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Sally Minchin trained at Birmingham Conservatoire gaining a First Class Bachelor of Music Degree. She enjoys a very varied freelance career which has included working with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The English Symphony Orchestra and Longborough Opera. Sally plays violin and viola with many chamber music groups and has also guest led many ensembles locally including Derby Concert Orchestra, Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra and Wombourne District Choral Society. Since leaving music college Sally began working with Jazz musicians and has a great passion for the music of the late violinist jazz hero Stephane Grappelli. She plays with the award-winning swing quintet Fret and Fiddle, who regularly give concerts around the UK.
Julianne Bourne studied at Birmingham Conservatoire and since then has been in demand as a performer and teacher. As well as performing for classical ensembles around the Midlands Julianne is also a regular session musician recording with bands such as Ocean Colour Scene, The Twang and The Sherlocks. Julianne is a talented arranger and writes a lot of the music for Toscana Strings she also believes in inspiring young people to have a passion for music and runs a successful teaching practice.
Rachel Clennell completed her undergraduate and post graduate studies at Birmingham Conservatoire. In her final year she won the Herbert Lumby Prize for Violinist and Violists. Rachel plays with orchestras and ensembles across the UK including Orchestra de Camera, Southbank Sinfonia and Britten Pears Orchestra. As well as being a founder member of Toscana Strings, Rachel is a busy chamber musician having played with ensembles on Cruise Ships, recording and performing with the Ardeton Ensemble. Rachel is also a technician for Clennell Custom Brass, working on instruments for some of the country's leading brass players.
Heather Dunne graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire in 2001 and went on to train to become a teacher at UCE. She has been teaching Cello as a peripatetic ever since, in Milton Keynes, Luton and Bedfordshire, as well as keeping up her playing career by performing with various orchestras and string ensembles around the UK. Heather is an experienced arranger and writes a lot of the music for Toscana Strings. Heather is also a school governor at her local primary school.
Sophie Price is a founder member and administrator for Toscana Strings. She graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire in 2001 with BMus(hons) and was then awarded an Honary Membership to the Conservatoire in 2007 for her contribution to the Arts. After graduating Sophie was the Orchestral Manager at the Conservatoire and then went on to work at Symphony Hall as Assistant House Manager. As well as having an active playing and teaching career around the Midlands Sophie is Stage Manager for Revival Productions who deliver high quality open air picnic concerts in stately homes including Classic Ibiza and Proms concerts.
We also have five deputies who play for us when one of the original members is unable to play. Hannah, Carol, Joanne, Katie and Lauren who all studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire and are valued members of our team.
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