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.


Nicola Hopkinson

nicola.jpgFrom 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 Sandilands

Iain.jpgIain 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.


Kirstin Hall

Kirstin_SMALL.jpgKirstin is from a very musical family and began to learn the clarinet at the age of 7. In 2006 she was awarded a place at the Aberdeen City Music School where she studied for six years before receiving a scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music at 17.


Since graduating Kirstin has enlisted as a musician with the Army Reserves and enjoys playing first clarinet with the Band of the Yorkshire Regiment. Alongside this she has worked for a number of different music services and has enjoyed working to support children with a wide variety of additional needs.


Kirstin is very excited to be returning to Scotland and to be joining the Big Noise Raploch team. She hopes to use her passion for music and helping others to inspire young people through Sistema Scotland.



Tony George


Tony has had a varied career in many different aspects of music performing and teaching. He has performed and recorded with Modern Orchestras such as the Philharmonia, LSO, BBC Scottish, Ensemble Intercontemparian and the Hallè as well as many period instrument orchestras, including the Oslo Baroque Orchestra and Chestnut Brass Co (USA). He has held professorships at both the RCM and GSMD in London as well as teaching positions at the RAM and the RCS here in Scotland, Tony has giving masterclasses in many European institutions In education for long people he's been Head of Brass for The London Borough of Enfield and Head of the City of Edinburgh Music Service. He is a current member of The Wallace Collection, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment as well as the Orchestra of the 18th Century.


He has been a Mentor on the ABRSM instrumental teaching course, devised the RAM summer school, written for numerous magazines and journals as well as contributing to many programmes on both Radio and TV both in the UK and beyond.


Tony is fascinated by the incredible effect music has on people young and old and feels privileged to be able to join Big Noise Raploch in its journey of discovery.


Victoria López 


Victoria López started learning bassoon at the age of eight, completing a total of nine years of Juniors Conservatoire in her hometown, Ávila (Spain). At 18, she moved to Cardiff to study her Bachelors in bassoon at the RWCMD, where she graduated with a 2:1 degree in July 2015. Afterwards she moved to Glasgow where she completed a Masters Degree in performance at the RCS and graduated in July 2017. Victoria has performed with many orchestras during her time abroad, including Scottish Ballet, HM Royal Marines Band and Opra Cymru. She is also a founding member of Genovia Quartet, a bassoon quartet based in Glasgow represented by both Live Music Now Scotland and Classical Musicians Scotland. Since 2018, Victoria has also been working as a piano and bassoon teacher at Queen Victoria School (Dunblane) as well as covering oboe and bassoon teaching for Paisley Grammar School and Big Noise Govanhill. Victoria believes that music should be accessible for everyone regardless of their background, which is why she feels excited to have joint the Big Noise Raploch community!


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. 

Lauren O'Malley 

Copy of Staff - Website photo (14).pngLauren was first introduced to the wonderful world of percussion at 10 years old. Throughout her school years, she was fully absorbed into the life of an orchestral percussionist and eventually went on to study at the Junior Conservatoire programme of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) in 2011, where she was a student for four years. She then progressed on to study full time BMus (Hons) Timpani and Percussion at the RCS, graduating in 2019.


Alongside her studies, she also played with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland (NYOS) for six years, gaining the position of Principal Timpani and Principal Percussion in her final two years as a member. Playing with NYOS brought some fantastic opportunities, including an international tour of China as well as playing at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. After graduating from RCS, Lauren moved to Göteborg in Sweden, where she lived for two years, to study her Master of Fine Arts in Music with Specialisation in Symphonic Orchestra Performance at the Högskolan för scen och music (Academy of Music and Drama), also known as the Swedish National Orchestra Academy, graduating in 2021.


Lauren has been working as a freelance Timpanist and Percussionist for a number of years, playing with many different orchestras and ensembles, including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Göteborg Sinfonietta amongst others.


Alongside her performing career, Lauren thoroughly enjoys teaching Timpani and Percussion, as well as musicianship and Early Years classes and has a real passion for social action through music, hence Lauren is absolutely thrilled to be joining the Big Noise Raploch team.



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