Francis Moore-Colyer

francismc.jpgIn years gone by Francis spent many hours with a violin under his chin. He then went on to study music at King’s College London and The Royal Academy of Music. With extensive experience in orchestral playing and chamber music and playing in numerous bands in recent years — at barn dances, in cinemas, aircraft hangers, muddy fields, on theatre stages, and at a variety of venues across his known world — Francis has come to love all types of music and improvisation.
He wants to encourage young people to have fun making music together. Francis believes that live music is one of the greatest things in life.

Sarah Beattie

Sarah Beattie_UPPER STRINGS_SMALL.jpgSarah was born and raised in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, where she started the
fiddle at the age of 6.


Always having played both classical and Celtic styles, she continued on to graduate from the RCS (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in Glasgow, with B.A (honours) in Musical Studies and Post Graduate Diploma of Music in performance. Having played regularly with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, she was given the opportunity to tour Austria, Croatia and Slovakia with them in 2002. As well as orchestral work, chamber music such as string orchestras and quartets always played a large part in her performance career.


Since then, Sarah focused mainly on Celtic fiddle and has been part of collaboration from New Zealand called Pacific Curls. This female trio is a fusion of Pacific, Maori and Celtic compositions, as well as traditional workshops in instrumentation and dance. Their distinct musical sound took them on an international journey throughout New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Asia, Europe and UK, performing at folk and world music festivals and working for RATF (Rural Arts Touring Forum).


Recently Sarah has been teaching with Aberdeenshire council and performs regularly with Frank Thomson and his Scottish dance band, as well as a few ceilidh/cover bands throughout the UK. Being a mum of two has brought Sarah back to her homelands to explore her passion of teaching children the art of the violin!


Emily De Simone

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Emily De Simone studied with Robert Irvine at RSAMD and with Robert Cohen at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano. In 2007 she began an active freelance career in Scotland playing with Scottish Opera, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBCSSO, Auricle Ensemble, Ensemble Thing and the Alba Quartet. In 2014 she began working for the charity Sistema Scotland in Govanhill's Big Noise center. Emily enjoys both performing and teaching and supports these with her interest in mindfulness, symbolic modelling and the Feldenkrais Method, of which she is a qualified practitioner since 2014. In recent years Emily has become increasingly interested in new music and especially loves working with composers on their latest pieces and recently has begun writing some music of her own.


Marina Sanchez Cabello

Marina Sanchez Cabellp Photograph.docx 2.jpgMarina Sánchez Cabello studied her BMus degree at the Conservatory “Victoria Eugenia” in Granada deciding to take her last year at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) as an Erasmus student. She enjoyed her time at the RCS so much that she decided to stay for Masters obtaining a MMus degree in performance.


With a keen interest in orchestral playing, Marina has been a member of the Academy of Orchestral Studies, Barenboim-Said Foundation, Sevilla, as well as playing with a variety of different orchestras including The Youth Orchestra of Andalucía and Granada City Orchestra (OCG)


Marina has always been very interested in chamber music, participating in several festivals such as: The Chamber Music Series of the Academy of Orchestral Studies Andalusian Public Foundation Barenboim-Said Cycle; in the International Music Festival (City of Ubeda); in concerts for the Festival of Music and Dance, FEX and in the Aberdeen International Youth Festival. Recently she has participated in Live Music Now projects with the Dohnányi string trio.


Her passion for teaching has encouraged her to participate in several workshops such as the SCO/RCS Animateur Scheme, and she has recently worked for RCS Music Centres in Stirling (Bannockburn) as a lower string tutor.



Joe Donmall

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Joe grew up in Manchester and began learning the cello and piano at primary school. He studied cello at the University of the Arts Bremen, Germany and went on to complete a Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music. Joe really enjoys playing in orchestras and works as a freelancer across the UK, most recently with the Halle Orchestra and Welsh National Opera. 

He loves the musical challenges of teaching and has taught workshops and composition & improvisation projects for RAM - Open Academy, London Touring Opera and the Kammerensemble Konsonanz. He worked as a cello teacher for London Music Masters and Junior RAM First String Experience.

Joe joined Sistema Scotland in 2017 and after teaching lower strings at Big Noise Torry (Aberdeen) for 2 years, he joined the Douglas team in the summer of 2020. 

When not making music, he enjoys exploring the Scottish countryside, is learning to throw pottery, likes eating too many biscuits and getting lost on his bike.


Andrew Birse

Born in AStaff - Website photo-2.pngberdeen, Andrew studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with Gina McCormack and James Clark. Passionate about chamber music, he regularly performs across the country with the Nexus Duo, including concerts for Goosfest, the Bollington Arts Centre and the Lake District Summer Music Festival. Andrew has also played alongside the Hallé and BBC Philharmonic, and as Principal Second Violin with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland played in the Edinburgh Festival and the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall.

Andrew is also a keen singer, having been a choral scholar at St. Machar’s Cathedral in Aberdeen. When not playing music, he loves to explore different cuisines when cooking and enjoy the great outdoors.


Emily Birse

Copy of Staff - Website photo (4).pngEmily grew up in South Wales and started playing violin when she was 8 years old. Her love of music took her to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where she completed a Master of Music degree. Emily has enjoyed many different performance opportunities ranging from performing Don Juan with the Hallé to travelling across the UK with the Gatecrasher Classical Orchestra. In 2019, Emily performed in Maxine Peake and Sarah Frankcom’s ‘The Nico Project’ at the Manchester International Festival, and later travelled to Australia to perform the show in the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Another recent highlight was performing in the televised ‘Jonny Greenwood Prom’ at the BBC Proms.

In her spare time, Emily enjoys exploring lots of Scotland, playing squash and watching football.




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