Tutors for Summer SaxDay

SaxDay Tutors

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.

In 1997 he released his first solo CD, Going Solo, which features Alistair playing saxophone, piano, keyboards and electronic wind instrument. He followed this with another solo recording, Winter Solstice, in 2005.

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. 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 EWI lesson videos on YouTube has achieved more than 50,000 views in the first year and he now teaches the 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 and runs the Nottingham SaxDays and residential courses which attract saxophone players from across the country.

With a science degree and a passion for music, Nicola's interests have led her to study at the Royal College of Music for a Masters in Performance Science, with a special interest in the group dynamics of music ensembles.  She is a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music, gained a distinction in her Diploma of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), and has the Certificate of Teaching from the ABRSM.  She also holds the Diploma in Music from the Open University.

As well as music, Nicola enjoys painting, and has a strong following for her landscape paintings which are in private collections throughout Europe.

Nicola Pennill