Wind and Brass Programme

Study Leader: Marion Craig

The CAT offers tuition in all woodwind and brass instruments from a team of tutors which includes members of Royal Northern Sinfonia.

In addition to their individual instrumental lesson and music language tuition all wind and brass students rehearse weekly in small ensembles: current groups include two wind quintets, a junior wind group, a brass trio and a flute group. There are also opportunities for ensembles with string and piano students. Most students enter for Associated Board music exams up to diploma level.

There are two large ensemble options for wind and brass players.
CAT Wind Band is a large ensemble, open to all wind and brass students (space permitting) of approximately Grade 5 and up, which meets 4 – 5 times a term with a concert at the end of each project. Students from outside of the CAT are also welcome to apply to join the Wind Band.
We also encourage wind and brass players of the appropriate standard to apply for an audition for Young Sinfonia which is project based. More information is available on Young Sinfonia here.

Most wind players take a second study instrument (usually piano) and we strongly recommend this.

In addition to regular lessons, students benefit from masterclasses and workshops by members of Royal Northern Sinfonia and also by visiting professional artists. In recent years these have included classes given by Juliet Bausor (international flautist and section leader in RNS); Katherine Bryan (Principal Flute with Royal Scottish National Orchestra); (Horacio Ferreira – International Clarinettist); Dionysis Grammenos (international clarinettist); Jessica Lee (principal clarinet RNS); Richard Martin (trumpet section leader RNS); and Mark Frost (bass trombonist).

For further information on the Centre for Advanced Training, including on dates and content of auditions, please click on Information for Students

Sage Gateshead’s Centre for Advanced Training is an exceptional facility. The engaging and enthusiastic young people were a joy to work with, and the facilities available to them are fantastic.
Katherine Bryan – Principal Flute with RSNO

Wind and Brass Team
Study Leader: Marion Craig began her musical career playing the cornet in brass bands at 9 years old. She studied trumpet at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and then freelanced in and around London. Before becoming a full time member of RNS, Marion was the Young Sinfonia administrator and also ran a company which specialised in taking groups of musicians into schools to give demonstration concerts and workshops. Working with RNS has been and is an incredible job, working with outstanding musicians, visiting soloists and conductors, adding to that the role of Study Leader for Wind and Brass, Marion is looking forward to making the links between RNS and the Young Musicians Programme as strong as possible.

Eilidh Gillespie (Flute) has been a member of the flute section of Royal Northern Sinfonia since 2013. She previously held a position with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (2011- 2013) and was Principal Flute of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta from 2004-2008. Besides her work at Sage Gateshead Eilidh also freelances with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Eilidh gained a 1st class honours degree from Edinburgh University before completing postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music, London.

Brian Stewart (Flute) studied flute at the Royal College of Music before joining the Ensemble of the Lewis London Ballet with which he toured the UK. In addition to this Brian performed in various chamber ensembles, including a flute and guitar duo and an ensemble specialising in twentieth century repertoire. Following his return to the north Brian has become established as a respected performer and teacher. He teaches at Durham University and Newcastle University and several of his students have gone on to study at music college.

Rebecca Garland (Oboe) studied at the Royal College of Music, London, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she gained her Masters degree. Rebecca’s orchestral work has included playing for the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestra of Scottish Ballet, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra of Scottish Opera amongst others. She has worked with the outreach and education teams of the Philharmonia and the English Chamber Orchestra in schools in and around London and was a member of Albert’s Band, the Royal Albert Hall’s 15 piece education mini-orchestra.

Annie Francomb (Clarinet) studied clarinet at The Royal Academy of Music. Annie has taught at CAT from its inception and also teaches at many schools throughout the region and privately. Lately, she has also been working as part of the In Harmony NE project. Annie has been teaching for over 25 years and also teaches saxophone. She teaches all levels and ages.

Dov Goldberg (Clarinet)

Jessica Lee (Clarinet) graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2004, where she studied with Janet Hilton, Michael Collins and Tim Lines. In 2005, Jessica gained her PGDip with distinction from the RCM where she was the Wilkins-Mackerras scholar and was supported by a full grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. After a busy freelance career in London working with the orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the London Symphony Orchestra, English National Opera and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jessica joined Royal Northern Sinfonia as Second Clarinet/Principal Bass Clarinet in September 2009.

Andy Jakob (Bassoon) is a specialist bassoonist but also performs on all woodwind instruments. He arrived in the North East in 2010 and teaches for Durham Music Service, Durham University and Barnard Castle School. Several of his former pupils enjoy prominent performing and teaching careers. He enjoys playing golf but swings better with a saxophone!!

Stephen Wilkinson (Trumpet) graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2006 with a BMus (hons) degree. Following this he gained PGCE (secondary) status after graduating in 2007 from Manchester Metropolitan University. He is a former principal cornet player of the Fairey Band as well as the Brighouse & Rastrick Band. He is also a former member of the Black Dyke Band. He now performs within North East Brass Ensemble and as a freelance trumpeter. He is currently employed as Head of Music at Hebburn Comprehensive School and began tutoring brass on the YMP in September 2015.