Tessa Welford - Leader
Tessa has played the violin since the age of 7 and her love of music combined with her enthusiasm for the instrument led her on to study for a BA Honours in Music where she specialised in Performance. Orchestral playing and repertoire have always been her preference, but she enjoys playing chamber music whenever possible.
In addition to her music degree, Tessa holds a Masters Degree in Librarianship, and has held the post of County Music and Drama Librarian for Lancashire and Derbyshire. Teaching has been a feature of her life since her student days and currently fits in with her busy playing schedule. She teaches in school and privately at her home in Hampshire. Besides violin, Tessa also teaches and plays flute and piano and coaches for theory of music exams.
Tessa has played in the orchestra for the past 20 years and also works as an extra for several other orchestras in and around the area. She is in demand as a leader with local operatic society orchestras and has taken part in many productions locally and further afield.
Julian Martin - Principal Violin II
Julian joined the orchestra for the 1993/4 season shortly after moving to Hampshire from the West Midlands. This was in keeping with his resolve to enjoy music-making as a hobby whenever possible and orchestral playing has been very much part of the various chapters in his life, from the county youth ensembles in Hereford and Worcestershire through to York's University and Guildhall Orchestras plus various pit, light and reheasal orchestras along the way.
Having been invited to lead the second violin section whilst the orchestra was still performing at the RAE Assembly Halls, he has had the privilege of working with many like-minded violinists over the seasons to build and maintain a strong sectional identity with those who appreciate delivering the depth and musical colour that composers inject into their writing for "the seconds".
Music provides a welcome contrast and balance to Julian's engineering-based career in the mobile communications business world and there is plenty of music to come home to with a family whose singing and (brass) instrumental pursuits avoid any risk of a quiet life.
Philip Thorne - Principal Viola
Philip joined the orchestra in 2000 and has been Principal Viola for the past few years. He started playing the viola aged 11 (after a year of the violin). After deciding not to study music at university (he studied economics at Cardiff) as there were other competing interests, music eventually became a very major hobby with orchestral and chamber music playing becoming a large part of his non-working life.
After working in the finance and then sales departments of a subsidiary of Pfizer in an administrative role for a number of years and then an abortive change of career direction after redundancy he now works in administration in a local private psychiatric hospital.
When not working or playing music, he is an active member of a local church and enjoys amongst many other things museums and historical places, sightseeing, meals out, current affairs and generally accumulating information useful and not!
Robin Chave - Principal Cello
Robin began learning the cello at the age of 7. He won a Music Scholarship to Hampton School when he was 11 and in his final year at school he performed the Elgar Cello Concerto in the end-of-year concert. Torn between science and music, he decided upon an engineering degree at the University of Birmingham, but continued having cello lessons at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
He spent 6 years at Birmingham, studying for a BEng degree and then a PhD in Materials Science. During this time he played in a number of university orchestras and ensembles, and became involved in the University’s Contemporary Music Festival.
Robin joined the Farnborough Symphony Orchestra in 1998, becoming principal cello a few years later. Between 2000 and 2002 he took cello lessons again with Christopher Bunting, the internationally renowned teacher and performer who was himself a pupil of the great Pablo Casals. Robin enjoys playing chamber music whenever the opportunity arises.
David Barnes - Principal Double Bass
David has been playing double bass for many years having progressed from clarinet while at secondary school. In 1979 David toured Australia with the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra, playing in Melbourne, in Canberra for the Governor General, and as part of the first British orchestra to play in Sydney Opera House. He has played with the FSO on and off since 1977.
David plays around the country with an orchestra based at All Souls Church in Central London, with the Hampshire Sinfonia and a number of local ensembles.
The clarinet is a much easier instrument to carry.
Vivian Barber - Principal Flute
Vivian attended the Royal College of Music, studying the flute under the direction of Alexa Turpin, before taking a degree in Music and French at Keele University. During this time, she was a soloist at the Royal Festival Hall and then spent a year in Paris where she studied at the Conservatoire , before joining the Farnborough Symphony Orchestra on her return.
Until taking a career break to raise three children, she was a full-time teacher and invested considerable energy in directing a range of school productions such as Godspell, Oklahoma and Jesus Christ Superstar. During this period, she was also a peripatetic flute teacher and tutored the Surrey Youth Orchestra.
She has had a varied musical career, playing in several ensembles, singing and playing keyboards in bands, performing in amateur dramatics as well as directing musical shows. She now makes the occasional professional appearance playing the flute and spends time chaperoning in the West End, where her eldest son, Daniel (11), has performed roles such as Tiny Tim in Scrooge, Michael Banks in Mary Poppins, Gavroche in Les Miserables and is currently appearing with Rowan Atkinson in Oliver.
Barry Collisson - Principal Oboe
Barry joined the band of the 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment as a junior musician at the of 15. In 1964 he became a member of the staff band of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps based in Deepcut. During his army career he toured in Europe and the Far East and played in many BBC radio broadcasts. Whilst in the army he studied the oboe with Derek Wickens, Principal Oboist with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
After leaving the army in 1976 he continued his musical career as a freelance musician, playing the oboe and cor anglais for various shows and grand opera productions in the south east of England. Barry is also a founder member of the local Pelly Concert Orchestra and has been with the FSO since the 1970s.
Shannon Wagstaff - Principal Clarinet
Shannon was born in Melbourne, Australia, and graduated from The University of
Melbourne with degrees in Arts and Music. After two years of study as a scholarship
student at the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, Shannon then spent a
year in Shanghai as the Associate Principal Clarinet of the Shanghai Philharmonic
Moving back to Hong Kong, Shannon worked as a freelance musician with groups such as the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Macau Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, as well as teaching instrumental music at several of Hong Kong’s schools. After completing a Graduate Diploma of Education in Music and English, Shannon moved into classroom teaching. After arriving in the UK in 2011, she is studying for a Master of Education degree while working at Southbank International School in London.
Paula Burton - Principal Bassoon
Paula started playing the flute at the age of twelve and two years later took up the bassoon. She went on to take both instruments as joint first study at Trinity College of Music, London, studying bassoon with Roger Hellyer and Vernon Elliott and flute with Ann Cherry. After graduating from college, she pursued a career as an instrumental teacher both in schools and privately at home, initially in the West London area and now in Surrey and Hampshire. After a break to raise her two sons, she resumed this career. Her elder son Thomas writes the programme notes for the Farnborough Symphony Orchestra concerts.
Paula has been a member of the Farnborough Symphony Orchestra for twenty years. She also plays principal bassoon for the Pelly Concert Orchestra and plays regularly in a Wind Quintet who perform for weddings, garden fetes and charity events. She also plays for local operatic societies and is a member of a bassoon quartet. With the small amount of spare time these activities leave her, she enjoys walking and is a keen gardener.
Alison Wyld - Principal Horn
Having graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Alison pursued a career as a freelance horn player for thirteen years. During this time she played with a variety of orchestras and ensembles including the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, the London Mozart Players, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Orchestra of English National Ballet and the contemporary music group Lontano. Alison was also a regular member of London’s West End theatre orchestras, playing in shows such as Miss Saigon, Singin’ in the Rain, Kiss Me Kate, Phantom of the Opera and Starlight Express.
In 1998, Alison decided that she wanted a new challenge and moved into primary school teaching. She is currently the Headteacher at All Saints Church of England Junior School in Fleet where, amongst other things, she runs the school orchestra and oversees a busy programme of performing arts opportunities for the children.
Alison is married with two teenaged children and when she is not working or playing the horn, she likes to follow football and is a season ticket holder at Aldershot Town!
Roy Falshaw - Principal Trumpet
Roy Falshaw was born in 1957. After taking up the cornet he played with a number of brass bands in the area of his Manchester home, and also the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. In 1973 he joined the Army as a Junior Musician in the Grenadier Guards. After serving with the bands in the Aldershot and Camberley area, in 1986 he attended the Bandmaster’s Course at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall. Graduating in 1989, he was appointed Bandmaster of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. With this regiment, in the 1st Gulf War of 1991, he served in a medical role in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait.
Retiring from the regular Army in 1997, Roy became the Director of Instrumental Music at Danes Hill School, Oxshott. In the same year he continued his connections with military music when commissioned into the Territorial Army and appointed Director of Music of the Band of The Royal Yeomanry. In addition, Roy works as a freelance trumpeter.
Keith Maxwell - Principal TromboneKeith Maxwell was born in Belfast and started playing the Baritone at the age of nine, quickly progressing onto the Euphonium. However, at the age of sixteen he realised that he wanted to studiy music full-time and that the Trombone would provide more versatility. Between 1987-1990 Keith read music at the Queen's University of Belfast and studied Trombone with Andrew Berryman (Principal Trombone, Halle Orchestra) and Adrian Morris (Bass Trombone, Halle orchestra). After graduating from University, Keith moved to the South of England where he currently lives and works. He plays Principal Trombone with both the Farnborough Symphony Orchestra and Pelly Concert Orchestra.
Chris Cosens - Principal Tuba
Chris received his early musical instruction on the euphonium at the Salvation Army in Salisbury. At 14 he was invited to join the local championship brass band and was fortunate to compete at both the prestigious British Open Brass Band Championships at Belle Vue in Manchester and the famous National Championships at the Royal Albert Hall. After military service with the Band of the Welsh Guards where he took part in all of the London ceremonial occasions, Chris returned to a career in engineering.
Taking up the Tuba soon after leaving the army, Chris has played in various brass and concert bands, joining the Farnborough Symphony Orchestra 7 years ago. As well as the FSO, Chris is principal tuba of the Band of the Royal Yeomanry and enjoys freelance tuba playing especially with brass quintets and 10 piece ensembles. Chris is also a recent student of the Double Bass, and is looking forward to the day when it begins to sound a little more like a musical instrument!