. Alison Kennedy (Eb and Bb) Playing the little Eb clarinet is good fun (for me, but probably not the neighbours!). I’m proud to be one of the founder members of the Bournville Clarinet Choir - they’re a lovely group of people and we play lots of great music. As well as Bournville Clarinet Choir, I organise the Birmingham Clarinet Choir, play in a clarinet quartet and rehearse with the South Birmingham Sinfonia. I also enjoy making music with my family, going to concerts, reading and riding my bike.
Cameron Woodhead (Bb) I have been involved in music since age 8, initially starting on saxophone, before picking up clarinet four years later. I have recently graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on saxophone, where I formed a prize winning saxophone quartet (the Avesta Quartet) and studied with Naomi Sullivan, Andy Tweed and visiting tutor Kyle Horch. Specialising in the baritone, I played in the conservatoire's jazz and Ellington orchestras and Saxophone ensemble, with whom I premiered new music at the 2018 World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb. Since graduating, I have been running private teaching on all my instruments as well as music service teaching and freelance gigs.
Chloe Rogers (Bb) I joined the choir to get back to playing after conducting my Medical School Big Band for two years! I love all things jazz and swing but it's always nice to get back into some tricky classical repertoire. When I'm not tootling on clarinets, you'll find me playing badminton or revising for my medicine exams!
Chris Elsom (Bb) A native of Bristol, I have lived in Birmingham since 2001. I played in a clarinet quartet for 20 years but when that disbanded I was grateful for the opportunity to join the Bournville Clarinet Choir as one of the founder members. The interesting and varied repertoire of the choir, together with the guidance of our Music Director has done a lot to help develop my playing and I really enjoy being part of the ensemble. I retired in 2017 after 35 years working as a civil and structural engineer, and now spend my spare time playing clarinet and recorder and working with my wife on our garden and allotment. In 2018 our garden was one of group in the Bournville area that opened for charity as part of the National Garden Scheme.
David Parkes (Contra Bass) The third Brummie in the group! I was introduced to music at an early age by being taken to Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta rehearsals by my parents. I studied piano, clarinet, some organ and sang in Choirs until after University when opportunities dried up and work and family life took over. However, I have returned to playing in later life and enjoy it even more. When not playing I ride cycles and motorcycles.
Helen Clegg (Bb) I used to play in orchestras in Nottingham when I was younger and also play the piano. But since starting work found it harder to find opportunities to play and so am really happy I found the Bournville Clarinet Choir. I love it because it helps take my mind off everything else, as I have quite a busy job.
Jacqui Holmes (Bb) I discovered music through the brass band tradition initially and was given a loan of a tenor horn (the last thing in the cupboard!) by my local brass band. My degree at the Birmingham Conservatoire was on the tenor horn (yes - you can do a tenor horn degree!). I was always a clarinettist at heart however and when I got a job I managed to buy a clarinet and get a few lessons. There was then a gap in my playing (a very long one!) but I’m delighted to have joined the choir as it will challenge me and improve my playing.
Karen Simpson (Bb) Originally from Fife in Scotland, I lived all over the world as an Army wife before being posted to Birmingham where we are now settled and where I teach clarinet. I love the variety of playing two instruments with BCC. When I’m not practising (!!!) I love playing golf, running and doing mud runs. I also love spending time with my four grandchildren.
Kate White (Bb) I taught Circle Dance for 18 years in Scarborough, North Yorkshire and just two months after moving to Birmingham in 2015, I joined the newly formed BCC. I took up the clarinet late in life as I was longing to make music with others. I have not been playing as long as the other members, yet everyone has been very friendly and encouraging, making our fortnightly rehearsals a very happy time for me. Beside my love of the clarinet, I enjoy singing, gardening, dancing traditional Balkan folk dances and playing with my three year old grandson.
Katherine Bozic (Bb) I've always been musical and learned to play the piano and clarinet when I was young. A few years ago I rediscovered my love of the clarinet after neglecting it for some time. Joining the Bournville Clarinet Choir has given me so much joy, playing and performing with other musicians. I enjoy painting and have painted a picture of a clarinet for Bournville Clarinet Choir which has been used for publicising the Summer concerts. You can see some of my work at http://www.katherinegracebozic.com.
Lisa Laws (Bb) I was given the opportunity to take up the clarinet at a Birmingham secondary school where I gained experience in Ensemble playing in a Swing Band and a large Wind Ensemble. I took a break from playing music whilst on Maternity leave (due to many sleepless nights) however have returned to the clarinet with a renewed passion. BCC Rehearsal being a great way to make new friends with a shared interest. Away from music I enjoy running 5-10km with Run South Birmingham.
Mae Rohani (Bb) Since I first picked up a clarinet aged 12 at my home in France, I have loved playing in ensembles, and this group is my favourite yet. It has been great to play regularly again after a few years off! In between work and university, I enjoy decorating cakes, singing and reading.
Maria Bogarra (Bb) I learned to play clarinet and piano when I was a kid back in Spain. I came to the UK to do a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and stopped playing for a few years until I joined BCC. I enjoy being a member, meeting wonderful people and having fun during our rehearsals, workshops and concerts.
Marion Pollock (Bass) I have always played clarinet in orchestras and chamber groups and for many years taught music in Hertfordshire. Playing Bass in the choir has given me a new outlet for my music. Aside from music, I play golf, tennis and bridge and enjoy gardening.
Megan Ashmore (Bb) Born in Hereford, I moved to Birmingham to teach in a primary school. This is my second year of playing with BCC. I enjoy the challenge of playing with such an accomplished group of musicians. During the week I teach music to primary school children while weekends are spent catching up with family and church activities. I enjoy gardening when the weather is fine and knitting when it's not.
Michael Price (Bb) A born and bred Brummie! At the time I found out about the formation of the Choir I had just stopped full time work. One of my objectives in what some call the third age was to start playing the clarinet again after a break of around 10 years. The challenge of meeting Nigel’s exacting standards, the mix of repertoire and his tactful (well, most of the time) encouragement to play better and the rising standard of the choir make me proud to be one of its founding members. When not playing or singing, I love walking in the mountains (the higher the better), 19th-21st century opera, symphonic and large scale choral music and European travel. And I am passionate about motor racing!
Nathan Wilson (Bb) I first found out about BCC when I attended the Birmingham Clarinet Choir playday in 2018 which was being conducted by my childhood clarinet teacher. I have been doing an engineering PhD at Warwick for the past few years and, despite the hour's drive each way to get to rehearsals, I am glad to have now found the perfect remedy to the stress of my studies. Other than music and engineering, I enjoy mountaineering, swimming and hanging out at my friend's house in Venice.
Peter Fielding (Bass, Contra Alto, Contra Bass) After a career playing in orchestras and teaching in the Royal Welsh Conservatoire and University, playing with the BCC gives a focus to my playing in retirement. The original music and interesting, challenging arrangements by our musical director always keeps the choir on its toes. As an antidote to spending time in a very noisy environment, my hobby is developing and caring for Bonsai trees. I am an active member of Ambion Bonsai Club and on the Committee of The Federation of British Bonsai Societies.
Poonam Rajput (Bb) I have been playing the clarinet since I was 9 years old and have loved it ever since. Since graduating I've felt lucky to find this group! Playing in such a varied choir is so different to school or university groups where the age range is so small, it's really refreshing. I also like to blog in my spare time (as well as listen to more music).
Primo Agnello (Bb) I grew up in Birmingham and started learning the clarinet in secondary school, I previously played in Birmingham Schools' Wind Orchestra. Joining the Bournville Clarinet Choir has provided an opportunity for me to continue my ensemble playing during my gap year. Away from music I have a part time job in retail and in future I am planning to study politics at University.
Sue Catchpole (Bass) I have always been involved in music in various forms, right from my childhood in Manchester up until my retirement from the schools’ Music Service in Sandwell. Playing Bass lines allows me to enjoy the feeling of underpinning the upper parts. When I’m not involved in music I enjoy crafts of any kind – sewing, embroidery, papercutting, DIY… and spoiling my grandson.
Tony Kenna (Bb) Another native Brummie! When my eldest daughter was at primary school she was given the opportunity to take home a clarinet to learn. We both had a go, but after several weeks of annoying the neighbours and chasing all the wildlife from the garden, the clarinet went back to school. Although it was not for Laura, I was hooked, especially after hearing the Mozart clarinet concerto at the Birmingham Town Hall. Since then it's been a crazy wonderful 22 year roller coaster ride highlighted by being part of a very talented group of musicians in the Bournville Clarinet Choir.