Gordon Duncan - Musician (Upper Strings)
Gordon grew up in the East Neuk of Fife. He spent much ofhis childhood involved in musical activities from choirs to ceildhs to symphony orchestras. He went on to study violin performance with Tamas Fejes at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Gordon finds great fulfilment in working with children and has a broad range of teaching experience; peripatetic, community projects, directing ensembles and orchestras. He is delighted to join the Big Noise team and to get to know the Douglas community.
Melanie O'Brien - Musician (Upper Strings)
Originally from Carnoustie, Melanie started to learn violin in P4 at primary school, but not always willingly. Enjoying activities and opportunities in music at senior school, she decided rather late to pursue a career in music, studying in Edinburgh and Trinity London with John Crawford and Detlef Hahn. Melanie enjoyed a wide variety of work freelancing, orchestral and television work, whilst teaching in various schools and at the Centre for Young Musicians in west London. Accepting a role with The Menuhin Foundation in Bermuda in 2000, she spent eight years there teaching strings at schools across the island and supporting community music of all types before returning happily to Scotland. With a real love for teaching young learners, Melanie is thrilled to be working at Big Noise in Douglas and looks forward to helping the programme to grow.
In her spare time, she enjoys digging around in the garden and has an ambition to own a campervan.
Martina Sillence – Musician (Upper Strings)
Martina discovered the violin when she was three years old and fell in love with music-making immediately. She loves playing chamber music with her string quartet, as well as performing as a soloist. She is currently studying violin performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she takes part in a variety of orchestral projects. In her spare time, Martina loves climbing the beautiful mountains in the Scottish Highlands. Most of all, Martina loves teaching music and getting to know young people and their families; she is very excited to be working at Big Noise Douglas with the wonderful children and community!
Harry Brown – Musician (Upper Strings)
Harry grew up in Stirling, learning fiddle at The Tolbooth at the top of the town and pipes with the local pipe band. After going to school in Dyce and then the RCS in Glasgow to study violin, he now travels between various places in the central belt teaching and making music with people he has met along the way. Harry likes cats and growing vegetables on his allotment and is very excited to be joining the team at Big Noise Douglas and working with the local community!
Darryl Ritchie - Musician (Upper Strings)
Darryl was born in Perth, Scotland. She gained her Bmus Hons (violin) from Birmingham Conservatoire and soon after, started her work with Big Noise when Big Noise Douglas opened in Dundee. Darryl found her love of teaching during her studies, gaining teaching experience in various settings including classroom, ensemble and individual lessons, working within schools, communities and education programmes.
Darryl is very passionate about music education in the early years and is a qualified teacher of the world-renowned music education programme; Colourstrings Kindergarten. Darryl delivers her own Colourstrings classes in Fife and is delighted to be involved in the early years delivery at Big Noise Douglas, leading Baby Noise and enjoying meeting and singing with families, friends and little ones in the community.
Aside from her work in music, Darryl loves being mum to her little boy, hillwalking and working away in her garden.
Anne Simpson – Musician (Upper Strings)
Anne is an upper strings teacher, who played the violin in the Orchestra of Scottish opera for 30 years. She has a graduate diploma in music from the Huddersfield School of Music.
Anne likes walking in the countryside, reading, swimming, films and chatting to old friends over a cup of tea in her free time.
Nicholas Montgomery – Musician (Lower Strings)
Nicholas grew up in Belfast where he began playing the cello before going on to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he studied with Alison Wells and Ruth Beauchamp. Since graduating he has worked as a cello teacher for the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Opera North in Leeds and now with Big Noise in Dundee. Nicholas really enjoys sharing the joy of music with young people and believes that it can make a wonderful contribution in their lives.
Ana Lucia Arigoni De Souza – Musician (Lower Strings)
Brazilian cellist Ana Lúcia Arigoni de Souza was introduced to the cello at the age of 14, after years of playing the piano and the flute. She graduated in cello performance from the Hochschule for Künste Bremen, Germany, and holds a Master's degree from Royal Academy of Music in London. Ana enjoys all aspects of music making, particularly chamber and orchestral playing, and has been involved in outreach programs in her native Brazil, Germany and the UK throughout her musical life.
She truly believes in the power of music as a tool for social change and is very excited to have joined the Big Noise team in Douglas in August 2019. Ana is also a keen baroque cellist, an avid sushi eater, an amateur potter, a cat lover and is slightly obsessed with stately homes and antiques.