Music Department

Edward Seymour
Director of Music

Edward began his musical career as a chorister at Blackburn Cathedral. He went on to study music at Durham University where he became Director of Music at the College of St Hild and St Bede. His main academic interests are in 20th Century English Song, early music, and experimental vocal music. Prior to joining Ampleforth, Edward was  Director of Music at Ripon Grammar School. During this time the choral and instrumental provision has expanded significantly; choirs have won various awards, premiered commissions, recorded a CD and performed live on radio. Many of his students have gone on to study music at Russell Group universities and have received choral and instrumental scholarships at Oxbridge, Durham, Birmingham and London universities.  Edward has maintained a busy career as a professional musician. For six years he was a Lay Clerk at Worcester Cathedral where he performed in the famous Three Choirs Festival. He has been in frequent demand as an oratorio soloist and recitalist throughout the country, has frequently performed on BBC radio and toured extensively throughout Europe and the USA. As a conductor Edward has worked with professional singers and orchestral players as well as amateur choral societies, school choirs and youth choirs.

  • Catherine Hewitt
    Teacher of Brass

    Catherine Hewitt studied the French Horn with Derek Taylor at the Royal Academy of Music where she gained a 1st Class BMus. Hons Degree in 1997.  Having worked as a freelance French Horn player from the age of 15 in local orchestras in Kent, she joined the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Orchestra of the Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1998 as Third Horn and progressed up to Principal Horn in 2002 until 2005.  During her career she has been fortunate to be able to work with many major orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Opera House, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Chamber       Orchestra of Europe.  Since becoming a parent in 2006 and moving to Yorkshire a few years later, Catherine has worked mainly as a French Horn player with local orchestras in the Ripon and Harrogate areas and is currently a Brass teacher at Ampleforth College.

     

  • Elinor Nicholson
    Teacher of Harp

    Award-winning Scottish harpist Elinor Nicholson graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with a first class honours degree in 2014. She then went on to complete a Masters in Music with distinction in 2016.  During her studies, Elinor won the prestigious RNCM Concerto Competition which resulted in a performance of Debussy’s ‘Danses’ for harp and string orchestra at the 2017 RNCM String Festival. Elinor was twice a finalist in the RNCM Gold Medal competition- the highest accolade for performance offered by the College.

        

    Professionally, Elinor regularly performs with       ensembles such as the BBC Scottish Symphony      Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Northern Ballet Sinfonia. She has also

    performed alongside well-known names including Nicola Benedetti, Katherine Jenkins, Russel Watson and the rock band Evanescence. This has led her to perform in some of the country’s most notable      concert halls, including the Royal Albert Hall,       Birmingham's Symphony Hall, Sage Gateshead, Royal Glasgow Concert Hall and the Bridgewater Hall.

     

  • Martin Longhawn
    Teacher of Piano

    Martin Longhawn is a busy performer and educator with a wealth of experience performing around the UK and abroad. Having graduated from Leeds College of Music with First Class Honours in 2011, Martin has performed at major jazz festivals including London, Manchester and Edinburgh as well abroad in Norway, Germany, Dubai, Singapore and South Africa. Career highlights include performing at the Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall (Elgar Room) as well as many of the major jazz clubs in the UK including Ronnie Scott's. 

     

    Martin's musical influences include jazz musicians Larry Goldings, Jason Rebello, Robert Glasper,    Terrance Blanchard through to pop rock artists      including Bruce Hornsby, Booker T. Jones and The Roots. Blues musician Jon Cleary is also a very big                influence.

     

  • Pietro Lusvardi
    Teacher of Double Bass

    Pietro graduated from the “Conservatorio di Musica” of Como in Italy where he gained his degree and postgraduate diploma in music. He started working with a number of orchestras including  Pomeriggi Musicali (Italy), touring with Sinfonica Orchestra of Cluj Napoca and Filarmonica Oltenia Craiova (Romania).  In 1997 he founded the award winning jazz avant-garde ensemble Gatto Marte. The ensemble, over two decades, has published ten albums, composed and performed live the scores of numerous  silent films and toured Europe and the USA.  Pietro has also composed and published four albums for solo  double bass: “Progetto Contrabasso” , “Animali Rari” ,“The Lost Concerto” , and “Racconti sul Lago”. In 2000 Pietro moved to California USA and worked with the Monterey Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, Bay Shore Lyric Opera in Capitola and Ensemble Monterey, as well as performing solo double bass recitals featuring his original compositions. Since coming to the UK in 2004 Pietro has been commissioned to write the opera “Colombo Tutto Tondo” by Teeside University which has been performed in England and Ireland, music for  ballet by Tees Valley Dance, and a Concerto For Double Bass and Orchestra by the Hull Philharmonic Society, which he performed in 2011 with the Hull Philharmonic Orchestra and in 2013 with the Teeside Symphony Orchestra. Pietro also began working with orchestras, and chamber ensembles including: BBC Philharmonic, Northern Ballet, National Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble 360.

     

  • William Dore
    Head of Keyboard

    William Dore was one of the first music scholars at Ampleforth College before studying Music at Jesus College, Oxford where he was Organ Scholar. He studied organ with Nicolas Kynaston and John Wellingham. He spent one year as a post-graduate organ scholar at Norwich Cathedral, gaining the Fellowship diploma of the Royal College of Organists before taking up a teaching post in Suffolk.  William gave many recitals in churches and cathedrals throughout the country, and worked extensively in the South East as an accompanist. His move to Ampleforth in 1994 when he was appointed as Assistant Director of Music brought him back to his roots, and in September 2005, he was appointed as Abbey Organist,           succeeding his first teacher, Simon Wright.  He has performed as accompanist and soloist in many countries in Europe and in South East Asia, and continues to work as a freelance accompanist and teacher, (piano and organ) and organ recitalist, within the UK. He has had extensive experience as a choral director, with the Schola Cantorum and establishing the Ampleforth and Ryedale Concert Choir with which he has conducted performances of many large scale choral works including Brahms’ Requiem, Haydn’s Creation and Monteverdi’s Vespers. He became Head of Keyboard in 2019, overseeing the team of five piano teachers, and all of the accompanying of singers/instrumentalists for exams and    concerts.  He has also worked for the Royal College of Organists as an accredited teacher, and has delivered seminars and discussions on Plainchant.  William is a registered teacher for the Young Organ Scholars Trust, and for the Diocese of Leeds Organ Academy and he has had a number of successful students gaining organ scholarships to Cathedrals and Oxbridge. When William is not playing or teaching the organ, he is a keen jazz pianist and has worked with a number of small ensembles and as a soloist, and founded the College Big Band in 2004 which he still runs today.

     

  • Kwangho Lee
    Teacher of Piano

    Kwangho Lee was born in South Korea and pursued his music education in Aberdeen. He received a scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music, completing both undergraduate and Master degrees under the tutelage of Carole Presland and Helen Krizos. Kwangho has performed as a soloist and as a collaborative musician across the UK and abroad.  He is also an established pedagogue and joined Ampleforth in 2016.

  • Neil Morgan
    Teacher of Guitar

    Neil is an experienced all-round musician having played in a variety of contexts, both live and in the studio. The bulk of his work is in musical theatre - most recently with the UK & international tour of hit musical 'Wicked'. As well as being chair-holder on many shows, Neil has been a dep in the West End and on major UK tours such as 'Wicked' (2014/15 Tour & West End)​, 'Cats' (Tour & West End)​, '9 To 5' (West End), 'Rock Of Ages' (Tour), 'Matilda' (Tour), 'Ghost' (Tour), 'The Bodyguard' (Tour), 'The Wedding Singer' (Tour) and 'Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat' (Tour). He continues to play on various productions across the country and is also regularly involved with some smaller amateur        productions. He was also the guitarist for the UK Premier of 'Xanadu - The Musical'​ at the Southwark Playhouse, London.  Neil started teaching professionally in 2002 and since then has seen several pupils go on to study at some of the country's leading music colleges and conservatoires, such as the Royal Northern College of Music, Leeds College of Music, the Academy of Contemporary Music, and BIMM.

     

  • Nicola Hicks
    Head of Strings

    Nicola Hicks joined Ampleforth College as Head of Strings in 2017. Her duties include teaching violin and viola to an excellent standard, ensuring the String Department is strong and productive, directing Pro Musica (the string orchestra), and coaching chamber music ensembles. In addition to teaching at Ampleforth College, Nicola performs as a freelance orchestral and session musician.  As a viola player, Nicola has performed regularly in chamber ensembles and orchestras internationally. Nicola’s orchestral engagements include performances at the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Concertgebouw (Netherlands) with the Chineke! Orchestra, Symphony Hall with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Lincoln Center (New York City) with the Penn State University Chamber Orchestra. Nicola’s chamber ensemble, the Simple String Quintet, won the 2014-15 Southard Music Competition at the University of Northern  Colorado and performed at numerous prestigious events including a concert at the Lone Tree Arts Center (Colorado).  In addition to the Western classical canon, Nicola has explored experimental compositions that combine instrumental performance with electronics, visual arts, and graphic scores. Having recently rediscovered her own enthusiasm for composing, Nicola is toiling at several new writing projects.  Nicola graduated with Distinction and Excellent, respectively, from her master’s degrees at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Pennsylvania State University. Nicola spent three years as a Viola Teaching Assistant at universities in the USA and has delivered presentations at the 2nd Annual Colorado Viola Celebration and the Rocky Mountain Viola Society Viola Day.

     

     

  • Rachel Gray
    Teacher of Cello

    Rachel Gray studied music at University of York, specialising in period instrument performance during postgraduate studies, her teachers including Ioan Davies and Jennifer Ward Clarke. She plays principal cello with Yorkshire Baroque Soloists and also performs with ensembles such as I Fagiolini, The 18th Century Concert Orchestra, Concert Royal and Newcastle Baroque. Recent recordings include Bach’s Passions and B minor Mass with Yorkshire Baroque Soloists, with whom she has performed in festivals in Germany and the Czech Republic.  She is also an experienced teacherof  solo cello, continuo and ensemble playing. 

     

  • Isabel Dowell
    Teacher of Oboe & Bassoon

    Born in the London Borough of Barnet, Isabel studied bassoon at Trinity College of Music and The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. During this time she was a member of the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Youth  Orchestra.  From 1999 to 2002 Isabel was sub-principal bassoonist with the Cyprus State Orchestra for three years before moving back to the UK and settling in York.  Since then she has lead a busy life freelance playing and teaching bassoon, flute, oboe and recorder. She has taught at Ampleforth since 2009. She is principal bassoon with the York Guildhall Orchestra, the Academy of St Olave’s and two wind quintets. In recent years Isabel has become involved in  Early Music and she has performed regularly with the York Waits since 2015 on curtal, shawm, bagpipes, recorder and crumhorn, including trips to the Republic of Ireland, the        Netherlands and Norway.

  • Lindita Simaku
    Teacher of Piano

    Lindita is a graduate of the Tirana Academy of Fine Arts, Albania. She has found her musical vocation as a teacher, exploring the pedagogy of piano studies, and has a wide experience of piano teaching from beginner to diploma level. She is a professional member of EPTA (the European Piano Teachers’ Association), taking her students through ABRSM or equivalent graded syllabi with impressive results. She takes pride in tailoring her teaching to the individual needs of her students, making sure that they enjoy their music making, whether for examination or for fun, and drawing on her experience to help overcome challenges.

  • Fiona McLaughlin
    Teacher of Flute

    Fiona hails from Yorkshire and took her music degree at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, which included a term at the Lisbon School of Music. She was awarded a full bursary to study at the Oxford Summer School for Flutes with Wissam Boustany, Peter Lloyd, Janet Way, Clive Conway and Anders Ljungar-Chapelon. She then studied Flute with Peters Ricjks at Maastricht Conservatorium, The Netherlands, followed by studies with Anders Ljungar-Chapelon in Malmo, Sweden where she gained a distinction in flute interpretation. For the last 20 years, she has combined a career of playing and teaching in Europe and the Middle East. Her teaching has involved helping to set up the first instrumental service at the British School in Abu Dhabi where she was its first woodwind teacher. She ran woodwind workshops in Ankara Turkey, White River in South Africa and Udaipur India and also taught in      Southern Holland and Denmark. She also performs & teaches Flute at the Kozani International Music Seminar in Northern Greece. Fiona has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at many venues, including the Worcester Three Choirs' Festival,  Reid Concert Hall in Edinburgh, Eton House for the Duke of Westminster, The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi’s Sea Palace, Castle Howard,  Mellerstain House in the Borders, The Reid Concert Hall in Edinburgh, Robinson College Cambridge, and many venues throughout England and Scotland.

  • Richard Winter
    Teacher of Percussion

    A native of Liverpool, Richard began bashing pots and pans at home before embarking on formal percussion lessons at the age of 11. Whilst studying for a BA(Hons) in Liverpool he also attended the Stevens International Marimba Conference at The Eastman School of Music - USA. Postgraduate study followed in Manchester at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he was awarded Distinction in both the Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Music degree. Since leaving music college, Richard has enjoyed a busy performance career working with musicians ranging from Vladimir Ashkenazy to Deep Purple. He regularly works with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé, Manchester Camerata and Royal Northern Sinfonia. Music has taken Richard throughout Europe and Asia and he has performed many times at the BBC Proms. In 2016 Richard was elected a Member of the Royal Society of Musicians.

  • Brian Kingsley
    Teacher of Brass

    Brian Kingsley studied the tuba at the Royal College of Music under John Jenkins who was principal tuba in the Philharmonia Orchestra, however prior to this his roots were in the brass band world in Bedfordshire. He became principal tuba with Opera North at its inception in 1978, a position that he still holds.  As well as playing EEflat, CC and F tuba, he also plays cimbasso, for which Giuseppe Verdi wrote in his operas. It is still considered an unusual instrument and although it is mainly  only played in opera houses, more recently it is also used in film music.  He is a member of the Opera North Brass Ensemble who have  performed extensively in the UK. As well as holding his position with Opera North, Brian has also performed with all of the opera companies and most of the symphony orchestras in   England,  Scotland and Wales. One of the highlights of his long career was to perform in Wagner's Ring Cycle in 2016.  Brian has been senior tuba tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music and tuba teacher at Chethams School of Music for more than 30 years, he has also taught at Ampleforth College for over 35 years. This has been particularly rewarding as he has seen many of his students go on to Conservatoires and into the music profession. In recent years Brian has been involved with interesting tuba development work on the EEflat tuba with Buffet in Munich, Germany.

     

  • Andrew Littlemore
    Teacher of Horn and Brass

    Andrew is Principal Horn with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, a position he has held since 2013. Prior to this he was Co-Principal Horn with the orchestra of Opera North. He has appeared as Principal Horn with many of the UK’s leading orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert and Philharmonic Orchestras, London Philharmonic       Orchestra, Philharmonia, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and English Chamber Orchestra.  Andrew has a love of chamber music and has performed many of the great chamber works for French Horn. He has given recitals at St John’s Smith Square and St Martin in the Fields. He has appeared as a guest with London Brass and the Haffner Ensemble and is a founding member of The Barbican Brass Quintet. He has performed many of the concertos written for the instrument throughout his career. Andrew was delighted to join the Brass Faculty as tutor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in January 2020 and later that year was elected a member of the Royal Society of Musicians. 

     

  • Matthew Lennox
    Teacher of Singing

    Matthew was born in Portsmouth and started singing as a boy chorister at All Saints Portsea. At the age of 16 he won a scholarship to study under David Hurley and Margaret Philpot on the Hampshire Specialist Music Course and then went on to win a scholarship to the Royal Northern College of Music. The highlights of   Matthew’s concert work include Bach’s B  Minor Mass and St John and Matthew passions, Handel’s  Messiah and Solomon, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Purcell’s Ode to St Cecilia.  Matthew recently performed with Ballet Rambert and in a concert of  early music as a member of the Deller Consort. He is  also no stranger to operatic roles, having played Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Guilio Cesare in Handel’s Giulio Cesare. He is proud to have performed on a number of  different recordings with the Hyperion, Regent and Naxos labels. In recent years Matthew has returned to Cathedral singing, heading first for Wells Cathedral before moving to Yorkshire with his wife and young family. He now sings at Ripon Cathedral, is vocal coach to the choristers of Ripon and York and has presented singing masterclasses at many other northern cathedrals.

     

  • Krzysztof Urbanski
    Teacher of Saxophone

    Krzysztof Urbanski is a multi-award winning Jazz Saxophonist, Composer, Educator and Producer, recommended by ‘The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz’ along with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter as one of the most interesting saxophone voices of his generation. During his 20 year career he has become well known for taking part in concerts, festivals, jazz competitions, masterclasses and workshops at venues including The World Saxophone Congress in Croatia, Asian Saxophone Congress in Shanghai/China, London Jazz Festival, Chicago Jazz Showcase, Gent Jazz Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, UCLA in Los Angeles and The Royal Northern College of Music. As a recording artist he has 5 albums under his belt; (2008) ‘Urbanski Quartet Live at Hoeilaart Jazz Festival’ , (2010) ‘Urbanski’ , (2013) ‘The Art of Three’, (2014) ‘Urban Jazz  Society’, 2020 ‘Children Of The Light’. He has appeared as a guest artist on more than 100 albums crossing all musical genres.  As a composer and saxophonist his numerous awards include:- January 2016 Scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland; April 2009 Krzysztof Urbański and his Quartet received the TVP Culture Award from the national broadcaster; March 2009 winner of the ‘wARTo’ Music Award from Gazeta Wyborcza; January 2009 Scholarship from Department of Culture "Young Poland" ; September 2009 Scholarship from the City of Wroclaw.