Monty is in his third year at the College of St. Hild and St. Bede. He has a wide spectrum of musical interests and has developed a passion for music since an early age; starting the violin aged 4, the piano aged 5, and achieving diplomas in both. A regular performer in and outside of school, Monty won prizes on violin, piano, and organ and was awarded scholarships for both music and organ at King's College School, Wimbledon.
Monty has extensive experience leading and playing chamber music and has conducted and played with choirs and orchestras around the UK and Europe. Particularly enjoyable were conducting in St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, performing a viola solo in Guildford Cathedral and singing and playing in St. Mark's, Venice, as well as La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. As an organ scholar at school and St. Mary's, Merton, he has also conducted, rehearsed the choir, and played the organ in cathedrals around the UK, including St. Paul's, Ely, Bristol, Westminster, Chichester, and at Hampton Court and Windsor Castle.
Over the past year, as well as conducting the DUOS Symphony Orchestra, Monty musically directed and conducted a number of performances of Don Giovanni with the Durham Opera Ensemble as well as musically directing two of Durham University Light Opera Group’s musical theatre productions. In addition, he works regularly as a freelance choral director and organist and plays keys with the Durham jazz society at gigs and events.
Monty grew up surrounded by orchestral music; attending numerous rehearsals and concerts at the Proms, Wigmore Hall, and the Barbican. He has been inspired, especially, by performances conducted by Sakari Oramo, Alsop, Knussen, and Sir Colin Davis. Recently Monty has been receiving conducting tuition and attending conducting masterclasses with Dinis Sousa, Jacques Cohen and Pablo Urbina.
When Monty is not conducting, playing or directing music and theatre, he is studying for a Master’s Degree in Mathematics. In his first year, he was awarded a prize for outstanding performance on the Natural Sciences degree programmes and in his second year, he won the prize for the best academic performance in Mathematics by a second-year student. However, in the future he hopes to take conducting on in a professional capacity.
Monty is thrilled to continue the role of DUOS Symphony Orchestra conductor into the coming academic year, for which he has lots of exciting projects in store!
Leo is currently in his 3rd year at South College, Durham, studying Music. He held a music scholarship throughout his time at Emanuel School, London and has been playing oboe and piano for over 10 years. In 2016, Leo was accepted into the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama to study oboe with Rachel Broadbent and composition with Jeffery Wilson.
Leo has been heavily involved in orchestral playing, having been principal oboe with SYO (Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra), JGSO (Junior Guildhall Symphony Orchestra) and cor anglais with SLYO (South London Youth Orchestra). He has also had several other depping opportunities with orchestras such as the LSSO (London Schools Symphony Orchestra). Leo is especially grateful for the international touring opportunities that SYO provided, having had the chance to perform in countries such as France, Spain, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.
As a composer, Leo has had two of his pieces selected to be rehearsed in separate orchestral workshops at Junior Guildhall and was also awarded the Environ Music Composition Prize in 2020. His work “Dawn”, for chamber orchestra, was premiered by the Kingston Chamber Orchestra in July 2022. Leo is also active as a singer, with Durham Universal Choral Society as well as Durham Opera Ensemble, which he is now President of for the upcoming year.
Leo was given an introduction to conducting in a small workshop with VOCES8, and then in his last 2 years at Junior Guildhall, he was accepted into the Conducting Workshop, having weekly group lessons studying under Scott Wilson and Chloe Rooke. He has also been able to observe and participate in masterclasses given by conductors such as Jessica Cottis and Dinis Souza.
During his time at Durham so far, Leo has enjoyed being part of Durham University Palatinate Orchestra, Durham University Classical Ensemble and playing with Dunelm Players in addition to DUOS. He is looking forward to his 2nd consecutive year conducting the chamber orchestra, after conducting successful concerts featuring the whole ballet of Ravel’s Mother Goose, Poulenc’s Sinfonietta and conducting Zemlinky’s Sinfonietta at Sage, Gateshead in June 2022.