Musician's - Brass

Andy Foden

Website (12).pngAndy 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.


Alistair Gibson 

Copy of Staff - Website photo (1).pngAlistair grew up in West Sussex and was encouraged to learn the Trombone aged 7. After progressing through the local music centre system Alistair started studying at the prestigious Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama. While at Junior Guildhall Alistair was awarded the Prozone music Trombone Scholarship and The Junior Guildhall Brass prize.


In 2011 Alistair moved to Manchester to study Tenor and Bass Trombone at the Royal Northern College of Music. Alistair spent his third year in Essen, Germany, at the Folkwang Universitat Der Kunste, studying with Prof. Chris Houlding.


As a conductor, Alistair has taken various ensembles including the Folkwang Posaune Ensemble, Keele University Brass Band, Abney Orchestra, Boness and Carriden Band, Barrhead Burgh Band and is currently musical director of Broxburn and Livingston band. Alistair studied conducting with Michael Omer at Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Mark Heron on the Royal Northern College of Music as part of his undergraduate studies. Alistair has participated in masterclasses at the RCS, RNCM, the Memphis Sinfonietta and the Cardiff International Academy of Conducting.


As a Trombonist, Alistair has performed with a variety of ensembles including the Roberts Bakery Band, Leyland Band, Faireys Band, and the Brighouse and Rastrick Band. Between 2018-2021 he was the Principal Trombone of the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland performing at events such as the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. He currently plays Bass Trombone with the North of the Forth Big Band. 

Tanya McDonald

Website (13).pngTanya started playing the cornet at 9 years old with her community brass band, Campbeltown Brass. In 2016, Tanya moved to Glasgow to study trumpet at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she received a first class honours degree in her undergraduate degree, Bachelor of Music Performance with an endorsement in Social Action Through Music, delivered in partnership with Sistema Scotland, subsequently graduating with the degree of Master of the Arts in 2022.   


Throughout studying, Tanya enjoyed working in various music outreach programmes, including recent work with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s ReConnect project and other events in connection with the SCO’s Craigmillar residency, as well as teaching in other projects like Oi Musica and Campbeltown Brass. 


While studying her Masters degree, Tanya started working as a Support for Learning Assistant in a Stirling primary school, where she found a passion for ensuring inclusion within education settings – something she is excited to continue in her work at Big Noise.  Shortly after, she began working with Sistema as a Support Musician and is now excited to be joining the team in Fallin and Douglas (Dundee) as a Musician! 





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