Here are few lines on some of our players

Katrina Darke

I started playing the violin at the age of 8. I have always loved orchestral playing, and in my 20s did this professionally. I then retrained and became a doctor, returning to the violin as an amateur a few years ago.

Favourite conductor – Bernard Haitink (who sadly passed in 2021)

Favourite violinist – the young Maria Wloszczowska who we are so lucky to have had playing with us on two occasions with BHCO

Career highlight – Wagner’s Ring at the ROH under Haitink

 

 

Peter Evans

I was a comparatively late starter in music: at secondary school I was so fortunate to have a wonderfully inspirational teacher who helped me to discover for myself the inexhaustible treasure that is music. I went on to study music at university and my subsequent musical career has included teaching, improvisation, composition, jazz, folk music, and of course, classical music performance.

I’m grateful to have had a second career in mental health nursing. I worked in the NHS for many years, retiring 10 years ago. There, I found that my musical background was an invaluable personal resource: as a therapist, in listening and responding, and from group music-making, a sensitivity to the requirements for effective multidisciplinary team membership and leadership.

I’m now back to full-time music, although long-distance cycling, yoga, and looking after my young grandson are also all important calls on my time!

Lucy Beveridge

I started playing the flute aged seven, playing in school bands in Bath and Bristol and realised I particularly enjoyed soaring above the other instruments on the piccolo! I went away to music college and returned to Bristol to deliver music education and perform. I enjoy listening to music, but being part of an orchestra such as BHCO is so exhilarating.

A career highlight was playing piccolo in Lutoslawski’s Little Suite under the baton of Ewa Strusinska. When I’m not playing or teaching music I am running around the sights of Bristol.

 

 

Jeff Stanford

I’ve been playing the violin since the age of 8. I studied Russian and French, and later did a postgraduate year of violin study with Richard Ireland. I’ve played in many different orchestras including the Ecuadorian National Symphony Orchestra, the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, the Nord Deutsche Orchesterakademie. Highlights in my playing life:

Mahler 2 with bhco and Martyn Brabbins – unbelievably exciting
Der Ring ohne Worte with NDO in the Berlin Philharmonie – all the Wagner earworms you could ever want
Elgar 3 – as reconceived by Tony Payne with Brunel Ensemble

My main job now is as a Teaching Fellow in Applied Linguistics at the University of Leicester. I’ve stopped living in the Bristol area, but love this orchestra and rarely miss a concert. 

Katie McConochie

I started the piano when I was 7,  the violin when I was 8 and the harp when I was 9.  I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to play harp or violin when I was in youth orchestra, so I kept on with both of them.  Each instrument brings different challenges.  As a harpist you are very much on your own – you have to count like made and concentrate like crazy.  Maybe that’s why I love playing my violin so much.  I like being part of a ‘team’ – whilst it’s fun to practice on your own, the music only comes alive when you are playing in a section and blending with your desk partner, the rest of the violins and the orchestra as a whole.

Musical highlights with Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra include performing the 4 main Mozart operas and, more recently, the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra with Catherine Larsen-Maguire and Shostakovich 10 with Andrew Shulman.

I am a freelance training consultant helping organisations who want to improve their culture and get better at coping with change.

John Lang

I reluctantly started cello lessons at the age of 10 when playing football had much greater appeal. I was given my current cello two years later when it was obtained by my father in exchange for a ten pound piano tuning job; sixty five years later it is still my my regular instrument. Performing with my father and two brothers became my introduction to Chamber music.

Following university, I became a secondary school teacher and after working in London, moved to Bristol in 1970. There I found a flourishing and vibrant musical community. I have been a regular member of BHCO since the very first concert in 1987. 

Retirement allowed for extensive foreign travel, the time to enjoy our grandchildren and the chance to continue playing in the finest of amateur orchestras. Every BHCO performance presents us with a chance to learn with the most eminent conductors and soloists.