About Wind, Brass & Percussion
Flute | Oboe | Clarinet | Bassoon | Horn |Trumpet | Trombone | Tuba | Timpani & Percussion | Saxophones | Recorders
The Wind, Brass and Percussion Department provides exciting opportunities for learning and performing. Our world-class team of instrumental professors are leaders in orchestral, solo, and chamber performance.
Led by Richard Benjafield (Head of Department), Beth Randell (Deputy Head - Brass) and Fraser MacAulay (Deputy Head - Woodwind), our programmes will enable you to achieve the very highest levels of performance, developing your musicianship, technique and professional skills, in a supportive and dynamic environment.
Follow what's happening in the department on the Wind, Brass and Percussion Facebook page.
Watch the video
Find out more about Wind, Brass & Percussion training at Guildhall from our students and staff in the video below.
Wind, Brass & Percussion contact details
Michal Rogalski, Wind, Brass & Percussion Department Manager
Tel: 020 7382 7259
Your journey as a student in the Wind, Brass and Percussion Department will be an individual one, offering a rich and diverse programme of opportunities to enable you to become the very best musician that you can be.
During the programme, you can have lessons from a range of Principal Study professors in addition to those with your main professor. All students receive lessons on doubling instruments, essential for versatility and employability. There are several weekly orchestral repertoire classes, and chamber music for all students, including cross-departmental chamber groups with strings and piano.
The Department runs ensembles and weekly classes for all instruments, giving many concerts in Guildhall, at the Barbican, and externally. Our ensembles are open to all students. Visiting UK and international artists give frequent masterclasses on solo, chamber and orchestral repertoire. There are several annual instrumental competitions.
Progressing through the programme, you develop an indvidualised study pathway, according to your skills and ambitions. There are opportunities to play contemporary, jazz or early music, in ensembles and specialist classes. These specialisms are not only for wind and brass students, but also for saxophone, recorder and percussion students, with their multi-genre programmes of study and performance. Collaboration is a key element, both in performance projects, and outreach work with our external partners.
Throughout your time at Guildhall School, you will receive individual mentoring support and classes in professional and practical skills to prepare you for professional life. Many Guildhall alumni enjoy successful careers in music and the arts, both in the UK and internationally; see our alumni successes further down this page for some recent examples.
Read more about the BMus programme structure.
Focusing on the versatility and musical diversity of the contemporary saxophonist, saxophone students study classical and contemporary music, jazz, improvisation and musical theatre repertoire including individual lessons on flute and clarinet.
Recorder students study music from medieval and baroque to contemporary repertoire, including regular masterclasses with visiting professors Robert Ehrlich and Karel van Steenhoven. All students perform with the School's consort Woodwork and collaborate with students and professors from the Historical Performance Department in classes and ensembles. Guildhall owns two consorts of recorders, including the recently commissioned Turner’s Consort.
Read more about our our Guildhall Artist Masters (MMus/MPerf) in Performance. In Wind, Brass and Percussion, there are two main pathways: Orchestral Artistry (in association with the London Symphony Orchestra) and Advanced Instrumental Studies.
Orchestral Artistry in association with the London Symphony Orchestra
Find out details of this exciting specialism.
Advanced Instrumental Studies
This specialism is for talented students to develop their individual artistic voice with a particular focus on selected repertoire, whether solo or chamber music, early or contemporary music – with or without the inclusion of orchestral repertoire.
Performances & Projects
Chamber Music at Guildhall School
Creating 'Urinetown, The Musical' at Guildhall School
Guildhall Gold Medal 2020 - Low-Latency Rehearsal
Activities & Ensembles
- Up to 45 individual Principal Study lessons each year
- Weekly orchestral repertoire classes
- Scheduled weekly chamber music coaching and rehearsals -
- Platform performance classes
- Symphony, Opera and Chamber orchestras
- Guildhall Ubu Ensemble – contemporary music
- Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Guildhall Brass Soloists, Guildhall Wind Soloists
- Saxophone Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Big Band, Recorder Consort, Baroque Orchestra
- Projects with the Jazz, Historical Performance and Composition projects
Highlights, Successes & Alumni
- Masterclasses with over 80 world-leading artists, including: Denis Bouriakov, Julien Beaudiment, Adam Walker (flute); Melinda Maxwell, Olivier Stankewicz, Julianna Koch (oboe); Michael Collins, Pascal Moragues, Reiner Wehle (clarinet); Rachel Gough, Gustavo Nunes, Gretha Tuls (bassoon); Nigel Hitchcock, Naomi Sullivan, Huw Wiggin (saxophone); Karel van Steenhoven, Sebastian Marq (recorder); Nebjosa Zivkovic, Russell Hartenberger, Peter Erskine, Kuljit Bhamra, Emma King (percussion); Andrew Bain, Olivier Darbellay, Katie Woolley (horn); Philip Cobb, Omar Tomasoni, Thomas Hooten (trumpet); Jörgen van Rijen, Mark Templeton, Stefan Schulz (trombone); David Cribb (tuba); Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, Canadian Brass, Sō Percussion, Delta Saxophone Quartet.
- Wind Brass and Percussion Spotlight concert series by ensembles and soloists, in Milton Court and Silk Street
- Guildhall Brass Soloists, directed by Anne McAneney, at St John’s, Smith Square
- Guildhall Wind Soloists directed by Michael Collins, in Milton Court
- Billy May’s Big Fat Brass directed by Mike Lovatt, and Wind, Brass and Percussion Big Band directed by Mick Foster and Matt Skelton, in Milton Court
- Guildhall Ubu Ensemble, directed by Simon Wills, performed The Yellow Shark by Frank Zappa at BBC Total Immersion, and on Radio 3
Students in the Department have been prize winners in the following competitions:
- Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award
- Los Angeles Philharmonic Dudamel Fellowship in Conducting
- Royal Overseas League Final
- Lions UK and Ireland Musician of the Year
- Open Recorder Days Amsterdam
- RTÉ lyric fm Award
- Newark Brass Festival Competition
In addition, students have recently been selected for the Southbank Sinfonia, London Sinfonietta Academy, the LSO Timpani & Percussion and Brass Academies, and London Philharmonic Orchestra Future Firsts scheme.
- Alex Wide (Horn 2014) Principal Horn, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
- Jonathan Goodwin (Trombone 2014) Co-Principal Trombone, Gothenburg Opera
- Luke O’Toole (Flute 2017) Principal Flute, Opera North
- Richard Watkin (Trombone 2006) Principal Trombone, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
- Luke Russell (Flute 2012) Principal Piccolo, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
- Kris Garfitt (Trombone 2015) Wechsel Posaune, German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
- Audun Breen (Trombone 2014) Principal Trombone, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
- Ausiàs Garrigós Morant (Clarinet 2013) Bass Clarinet, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
- Alex Edmundson (Horn 2013) 2nd Horn, London Symphony Orchestra
- Edward Griffiths (Horn 2013) 3rd Horn, Welsh National Opera
- Lauren Reeve-Rawlings (Horn 2013) 3rd Horn, Scottish Opera
- Sameeta Gahir (Flute 2013) Principal Piccolo, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
- Fabian Schmidt (Trombone 2011) Brandedenburgisches Staatsorchester, Frankfurt
- Zhiying Wei (Trombone 2011) 2nd Trombone, Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts
- Matthew Featherstone (Flute 2010) Principal Flute, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
- James Burke (Clarinet 2009) Co-Principal Clarinet, BBC Symphony Orchestra
- Philip Cobb (Trumpet 2009) Principal Trumpet, BBC Symphony Orchestra
- Fiona Paterson (Flute 2008) 2nd Flute, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
- Sarah Bennington (Flute 2007) 2nd Flute, Welsh National Opera
- Jonathan Watkins (Trombone 2007) Principal Trombone, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
- Steven Hudson (Oboe 2006) Section Principal Oboe, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
- Angela Barnes (Horn 2005) 3rd Horn, London Symphony Orchestra
- Chris Richards (Clarinet 2004) Principal Clarinet, London Symphony Orchestra
- Adam MacKenzie (Bassoon 2003) Principal Bassoon, Opera North
- Elspeth Dutch (Horn 2002) Principal Horn, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
- Alison Balsom (Trumpet 2001) international trumpet soloist, winner of Best Female Artist, Classical Brit Awards; Artist of the Year (Gramaphone Magazine 2013)
- Juliette Bausor (Flute 2001) Principal Flute Royal Northern Sinfonia
- Joby Burgess (Percussion 2001) Percussionist with Peter Gabriel, Powerplant
- Chris Richards (Clarinet 2001) Co-Principal Clarinet, London Symphony Orchestra
- Cormac Henry (Flute 2000) Principal Flute, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
- Mark Templeton (Trombone 1998) Co-Principal Trombone, London Philharmonic Orchestra
- Helen Vollam (Trombone 1997) Co-Principal Trombone, BBC Symphony Orchestra
- Alison Teale (Oboe 1996) Co-Principal oboe, BBC Symphony Orchestra
- Julian Warburton (Percussion 1996) Principal Percussion, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
- Gareth Davies (Flute 1994) Co-Principal Flute, London Symphony Orchestra
- Robert Holliday (Trombone 1993) Sub-Principal Trombone, The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
- Lynsey Marsh (Clarinet 1992) Principal Clarinet, Halle Orchestra
- Byron Fulcher (Trombone 1991) Co-Principal Trombone, Philharmonia
- Sarah Willis (Horn 1990) 4th Horn, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
- Chris Hind (Percussion 1982) Co-Principal Timpani, BBC Symphony Orchestra