell and Sir Adrian Boult, gaining an ARCM and GRSM. He played viola for the Festival Ballet Orchestra and later joined the Iceland Chamber Music Players.

After taking a post-graduate teaching diploma, Andrew taught violin and viola in the North of England and then in the Midlands, also free-lancing as an orchestral viola player, and conductor including Songs of Praise and Sunday Half Hour for the BBC. For 21 years, he has been on the staff of the National Children's Orchestra as viola tutor and as one of the assistant conductors and is conductor of the High Peak Orchestra. 

Apart from teaching full-time, Andrew is an active chamber music player being the viola player in the "Bella Musica" and Carlton String Quartets. Andrew lives in Buxton and is married with two children and two grandchildren and his hobbies are car mechanics, gardening and cooking.

Jan Hutchings

Born in Bolton, Jan Hutchings learned much of the repertoire from her mother, the contralto Jean Ruckledge. After studying music to 'A' level and then at college, she embarked on a teaching career in Warrington, gaining the L.T.C.L. in performance singing four years later. She has made many solo appearances in the area, including concerts with Warrington Music Society and, indeed Gorton Philharmonic Society, way back in 1985. During this time she took many leading roles with Warrington Light Opera.

Solo work was 'put on hold' for a few years after Jan gave birth to a daughter and then twin girls but during this time, Jan continued to sing with the highly successful unaccompanied vocal ensemble, Opus XI under the skilful direction of Roger Wilkes. Jan has now returned to the stage, taking principal roles in Warrington Light Opera's operettas and she finds time to sing with the vocal quartet Bel Canto as well as working as a part-time music teacher. 

Wyn Hyland 

Wyn Hyland hails from Cardigan in Wales and was educated at Chetham's School of Music, Manchester, Wadham College, Oxford and the Royal College of Music. He has given recitals all over Britain and Europe and also in Bolivia, Uganda and Asia. He has performed concertos at the Royal Festival Hall, St. David's Hall, Cardiff and the BBC Maida Vale. 

Wyn spent a year on the Continent as Musical Director of the European tours of Cabaret and Guys and Dolls. Whilst there, he made recordings for German radio and released his first CD. Wyn is now a Guest Classical Artist for Cunard and has just returned from a concert series on the QE2.

Wyn has played the piano in the orchestra for the British tours of the Moscow City Ballet and the European Chamber Opera. He has recently returned from a "Route of the Vikings" concert tour as part of a duo giving concerts in Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Norway and Canada. He works extensively as a freelance accompanist around London.

Sam King

Sam King was born in Croydon in 1966 and took up the clarinet at the age of eleven, inspired by such diverse performers as Acker Bilk and Jack Brymer. After a school career which included the opportunity to play at major London concert halls and tour Europe with the prize-winning Bromley Youth Concert Band, he went to Trinity College, Cambridge to read music. Here he served for some time as Principal Clarinet in the Cambridge University Music Society First Orchestra and appeared as soloist in concertos by Mozart and Finzi, as well as giving several solo and chamber music recitals. In addition, he sang with the Chapel Choir and continued his activities as a composer, gaining an M.Phil in composition in 1988.

Since graduating, Sam has taught music in various guises, both as an instrumentalist and an academic, while continuing his postgraduate studies, which lead in 1999 to a Ph.D in the music of Elliott Carter. In 1993, he took up his current post on the Academic Music Staff at Chetham's School of Music, Manchester and he has been appointed as Musical Director of Bolton Youth Orchestra.

Annabelle Lawson

Annabelle Lawson lives in North-East Derbyshire. She studied the piano at Chetham's School of Music, Manchester, where she was taught by her father, Peter Lawson, and Ronan O'Hara. She has taken part in classes given by Philip Fowke, Sulamita Aronovsky, Maria Curcio, Stephen Hough, Arnaldo Cohen and Christopher Elton.

Annabelle has given performances throughout the UK and she took part in a school tour of Kent and East Sussex, giving workshops and concerts in Primary and Secondary schools .

In Manchester, she has played in the Bridgewater Hall's 'A Little Bite Music' lunchtime concert series and in 1995, as a member of Chetham's Lower School, she gave a concerto performance at the Royal Northern College of Music. In 1998, she appeared as soloist in de Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain with Chetham's Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier (recently released on CD) and again with the Hallé Orchestra. In 1999, she performed Poulenc's Concerto for Two Pianos with her father in the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. 

Frank Lennon

Frank studied the violin with Rudolph Botta from the age of twelve. After taking a degree in History and a research degree in American Studies at Manchester University, he began a career in lecturing. He is currently Head of American Studies at Liverpool Hope University College. Frank plays in theatre shows and chamber groups and frequently helps at orchestral concerts throughout the North-West region. He was appointed Leader of the Manchester Beethoven Orchestra in 1991 and is now their Musical Director. Up to 2004, Frank was Sub-leader of the Gorton Philharmonic Orchestra.

Charlotte Lines

Charlotte was born in Huddersfield and she started playing the horn at the age of eleven and became a pupil at Chetham's School of Music in 1996, where she studied with Douglas Scarfe of Opera North.

She took part in solo, chamber and orchestral performances, both nationally and internationally, and toured with Chetham's Symphony Orchestra. Charlotte won a scholarship to study with former LSO Principal Horn, Hugh Seenan, at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Marple Choral Society

Marple Choral Society, formerly the Overdale Singers, was formed over 20 years ago. It has approximately 70 members who perform three major concerts each year as well as the popular Family Carol Concert. The list of works performed ranges from popular twentieth century works such as Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana to the standard choral repertoire such as Handel's Messiah and the Mozart Requiem.

The choir frequently engages singers from the School of Vocal Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and local professional instrumentalists are convened to form a chamber orchestra for most concerts. Their Musical Director is Richard Laing, who studied at the Universities of Manchester, Reading and Illinois, before spending two postgraduate years at the Royal Northern College of Music studying violin with Richard Ireland. He has given recitals in England and America and has played in orchestras on television and radio on three continents. Richard has conducted for Kent Opera and the Llanerchaeron Festival. The choir rehearses at Marple Methodist Church, Church Lane, on Monday evenings. Enquiries to the Secretary, Clive Cairns on 0161 456 1647.

Oliver Nelson

Oliver Nelson was born in Glasgow in 1972 and began learning the violin at the age of 6. At 12, he was awarded a music scholarship to Canford School studying violin with Richard Studt, and at 17, he was awarded an Exhibition to study violin with Xue-Wei, and conducting with Denise Ham, at the Royal Academy of Music. During this time, he was leader and soloist with the Academy String Orchestra, winning first prize in a concerto competition, thereby beginning his solo career. Orchestras which he has played with range from Gli Amici Della Musica, Dorset Youth Orchestra, Wilmslow Symphony Orchestra, Da Vinci Ensemble, Christchurch Sinfonia, Linoi Ensemble and Dorset Chamber Orchestra. 

He has held teaching posts at Hindhead School of Music and currently at Sherborne School. He is a regular recitalist with Zoe Solomon and Peter Croser and has a particular specialisation in the unaccompanied repertoire. He is the leader of the Sorrentino Quartet and the Linoi Ensemble and is a familiar soloist with orchestras across the country with forthcoming performances of the Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven concerti in venues ranging from Dorset, Winchester to London.

Robin Newton

Robin studied conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music where he was a major prizewinner. Robin is Music Director of new music group e2K and of the Honley Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Music Director elect of Preston Opera and Assistant Conductor of the Manchester Boys Choir. He has held posts as principal conductor of the Edgware Symphony Orchestra, assistant conductor of the Amadeus Orchestra and guest conductor of the Colne Valley Youth Orchestra. He has worked as assistant conductor to Michael Rosewell with Clonter Opera and recent appearances include  the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra, the RNCM Sinfonietta, the Wilmslow Symphony Orchestra and the Wrexham Symphony Orchestra. He began his studies with Christopher Adey and has worked with Mark Wigglesworth at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and David Parry at Opera North, taken masterclasses with Mark Elder, Zubin Mehta and Gerard Schwarz and had consultations from Sir Colin Davis, Oliver Knussen, Odaline de la Martinez, Nicolae Moldoveanu, John Lubbock and William Boughton. Robin studied composition with Robin Holloway and writes on music.

Carla Rees

Carla Rees completed her BMus and MMus degrees at the Royal College of Music, studying flute and composition. Since graduating in 1999, she has become a leading alto flute specialist working to raise the profile of the instrument through research, performance and commissioning new repertoire. She plays the world's first fully quarter tone Kingma system alto flute, an instrument with which she is able to break new ground in contemporary techniques and repertoire. Carla was Principal Flute of the National Wind Orchestra of Great Britain for several years and has performed flute concerto both in the UK and abroad. She now holds teaching posts at Nottingham University and at Wycombe Abbey School. 

Mark Robinson

From an early age Mark Robinson has been involved in conducting, trumpet/cornet playing, singing and composition. Formerly of Brighouse and Rastrick Band and the Northern Sinfonia, he studied at Huddersfield (winning the Lawrence Turner Prize) and York Universities, the Royal College of Music, under George Hurst and the late Sir Georg Solti, and at the Darmstadt International Institute.

He has a wide interest in many forms of music, which have been reflected in his career to date. At present he is working with the Contemporary Music ensemble IXION in London and Kala Sangam, a South Asian arts organisation based in Bradford. He is a regular conductor with the Wilmslow Symphony Orchestra.

Angela Rowley

A graduate in German from University College, London, Angela has a particular love of Lieder and French and English song. In recent years she has performed concerts and recitals throughout England and Wales, including a solo concert at Lyme Hall and gala concerts in Huddersfield and Dewsbury. She performed in concerts in France during 1998 and 1999 and enjoyed a successful tour of Romania during June 1999.

She has performed in many oratorios including Messiah, Creation, Elijah, Dvorak's Mass in D, Rutter and Fauré Requiem, Rossini's Stabat Mater, Haydn's Nelson Mass, Elgar's For the Fallen, Gounod's Messe Solenelle and Vivaldi's Gloria.

Angela studies with Kieran McNiff and takes opportunities for coaching from Rae Woodland, Brian Mackay and Paul Farrington. In February '98, Angela won the prestigious Rose Bowl and the Vocal Recital Prize in the Mrs Sunderland Music Competition in Huddersfield and during that year, she was invited to sing in a public masterclass in London with Thomas Hemsley.

Lenny Sayers

Lenny Sayers was born in Bradford in 1977 and studied music at York University, followed by a post-graduate course at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester under the tuition of Barry Gregson and Nicholas Cox. Whilst at RNCM, Lenny achieved the prestigious Professional Performance Diploma, as well as a Post Graduate Diploma and a Master's degree in performance, all with distinction. In June 2001, he was a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Musician of the Year and performed with the BBC Concert Orchestra in the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

Lenny has been a freelance clarinet player since September 2001 and has performed with the Hallé Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Manchester Camerata. He is also a member of the Fell Clarinet Quartet who frequently perform as part of Live Music Now! bringing music to sections of the community, such as special schools and adult day-centres, who would not otherwise experience it.

Nicholas Simpson

Nicholas Simpson was born into a Quaker family in Manchester, England, and after leaving a faint but still detectable impression on early 1980s pop music, took up composition seriously in his mid-twenties. He studied for four years with John Taverner at Trinity College of Music in London, where he won the Chappell Prize for composition and the Ricordi Prize for conducting (twice). In 1987 he was a finalist in the Yehudi Menuhin and Royal Overseas League competitions, and whilst still a student his first string quartet was given by the Roth Quartet at the Purcell Room on London's South Bank. Subsequently he has worked with artists as diverse as the Composers' Ensemble, the B.B.C. Symphony Orchestra and the English String Quartet, and his music has been broadcast in Britain and abroad. His output includes quartets and other chamber works, a viola concerto, Christmas carols and two symphonies, the second of which has been recorded, and broadcast, by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. An orchestral piece, Your Passacaglia, was named joint winner of the Surrey University composition competition. He is currently composer in residence at Sale Choral Society, a post funded by the PRS Foundation, and has composed Recreation, a large scale setting of the biblical creation story juxtaposed with the scientific account of Big Bang. Nicholas Simpson lives in Manchester with his wife and three children and was appointed Musical Director of the Gorton Philharmonic Orchestra for their 150th Anniversary Year in 2004. He is the present Musical Director of the Society and has been reappointed as MD for 2007.

Stephen Threlfall

Stephen Threlfall, the Society's President, began his conducting career when asked to conduct Weill's Threepenny Opera for the Manchester Youth Theatre. Following this, he was a participant in the European Conductors' Seminar in 1985 and also in the prestigious Leeds Conducting Competition in 1991. A graduate of the RNCM he was, for a number of years, sub principal cello with the BBC Philharmonic, having also played with many of this country's leading orchestras.

Stephen has held a number of conducting posts with both orchestras and choirs and has performed extensively throughout the UK and Europe. He is currently principal conductor of Cordial Company Opera, the Philharmonic Chamber Strings and, until recently, of the Hemsted Forest Youth Orchestra. His wide variety of guest engagements has included ensembles such as the BBC Philharmonic, the Northern Symphony, Lakeland Sinfonietta, Isle of Wight, Liverpool Concert and Maidstone Symphony Orchestras. He was a staff member of the orchestral training programme at Trinity College of Music, London and has conducted in France, the Netherlands and Germany.

Stephen has organised many charity concerts with both large and small ensembles. These have included concerts for the RNLI, Papworth Hospital, local hospices throughout the country and a major concert in 1992 in aid of the British Heart Foundation, when he brought together players from the top orchestras in England. He has also organised choral weekends, competitions for young players and the highly successful Benenden Music Festival.

Stephen became Director of Music at Chetham's School of Music in September 1995 and subsequently has conducted performances of Handel's Messiah for Crisis in December 1995 and 1996, both of which were broadcast nationally by Classic FM and raised over £100,000 for the charity. The 1995 concert was made into a CD in a record breaking 14 hours after the concert.

He directs his own ensemble, the Philharmonic Chamber Strings, whose members include principal players from the country's leading orchestra, the group recently completing its third concert series in the South East.

Stephen is the Gorton Philharmonic Society's President and, as such, maintains close links with the Orchestra. This also has enabled the Society to benefit from associations with many of the gifted young musicians at Chetham's School of Music who have performed  concertos with the orchestra.

Andrew Turner

Andrew  comes from Hornby near Northallerton, North Yorkshire. He started playing the piano when he was 6 and began playing the French Horn with the North Yorkshire Music Service. Andrew followed his brother Christopher to Chetham's School of Music, Manchester in September 2002 where he now studies with Elizabeth Davis. Prior to that he spent a year learning with Peter Francomb, Principal Horn of the Northern Sinfonia.

Andrew has played with many ensembles both in his home county and at Chetham's. He has been a member of the National Children's Orchestra for 2 years and in 2002 was Principal Horn with the under-13's orchestra. He enjoys performing and has participated in many Lower School recitals at Chetham's as well as local concerts and competitions.

Andrea Vaz

Andrea Vaz  lives in Dubai (United Arab Emirates). She began playing the piano at the age of six and joined Chetham's School of Music in Manchester in 1995 where she studied with Susan Bettaney and Peter Lawson. 

Andrea has given concerts both at Chetham's and in various parts of the country, including a lunchtime concert at the Bridgewater Hall during Piano 2000. She has taken part in classes with Ronan O'Hara, Bernard Roberts and Kathryn Stott. Andrea also takes a keen interest in chamber music and accompaniment,  taking part in the Opera Weekend at Chetham's School.

From September 2001, Andrea was at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she was awarded a scholarship to study with Martin Roscoe.

Huw Williams

Born in Swansea in 1971, Huw Williams was awarded the Organ Scholarship at Christ's College, Cambridge from where he graduated in June 1992. While at Cambridge, he gained the Limpus Prize for best performance in the Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists. He also directed the Chapel Choir on four tours and was Musical Director for three productions by the University Gilbert and Sullivan Society.

He later studied Organ and Church Music at the Royal Academy of Music, his teachers including Nicholas Danby, David Titterington, Patrick Russill and David Sanger. While in London, he was Organ Scholar at St.

 Paul's Cathedral and he gained a M.Mus. and a Diploma in Advanced Studies. In 1995 he was appointed Assistant Organist at Hereford Cathedral where he made three recordings and four radio broadcasts with the Cathedral Choir and was closely involved with the famous Three Choirs Festival. He was Conductor of the Hereford Chamber Choir between May 1995 and February 1998.

Huw has performed the Poulenc Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea with the London Mozart Players and more recently, with the City of London Sinfonia at St. Paul's as part of the City of London Festival. He has given recitals in the UK and abroad in Germany, Holland and Israel.

Huw took up his post as Sub Organist and Assistant Director of Music at St.Paul's Cathedral in February 1998 and since then has appeared on two broadcasts and four recordings with the Cathedral Choir.





The Society

Past Concerts

Music Links

Gorton Philharmonic Orchestra