Formed by clarinettist Chris Swann in 1980 this energetic woodwind quintet is comprised of renowned and experienced musicians drawn from Britain's leading orchestras. Often working as a sextet with piano and occasionally bringing in friends and colleagues from other sections of the orchestra, the ensemble embraces opportunities to perform in a variety of instrumental combinations.
- 5:00pm Pre-concert Early Bird meal at La Casa Vecchia (not included in the ticket)
Why not make an evening of it and book your pre-concert dinner at www.lacasavecchia.co.uk who are kindly helping to sponsor the concert series
- 6:30pm Doors open
- 7:00: Spotlight Concert
Music performed by talented young people from Sandbach
- 7:30 Intermission
- 8:00 Main Concert
- Overture to “La Forza del Destino” Giuseppe Verdi
- Divertimento for Flute, Oboe and Clarinet Malcolm Arnold
i. Allegro energico ii. Languido iii. Vivace iv. Andantino v. Maestoso vi. Piacevole
- Wind Quintet Op 14 in Ab Major Gustav Holst
i. Allegretto moderato ii. Adagio iii. Minuet (in canon) iv. Air and Variations
- Six Bagatelles György Ligeti
i. Allegro Con Spirito ii. Rubato. Lamentoso iii. Allegro Grazioso iv. Presto Ruvido v. Béla Bartók in memoriam. Adagio. Mesto vi. Molto Vivace. Capriccioso
- Dance Suite Norman Hallam
i. Waltz ii. Bossa Nova iii. Quickstep iv. Charleston
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.
Hugh McKenna was born in Woking, Surrey. He began his musical life playing the cornet in a local brass band, and eventually joined the army at the age of fifteen to continue his playing in the band of the Royal Fusiliers. Hugh went to the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall for a year before being posted to Gibraltar and Sharjah, near Dubai. When a vacancy for an oboist occurred Hugh, who was ready for a new challenge, volunteered to take up the instrument. After making rapid progress on the oboe, Hugh decided to leave the Army, and was accepted as a student at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Neil Black and Janet Craxton. Hugh went on to join the Ulster Orchestra, the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra, and then the Halle Orchestra, where he has been for over twenty years. During his time in Manchester, Hugh has taught at the Royal Northern College of Music. Many of his pupils have now followed Hugh in to the musical profession. In his spare time Hugh enjoys the sport of triathlon,(he has completed two Ironman triathlon including one in New Zealand) and ballroom dancing.
Chris Swann studied at the Royal Academy of Music where he won the Geoffrey Hawkes Prize for clarinet playing and was awarded the Alexander Roller Prize for Piano Playing, subsequently spending twelve years as a clarinettist and saxophonist in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Chris resigned his position with the RLPO in order to pursue a varied freelance career, playing Principal Clarinet with the BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Hallé, Ulster, Scottish Chamber, Manchester Concert, National Symphony and Sinfonia ViVA Orchestras. He has made a number of concerto appearances including performances of Glazunov’s Saxophone Concerto, Debussy's Rhapsodie for Saxophone and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with the RLPO, and he has toured as soloist with the Mozart Festival Orchestra (in Manchester, Dublin, Leicester and The Barbican in London) as well as performing the Finzi, Copland and Weber Clarinet Concertos and other solo works with various other professional orchestras. In December 1992 he was appointed Acting Orchestra Manager with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, taking up the full-time position in April 1993, relinquishing it in August 1995 to become Head of Woodwind at Shrewsbury School, a part-time post which he successfully combined with a busy schedule of regular playing engagements. In July 1998 he joined the Royal Northern College of Music as Tutor in Clarinet and Eb Clarinet. As well as directing his nationally recognised ensemble ZEPHYR Chris has also performed chamber music with the Maggini, Allegri and Alberni String Quartets and a wide variety of repertoire with members of Northern Chamber Orchestra the RLPO’s Ensemble 10:10 and Camerata Ensemble of Manchester. This work, combined with examining for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (graded and diploma), external examining for universities, coaching, conducting and presenting master-classes allows him little time for leisure interests which include activities such as cycling, motorcycling and studying the contents of wine bottles.
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.