Our Team

Simon Wood

Creative Director

Simon has been a professional musician since 1987 after completing the Advanced Virtuoso Performers course at the Guildhall, London.

A multi-instrumentalist, Simon has been in constant demand as a conductor since 1994.  As well as numerous community projects Simon regularly takes his baton abroad, most recently conducting at the prestigious Kings Hall in Bergen, Norway.

The Hanson Community Arts project is now a tremendous focus for Simon and has led to the formation of a new Little Orchestra, Big Band, String Ensemble, Beginner Wind Band, Community Choir, Jazz Class and Ukulele Group, all sponsored by Hanson Music. Simon also runs his own Jazz Collective and Community Choir, both formed back in 2005.

Simon has recently written his First Symphony, completed the Art Installation of song and established himself as an artist with a constant demand for commissioned work.

Jenny Hanson

Head of Strings

Jenny is a professional violist and violinist, although playing now takes second place to the more important task of being a great Mum.

A soloist postgraduate of the Royal College of Music, London, and graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Jenny has appeared in concert, on stage, in film and recorded with many of the country’s leading orchestras and international artists. Jenny was awarded a NESTA fellowship in 2006.

Jenny’s playing career is diverse; Classical, Pop, Folk or Opera; a small soundbite of work would include the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Opera North, recordings with Michael Ball, Shirley Bassey in London’s Hyde Park; Michael Marra, Karine Polwart at Celtic Connections, Sessions for Isobel Griffiths, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Goldberg Ensemble and countless international tours and recordings at Abbey Road. Credits as a solo artist include solo tracks for the Universal Studios film, Leap Year and her original compositions featured in the Commonwealth celebrations debuted at Westminster Abbey for the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prime Minister and Heads of States.

Jenny is also a qualified ski instructor, racer and British Masters Slalom Gold Medalist, regularly beating husband Alastair (but only by a fraction of a second!). She is proud to be fae Scotland, though she has been granted honorary Yorkshire citizenship.

Rebecca Stubbs

Orchestral Strings Specialist

Rebecca is a professional freelance violist and upper-strings teacher. She holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Performance and first-class Bachelor’s Degree from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and is currently studying on the Masters course at the Royal Northern College of Music with Vicci Wardman and Alex Mitchell.

A passionate orchestral musician, Rebecca has performed with professional orchestras including the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, the Hallé, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Musical Theatre Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Welsh National Opera. Rebecca has performed internationally in solo and chamber ensemble performances at the annual International Viola Congress in Porto, Cremona and Rotterdam.

Alongside her playing career, Rebecca has taught extensively as a violin and viola tutor. Between 2016-19 she was an upper-strings tutor and chamber music coach for Sandwell Music and Arts Service, as well as assistant director of the ‘Mini Maestros’ young strings ensemble. She was a strings mentor for the ARCO project, a long-distance virtual learning initiative between the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the Morris Isaacson Centre for Music in Soweto, South Africa. During her undergraduate degree, Rebecca was a co-creator of the ‘Strings and Things’ project, a series of interactive musical workshops in nurseries, SEN schools and care homes across the West-Midlands. Rebecca is currently a member of the Amafré String Trio.

Alastair Hanson

Bass Extraordinaire

Hanson Group founder Alastair began his musical instrument making business in 1989 after graduating from Leeds College of Music and with support from The Prince’s Trust. More than thirty years on and joined by his wife Jenny, Hanson Musical Instruments are recognised amongst the world’s finest.

Alastair’s expertise and experience in instrument design and manufacturing has led to international demand for his services as a consultant. Alastair has worked with factories manufacturing for Buffet, Selmer, Backun, Keilwerth, Stomvi, Vincent Bach International, Rath, Ripamonté, Howarth, Blessing, Jupiter, and many more. Local demand is more likely to be from daughters Lucy and Eleanor young son Robin and not least Eleanor’s flock of chickens and guinea fowl

A qualified Ski Instructor and Ski Race Coach, Alastair has taught many youngsters in sport as well as music and is especially proud to coach daughters Lucy and Eleanor and share their successes and more importantly their smiles as they whizz past (regularly) on the snow. In his spare time he seeks out locally brewed real ales and ‘tinkers’ with Besty, his antique Landrover.

Visitors to the workshop will hear Alastair playing the clarinet, saxophone double bass,  but his ‘first study’ is actually in brass instruments.  Privileged to have studied with cornet legend James Shepherd, Alastair grew up playing with world-famous brass bands, going on to play horn  professionally with the National Symphony Orchestra and as a soloist.  A ‘multi-instrumentalist’ whose performances have included horn, trombone, trumpet and cornet… clarinet, saxophone and flute… alpenhorn, string bass, a coat-stand and bidet!

Marie Dowd

Woodwind Specialist

In 2019 Marie received a Masters in Performance from Leeds College of Music, and also holds a Bachelor of Music with Honours from Huddersfield University.

Marie is an experienced performer, having performed both as a soloist and as part of orchestras and smaller ensembles. She has performed a huge rage of musical styles and repertoire, including contemporary music and jazz as well as more traditional material. She also enjoys performing as part of pit orchestras for musicals and playing for weddings and functions.

Marie began teaching in 2008, and during this time she has gained invaluable experience working with both children and adults of all abilities, all the way from beginners to those preparing for Conservatoire entrance auditions and diplomas. Marie loves all genres of music and tries to teach as wide a variety of musical styles as is possible, tailoring all her lessons to suit each individual and can work towards practical qualifications as well as playing for fun or joining local ensembles and music festivals.

Friends of Hanson Community Arts

Hanson Community Arts is a not-for-profit organisation whose aim is to give every person the chance to get involved in the arts. The running of such an organisation does not come cheap, and it is made sustainable by the help of many generous individuals and organisations such as Arts Council England and Friends of Hanson Community Arts. Friends of Hanson Community Arts donate any amount they can to the organisation so that we continue providing education and happiness through the arts to the community. If you are able, we would love it if you could click the button below and become a Friend of Hanson Community Arts today by donating. 

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