Monday, March 27, 2006


Colin Irvine (Conductor)

Colin was born in Ballyclare, Co Antrim, in 1967 and first began studying the flute with his father at the age of six, before being accepted for tuition by the North Eastern Education and Library Board Music Service. Here he continued his studies, playing in both the Concert Band and Youth Orchestra as Principal Flute.

His third level education consisted of studying music at the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, where he graduated with a BMus (Hons) degree. During this time he studied with both Colin Fleming and Geoffrey Gilbert and participated in masterclasses with Geoffrey Gilbert, James Galway, Trevor Wye and Elena Duran. Colin also plays in a number of orchestras including the Ulster Orchestra and Castleward Opera Orchestra with whom he has recently taken up the position of Orchestral Manager.

He has always been associated with Concert Flute Bands and was a playing member of Ballyclare Victoria Concert Flute Band during their historic run of World Championship victories in the late 70s and 80s. After a period of reconstruction, Colin became their youngest conductor to date and the Band regained the title of World Champions in 1995 - a position that he held until 1998 when he began conducting the Senior Concert Band with the Belfast School of Music.

Colin enjoys live performing, teaching the flute and giving television and radio broadcasts both locally and nationally. He also gives regular recitals both as a soloist and as a member of the Castleward Wind Quintet. In his spare time Colin enjoys all forms of motor sport and hopes one day to be able to take his son Ryan to the Isle of Man TT races, or perhaps the Grand Prix at Monaco! He would also like to take him to visit Landsdowne Road in Dublin to watch an international rugby match (preferably Ireland thrashing England). All this and he still makes time to practice!

Paul Berry (Saxophone)

Paul began playing the clarinet at the age of 12, progressing to study clarinet and saxophone at the City of Belfast School of Music with Arthur Acheson and Gillian McCutcheon. He is a former principal clarinettist of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland and Ulster Youth Orchestra, and now sits on the board of UYO. Having decided to read Mathematics at University, he was awarded a Foundation Scholarship (for outstanding performance in his undergraduate degree) enabling him to complete an MSc in Computational Science and a DENI Distinction Award (as one of the top 10 graduates from the Faculty of Science) to fund a PhD in Quantum Optics.

Although an engineer by profession, Paul continues to teach and play the clarinet, working as a clarinet tutor for the Belfast School of Music and a freelance orchestral player. As a recitalist, he has performed at venues throughout Ireland including the Harty Room, Ulster Museum and Hillsborough Castle. Paul is also musical director of the innovative chamber choir Sciolto which continues to be in much demand for recitals and broadcasts, having performed for numerous Secretaries of State and most recently Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. The choir also sang as part of the Christmas Eve broadcasts on Lyric FM and Christmas Day broadcasts on Radio Ulster. Paul has even been known to dabble in church music as a member of the chamber choir in St George's Parish and choirmaster in St Finnian's Parish, Cregagh.

Jenny Leslie (Horn)

Jenny was born in Ballymoney, County Antrim, and began playing the cornet in the Boys Brigade band at 12! She joined the County Antrim Youth Orchestra and at 14 changed to play the French Horn and proceeded to the Royal School of Music and was one of the first female brass players to study there, under the tutelage of Douglas Moore and Ifor James, winning the top brass prize in her final year.

Jenny has performed in many brass quintets and freelanced with many groups including the BBC Symphony Orchestra. She was solo horn in London Ladies Brass with performances at Alexandra Palace and the Royal Albert Hall and she has performed for the Queen at Windsor Castle and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester at Peterborough Hall.

Since returning to Northern Ireland Jenny has completed an Advanced Diploma in counselling after studying at Queen's University for two years. In her spare time, she enjoys entertaining, good wine, and holidaying in unusual places!

Gillian McCutcheon (Clarinet)

Gillian was born in Bangor, County Down and began playing the clarinet at the age of 10, Studying with Christopher King of the Ulster Orchestra. Whilst reading for her BMus at Edinburgh University, she travelled to London to study with Thea King at the Guildhall School of Music and was awarded the Tovey memorial prize for performance, the Gwen Clutterbuch Scholarship for study abroad and the Frazer scholarship which enabled Gillian to continue her studies with Richard Addison at the Royal Academy of Music.

Since graduating from the Academy with an MMus in performance, Gillian has performed in various venues including the Barbican, Purcell Room and Windsor Castle. She is also a member of Castleward Opera orchestra and has given numerous BBC recitals. In her spare time (!) Gillian sleeps and eats! She also enjoys good food, fine wine and exotic holidays.

Donald Minshull (Lower Brass)

Donald's bio

Colin Place (Percussion)

Colin started studying percussion at the age of 10 in the South Eastern School of Music but soon came to his senses and made the move to the City of Belfast School of Music 2 years later. He made a dramatic rise through the bands and orchestras in his first year culminating in his first European Tour with the City of Belfast School of Belfast Youth Orchestra that summer.
Despite studying music through to A-level at Sullivan Upper, Colin decided not to pursue a full-time career in music but instead studied for a Business degree at the University of Ulster where he gained a BA (Hons). It was whilst attending University that Colin was first asked to return to the City of Belfast School of Music to teach percussion part-time and he has been there ever since! He has just completed his 9th year as the percussion tutor for the City of Belfast Youth Concert Band.

For his sins, Colin has been involved with Brass Bands for about 20 years and has played with several senior section bands in that time. He currently plays with Festival Brass, a local composite band formed primarily to perform concerts to raise money for charities. Not confined to Brass Band work, over the years he has played with various local orchestras and operatic societies and most recently he played with the Castleward Opera Orchestra, in their performance of Albert Herring, and in a percussion ensemble with Noel Eccles (principal percussionist with Riverdance) in the Waterfront Hall.

What little spare time Colin has he spends entertaining his young son, socialising with friends and watching sport.

Nigel Snell (Trumpet)

Nigel Snell studied Cornet at the City of Belfast School of Music before becoming a freelance trumpet player in Belfast. Over many years he has played in Orchestras, Shows, Jazz and Big Bands and Brass chamber groups. Now a full time Peripatetic brass teacher, Nigel began teaching on a part time basis at CBSM 10 years ago and now assists with tutoring the trumpet section of CBYCB. At the time of the re-branding, Nigel took over the responsibility of the Big Band and is looking forward to advancing the profile the group and the CBSM.


At 12:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey ..... Don!

Get your bio in big lad!!!!!!!!!!!


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