Meet the Musicians!
Abigail began playing brass at the age of six in her local brass band in Lancashire. She eventually came to Newcastle to study music at Newcastle University and spent one of those years studying abroad in Hong Kong. Abigail began working for In Harmony in 2018 and also teaches privately, in schools and for music centres in and around Newcastle. When not teaching Abigail is involved in numerous different projects around Newcastle in which she writes, records and performs music on the trumpet. She enjoys playing a wide range of genres and settings which include musicals, session musician work and jazz. She will usually say yes to playing anything!
Born in the North East, Katrina completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in clarinet at Newcastle University, and has since established a busy teaching and performing career in the region. Aside from her instrumental teaching, she has also founded a number of ensembles for young musicians in Newcastle and North Tyneside.
Katrina has been working with In Harmony since the project began in 2012. At Hawthorn Primary School, she currently leads the Debussy Woodwind Ensemble, as well as working with Reception and after school groups.
Originally from Scotland, Mark trained as a percussionist in Edinburgh and Newcastle. His work as a conductor and percussionist takes him across the country and further afield to work with orchestras, choirs and Indian Street Bands! After starting musical life on the recorder and violin, he quickly switched to percussion after a concert playing the triangle!
Mark is currently undertaking further study with Clark Rundell and Mark Heron at the Royal Northern College of Music which includes being the assistant conductor for projects with BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Psappha ensemble.
Earlier this year he founded the Northern Percussion Ensemble who perform concerts, recitals and workshops across the region.
He is currently Director of Music for New Tyneside Orchestra, Hexham Orpheus Choir, Felling Male Voice Choir, workshop leader for Streetwise Opera, lecturer in conducting at Newcastle University and associate conductor for 'Voices of Hope' who recently won the BBC Choir of the Year Competition
Elise studied at the University of Hull, specialising in solo contemporary works of the 20th Century and New Music of the 21st Century. In 2019, Elise was awarded the second prize winner in the Young Artist category at the annual British Flute Society competition. Elise regularly contributes to the flute magazine, PAN; reviewing new releases, sheet music, and live concerts!
Always eager to improve her craft, Elise has been lucky enough to attend workshops with some of the leading practitioners including Laura Jellicoe, Lea Pearson, and John Alley. Since 2020, Elise has been a member of the rarescale Flute Academy led by Carla Rees.
Alongside being a freelance performer and teaching with In Harmony, Elise has vast experience working in theatres and live events. An avid walker, Elise will always be spotted in the great outdoors when she isn’t working or practicing.
Originally from Bristol, Annie took up the clarinet at the age of 8 and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London. After graduating, she worked for BBC Radio 3 before moving to Newcastle. She has played in many orchestras including Royal Northern Sinfonia and taught woodwind, but predominantly Clarinet, throughout the region. Positions include Programme Leader for wind and brass for the Step Up programme at Sage Gateshead and she has been involved with In Harmony since its inception. Annie enjoys travelling and cooking and going to visit her two grown up children.
Charlotte grew up in Northumberland and began learning the violin at school before joining Sage Gateshead’s Centre for Advanced Training. From a young age, she knew she wanted a career in which she could help others enrich their lives through music, so she went on to study music at the University of Durham. Since graduating with First Class Honours in 2015, she has enjoyed a varied career as a musical educator and performer, and joined the In Harmony team in 2018.
Northumberland born, Jo Montgomery started playing the violin at the age of 4 and studied at Chetham’s School of Music from the age of 13. She went on to study in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she performed in string quartets and on West End shows whilst still a student.
Jo has a varied musical life combining teaching with string quartet playing and orchestral work, having performed and recorded with the BBC Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia. She has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company touring company playing an on stage role in the Taming of the Shrew.
Jo has been teaching at In Harmony for the past 6 years, highlights have been.... team teaching with Andrew Lloyd Webber, taking the children to perform at the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool and working with the reception children, who are so fabulous.
Double Bass Tutor
Gemma began learning the double bass at school in Birmingham at the age of seven, and studied Music at the University of Oxford followed by a postgraduate year at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She now enjoys a busy freelance career as an orchestral double bassist, performing regularly with the orchestras of Opera North and Northern Ballet amongst many others. Gemma is also a passionate and experienced music educator who has taught for a wide variety of schools and music services across the UK for over ten years.
Gemma moved to Yorkshire in 2019, where she lives with her two cats Oscar and Tilly. She teaches on the Young Musicians Programme at Sage, and joined the In Harmony team in 2021 where she is very much looking forward to meeting the children and sharing her love of music with them. In her free time Gemma is studying Scottish Gaelic, and she also enjoys running and working out.
Cello and Double Bass Tutor
Born in Corbridge, Peter began Cello lessons aged 8 at his local school in Ashington. He studied under Alexander Baillie at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.
He enjoys a varied career performing and recording all sorts of music on the Cello and Electric Guitar. He especially enjoys arranging music for the many ensembles he directs as well as conducting Youth Orchestras. His favourite band is Radiohead and adores the composers Shostakovich, J.S.Bach, Thomas Newman and Debussy.
As well as enjoying teaching at Hawthorn Primary School, Peter teaches at The Royal Grammar School and Kings Priory, Tynemouth. He is a keen Mountain Biker, loves renovating property and has two Cocker Spaniels called Milly and Maya.
After growing up near Sheffield, Hannah studied music in Newcastle and then travelled to Sweden to train to be an orchestral violinist at the Swedish National Orchestral Academy. She loved living in Sweden but was happy to move back to Newcastle, where it's much warmer! Hannah started working for the In Harmony programme in 2017 and also teaches at Sage Gateshead and in other schools and music centres in the area. She performs regularly as a freelance violinist and violist, and likes to play music from lots of different genres including classical music, Scandinavian folk music and British folk music.
Originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, Chris has been playing the Tenor Horn from the age of 10. Following in the footsteps of his dad, Chris joined the NASUWT Riverside Concert Band. He then became a member of the Young Musicians Programme at Sage Gateshead and joined the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. In 2016 Chris moved to Wales to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where he studied with Owen Farr and Dr Robert Childs. Whilst studying at the college Chris played solo Horn with the college brass band and was involved with numerous chamber ensembles, qualifying for the Phillip Jones Brass ensemble final, held at the college in 2020. In 2018 he competed at the National Brass Band finals of Great Britain with the City of Cardiff Band; since then he has held the position of Musical Director with the organisation’s training band.
Arranging music is a great passion of Chris’, his first work was premiered in 2015 at Sage Gateshead for the North East Learning Alliance Orchestra. Since then he has arranged music for the International Tenor Horn and Flugelhorn festival, various brass ensembles and more recently for orchestras. Whilst studying, Chris set up the Prestige 6 Orchestra with renowned composer Daniel Hall, a progressive hybrid orchestra that fuses the world of pop and classical together.
Now back in the North East, Chris is working with Sage Gateshead and Durham Music Service as a brass tutor.