Michael began learning the flute at the age of ten and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Music degree with Honours from Edinburgh Napier University specialising in flute performance. He was closely involved with the Edinburgh Napier Chamber Orchestra (ENCO) and the University's Contemporary Ensemble.
In his final year, Michael became a soloist with ENCO playing Carl Reinecke’s Flute Concerto. He was also the first recipient of The Wind Section Prize for Woodwind and Brass. Michael performs with contemporary band, the Tinderbox Orchestra and is planning to continue his studies next year at the Royal Northern College of Music. Many Club Members will recognise Michael from his time with us as a part-time member of staff during his student days.
Accompanied by Ailsa Aitkenhead
Ailsa Aitkenheadhas just finished a year-long placement in the Edinburgh University music department under the graduate studio accompanist scheme. She has recently graduated with distinction from the Masters in Piano Accompaniment course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she has been highly commended in her final year recital, awarded the Alex Menzies Award for an Outstanding Accompanist and nominated to compete for the prestigious Gerald Moore Award. She previously studied at the University of Edinburgh graduating with a BMus Degree in 2013.
Ailsa started learning piano under the tutelage of Simon Coverdale, and now studies with the acclaimed Scott Mitchell. She has worked with a huge variety of musicians, including singers, string players, brass, woodwind, choirs and musical theatre. Highlights have been her close relationship with the Greyfriars kirk and the lunchtime recital series as a regular performer; performing and rehearsing with Les Sirènes, the 2012 winners of BBC choir of the year; and her experience as the principal accompanist for the students of Edinburgh University.
She has had the opportunity to perform at some exciting venues such as the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Clyde Auditorium and Queen's Hall and King's Theatre in Edinburgh.