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Rachel Holt studied at the RNCM with Trevor Wye, and during this time was a prizewinner in the Young Artists’ Competition of the International Flute Association, held in the USA.  She was the Principal Flute in the Performing Arts Symphony Orchestra for fifteen years, and is currently Principal Flute with Sinfonia Viva. As a freelance performer she has played with many of Britain’s leading orchestras, including the Halle, Manchester Camerata and the Philharmonia.  Rachel also performs with the light music group Fourtune, and is a member of the chamber ensemble Zephyr. She is also one half of Appassionata, a flute and harp duo which, in addition to performing at weddings and functions and giving workshops, has released a CD entitled ‘Music To Iron By’. Rachel teaches at Chethams School of Music, the Junior RNCM, and Lancaster University. She has also given master classes in association with Miyazawa Flutes.


Ruth Davies is a native of Southport.  She started to play the oboe at the age of 12 under the guidance of Gillian Winfield and soon joined the Merseyside Youth Orchestra.  She subsequently gained a place at the Royal Northern College of Music where she studied with Roger Winfield, and whilst there was awarded the A L Winfield Prize and the Candlin Wind Instrument Award.  After graduating in 1991, she began a busy couple of years as a freelance musician, working with Northern Ballet, The Paragon Ensemble, Northern Sinfonia and the Hallé Orchestra.  She was appointed to the post of Assistant Principal oboe with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 1994.  Education and outreach work play an important part in Ruth's life. She regularly works as an 'adopted musician' in an inner-city school and gives informal concerts in hospitals and schools for children with special needs. In her spare time, Ruth enjoys cooking, sampling her home-made sloe gin and listening to Ella Fitzgerald.


Helen Peller pursues her career in music in education and as a freelance bassoonist. The flexibility and variety this affords is both favourable and rewarding. She held a full-time orchestral post for 12 years with the Hallé Orchestra. This job commenced after completing four years study with a variety of tutors at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She was awarded several prestigious scholarships for this purpose. Whilst at the Guildhall Helen played in the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra and the European Community Youth Orchestra as well as the London Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras. The list of ensembles she has played with since is now so extensive that it would be simpler to note the omissions! In her formative years Helen was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and was fortunate to have been awarded a County Music Exhibition enabling her to study with the eminent professors Charles Cracknell and Edward Warren. The present day sees performing a Mahler or Shostakovich symphony being a rarity. Instead, as well as the odd orchestral outing, Helen relishes the opportunity to explore the smaller more intimate chamber music repertoire amongst friends thus being available for the school run, church meetings, chutney/costume/jam/dinner making, gym visits and the rest of her life.


Lindsey Stoker was born in St Helens, Lancashire. She took up the horn at the age of 13. She studied at the RNCM with Mike Purton and Derek Taylor. She played first horn with the ECYO in 1987 and 1988. On leaving College, Lindsey freelanced with various orchestras including CBSO, BBC Philharmonic, Hallé, RLPO, Opera North, Bournemouth Symphony and Sinfonietta, BBC Symphony, BBC Concert, BBC NOW and the RTE. She was appointed third horn with Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, now Birmingham Royal Ballet, in September 1989, but left to join the Hallé as third horn in January 1990. She became Assistant Principal horn in 1992. Lindsey left the Hallé in December 2000 and has resumed her freelance career alongside the demands of having three young children. Lindsey has performed Strauss’s First Concerto, the Mozart concertos and Britten’s Serenade with various Orchestras. Lindsey also enjoys chamber music, and has performed the Brahms Horn Trio with Duo Dunamis on several occasions. She has been teaching at the RNCM since 1990.


Ian Buckle enjoys a busy and varied freelance career, working as soloist, accompanist, chamber musician, orchestral pianist and teacher. As concerto soloist, Ian has appeared alongside conductors Carl Davis, Gerard Schwarz, Yan Pascal Tortelier and John Wilson, with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic, Opera North, Sinfonia Viva, the Manchester Concert Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic His London debut came in 1996 with a recital at Wigmore Hall and he has given recitals in numerous British festivals including Buxton, Canterbury, Harrogate, Lake District Summer Music, Lichfield, the Ribble Valley International Piano Week and in the Bridgewater Hall for Manchester Midday Concerts. Ian is a member of the piano-and-woodwind ensemble Zephyr, the Cerberus Trio (with clarinet and cello); and the Elysnan Horn Trio, formed whilst students at the Royal Northern College of Music.  Committed to contemporary music, he has been the pianist in Ensemble 10:10 since the group was formed in 1997, and his piano duo with Richard Casey specialises in music of the last and current centuries.  As an accompanist he is in constant demand, performing and recording with singers and instrumentalists throughout the U.K. and in Europe, recently appearing in the Beethoven festival in Bonn and the Festspiele Mecklenberg with the former BBC Young Musician winner, clarinettist Mark Simpson.  Ian regularly plays orchestral piano in the RLPO, and teaches at Leeds University. Recent CD recordings include the Grieg Concerto (broadcast on Radio 3), Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, solo and chamber music by Humphrey Procter-Gregg, and a programme of works for trombone and piano with Chris Houlding.  A disc of transcriptions for cello and piano with Jonathan Aasgaard is awaiting release. Ian holds a season ticket at Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, and is an enthusiast of French cinema and nice restaurants. “Outstanding… Buckle is a pianist whose precision, power, musicianship and enviable composure allow us to experience the music without imposing superfluous affectation.  His technique is dazzling, yet always in the service of the composer.   A memorable event.”   Yorkshire Post.

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