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Soloists and Guests
Alexandra Stemp
Esther Harriot
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Alexandra Stemp (Violin)

Alexandra Stemp was born and raised in Blackpool. Having led the Lancashire Students' Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra she went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. During her time there she won the Bach prize and also became a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. She is an experienced musicain who has played with many of the UK's leading professional orchestras. Since leaving the Halle she is now a freelance musician. She performs with the Acceso String Quartet in recitals across the North West and is the leader of Blackburn Symphony Orchestra.

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Esther Harriot (Cello)


Esther Harriot studied at the RNCM with Moray Welsh and Antonio Lysy. She was a founder member of the Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra before returning to the UK where she performs regularly with the Halle Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Opera North and Manchester Camerata. She is also keen chamber musician, currently a member of the Acceso String Quartet.

Tim Jackson
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Tim Jackson (French Horn)


Tim was brought up in Lancashire and gained valuable early playing experience in Blackpool Symphony Orchestra.

Tim was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music at the age of 15. He was a member of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for five years and now performs with orchestras throughout the UK and Europe.

Tim is also a tutor in French Horn at the Royal Northern College of Music and Composer-in-Association with Onyx Brass. He commissions include the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields, British Telecom and the Halle Orchestra.

Tim has delivered a wind and horn master class for BSO in 2012, 2017 and 2019.

Claire Shipway
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Claire Shipway (Clarinet)


Claire is originally from Sheffield and began playing clarinet at the age of 8. On completing her A Levels Claire studied music at Huddersfield University, specializing in performance and also undertook courses in concert management and conducting.

After graduating Claire began working as a peripatetic music teacher, firstly in Sheffield and then in Lancashire.

Outside of her teaching, Claire has over 25 years experience as both a multi-instrumentalist in the pit and more recently as assistant MD.

Claire joined Blackpool Symphony Orchestra in 2013 and became principal clarinet in March 2017.

Jane Irwin
James Nash
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Jane Irwin (Soprano)


Jane Irwin is from Lancashire and studied music at Lancaster University and singing at the Royal Northern College of Music as a mezzo. In 2009 Jane moved into a soprano repertoire.

As a concert and recital singer Jane has appeared regularly in Britain, Europe and America. Highlights have included appearances at the Carnegie Hall, New York, the BBC Proms, the Wigmore Hall, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Berlin Festival, the Concertgebouw, Boston Symphony Hall, and the Musikverein, Vienna. She has collaborated with the Deutsche Symphony Orchester, Orchestre de Paris, San Paolo Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Zurich Tonhalle and many more, with such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Andrew Davis, Donald Runnicles, Antonio Pappano and Sir Mark Elder. Jane has given recitals at the Chatelet, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Geneva , Aix-en-Provence and Japan.

Operatic appearances have included Ring Cycles at Bayreuth, ROH and Scottish Opera, and other leading roles with Deutsche Oper, Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera and the major British companies.

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James Nash (Trumpet)


James began playing the trumpet at the age of 8 as part of the Wider Opportunities Programme in schools. At 11 he joined the Blackpool Music Service Concert Band and later the Lancashire Schools Jazz Orchestra, Lancashire Youth Jazz Orchestra and Lancashire Youth Symphony Orchestra.

After achieving his grade 8 distinction at age 14, James became one of the peioneering participants inteh National Youth Orchestra of GB 'NYO Inspire' Programme and a year later was selected as a full member of the main orchestra. He was also a member of the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

James loves to play all genres of music, playing Piccolo Trumpet in NYOGB 2017 and Soprano Cornet with Freckleton Brass Band. He is also an accomplished drummer and pianist.

He achieved his ABRSM Diploma in Performance and at just 16, he became a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music (LRSM).

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