Born and raised in Glasgow’s east end, David started playing the ‘cello at the age of 6, attending East Glasgow Music School, a local charity organization which provides weekly instrumental lessons and choir/orchestra training at a fraction of the cost of private tuition.
David attended the Music School of Douglas Academy in Milngavie before going onto study Music (BMus Hons) at the Universities of Glasgow and Illinois. After that, he completed a two year postgraduate course in Cello Performance (MMus with Distinction) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, studying with Robert Irvine.
David has performed with many of the Scottish professional orchestras, and with the contemporary music ensemble Red Note. He also plays piano in a ceilidh band and is part of a string trio called StringSound.
David joined the Big Noise family in Summer 2014 and became a senior musician in 2017.
Originally from the Lake District in Cumbria, Jo Ashcroft graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2008 with a BMus(Hons) and a PGDip in performance. Jo enjoys a varied career as a freelance performer, community musician and teacher. She plays regularly across the UK as a chamber musician in various ensembles. Jo is heavily involved in education and community music.
Since graduating Jo has delivered workshops with Live Music Now all over the UK and in Abu Dhabi, and has worked for Perth Concert Hall, NYCoS, Drake Music Scotland and RCS. Jo currently holds teaching positions at the Stewart's Melville Schools in Edinburgh and MuBu Zone in Helensburgh, as well as teaching at Big Noise Raploch.
In her spare time Jo loves playing and watching sport of almost any variety! She is a keen cricketer and plays for the women's team at Stirling County Cricket Club.
Ysla is from Fife and started learning violin at the age of 8. She quickly developed a passion for music and went on to study at the RSAMD with Edwin Paling and Jerre Gibson. Shortly after graduating, Ysla took a job in Portugal as a tutti violinist in Orquestra Do Norte, Amarante where she lived out her dream of playing in an orchestra abroad. After four years, the draw of Scotland was too much and she moved back home and started teaching violin in Falkirk council.
Ysla freelances with Scottish Ballet, regularly works on education projects with Scottish Opera; tutors violin for Mull Music Makers; teaches musicianship for NYCoS and regularly plays in various string quartets. She joined Big Noise in 2009 as a musician and has been a senior musician since 2013.
Elanor Gunn was born in North Wales and began playing the violin aged 6. She moved to Scotland to study violin at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with William Chandler and Ruth Crouch. Elanor loves learning new languages and spent a year on exchange in Germany during her degree. Since graduating she has very much enjoyed playing professionally in orchestras and chamber groups, including as first violinist of the Astrid Quartet.
Elanor was lucky enough to be leader of both the National Youth Orchestra of Wales and then National Youth Orchestras of Scotland, which included a tour to China! The amazing experiences she had in youth orchestra have led her to be passionate about providing those experiences for the next generation. At university, Elanor studied El Sistema in Venezuela and thought it sounded like a brilliant way for children to learn music – so she was delighted to get a job for Sistema Scotland! Elanor has also worked for the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland and Live Music Now, tutoring and delivering workshops to young people.