Well, hello there!
I’m Stephanelli and this blog will showcase some of my musical adventures. I’m already a writer of two other blogs about wildlife photography (Stephanelli’s Wild Adventures) and creative crafting (Stephanelli Designs).
I’ve been a keen musician from a young age when I started learning the descant recorder to help control my asthma! I didn’t have formal lessons, just a group ensemble, and have never completed any grades although I consider myself to be an accomplished player nowadays. I didn’t realise this at the time, but this provided me with a very firm foundation of musical understanding.
When I reached secondary school I started learning flute and piano, while keeping my recorder playing going. I had formal lessons on both these instruments and progressed steadily through the grades reaching grade 8 flute in my final term of sixth form, and grade 8 piano after my first term at university. I also studied music up to A level standard – I thank my school’s music department in particular, but also many of the other teachers, for giving me the confidence and support to become the musician that I am today!
During my school days I gradually played in more and more ensembles and steadily taught myself a number of other instruments – there is a full list at the end of this page. Here’s a list of some of groups I played in: flute choir, recorder ensemble, junior and senior choirs, junior and senior orchestra, jazz band, folk band, concert band and a variety of small chamber ensembles.
Throughout this time I also learnt about conducting and leading ensembles and started running a clarinet ensemble – despite having no knowledge of how to play the instrument when I started! I also started running a smaller recorder trio around this time as well.
Enjoying this much music and having GCSE and A level lessons in composing meant I naturally started arranging my own pieces for the ensembles I played in and conducted. It was around this point I discovered a certain love for folk songs and tunes, combine that with folk band and I was hooked!
When I reached university, I started off playing in a recorder ensemble, an orchestra and a ceilidh band. I was asked on several occasions to play piccolo and flute with a second orchestra and played in my college orchestra a few times. I was president of the recorder ensemble for a year and also of the ceilidh band. These were some of the most exciting experiences of my musical career – particularly the ceilidh band, running the rehearsal with around 70 or so musicians from all sorts of musical backgrounds with a complete range of ability levels was a particular highlight!
Eventually the pressures of my course and a dwindling love for classical music meant that by the time I reached my final year of university I had dropped out of all but the ceilidh band and the occasional request to play in orchestras and other ensembles. Nowadays I have refound my love for classical music and am gradually playing through my extensive repertoire of sheet music. I still play in the same ceilidh band, but also in a smaller ceilidh band during which we all tend to switch instruments for most sets! I also still compose, often folk tunes but I would like to start composing again in more classical styles too.
This website is a place for me to tell you, my readers, about my latest musical adventure – be it a particularly fun ceilidh, rediscovering an old favourite on the piano, a new composition or a particularly enjoyable piece I’ve listened to. It will contain primarily folk and classical music but may feature other styles as well.
Please have a look around and enjoy my musical world. If you are interested in asking me to play, teach, compose or anything music related please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the ‘contact me’ page.
And in case you were wondering, this the list of instruments I own:
- 11 Recorders
- 1 Garklein
- 1 Sopranino
- 5 Descants
- 1 Treble
- 2 Tenors
- 1 Bass
- 2 Flutes
- 1 Piccolo
- 1 Fife
- 2 Accordions (72 and 48 basses)
- 1 Bodhran (an Irish drum)
- 1 Digital Piano
- 1 Alto Saxophone (Beginner level ability only!)
- 1 Clarinet (Beginner level ability only!)
- 8 Tin Whistles (2 in D, 2 in C, 1 of each in G, Bb, low D and A)
- 1 Guitar (Beginner level ability only!)
- A collection of ethnic instruments (9 instruments)