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A variety of different music lessons are on offer at the College, from guitar to drums to trumpet. We have a number of visiting music teachers, who are onsite to teach these co-curricular lessons. Please see below for further information on each member of the team.

Verity Auty (Singing)

Verity Auty (BMus (hons) RNCM MMus GSMD) studied at the National Opera Studio and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She started her career in the Glyndebourne Chorus and went on to sing roles with the major UK opera companies such as Grange Park Opera and Scottish Opera. She also took part in major education projects with companies such as Garsington and Glyndebourne. She still performs regularly. While still at school she won the International Musical Theatre Award in Rome.

Verity has taught for over 20 years and currently teaches at Lambrook, Heathfield, Shiplake College and privately. She has great experience with the ABRSM, Trinity and Rock School exams as well as preparing students for GCSE and A-Level Music. She also prepares students for professional work and has taught two Matilda’s in the West End as well as having two students at major performing arts colleges with Andrew Lloyd Webber Scholarships

Email: [email protected]

Carl Bache (Clarinet)

Carl Bache has been teaching Clarinet & Saxophone for the past 30 years around the Berkshire and Oxfordshire area. His main schools are Moulsford Prep and Cranford House where he is actively involved in both music departments, directing groups as well as teaching individual lessons. Carl is also a tutor at Henley Music School which provides a music service for the local community. He has an extensive private teaching practice around the local area, teaching pupils of all ages and standards and has also performed with local theatre groups and bands.

Email: [email protected]

Ana Borzone (Cello)

Dutch cellist Ana Borzone studied at The International Menuhin Music Academy -Gstaad (IMMA) and the Royal College of Music in London, graduating with a PGDip in performance in 2010. She has toured Europe as a member of the Camerata Lysy and the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie having performed in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and France. Ana has also worked very closely with different string ensembles at Oxford University, namely in Jesus College, St Peter's College and Magdalen College. She taught at The Oxford Cello School in 2008 and has coached the Berkshire's County Youth Orchestra and the Oxford University Philharmonia cello sections. In 2011 she was invited as an academic advisor to mentor the string department at the Austral University in a bi-national orchestral programme between Chile and Argentina. Ana's pupils have performed and won prizes at renowned music festivals in the UK and have successfully joined the Junior Department programmes at different top music Institutions.

Email: [email protected]

Jon Brooks (Piano)

Jon studied musical composition alongside Piano and Trombone performance at Leeds University. In addition to Shiplake College, he teaches at Reading Bluecoat, Claires Court, Papplewick and Leighton Park schools.  He enjoys working as a Musical Director for theatre productions which have recently included Wizard of Oz, Sister Act & My Fair Lady. His swing band, the Ding Dong Daddios regularly perform at dance festivals and vintage events around the UK and Europe.

Email: [email protected]

Jonathan Burnett (Strings)

Jonathan started his musical studies at the age of seven and later obtained a BA degree in violin performance from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. After completing his first degree, he won two major scholarships to continue to study with Prof. Dona Lee Croft. As a performer Jonathan has been a member of some of the most prestigious orchestras in the UK such as the BBC Welsh Orchestra and Welsh National Orchestra among others. Mr Burnett has a passion for contemporary music, and he has played with many chamber ensemble who pioneer new music. These collaborations include Michael Nyman, Graham Fitkin, and Charlie Barber.

Mr Burnett's teaching career started in Wales while studying for his first degree. After contributing to the development of different music departments in various institutions, he became Head of Strings at Berkshire Maestros where he has been working since. Other institutions include Eton College, Queen Anne's School Caversham, St Joseph's College, Pangbourne College, and Brunel University. He is not only an accomplished performer, but also a dedicated conductor and at present, is in charge of different ensembles as well as the Berkshire Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Mr Burnett's teaching and performing expertise has allowed him to work around the world delivering tuition and advice in countries as far as in the Middle East, South Africa, Australia and South America. He is continuing to develop String and Orchestral opportunities for students and teachers across South America.

Jonathan has recently been appointed to the board of trustees of the Dorothy Croft Trust. This trust is set up to enable talented students in financial need to access lessons, master classes, as well as help with international travel costs to and from auditions.

Jon Gjylaci (Guitar)

Regarded by The Guardian as ‘’impressively expert” and by Classical Guitar Magazine as ‘’a highly talented player’’, Jon Gjylaci is in increasing demand as a performer and teacher.

Jon has been teaching guitar for several years in institutions like Royal Northern College of Music, Bolton School, Stockport Grammar School, and Oxfordshire County Music Service.

Jon studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester under acclaimed guitarist Craig Ogden, gaining his Bachelor of Music degree and his Postgraduate Diploma in Performance with distinction.

Alongside his teaching career, Jon has been giving concerts, recitals and masterclasses across the UK and Europe and has appeared in venues such as St Martin-in-the-Fields, Cadogan Hall, The Bridgewater Hall and Liverpool University to name but a few.

In recent years, Jon has given several World Premieres of new guitar works and collaborated with various Orchestras in the UK and abroad. Jon has appeared live on BBC Radio 3 and was selected as one of their ‘BBC Classical Introducing Artists’ and his latest album ‘Edges of Thought’ was named by Classical Guitar Magazine as one of the Top 10 best classical guitar recordings of 2017.

Jon has released two critically acclaimed solo guitar albums and Classical Guitar Magazine has commented on his “…very impressive technical ability, which enables him to flash around the fingerboard in an apparent effortless manner."

The Guardian wrote ‘’…when in the impressively expert hands of Jon Gjylaci, [the guitar’s] versatility is immediately apparent.’’

Matt Holland (Trumpet)

Matt Holland is a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree holder who has spent the past 20 years performing alongside artists such as Van Morrison, Lisa Stansfield, Burt Bacharach and, more recently, Wet Wet Wet. He has also performed on Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing on Ice and The X Factor Final with Robbie Williams. Recent work has included recordings with Roger Daltry, Tanita Tikaram and an appearance in the Hollywood film My Week With Marilyn. Matt enjoys composing and has had some of his work featured on Jazz FM.

Email: [email protected]


Asami Hughes (Piano and Theory)

Asami Hughes is a graduate of Birmingham University. She has also been awarded both a Diploma and Licentiate for piano from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM). In addition she has attained grade 8 distinction for piano. Asami was brought up in Japan where she learned piano as a small child. Later she studied piano under Fuyuki Yamazaki who was Professor of Music at Tokyo University of Art and Music. Since relocating to the United Kingdom she has taught piano for over ten years to both children and adults, and specialises in classical piano.

Email; [email protected]

Ikuko Inoguchi (Piano)

Described as “a brilliant pianist” (Der Kessener), Dr Ikuko Inoguchi is an internationally acclaimed concert pianist, chamber musician, and performer-scholar.

Ikuko is particularly interested in exploring repertoire which displays cross-cultural influences and the music of Japanese composers.

Teaching is also an important part of her musical activities; she is currently a Visiting Research Fellow and Visiting Lecturer (accompanist) at City, University of London and Artist-in-residence at Clifton High School.

Email: [email protected]

Julie Kench (Voice)

Julie was born in Cheshire and studied Music and Drama at Brunel University and then after several years working in Light Entertainment she studied for a Postgraduate Certificate and Advanced Diploma in Performance at Trinity College of Music, London where she holds the 2003 Ricordi Opera Prize. Alongside her various operatic roles, Julie also sings with many choral societies and vocal ensembles around the country performing Oratorio works and running workshops.

In 2004 Julie joined the International Acappella group The Swingle Singers. During her 5 years in the group she toured all over the world. Julie has sung Berio’s Sinfonia with some of the world’s best conductors and orchestras, including Zubin Mehta with Vienna Philharmonic and Antonio Pappano with Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with whom she also performed at the BBC Proms at the Albert Hall. Julie’s versatility has enabled her to take on singing projects in many genres. She worked alongside composer/beatboxer Shlomo creating the vocal soundtrack to Alfred Hitchcock's Downhill. She works as a session singer with London Voices and Audio Network recording soundtracks and incidental music including the films The Hobbit and Harry Potter Deathly Hallows.

Julie started her teaching career with Berkshire Maestros working in both secondary and Primary schools and since 2009 has worked at Queen Anne’s School in Caversham and The Abbey School, Reading and more recently teaching privately at home.

Email: [email protected]

Patrick Moore (Guitar and Bass Guitar)

Patrick began his musical education with classical studies on ‘cello and trombone, including two years as principal trombone of the Bromley Youth Symphony Orchestra and a year as the cellist in a quintet led by clarinetist Emma Johnson. Following a change of musical focus, Patrick has been performing and recording professionally, on both guitar and bass guitar, for more than 30 years. On guitar, he performs regularly with Hidden Agenda, a seven-piece soul, funk and disco band, as well as with various jazz ensembles. He also spent six years as the lead guitarist for Bootleg Blondie, the UK’s top Blondie tribute act. As a bass guitarist, he has performed in a wide variety of genres, including extensive experience of musical theatre, pop, rock, funk and soul. In the field of jazz, as well as leading his own ensembles, he has worked with such notable musicians as Dame Cleo Laine, Tim Garland and the late Sir John Dankworth.

Patrick has taught guitar and bass guitar professionally for eight years, and teaches both privately and at Queen Anne’s School in Caversham. He has been teaching at Shiplake College since 2009.

Email: [email protected]

Merlin Shakaj (Flute)

Merlin is a recent graduate of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music in London where she completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Flute Performance after studying with Fiona Kelly. She also holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from University of Tirana, Albania. She is currently a flute tutor at Oxfordshire County Music Service and is an active soloist and orchestral performer.

During the past years, Merlin has gained experience performing with professional orchestras. In 2018, she was invited to join the National Radio-Television Orchestra of Albania where she performed around the country as a principal flutist and collaborated with highly regarded conductors such as Anna Volchenko, Uwe Theimer, Mateusz Moleda and Noorman Widjaja. More recently, she also has collaborated with British and European composers, performed with National Opera Welsh orchestra in Cardiff and Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra.

Alongside completing her studies, Merlin participated in many festivals and summer music academies around Europe and has had masterclasses with distinguished soloists such as Philippe Racine (Zurich), Ljubisa Jovanovic (Kosovo) and Erwin Klambauer (Vienna), Laura Jellicoe(Manchester) amongst others.

Email: [email protected]

Howard Rowntree (Brass)

Howard has performed and recorded as a soloist and in orchestras throughout the world in concert halls, opera houses, theatres and cathedrals on both Modern and Baroque trumpets, including America, China, Hong Kong, throughout Europe and all the Baltic States.

Amongst many others Howard has performed with The Philharmonia, English National Opera, The Mahler Chamber Orchestra, The Sixteen, The Gabrieli Consort, The Hanover Band and The Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra. He has also been Principal Trumpet of the Opera Festival Orchestra in Aix-en-Provence.

Howard is a member of Concerto Copenhagen (Denmark) and has been broadcast on BBC TV and Radio, and Classic FM, and can also be heard regularly as a soloist in most of London's major churches.

Howard has also performed at Glastonbury Festival

Email: [email protected]

Hamish Stewart (Drums)

Hamish Stewart specialises in Drum Kit and Latin Percussion. He has been playing professionally since 1968 and, in addition to leading his own bands, he has worked as a freelance and session musician. He joined the Savoy Orpheans Band at the Savoy Hotel in London as resident drummer for five years and has done radio broadcasts and made several TV appearances such as BBC's Live in Concert, Channel 4's Cold Chips and Granada's What's On. He has worked as a producer/arranger for Decca, and written and performed the music for documentary films such as the BBC Omnibus production Seeds of a New Life. He was signed to United Artists Records with the band Kingdom, who went on to co- headline a gig at London's Olympia with Black Sabbath and Status Quo. Hamish has performed and/or recorded with artists from many different musical backgrounds: Michael Nyman, Brian Eno, Pete Wingfield, Gordon Beck, Ramon Boucher, Dee Dee Warwick, Shusha, Dave Defries, Jerome Rimson, Mo Foster, Ian Stewart, Bob Stewart, Herbie Flowers, Art Themen, Mick Wayne, Phil Braithwaite, Lawrie Wright, Geoff Hawkins and Harry Kakouli.

Email: [email protected]

John Watts (Trombone, French Horn and Tuba)

John Watts began his brass-playing journey on the tenor horn followed by euphonium before eventually settling on the tuba aged 16. John studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff where he performed with all of the top college ensembles and orchestras. During his time there he won the Linda Mowat Brass Prize, an award from the Wolfson Foundation and a coveted place on the BBC National Orchestra of Wales placement scheme. Since graduating in 2003 John has gone on to gain a Licentiate from the Royal Schools of Music with Distinction.

John teaches all brass instruments to students of all ages. He works for Berkshire Maestros and conducted the County Youth Brass Band from 2007 – 2013. John plays with many local groups and is the tuba player in the Chiltern Brass Quintet. He has also worked on a variety of other musical projects including two Urban Orchestra programmes which fused classical and contemporary musical genres. In 2014 John and Paul wrote a Foundation in Brass Teaching course which they delivered to some of the more experienced brass players from Mlisada in August. It was an extremely rewarding and inspirational two weeks and has further enhanced his understanding of the amazing work that Brass for Africa does.

Email: [email protected]

Dan Western (Drums)

Dan began playing drums at the age of ten and currently has twenty years of experience of performing. He has performed in a broad range of bands over the years in a variety of different musical settings including rock, pop, jazz, funk, latin, big band and musical theatre.

Dan is currently the house band drummer for the ‘Let’s Rock 80’s’ festivals which sees him regularly perform with Belinda Carlisle, Jason Donovan, Jimmy Sommerville and Paul Young amongst others. He also drums for former Haircut 100 star, and now solo artist Nick Hayward.

Since 2008 he has taken fortnightly tuition with Bob Armstrong, the UK’s leading drum tutor.

Email: [email protected]