GUEST ARTISTS

 

HELEN BAILEY - Soprano

Middlesbrough-born soprano, Helen Bailey, is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music opera course, Trinity College of Music, and Liverpool John Moores University.

Helen enjoys a busy schedule of opera, oratorio, and recital engagements, appearing regularly as a soloist with Bromley Oecumenical Singers, Ember Choral Society, Hampton Choral Society, and Sutton Valence Choral Society. Recent highlights include Jenkins' The Armed Man with the Voices for Hospices choir at Kempton Park racecourse, Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle with Botley Choral Society, and Mozart's Mass in C minor with Ember Choral Society.

Opera roles include Pamina (The Magic Flute, Ryedale Opera), Micaela (Carmen, Meantime Opera) Véronique (Le Docteur Miracle, Popup opera), and Giovanna (cover, Giovanna d'arco, Buxton Festival Opera), Helen has also sung principal roles for Hampstead Garden Opera, Blackheath Halls Opera, British Youth Opera, and Bath Festival Opera.

This summer, Helen will return to Buxton Festival Opera to cover the title role in Beethoven's Leonore. See www.helenbailey.org for more information. 

 

ANDY FINDON - Flute

Andy Findon is Europe's most recorded flute player who can be heard on countless movie and TV soundtracks, alongside albums for a long list of international artists. His own releases include groundbreaking and innovative premieres, including his own arrangements of work by composers such as Michael Nyman. Andy is the longest serving member of The Michael Nyman Band, playing baritone saxophone and flutes on Michael's soundtracks and concert tours since the early 1980's.

Other formative influences were gained working for well known British Dance Band leaders Joe Loss, Nat Temple, Eric Delaney and Sidney Lipton whilst and shortly after studying at the Royal College of Music, following membership (as principal flute) of The National Youth Orchestra.

Thus, although training originally as a classical flautist,, these experiences led his career to diversify, covering almost every musical genre, duetting with Pat Metheny, playing with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Tony Bennett, Cilla Black and Katherine Jenkins to name but 5 widely contrasting singers. Andy also appears regularly performing works by Karl Jenkins and other successful composers, such as Hans Zimmer, most recently performing the solo Duduk in live performances of his Gladiator movie score. In 1998 Andy performed live in the interval act at the Eurovision Song Contest in Birmingham and was Mike Oldfield's recorder player (in Dulci Jubilo) at the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Among many appearances in London's West End theatre, he has worked over the years on shows and projects for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, notably featuring on The Beautiful Game, Bombay Dreams (by Indian composer A.R Rahman) and recording Sir Andrew's "Variations" theme tune for The South Bank Show alongside his brother, Julian. Andy played on the movie soundtracks of musicals, including Phantom Of The Opera, Sweeney Todd, Cats, Evita and Mama Mia. He appeared on the 25th anniversary DVD performances of Sir Cameron Mackintosh's Les Miserables and the 2009 DVD of Chess at The Royal Albert Hall.
He is in the iconic, award winning (BBC Radio 2 Best Live Act 2012) "folk-rock" band The Home Service and plays regularly with the major London Symphony orchestras as well as chamber orchestras and groups across the capitol. He is a close collaborator with pianist/composer Geoff Eales and is pioneering Geoff's significant flute repertoire with the album "The Dancing Flute".

Andy is also known as London's foremost "ethnic" instrumentalist, performing on a kaleidoscopic array of unusual woodwind instruments, alongside the more common instruments of the flute, saxophone and clarinet families.
As a composer, he has produced and performed hundreds of music "library" tracks which are played across the media regularly.

Andy is a "Pearl Flutes International Artist" and the proud owner of the platinum flute built for Geoffrey Gilbert in 1950 by Charles Morley.

 

LES NEISH - Tuba

From a performance at Millennium Park, Chicago and recording on an album with pop star “Sting”, Les Neish has created a career as a tuba soloist, chamber musician and educator throughout the world.  With a schedule that takes Les out of country every month he has built a career around his wonderful musicianship, artistry and communication. 

Always pushing the boundaries, Les became the first tuba player to be awarded the Worshipful Company of Dyers Award for Wind and Brass at the Royal Overseas League Competition and performed the first solo tuba recital at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. His debut solo CD “Salt of the Earth”, which received airtime on Radio 3, scooped Brass Band World, British Bandsman and www.4barsrest.com Solo CD of the Year Awards. His follow up CD "Shine" was awarded the prestigious Roger Bobo Award in Recording Excellence from the International Tuba Euphonium Association. Away from solo performance, Les is privileged to be part of the tuba section of the world famous, American based, Brass Band of Battle Creek and as a chamber musician is a member of the Fine Arts Brass Ensemble, a group with a 30 year history having performed in over 60 countries.  

Alongside his international travel Les is tuba tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music, RNCM Junior School, Salford University and Birmingham Conservatoire.  He has served as tutor on the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, Scotland, Wales and Switzerland.

With a real passion for musical education Les has performed workshops to youngsters throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Australia. Playing a major role in the Scottish Brass Band Association Youth Development programme Les has performed numerous workshops to thousands of youngsters and has been an integral part of the huge increase in youth bands throughout Scotland.

Les is also an experienced adjudicator judging solo, brass band and windband competitions throughout the world, including the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Brass Soloist of the Year, the Tasmanian Band League State Championships, Royal Overseas League Competiition and the Young Artist Tuba Competition at ITEC's in Arizona and Linz.

 

REX RICHARDSON - Trumpet

Hailed in classical circles as “among the very best trumpet soloists in the world today,” (International Trumpet Guild) and in jazz as “a standout soloist with the power, range and flexibility to rival Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw,” (DownBeat Magazine) Yamaha Performing Artist Rex Richardson was named the 2008 Brass Herald Personality of the Year.  

A veteran of the acclaimed chamber ensemble Rhythm & Brass, jazz legend Joe Henderson’s Quintet and Sextet, William Russo’s Chicago Jazz Ensemble, and the Brass Band of Battle Creek, known as the world’s “Rolls Royce of Brass Bands” (Brass Band World), he stays busy as a headline artist at international brass and jazz festivals and as a soloist with orchestras, concert bands, brass bands and jazz ensembles on five continents. These ensembles have ranged from the Phoenix Symphony to the U.S. Army Field Band, and from England’s Fodens Brass Band to the U.S. Air Force’s Airmen of Note Jazz Ensemble.

As a professional trumpeter, Richardson has shared the stage with countless

legendary artists and ensembles, including Brian Blade, Benny Carter, Boston

Brass, Ray Charles, Mike Clarke, Dave Douglas, Kurt Elling, Carl Fontana, Aretha Franklin, Wycliffe Gordon, Stefon Harris, Conrad Herwig, Dave Holland, Dave Liebman, Keith Lockhart, Jimmy Owens, Jim Pugh, Chris Potter, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Arturo Sandoval, Bobby Shew, Allen Vizzutti, Bill Watrous, and Steve Wilson. Jazz trumpet star Dave Douglas has called Rex “A national treasure.” (Style Weekly magazine)

A tireless champion of new music and an advocate of improvisation in classical as well as jazz settings, he presented the premiere performances of genre-bending concertos by Dana Wilson, Doug Richards and Peter Meechan on five continents since 2006. Since then he has performed James Stephenson’s Trumpet Concerto no. 2, “Rextreme.” in over twenty countries. 2016 will see the premiere performances of four new concertos written for him by Anthony Plog, Allen Vizzutti, David Sampson and Andy Scott.

Richardson’s first six solo recordings, including the 2010 release Magnum Opus: 21st Century Trumpet Concertos are all released on Summit Records. His most recent CDs, Bugles Over Zagreb: the Music of Doug Richards” and Blue Shift have just been released in October of 2014 to rave reviews. Style Weekly called Richardson “One of the world’s most engaging and astonishingly versatile trumpeters.”

Richardson has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University since 2002. He served as Yamaha Artist-in-Residence for the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England for spring of 2012 and thereafter served the RNCM as International Tutor in Trumpet until 2015. 

 

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