Aidan Shepherd is a classically-trained, jazz educated folk musician. Initially a trained pianist, he went on to study jazz at Leeds College of Music, where he also majored in composition before finding his way to the accordion. As a composer he is most interested in the points where the classical, jazz and folk forms meet and overlap. His music is often richly harmonic with a strong rhythmic undercurrent.
He leads Arlet, a 6-piece contemporary orchestral chamber folk ensemble playing his own music. Alongside this he spends much of his time composing and performing with London based Effra and Ruby Rushton, the former a post-folk power trio and the latter an experimental future jazz quartet in which he plays keyboard and synth-bass. Recently he has been working on a new project called Papylonian Babooshkees with MCC affiliate Phil Holmes.
He is a dedicated educator, teaching classical and contemporary piano and accordion to students around Kent.
Anna Braithwaite is a composer who lives and works in Folkestone, Kent. Her music has been performed in theatres and music venues around the UK and has been broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and Resonance FM. In 2016 Anna was: invited to be part of the British Music Collection, selected for the Sound and Music composer/curator scheme, commissioned by Music 4 Wellbeing to create a piece for community choir and was composer in residence at Quarterhouse theatre where she created a piece of ‘gig theatre’ called ‘Brainsong’. Anna is a classically-trained singer and an experienced cabaret artist who often performs in her own works and continues to tour the UK with her cabaret trio ShooShooBaby. She enjoys the opportunity the MCC offers her to try out new ideas in a supportive environment and collaborate with local artists.
Ian Fleming is a composer and pianist with particular interests in impressionism, jazz and folk music. He enjoys writing in many genres from solo piano to orchestral and from songs to film scores. He believes in writing original music that is both enjoyable and accessible to audiences, whilst striving for a beauty and clarity of style.
He studied music at Newcastle University under Agustin Fernandez and now studies composition with local composer Matthew King.
Recent performances of his work include: 'The Red Kite' performed by The Royal Northern Sinfonia at the Sage, Gateshead and his 'Piano Trio' which was performed by the Fidelio Trio at Newcastle University.
Matthew Brown is a composer and violist, born in 1985 in Canterbury, England. He learned to play the violin at the age of six, and began composing aged nine. A passionate cook, Matthew trained as a chef in Thanet College, specialising in Patisserie and Confectionary. In 2008, Matthew was the violinist in a musical comedy production by Minster Playhouse, directed by his Patisserie and Confectionary teacher, Scott Steele. Having completed his course at Thanet College, Matthew then began to study for a music degree at Canterbury Christ Church University, focusing on composition under Prof. Roderick Watkins. During his studies, he composed for many ensembles, including his acclaimed debut for wind orchestra, Encomium, which was performed in Canterbury Cathedral. In 2010, Matthew was commissioned to write a piano trio for the Canterbury Three Cities Association, which lead to two international premieres and six further performances including a performance by the Del Mar Piano Trio at the 1901 Arts Club in London. Matthew graduated in 2010 with a first class degree, winning the Cyril Philips Memorial Prize for outstanding commitment to the Music Department.
Matthew went on to study a Master of Music in Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music under Prof. Adam Gorb and Paul Patterson, having been awarded a scholarship by the Richard Newitt and Radcliffe trusts. Whilst studying at the RNCM his string quartet ideas were workshopped and performed by the Mivos Quartet. Matthew graduated from the RNCM in 2013.
In 2015, Matthew became a member of the Montrose Composers Collective, a group of composers who compose and often perform their own work. This lead to collaborative composition projects, improvisations, and performances of Matthew's trio for mandolin, viola and accordion, and his Feldman inspired Piano and String Quartet at the Harbour Arm in Folkestone.
Matthew wrote his orchestral work, Beverley Meadow, for a Young Composer Workshop with the City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra. With generous support from the RVW trust, the CRSO then gave the work its first public performance in February 2017, conducted by Peter Bassano. In a review by Peter, he states: "Matthew Brown's Beverley Meadow is a work inspired by the English countryside. Matthew's subtle orchestration and sensitive changes of texture are beguiling."
In September 2017, Matthew will begin a PhD in composition at RNCM, focusing on wind orchestra composition, with Adam Gorb as his primary supervisor.
Phil is a guitarist based in Deal, Kent. He studied Music Technology at Keele University, focusing on electro-acoustic composition. After years of living and composing inside a computer he moved to Deal, met lots of musicians and learnt to play more acoustic instruments including the mandolin and banjo. He joined the Deal-based band Cocos Lovers and spent several years touring and travelling with them.
In 2009 Phil began leading community choirs and singing groups across East Kent and this lead to a further interest in choral music and composition which he has continued to develop. He works regularly for local organisations which promote the health and well-being benefits of singing such as Living Lively, Music 4 Wellbeing and the Canterbury Cantata Trust (CCT). He also regularly sings with the CCT's own Cantata Choir.
Today Phil plays, tours and writes regularly with Cocos Lovers, Molly's Lips, Yndi Halda and The Hellfire Orchestra along with several other groups in and around Deal whilst attempting to also write and arrange his own music on paper and computers.