Grace Lewis (Oboist)

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Published on: February 3, 2022

My name is Gracie, I’m 17 years old and love to play the oboe alongside studying for my A levels – psychology, music and a practical course in performing arts. I have received an offer and been awarded a scholarship from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to study their music course starting in September this year, and I’m very excited for it. I have also been a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales since 2019, and take part in regular rehearsals, concerts and residential courses with Gwent Youth Orchestra, (Gwent) Youth Wind Orchestra and Bristol Youth Orchestra. Being in these groups has enabled me to progress as a player, make lots of good friends and lead to exciting opportunities such as performing in the Royal Albert Hall in London for the Music For Youth Proms in 2018. I also love to sing (I currently direct Wyedean Gospel Choir) and play the saxophone as I am a big fan of jazz music, so I play at gigs with my hometown’s community big band and, until the Covid-19 pandemic started, Gwent Youth Big Band. I think it is incredibly important to appreciate all different kinds of music – it feels good to enjoy sophisticated classical works, dance around to musical theatre and pop, admire the creativity in improvisation in jazz and look forward to attending Reading festival all at the same time. The piece I have chosen for the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra’s Spring concert is Cimarosa’s oboe concerto, which is one of my favourites to play as I find his music written for woodwind solos to be very pretty and almost spiritual – the same reason I also enjoy works of Albinoni. My main goal is to achieve a creative career and inspire others to make and enjoy music. I feel privileged to have been invited to perform a concerto for the orchestra – an exciting opportunity I’m very grateful for. I hope you enjoy it.

Liz Lane (Composer)

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Published on: May 18, 2021

 

 

 

Liz Lane’s music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, BBC1 and ITV, and played in major venues throughout the UK and abroad; performers have included Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Carducci Quartet, the Symphonic Brass of the RAF and Cory Band.

 Recent projects include Age Against the Machine – Grand Finale (2019), a co-creative inter-generational choral project in London; and CityScape for fanfare band, premiered in Holland (2019). Two of Liz’s lockdown Bluebird series of miniature songs with soprano Belinda Evans received over 10,000 views on social media (2020/21), including #9 Enchanted Light with Colin Booth (ottavino) and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 (2021). The multimedia collaborations River of Time and Rainbow River were commissioned for online performances by Lydbrook Band as part of the Wye Valley Festival and Kapitol Cory Band Online Championships (2020/21).

 Liz was awarded a PhD from Cardiff University in 2010. She is a part-time Senior Lecturer at UWE Bristol, also an Associate Lecturer with the Open University and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She is published by Composers Edition, Kirklees Music and Wright and Round.

 Current commissions include A different kind of living for the Open University Choir; Rhythm of Light, a suite for the Hepworth Band celebrating the life and work of sculptor Barbara Hepworth; an anthem Hear the Call for the first NHS, social care and frontline workers’ Day on 5th July 2021 and a new work for the Forest of Dean Orchestra to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Imjin River. Liz was recently appointed Composer in Association with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band.

 

Marie Roberts (Violin)

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Published on: May 17, 2021

 

Marie Roberts (Violin)

Marie is a talented violinist who has been involved in music since she was in primary school.  She has studied under many different tutors but the most influential to her career was Rhiannon Davies of Cardiff who taught her during her time at Monmouth Comprehensive School.  Marie gained an honours degree whilst studying music performance at Bretton Hall College of Music after which she returned to the Forest of Dean and began working in the Health and Safety Department at the Royal Forest (Beechams) Factory in Coleford.  At the same time, she joined the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra (RFDO) as leader of the second violins, and Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra (GSO) on front desk of the first violins next to the superb Clare Piper.

It was at the Beechams Factory that Marie developed a keen interest in the diverse world of health and safety including chemical management, culture change, behavioural safety, machinery safety and ergonomics to name a few.  During her time at the factory she gained two masters of science degrees in Health, Safety and Environmental Management with the University of Glamorgan, and Ergonomics with the University of Derby.

Over the years Marie has kept her love of music alive by playing with RFDO, GSO, The film Orchestra (TfO) and various musicals and individual concerts, and was given the amazing opportunity to perform as soloist for all three orchestras in the past, her most memorable being Scheherazade with GSO.  “I was so nervous beforehand.  I remember speaking to Glyn [Oxley] just before walking on and I was literally shaking!”.  Her last solo was fortunately just before the first lockdown at Malvern Priory with TfO on the 7th March 2020 where she performed the haunting three pieces from Schindler’s List.  It was a very emotional performance and Marie was very touched when an audience member, a holocaust survivor, approached her after the concert to congratulate her.

Marie is very much looking forward to playing the Lark Ascending for RFDO.  “This piece means a lot to me.  It is the second solo piece I ever played since leaving university.  It is also the piece I played at the wedding of a good friend and unfortunately her husband’s funeral only a year later.  I am very honoured to be playing this piece again for RFDO, an orchestra I really miss playing with.  I may get a little tearful!”

Marie is now Health and Safety Manager for Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools and is currently principal violinist of GSO and TfO.  She lives in the Forest of Dean with her husband John, son Isaac (6), daughter Elena (1) and her two dobermanns Jacob and Micah.

Megan Jackson – Percussionist

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Published on: November 25, 2019
Megan Jackson

Megan Jackson is a fourth year percussionist currently completing her final year at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama under the guidance of Patrick King, Owen Gunnell and Henry Baldwin. Since a young age, she has had a keen interest in music, picking up her first pair of sticks at the age of eight. She was heavily involved in County Music throughout her teenage years, gaining experience on tours abroad to Europe, including France and Italy. This was furthered by tours with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales, attending a tour to Germany at the age of fifteen. Megan also performs with the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra, Brecknock Sinfonia, Orchestra Cymru and the City of Cardiff Symphony Orchestra.
Megan is a firm believer in the value of participation in music. Throughout her experience working within musical education thus far, she has come to acknowledge and understand the large impact and benefits it can have on people of all ages and abilities. She has had the opportunity to work at the educational sports coaching camp – World Sports Ministries – as a team leader, as well as lead and deliver a multitude of percussion workshops all over South Wales.

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Important Dates

16th July 2022: Summer Concert, Parkend Church. Glocs.

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Welcome , today is Wednesday, May 18, 2022