Born and educated in Lancaster, Julia read social and political sciences as a choral scholar at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge before pursuing a singing career. She now enjoys a career as a soloist and ensemble singer with many of Europe’s most important ensembles and distinguished conductors. Recent highlights include Handel Messiah at Symphony Hall, Birmingham and Cadogan Hall, Handel and Bach arias at the Wigmore Hall, Bach St John Passion, Magnificat and various cantatas at venues all over Europe including the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Verona and Pisa Cathedrals (English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner), Purcell The Fairy Queen in Salzburg Mozarteum (Salzburg Camerata/Norrington), Bach St Matthew Passion at Symphony Hall and Mass in B Minor with the Northern Sinfonia in DeSingel Concert Hall Antwerp and at St Johnís, Smith Square (Purcell Singers), Mozart Mass in C Minor in Southwark Cathedral (London Handel Orchestra/Cooke), Purcell Dido and Aeneas at the Wigmore Hall and a highly acclaimed recording of Lutoslawski Dwadziesci Koled for Sony BMG.
Future plans include a recording of Handel Messiah and performances of the work at St Johnís, Smith Square and the Albert Hall, Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 at The Bridgewater Hall, Bach BWV 51 Jauchzet Gott at the Bethlehem Bach Festival, Pennsylvania and a programme of Handel arias at Kingís Place with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Scottish harpist Helen MacLeod began her musical education on the clarsach in the West Highlands where she discovered her love of traditional music. Helen studied Pedal Harp at St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh and at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where she successfully gained a B.Mus (Hons) in Music Performance.
Helen embarked on her freelance career in Manchester, performing with both the Halle Orchestra and the Manchester Camerata. In 2003 she returned to Scotland, where she currently enjoys a busy and varied career performing with many of Scotland’s leading orchestras, including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and has performed at many prestigious events across the UK. Helen also recently featured in the soundtrack of the highly acclaimed Gaelic film Seachd.
A keen teacher, she is a regular tutor at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival and was recently the guest tutor at the first Derbyshire Harp Festival. Helen also greatly enjoys chamber music and regularly performs with flautist Emma Wilkins in their flute and harp duo – HOOT.
Drew Tulloch grew up in Shetland and came to Aberdeen to study music in 1968. As well as qualifying as a teacher, he also specialised in accompanying, and gained the accompanists’ diploma at the Royal College of Music in 1973. He studied piano with the late Denis Matthews, and over the years Drew has had a great deal of experience playing for instrumentalists, singers and choirs at concerts, festivals and exams.
Drew taught at Aberdeen Grammar School, Germantown Friends School Philadelphia and recently retired as Head of Music at St Margaret’s School for Girls, a post he enjoyed for 26 years. During his teaching career he also undertook examining for SQA. Drew is organist at High Church Hilton and teaches piano at the University of Aberdeen.
Chris started playing timpani, percussion and drums in his Grammar School days, studying with an ex-wartime ENSA band drummer. After qualifying in engineering, Chris moved to Edinburgh for his ‘day job’, where he continued musical studies under the renowned ex-Aberdeen percussion teacher Dr Andrew Shivas.
Over the years, Chris has played for the Edinburgh Grand Opera Orchestra, the Edinburgh Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonietta, Tayside Symphony Orchestra and the Haddo House Opera Orchestra, and has performed ‘in the pit’ for many musical theatre productions. As well as playing freelance, Chris is timpanist with the Edinburgh Light Orchestra and the Edinburgh Festival Symphony Orchestra and is Principal Percussionist with Scottish Sinfonia. He tutors timpani and percussion for the Scottish Schools Orchestra Trust, and plays drums in a local modern jazz combo, performing at venues in Aberdeen. Chris spends time as a busy sound recording engineer with commercial recordings released in UK, America and Germany. Chris (somehow) combines his musical and recording activities with a part-time ‘day-job’ in engineering.
Isabel studied timpani and percussion at the Royal College of Music with Michael Skinner, Alan Cumberland and Janos Keszei. On completing her studies, she received tuition from David Searcy, principal timpanist of La Scala, Milan, whilst touring extensively with the European Community Youth Orchestra under maestro Claudio Abbado.
Isabel now enjoys teaching percussion in Aberdeenshire and is highly in demand as timpanist and percussionist across the north of Scotland and beyond. She plays regularly with Aberdeen Sinfonietta, Tayside Symphony Orchestra, Grampian Sinfonia, Scottish Festival Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Scotland, Scottish Sinfonia and Edinburgh Festival Symphony Orchestra. Other engagements include playing at Haddo House and with various musical societies across the North-East.
Ian Watt, who has been described as “one of Scotland’s foremost young guitarists”, attended Aberdeen City Music School (based at Dyce Academy) from 2003–2008. At present, he studies with Allan Neave at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.
Ian made his recital debut at the North East Scotland Classical Guitar Society’s inaugural concert in November 2005. Since then, he has won the title of Aberdeen Young Musician of the Year (sponsored by Ishoka), given many recitals across the United Kingdom and concerto performances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Philharmonic Orchestra and the City of London Sinfonia. In addition to this, Ian has performed in master classes with such guitar luminaries as Pavel Steidl, Scott Tennant and Graham Anthony Devine.