Russell HouseRussell House

An Independent Co-educational Preparatory School for Children aged 2-11

  • Russell House School, Station Road, Otford, Sevenoaks, TN14 5QU
  • Telephone: 01959 522352

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Visiting music staff

Children are able to learn a wide range of instruments in school with our talented visiting music teachers.

‘Cello - Victoria Beattie

Victoria was born in Adelaide, Australia and began playing the cello at the age of five. In 2000 she won a bursary to study cello with Genevieve Teulieres-Sommer at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Junior Department. In July 2006 Victoria completed a BMus (Hons) degree at the Royal College of Music, London where she studied with Melissa Phelps and held a scholarship. She continued her studies at the Royal College of Music on the Post Graduate Diploma programme where she was awarded the Orchestral Mentor Scholarship and studied under Thomas Carroll. During this time she was chosen to lead the cello section of the Royal College of Music Opera Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra in numerous concerts under such conductors as Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Charles Mackerras and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Since completing her degree in 2008 she has performed with numerous London orchestras including the London Concert Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Victoria is an enthusiastic cello teacher working in schools across London and Kent, including King's School Rochester.

Clarinet and Saxophone - Nicky Jenkins 

Nicky works as an instrumental teacher and performer. She completed her musical education at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Since then she has taught clarinet, saxophone and piano and performed with many different ensembles.

Drums - Conor Williams

Conor Williams began playing drums at 10. He studied at the University of Kent, gaining a distinction in Performing Popular Music. Conor is a versatile drummer with skills in a vast array of styles such as Rock, Pop, Funk, Soul, Jazz and Hip-Hop. He has performed at a number of venues including The Barfly, O2 Academy, Hop Farm, Boardmasters and Lounge on The Farm. He regularly attends live music shows, clinics and masterclasses, continuing to study and practise drums in order to become a better musician and teacher. Conor is highly in demand, providing drums lessons in schools across Kent.

Flute - Rachel Stewart

Rachel began piano lessons at the age of five before taking up the flute, clarinet and saxophone, leading her to study at the Birmingham Conservatoire Junior School. After receiving a scholarship to study at the renowned Purcell School, Rachel went on to graduate from the Royal College of Music where she gained a BMus (Hons) degree. As a freelance musician, she has played in numerous fringe shows including Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar and Sweeney Todd as well as Alice Through the Looking Glass, which took her to the Edinburgh Festival. Rachel was part of the Saxophone Quartet Groupsax where she gained experience playing at a variety of functions and events, most notably for HRH the Prince of Wales and Lord Robert Winston. In an orchestral setting she has performed with the New London Sinfonia, the Tonbridge Philharmonic Society and travelled the world with the LSSO. Rachel has been teaching both privately and within primary and secondary school environments for the past 12 years. She is the Woodwind Representative for Maidstone Music Festival with pupils also entering Sevenoaks Three Arts Festival and Tunbridge Wells Arts Festival on a regular basis.

Guitar - Georgie Combe

Georgie started playing guitar as a 10-year old and quickly found that musicality and reading music came naturally. She studied classical guitar at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance in Greenwich, under the guidance of Graham Anthony Devine, performing solo and in chamber ensembles. Georgie has been awarded a licentiate in Instrumental Teaching, specifying classical guitar, alongside a BMus (Hons) in classical guitar performance. Georgie teaches the electric guitar, classical guitar and the ukulele to young learners, where she successfully balances the pupil’s fascination of learning, the instrument, and working hard to achieve goals. She is experienced in the Rockschool, Trinity and ABRSM examination boards. Georgie also has experience in musical theatre, playing electric guitar in popular musicals such as Rent, We Will Rock You, Spring Awakening and Les Misérables, as well as performing in pantomimes at London Bridge, during the Christmas season.

Piano - Laetitia Federici

After graduating from the conservatoire of Cergy-Pontoise, Laetitia studied piano at Trinity College of Music and piano accompaniment at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has performed in many venues in London such as St Martin in the Fields, Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room as well as in festivals in France, Austria and Switzerland. She has recently recorded a few tracks of a CD with violinist Survier Flores and performs regularly as an accompanist. Laetitia has been teaching at Russell House for more than a decade and has developed the study of piano here to a high standard, introducing her pupils to a wide range of repertoire (including projects on Bartók, Kurtag and the connection between art, poetry and music) to nurture their love and enjoyment of music. Her approach is very thorough, interlinking technique, theory and musicality. She also teaches piano at Sevenoaks School.

Violin - Michael Joel

Michael studied at Otago University, New Zealand, where he completed a first class Honours degree in Music. He studied violin with Sydney Manowitz who was himself a pupil of Ivan Galamian at the Julliard School in New York. He has been teaching violin for 32 years in shools, music programmes and privately both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. As a performer he was Principal Second Violin in the Southern Sinfonia (now Dunedin Symphony Orchestra). He also plays viola, and was Rank and File member of Orchestra Wellington from 2007 to 2013. Since shifting to London in 2014 he has continued to work as a freelance musician, playing, teaching and conducting. He is Music Director of St Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra in Auckland, New Zealand and has worked as a staff conductor at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Voice - Mariya Krywaniuk

Mariya completed her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver before deciding to study music full-time. From Vancouver she moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music from where she received her Masters degree in vocal performance. Mariya has lived in the UK for nine years during which time she has been working as a freelance opera singer and private singing teacher. She has performed on tour throughout the country and in Europe. Highlights include singing in The Ride of the Valkyries for Wagner’s Bicentenary Concert at Royal Festival Hall, covering the role of Lulu in Berg’s Lulu at English National Opera and singing the role of Madame Butterfly on tour and with two companies in London. In addition to singing standard operatic roles, Mariya is committed to exploring contemporary works. She has sung in several premieres including the 2017 UK premiere of Philip Glass’s opera The Juniper Tree. Mariya is passionate about teaching and especially working to develop a love of music in young pupils.

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