Meet the Orchestra


Kevin Malone

French Horn

County Cork born and bred, Kevin took up the French Horn much to the disappointment of his parents who are both Third-generation bodhrán (Irish hand drum) makers. In their words, 'He should be banging not blowing.'

Julie Arsenault

French Horn

A French American, Julie flies around the world blowing her own horn. One of her many pleasures includes teaching her extravagantly theatrical son piano.

Maureen Sarrazin


Born in a restaurant kitchen in George Town, Malaysia, Maureen was destined to be a cook had it not been for the fact that one fateful day, she happened to find a trombone in the local 2nd hand market. One puff and she was hooked.

Gerry Austin


Born in Kaitaia, New Zealand, Gerry loves driving. "A trombone is a such a wonderful instrument for punctuating your life." Gerry says, "There's nothing like coming to a halt at traffic lights and blowing your trombone out the window!" Gerry's favourite colour is yellow.

Antonette Kerckhoffs


From Munich, Germany, teetotaller Antonette, started playing in an Oom-pah band. "Oktoberfest was always our busiest time. Sometimes the floor was so wet it was hard to stand, there's only so much spilt beer you can carry on playing along to."

Wikus van de Merwe

1st Trumpet

Wikus comes from Johannesburg, South Africa, he's been playing the trumpet since a young boy. "Sometimes music is the best and only way of communicating. When I pick up my trumpet I don't just hold it, I fuse with it."

Inga Askelsdottir

2nd Trumpet

Inga comes from the 'Pompeii of the North', the tiny Icelandic town of Vestmannaeyjar. On January 23, 1973, lava and ash and debris rained down on the town and surrounding countryside, nearly 400 buildings were destoyed forcing everyone to flee for months."I'll just keep blowing my trumpet to hopefully keep the volcanic gods at bay."

Erik Benzie


Erik was brought up in Dakar, Senegal by his Wolof mother and Scottish father. "I was a strange mix of hot and cold cultures. The trumpet lets me blast it to the world."

Dr Ana Stelline


A distinguished doctor of computer science, Ana loves nothing more than playing sweet tunes on her trumpet, a feat in itself, as suffering from hypersensitivity, her first years were spent isolated inside a bubble.

Selina Chichigov

1st Clarinet

Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Selina first played a zurna before picking up the clarinet. She still plays her beloved zurna when playing folksongs with her band Baku Beats.

Bernard Bilk

2nd Clarinet

Born in Pensford, Somerset, UK, Bernard loves playing football, in fact that's how he lost his two front teeth."The mouth piece fits so snuggly with no teeth in the way. The clarinet gets clamped into my mouth."

Vivian Marwood


Whilst studying at the Royal College of Music, London, Vivian wrote a successful screen play loosely based on her life about the relationship between her and her posh, heavy drinking, actor flatmate.

Nigel Powers


Born in Hoek van Holland, Nederland, whilst his parents were waiting for the ferry, Nigel has grown up for a distrust of all that is Dutch. He was first taught the accordion, but after finding the association of accordions with the Netherlands, Nigel learnt the clarinet instead.

Joan Vollmer


When not practicing or performing American, Joan loves to listen to a bit of beat poetry. Perhaps it comes from being a surrealist, but Joan has the unusual and potentially life threatening party trick of putting a glass on her head.

Hohepa Taawhiri-Maatea


With a name like Hohepa's it was inevitable he'd pick up some kind of wind instrument. ( Tāwhirimātea the four winds, the God of winds and storms in Māori mythology.) "I just love the tone of the oboe."

Esmeralda Villalobos


Esmeralda comes from the jungles of Ecuador. As a teenager she moved to Quito to study at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito College of Music. When not playing with SOL, Esmeralda moonlights as a cab driver.

Archibald Leach


Born in Bristol, UK, Archibald soon left for America to find his fortune. With Hollywood good looks, Archibald was soon making music (some say 'sweet, sweet' music) with some very influential people.

Marziyet Rushisvili


Marziyet loves the bassoon. "Strap me on in and away I go!" Born in New Delhi, India, Marziyet travels throughout the world with her beloved bassoon. "My hand luggage makes for great shapes, even if people refer to it as a farting bedpost!"

©2018 EL MAESTRO World Leader