Iain was born in Greenock in 1982 and started his musical journey at the age of 9 when he started playing the trumpet in his local Boy's Brigade brass band 'the Stedfast Silver Band'. In 1995 Iain started attending the junior department of the R.S.A.M.D. for 4 years, after which he began studying there full time at the age of 17.
Since Graduating, Iain has freelanced with all the major professional orchestras in Scotland and is a keen chamber musician, playing with award winning groups such as Thistle Brass and Pure Brass. Iain is very passionate about teaching and considers it a great honour to be able to pass on his knowledge and experience to future generations of young musicians.
Originally from the Lake District in Cumbria, Jo Ashcroft graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2008 with a BMus(Hons) and a PGDip in performance. Jo enjoys a varied career as a freelance performer, community musician and teacher. She plays regularly across the UK as a chamber musician in various ensembles. Jo is heavily involved in education and community music.
Since graduating Jo has delivered workshops with Live Music Now all over the UK and in Abu Dhabi, and has worked for Perth Concert Hall, NYCoS, Drake Music Scotland and RCS. Jo currently holds teaching positions at the Stewart's Melville Schools in Edinburgh and MuBu Zone in Helensburgh, as well as teaching at Big Noise Raploch.
In her spare time Jo loves playing and watching sport of almost any variety! She is a keen cricketer and plays for the women's team at Stirling County Cricket Club.
Paisley born Alan Bacchetti (Clarinet and Saxophone Tutor) studied at the RSAMD with Lawrence Gill, John Cushing and Robert Fairley. Alan won many competitions whilst studying in Scotland such as the Governors Solo and Chamber Music prizes. He was also awarded scholarships from the International Travelling Trust Sean Connery Award, Hope Scott Trust and Caird Trust which enabled him to finish his studies in Milan with Fabrizio Meloni, Principal Clarinet of La Scala Filarmonica. Alan now enjoys a varied career as a freelance musician and educator.
He has played with all the Scottish orchestras and now tours regularly as Principal Bass Clarinet with Scottish Ballet. His education work includes working in both the local and private sectors returning regularly as a clarinet and saxophone tutor at the Junior Conservatoire in Glasgow where he studied back in the 80s. Joining the string team at Big Noise Raploch as part of the new woodwind/brass and percussion crew in 2010, Alan now lives in Lenzie with his wife Helen, son George and dog Samba.
Andy started to play the trombone at the age of 10 being taught by his Grandpa. Being from a brass band family, Andy was introduced to brass bands within a year of playing. After playing in youth bands for a couple of years, Andy started to gain experience playing in adult bands and in 1999 became a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. Andy then started to study the trombone at the Royal Northern College of Music Junior School before moving to Scotland in 2002 to study with Chris Stearn and Simon Johnson at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. After receiving a scholarship from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Andy graduated with a Masters in Music Performance in 2008.
Before joining Big Noise, Andy played as a freelance trombonist with many of Scotland’s orchestras. He also worked as a brass instrumental teacher in Glasgow and Kirkintilloch. Along side teaching for Big Noise, Andy also teaches at the University of St Andrews, St Leonard’s School and Hutchison’s Grammar School.
From an early age Nikki was interested in music and started playing the piano (pupil of Dame Fanny Waterman DBE) and the French Horn. Her love of music continued and she went on to study for a BA Hons music degree at the University of East Anglia where she was awarded several scholarships. She then went on to study the Horn with Hugh Potts (BBC SSO) at the RSAMD obtaining a postgraduate diploma and a Masters in performance. Nikki has played professionally with all the orchestras in Scotland and has had trials with Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet. Her highlights are playing with the BBC SSO at the Proms and performing the Ring Cycle with Scottish Opera.
She is also currently employed with North Lanarkshire and East Ayrshire councils and teaches privately as well. Nikki lives in Glasgow with her 3 cats and joined the Big Noise family in August 2014.
Iain received his first pair of drumsticks as a Christmas gift when he was 3 years old and has enjoyed hitting pots and pans ever since! His musical life has been filled with variety - from playing in rural village halls to full stadiums and allsorts in between. He has played percussion on more than 30 albums and numerous broadcasts for TV and radio with bands, orchestras and some of Scotland's best-loved singers.
A few favourite musical memories are playing at a Winter music festival in Arctic Norway, opening for James Brown in his final Scottish gig and the Big Noise Symphony Orchestra's concert in Aberdeen in June 2015. In addition to tutoring at Big Noise Raploch, he teaches at Play On, Paragon's award-winning music programme for young people with additional needs.