Christina Thomson, L.R.A.M., A.R.C.M.,
G.R.S.M., P.G.C.A., was awarded a music scholarship to Wycombe
Abbey School at the age of 12. She was a member of The
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, then studied piano,
singing, and horn with Barry Tuckwell at the Royal Academy of
Music in London. Her harmony teacher was Eric Fenby
(amanuensis to Delius).
She joined the orchestra of the Stadttheater, Passau, in Bavaria, Germany as 2nd horn, playing opera and operetta in the winter season, and chamber music and orchestral concerts during the summer. After 5 years she went to Munich to freelance and teach, playing with many diverse groups, including off stage horn at the Staatsoper, and on stage at the Kammerspiel theatre.
Christina returned to London in 1984 and was involved in many ensembles, and taught at Harrow and The Purcell School. In 1991 she moved back to Yorkshire, where she grew up, and has worked at many prestigious schools in the area as well as having an extensive private practice.
Christina is much in demand as a national and international festival and competition adjudicator. She is a brass mentor for ABRSM 's Professional Development course, as well as being a grade and diploma examiner, and presenter for ABRSM.
Coming from a family of opera singers, his musical education started at the age of three with piano lessons from his father, but his formal musical education began at the age of 16 when he attended the Colchester Institute to study the French Horn with Ifor James. Here he also studied piano with John Walton and Vivien Langrish, and composition with Eric Thiman and John McCabe. In 1969 the Alberni Quartet performed his first String Quartet in a recital at Essex University. He has also written and arranged many pieces for brass ensemble. After four years at Colchester he went on to study at Trinity College of Music, London, specialising in the French Horn with John Burden. On leaving Trinity College he took up several horn playing positions with leading orchestras including the Altenburg Chamber Orchestra (Vienna) and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In 1978 he left full time playing to pursue a free-lance career. This enabled him to concentrate on chamber music and teaching and to become an adjudicator at Music Festivals and Competitions, as well as examiner for ABRSM. In 1979, he was invited to become principal horn of the Lydian Horn Quartet and, in addition to giving formal concerts in such venues as St. John’s Smith Square, he had the opportunity to take music into schools in the form of short lectures and demonstrations. In addition to his performing activities he has been a part-time lecturer of piano at various educational establishments.
Kelvin Leslie was educated at Grove Park Boys’ Grammar School, Wrexham and University College, Cardiff. Whilst at university he obtained an LRAM in Piano teaching, a B Mus. (specialising in Composition) and an M.A. in the analysis of twentieth-century music. In addition to academic work, he studied the piano with Martin Jones. On the completion of his musical studies he took a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Secondary). At the age of 15, Kelvin was invited to become assistant accompanist of the Brymbo Male Choir and was appointed accompanist two years later, participating in many concerts in the UK and Germany. He was a founder member of The New Arts Consort, a group involved with the promotion of contemporary music and music-theatre pieces in and around Wales, giving first performances of works by several composers including Charles Barber and Lyell Creswell. The group commissioned him to compose a dance piece which was toured in South Wales and the South of England. For several years, Kelvin taught music in secondary schools in Cheshire, being appointed Head of Music at Henbury High School, Macclesfield. He subsequently decided to combine school teaching with a freelance career, specialising in piano teaching and adult education. He has worked as a part-time lecturer for Liverpool University in which capacity he has given many adult education classes as well as having participated in day schools on the music of Mahler and Richard Strauss as joint lecturer with Michael Kennedy. He has adjudicated at the Chester Music Festival and also adjudicated the first two competitions for the Chester Young Musician of the Year. As a pianist, he has performed in chamber-music recitals at venues including Chester Town Hall, the Royal Northern College of Music, and Salford University including recitals for the Chester Music Society and is currently accompanist of Sandbach Voices. Recent compositions include an Elegy for String Orchestra performed by the Opus One Chamber Orchestra and a Trio for flute, viola and guitar which has been performed in South Africa by the Molino Ensemble.