I learnt to play the Bassoon in senior school as no one else wanted
to learn, and thoroughly enjoying playing it, a peripatetic teacher
used to come into school every week.
I worked for The West Midlands Fire Service as Supplies Officer.
I teach recorder (descant, tenor, and treble) at the local junior
school, (voluntarily), and assist with the Junior School Orchestra,
every Friday after school.
For 3 years I had Bassoon Lessons with Neil Chapman, and we set
up The Birmingham Bassoon Choir two years ago. Following Neil’s
departure to the R.A.F. I now have lessons with Maria Mealey working
to taking my Grade 8 in Bassoon.
I play in two Amateur Orchestras the South Birmingham Sinfonia and
Harborne Orchestra once a week, and I am cofounder of The Birmingham
Bassoon Choir which meets to rehearse monthly.
I am a cofounder of the Birmingham Bassoon Choir along with Chris
I studied the Bassoon with Ian Cuthill at Anglia Polytechnic University.
As a post-graduate I studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire with
Martin Gatt and John Schroeder. I am now a Bassoonist with the Central
Band of the Royal Air Force.
Joanna Mayne (nee Coombes)
My graduate studies took place at Birmingham Conservatoire and
Royal College of Music.
Teachers: Bassoon: Sarah Burnett, Maria
Mealey, And Martin Gatt; Contrabassoon: Martin Field, Margaret
My orchestral work includes, Hampstead Garden Opera, Queens
Park Sinfonia, Midland Sinfonia, Boston Sinfonia(Bassoon/Contra),
Norfolk Symphony Orchestra (Bassoon/Contra), Goldsmiths Sinfonia,
Spires Orchestra, Opera De Bauge, Leicester Bach Choir, English
Philharmonic, Harrow Opera, English Camerata, Thursford Christmas
Spectacular, 2004-2006 (Bassoon/Contra). Orchestras and ensembles
at Birmingham Conservatoire and RCM.
I am a founder member of Trio Capriccio, formed in 2000, regularly
playing for weddings, corporate functions, education projects, and
recital throughout the UK. I also perform with Ariosa Winds, Elliot
Trio, Unfaggotable Bassoon Quartet and I lead/conduct The Birmingham
Having spent most of my working life in bookselling and teaching,
I am now a reflexologist. In the 1960’s I was Principal Oboe
of the Midland Youth Orchestra and 2nd Oboe in the Birmingham Philharmonic
Orchestra (BPO). After having my children I was offered the loan
of a Bassoon and taught myself to play – it was a great relief
to find that there weren’t the serious reed problems associated
with oboes! I am now 2nd Bassoon in the BPO and Sinfonia of Birmingham
as well as a member of the Forest Bassoon Trio. I still play the
oboe from time to time and also the recorder in the Arden Consort
and the Lachrimae Consort.
I am a retired Music Teacher, Playing French horn in the South
I also play Tuba in Meridian Winds, and Harmonie Concert Band. I
play second Bassoon in Fircone Wind Chamber Ensemble, and play Bassoon
in the Birmingham Bassoon Choir.
I play Bassoon in the South Birmingham Sinfonia, which meets once
a week, and also play Bassoon in the Birmingham Bassoon Choir.
I’m not a bassoonist, but a sax player, and have been playing
Saxes for 35 years, and I’ve learned a little on the way.
I taught myself to play as I couldn’t afford lessons and I
didn’t like teachers except for the whiskey of course. I taught
saxophone to budding players in Wigan, Merseyside, North Wales and
Shropshire in the last two decades of the twentieth century. I have
played saxophone all over the place, but now as a bassoonist I am,
metaphorically speaking, merely a ‘fresh faced’ youth.
I got into bassooning quite by chance, after seeing a bassoon for
sale in the Manchester Evening News for £242.00 and thought
it might be a bargain which I could buy, overhaul, and flog on to
an enthusiast and make a few bob. I knew it was a fine instrument
because it had ‘made in China’ stamped on its body.
After the initial enthusiasm for cleaning it up I just left it under
the bed for several years until one day a chap asked me if I could
play bassoon in a local amateur dramatic society production. I told
him I had a bassoon but hadn’t even tried to play it; I became
a “bassoonist”, for that week anyway. I remember the
struggle of learning some note before the show week began; I was
the only “player” with two music stands, one for the
show music, and one for the list of finger positions to play the
basic notes on the instrument.
I now know most of the notes, and play regularly with Telford and
South Cheshire Orchestras and occasionally with Worcester Philharmonic
and Redditch Symphony Orchestras.
I have been a member of the Birmingham Bassoon Choir for almost
I am originally from Hampshire, and studied Oboe and Cor Anglais
at the Birmingham Conservatoire where I was awarded the BSM and
BCA scholarships, graduating in 1998 with an MA. Since then I have
cultivated a busy freelance career and perform regularly with the
Serenata Winds Quintet. In an orchestral capacity I play for the
Southern Sinfonia, the Heart of England Philharmonic, Queen’s
Park Sinfonia, and I have enjoyed tours with Il Divo, Johnny Mathis,
Chris de Burgh and Roger Daltry and have taken part in a number
of live radio and television broadcasts. I am also a very busy double
reed teacher working mainly in Warwick and Birmingham.
I played Bassoon at school and university, then had a ten year
break, before taking it up again as a diversion when my children
were small. In addition to the bassoon choir I also play in the