Hailing from Edinburgh, Leila began learning the flute at the age of ten. Nurtured by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland junior department and later the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra, she developed a passion for performing from a young age. A graduate of the RCS, Leila gained her Bachelor of Music degree under the tutelage of Katherine Bryan. In 2017, she won the Edinburgh Competition Festival concerto prize and was awarded the Colin MacLean Bursary Award to further her studies.
Leila went on to graduate with Distinction from the Master of Music program at the Royal Northern College of Music where she studied with Kevin Gowland and Laura Jellicoe. Highlights of her time at the RNCM include winning the Hallé Professional Enterprise Scheme, performing Mahlers’ Fifth Symphony under the baton of Vassily Sinaisky, and appearing as a soloist with the RNCM New Ensemble to perform ‘Terrestre’ by Kaija Saariaho. At the RNCM she was a founding member of wind quintet Festivo Winds. Festivo won the June Emerson Launchpad Award, the John Fewkes Chamber Prize for winds and were ‘Audience favourite’ at the Christopher Rowland Chamber Ensemble of the Year competition.
Now based in Manchester, Leila enjoys a varied career comprising of performing, outreach and teaching. As an orchestral musician she has performed with many of the top orchestras across the UK. She maintains regular appearances as a chamber musician with recent highlights such as performing Poulenc’s Sextet for Piano and Winds at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and being invited to perform for the Keswick Music Society. With a keen interest in promoting new music Leila has an ongoing collaboration with UnHeard – a collective of composers in Manchester – and is always seeking to commission and perform new music. Passionate about music outreach, this year – with Festivo Winds – Leila joined the roster of musicians at Live Music Now. Teaching plays an integral role in her musical life enjoys passing on her love of music and flute playing through her teaching posts.
Kathryn has experience teaching harpists across a wide range of ages and abilities, both in a one-to-one setting and in larger scale workshops. Alongside her job as harp tutor at The Grammar School at Leeds, she has also worked with RNCM Young Harps, Junior Royal Northern College of Music, and Wakefield Music Services. She finds great joy in nurturing a love for the instrument and growth not just as a harpist but also as a musician.
Graduating with First Class Honours from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Mollie Wrafter has been fortunate to experience a diverse range of musical opportunities and has shared the joy of teaching with others. Throughout her time at RNCM, she earned recognition for her violin performances, including notable achievements like the Norman George Violin Competition and the Nossek Prize for Chamber Music.
A substantial portion of Mollie’s journey has been dedicated to nurturing and fostering young musical talents, with teaching posts including Aura Music Academy in Manchester, ‘Little Maestros’ for 4-6-year-olds and St. Peter’s High. She finds it truly rewarding to assist students in preparing for exams and exploring a variety of musical genres, ranging from classical to folk and pop. Mollie has been instrumental in establishing the MiSST program at The Radclyffe School, providing violin lessons to over 200 Year 7 and 8 students and inspiring a broad spectrum of young musicians.
Beyond her teaching endeavors, Mollie’s musical journey has taken her to stages across Ireland, the UK, America, and Canada. As part of the Treske Quartet, she has had the privilege of collaborating with emerging composers, contributing significantly to the evolution of the string quartet repertoire. Her musical accomplishments extend to being featured on Manchester Collective’s inaugural album, ‘The Centre is Everywhere’, and earning recognition as one of Golden Plec Magazine’s ‘PlecPicks’ in 2021. Mollie looks forward to her continued growth and learning as she embarks on a new chapter by joining the Hallé Orchestra for the Advanced Orchestral Strings Programme. Mollie embraces these opportunities with eagerness, and her intention is to continue sharing the beauty of music and the joy of learning, while honoring the rich legacy of classical music and embracing the endless prospects for personal and artistic development.
Matthew began to study the cello at the age of 13 and within 5 years of playing was awarded national prizes by the ABRSM for his high scores. He was subsequently accepted by the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2018 as a scholarship student. Matthew is currently studying for a Post Graduate degree at the Royal Northern College of Music.
Matthew is a freelance cellist, who has a wide experience of performing as a solo, orchestral and ensemble musician. After initially studying with Barbara Grunthal in Manchester, Matthew commenced his studies at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with Ulrich Heinen before studying with Ben Davies and Peggy Nolan. Matthew currently studies with Jennifer Langridge.
As an orchestral player, Matthew has performed with ensembles including the BBC Ariel Orchestra, the London Shostakovich Orchestra and the London Musical Theatre Orchestra. Matthew performs regularly with Nicola Benedetti in The Benedetti Foundation Orchestra.
Matthew is passionate about teaching and currently teaches cello for the Wolverhampton Music Service, The ARCO Project and as a Senior Lead Ambassador for the Benedetti Foundation. Matthew has worked closely with students at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department, conducting ensembles and coaching chamber music. Matthew frequently runs workshops in primary schools for the Cheltenham Festivals Musicate programme. Matthew teaches students from across the globe including Macau, Paris and Johannesburg.
Since graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2012 Tom has enjoyed a varied and busy freelance career combining orchestral and chamber music performance, examining and education.
As an orchestral player he has performed with the Hallé Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Opera North, Raymond Gubbay’s Manchester Concert Orchestra and Sinfonia Viva amongst others. With his reed trio, Trio Volant, he gives recitals up and down the country for music clubs and societies. Alongside this he also works as an examiner for Trinity College London as well as teaching talented young musicians for a number of educational establishments in the North West.