Marksbury School pupils provide a lively musical introduction to the festival.
The Rockhampton Wind Quintet
Since forming in 2011, we’ve performed at venues in and around Bristol, including: Bristol Music Club, Clevedon Music Club, Bristol Cathedral, All Saints Clifton, Malmesbury Abbey, The Tithebarn, Nailsea, Yatton Music Club, The Three Towers Festival, St. Stephen’s, Bristol, Cossham Hall, Thornbury
Gareth Williams (flute)
Brought up in Belfast, Gareth began playing the flute and tin whistle in local youth orchestras and folk groups. He played in the Cambridge University Music Society orchestra and was first flute in the University Orchestras in London and Liverpool. His career as a doctor took him to Geneva (with its quaintly uniformed wind band, the Harmonie Nautique) and then to Liverpool, where he was first flute in the Crosby Symphony Orchestra for 15 years. As well as classical music with the Quintet, the Bristol Concert Orchestra and the Bristol Chamber Orchestra, he plays jazz (flute and saxes), currently in the Class Act Quartet and the Park Row Five, and has performed in Jazz Festivals at Southport, Thornbury and elsewhere.
Sophie Cottrell (oboe)
Sophie started playing the oboe at the age of 11, studying with John Burdett in Norwich. She has played with orchestras in Norfolk, Cambridge and London, and has been a member of the Bristol Concert Orchestra for 15 years. She also plays regularly in chamber ensembles, including the Rockhampton Wind Quintet and the former oboe trio ‘The Sprightly Companions’, who received coaching from oboists Imogen Triner and Neil Black. She currently works part-time as a Speech and Language Therapist, looks after her 3 children, and squeezes in as much music as possible.
Emma Tenison (clarinet)
Emma began the clarinet aged 9 and went on to play with the Wiltshire and Swindon Youth Orchestra, National Children’s Wind Orchestra and National Children’s Chamber Orchestra. While a medical student at Bristol, she was awarded a music bursary from the University Alumni Foundation to study with Dr Kevin Murphy and prepare for the ABRSM performance diploma; she was principal clarinet in the University Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, sang in the University Church Choir, and and was awarded the Dean’s Prize for Arts & Music. She performed the Finzi Clarinet Concerto with the Abingdon Symphony Orchestra (2005) and the Bristol University Medics’ Chamber Orchestra (2010), and in 2012 was soloist in Jim Parker’s Concerto with the Bristol Chamber Orchestra. Now a medical registrar at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, Emma fits in as much music as possible, including playing with the Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra.
Hazel Woods (bassoon)
Hazel began her musical journey playing recorders at primary school and started percussion lessons at the age of 11. Soon after, she was asked if she’d like to learn the bassoon; she remains very glad that she said yes (despite not knowing what it was). Hazel studied Music at the University of Exeter, where she played with the Exeter University Orchestra, Exeter University Sinfonietta and in show bands performing Gilbert & Sullivan operas and West Side Story. Thereafter, her career took her away from music. Since picking up her bassoon again in 2008 (after an unintentional 10-year hiatus), Hazel has been very active in the Bristol orchestral scene. Undaunted by the arrival of her two boys, she plays with the Bristol Concert Orchestra and Rockhampton Wind Quintet.
Mike Lea-Wilson (horn)
Mike started learning the horn at the age of 11 in Bishop’s Stortford. He actually chose the trumpet, but was informed by his teacher that his lips would be better suited to the horn, and he hasn’t looked back since. Getting into the Cambridge University Music Society orchestra led to heavy involvement in the Cambridge music scene, with much orchestral playing, chamber music and opera. Since then, he has played in various orchestras and chamber groups in Reading, London and Bristol, and is currently a member of the Bristol Concert Orchestra and the Bristol Classical Players. When not designing silicon chips (his 'day job') or playing his French horn, Mike enjoys eating good food, talking to his 3 cats and DIY.
Thomas Allery Director of music at Worcester College Oxford and St Mary-Le-Bow, Cheapside, London (the "Bow Bells" church)
Matt has studied the classical guitar with John Mills and also Benjamin Spender, holds a BA (Hons) in music, MMus in classical performance and currently studying for a PhD in ethnomusicology. The recital features repertoire from Latin America which reflect Matt’s area of research. The programme will include pieces by Barrios, Villa Lobos, Ponce and Torroba.
Ensemble Hesperi Scottish baroque music with Scottish dancer, Kathleen Gilbert
The Pheasant's Eye
Award-winning Early Music group Ensemble Hesperi present a taste of 18th century Scotland through their unique collaboration, The Pheasant's Eye. Inspired by the haunting traditional melodies and infectious dance rhythms around them, Scottish composers created a new 'fusion' of folk and High Baroque fashion, brought to life with special choreography by Highland dancer, Kathleen Gilbert.
A Glimpse into the Baroque music of Scotland
The music of eighteenth century Scotland is loved by performers and audiences alike: its timeless appeal stems from its simple soaring melodies, and the characteristic fusion of traditional ‘Baroque’ music, rhythms and styles inspired by Scottish dance. This charming music has enjoyed increased popularity within Scotland over the past thirty years, but it still remains an area of undiscovered beauty elsewhere.
Our programme showcases several Scottish-born composers, whose writing was inspired by the lyricism of the folk and traditional music that they heard around them. Some, such as James Oswald, John Reid, and the Earl of Kellie, wrote original pieces (in a ‘Baroque’ style), but their musical languages have an unmistakeable Scottish flavour. Scottish rhythms (most notably the Lombardic or ‘Scotch snap’) dominate melody lines, and airs, jigs and hornpipes take the place of traditional sonata movements. These appealed to the sophisticated musical tastes of the members of the musical societies of Edinburgh and Aberdeen, whose popularity soared towards the mid-1750s. These societies employed their own orchestras, composers, and teachers, and their music catalogues, which have survived today, show the wealth of music performed in Scotland at the time, including not only Scottish composers, but also the ever-popular works of Italian musicians such as Corelli and Geminiani.
Music produced in Scotland also found its way to London and further afield in the form of collections of ‘Scots Tunes’ published by several of the most celebrated Scottish composers: James Oswald, William McGibbon, Alexander Munro, and the Edinburgh-based Barsanti. These appealed to the tastes of fashionable Londoners, who were beguiled by tunes from the Scottish lowlands set to figured bass in the ‘Italian’ style. Publishers and composers such as James Oswald and Robert Bremner made their fortunes publishing these little ‘pocket book’ collections, popular with professionals and amateur musicians alike well into the nineteenth century.
Ensemble Hesperi is a young, innovative, Early Music ensemble based in London. It is dedicated to showcasing the infinite colours and possibilities of their instruments, presenting programmes through the lens of colourful characters from the musical past. They have a particular interest in promoting unpublished and previously undiscovered Scottish Baroque repertoire, and in exploring the fascinating links between Scotland, London, and the continent through Baroque music during the eighteenth century. In 2019, the ensemble will embark on a new project, ‘The Pheasant’s Eye’, supported by a Lottery grant from Arts Council England, exploring the lives of Scottish composers through Highland dance music. This project will also create educational resources based on Scottish composer James Oswald’s ‘Airs for the Seasons’, a collection of 96 airs, each named after a flower. This initiative hopes to introduce this wonderful Early Music to new audiences of every age and background.
Thomas and Mary-Jannet formed Ensemble Hesperi (‘Evening Stars’) as a duo ensemble while studying on the Masters programme at the Royal College of Music, where they performed regularly as part of the Historical Performance Department. In this format, Ensemble Hesperi won the Audience Prize at the Fenton House Early Keyboard Ensemble Competition in 2012, and the Century Fund Prize at the RCM Early Music Competition in 2013. More recently, they have appeared in the London Handel Festival, the inaugural St Marylebone Festival and the 'Future Baroque' series at the London Festival of Baroque Music 2017. Mary-Jannet and Thomas were delighted to have been selected for the Brighton Early Music Festival Live scheme for 2016-2017, and also to have been chosen to perform twice on the continent during 2017, at the Brugge and Utrecht Early Music Fringe Festivals. Their performance of their Scottish Baroque duo programme, 'The Pheasant's Eye', won the Audience Prize from over 70 performances from European young ensembles. Mary-Jannet and Thomas were also delighted to be selected as Live Music Now musicians in November 2018. From 2019 onwards, the ensemble will perform both as a duo, and as a larger ensemble, with new members Magdalena Loth-Hill (Baroque Violin) and Florence Petit (Baroque Cello).
Kathleen Gilbert has developed an international career in Highland dance. For over twenty years she has been an exponent of this dance form, and now enjoys a varied career performing, teaching, lecturing and adjudicating all over the world. Kathleen enjoyed early success in competitions while growing up in Western Canada. From the outset, Kathleen began exploring the use of dance to tell stories, and started choreographing projects in collaboration with other arts forms. As a Fellow with the SDTA (Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance), Kathleen is proud to kindle enthusiasm in dance and keep the traditions of Highland dance alive in her preparation of students for exams and competitions. In 2010 she became a member of the SOBHD (Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing) Judge’s Panel; a role which has led to adjudication tours on both sides of the Atlantic. She also serves as the secretary for the HDTAE (Highland Dance Teachers Association of England).
Highland dancing has led Kathleen to all corners of the world, enjoying working in dance in different contexts. In the wider public eye, she has performed for Queen Elizabeth II, taught an MTV host how to do the Fling, and has worked with Torvill & Dean to aid in choreography for ‘Dancing on Ice’. She prides herself in her technical perfection in her own performance and in her teaching. Kathleen is committed to championing Highland Dance and to bringing it to a wider audience.
The Village Folk
An afternoon of entertaining folk music
A folk group with an entertaining programme of folk songs from around the British Isles, songs of the sea and lively anecdotes. Be prepared to join in!