Iain Archibald

IainA.jpgIain 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 Steadfast Silver Band'. In 1995 Iain started attending the junior department of the RSAMD 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.


Andy Foden

AndyF.jpgAndy 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!




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