Tutors for Summer SaxDay

Alistair Parnell
Alistair Parnell’s busy schedule includes teaching, performing, composing, arranging and conducting. He has performed throughout the UK, USA and Europe and has appeared at two World Saxophone Congresses in Slovenia and Thailand.  Alistair entered the Royal College of Music, London, in 1984 where he studied saxophone with Stephen Trier and piano with David Ward. During his time there he won many prizes including the College Woodwind Prize and the Concerto Prize. He formed and led the Mistral Saxophone Quartet, which became one of the UK’s most successful saxophone ensembles and performed at the Purcell Room and several British Saxophone Congresses.

Following graduation, he established a very successful private teaching studio in Nottingham, UK. Many of his pupils have gained the highest diplomas and been awarded places at the leading music conservatories. Alistair is Visiting Scholar of Saxophone at the University of Nottingham. He is in great demand as a course tutor and directs the Nottingham Sax Day and Sax Weekend courses. He has adjudicated for the Royal College of Music, the Birmingham Conservatoire and in Bahrain.

As a performer, Alistair works with some of the country’s leading saxophone ensembles, including the Flotilla Ensemble, the Northern Saxophone Quartet and the Tribune Saxophone Octet, and he is director of the innovative Equinox Saxophone Ensemble. Orchestral work has included engagements with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. As an accompanist, he has worked with West End musical theatre singers and the world-renowned Cantamus Girls Choir. Alistair was founder conductor of the Nottingham Symphonic Wind Orchestra. He continues to appear as guest conductor and directs the highly acclaimed ‘Kidsophonic’ concert series, which introduces children to the magic of the wind orchestra. Other educational work includes presentations for the Cambridge Science Festival on ‘Music and Maths’.

Alistair is one of the UK’s leading EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) specialists playing both the Roland Aerophone and the Akai EWI. With more than 25 years’ experience with midi wind instruments, he has established himself as a highly respected performer and teacher. He is passionate about the potential of technology to enhance music education. His series of informative Aerophone and EWI lesson videos on YouTube has achieved more than 1,000,000 views to date and he now teaches the Aerophone and  EWI to students around the world via Skype.

Alistair Parnell
Photo Andrew Pennill
Nicola Pennill 

Nicola balances a busy teaching diary with regular performances.  As an ensemble player she plays with a number of groups, and is a founder member of the Equinox Saxophone Ensemble.  She is a longstanding member and current chairman of the award winning Nottingham Symphonic Wind Orchestra.  As a principal player with the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain, she performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2005.  She was part of the organising committee bringing the world's leading saxophonists to Britain in 2012 for the World Saxophone Congress.  In 2009 she released a solo album, a personal collection of chamber pieces for saxophone. Her arrangements for saxophone are published and performed widely.  Also an oboist, she also enjoys chamber and orchestral playing and has played with the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Restoration and the Robin Hood Orchestra.

As well as a successful private teaching practice, Nicola has worked as instrumental coach with with the Nottingham Wind Ensemble, Nottingham Choral Trust's 'Bandwise' programme  With both  science degree  and arts honours degrees, and a passion for combining music with social sciences and psychology, Nicola's interests led her to study at the Royal College of Music for a Masters in Performance Science, with a focus on the group dynamics of music ensembles. She was awarded a scholarship for doctoral study at the University of Sheffield, and as an academic researcher she regularly presents her work at international conferences and meetings.  She is a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music, and has the Certificate of Teaching from the ABRSM.  


Nicola Pennill
Keri Degg  
Keri Degg is a woodwind teacher (Saxophone, Clarinet, and Flute) and performer. She also plays piano and EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument). Having previously taught in and around schools as part of the music service, since 2010 she has also become established as a composer, and has her own publishing company, Masquerade Music.

She enjoys writing for a variety of instruments and groups, but tends to favour the woodwinds, being a woodwind player. She gains inspiration from a variety of sources, and enjoys writing in a variety of styles, as the mood takes her! As a teacher, she enjoys composing both fun pieces to keep the motivation fresh in instrumentalists, but also reflective pieces which bring out the more expressive performance qualities.

Keri also performs regularly as part of Equinox Saxophone Ensemble, Performances as a solo recitalist are scheduled as and when time allows.

Having studied mainly whilst bringing up a young family, she has achieved grade 8 in 4 instruments, and Diploma’s from the ABRSM in Teaching (Clarinet, Distinction) and Saxophone Performance.
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