The Musicians

Decus Ensemble are a flexible and diverse group of professional classical musicians who work together to promote the works of less well-known composers throughout classical music history, for a range of instruments. As part of the plainsightSOUND project that launched in 2018, they are currently exploring the music and histories of Black Caribbean and African classical composers with links to Britain.

Uchenna Ngwe

Uchenna Ngwe

oboe | oboe d'amore | cor anglais

Born in North London, Uchenna Ngwe studied oboe and cor anglais at Trinity College of Music, gaining a BMus (Hons) and later returning on a scholarship for a postgraduate diploma. Since then, her playing has taken her across Europe, Africa and Asia.

Solo engagements have included recitals at Lauderdale House and St Alfege Church in Greenwich and a performance of the rarely heard Oboe Concerto No.1 by Gordon Jacob with St Paul’s Sinfonia, while orchestral performances have included Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, The Belmont Ensemble of London and the UK tours for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Les Miserables. She spent a season as Guest Principal Oboe with KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban, South Africa.

Uchenna is very interested in music education and has also recorded music for educational use including Abracadabra Oboe (A&C Black Publishers) and Ready, Steady, Blow (Oboe Classics).

Rowland Sutherland

Rowland Sutherland

flutes
Rowland Sutherland enjoys an international career in many different fields of music. He regularly performs in new music ensembles, chamber music groups, jazz bands, symphony orchestras, various non-Western groups, pop outfits and as a soloist.

Rowland has performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Centre, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and North Sea Jazz Festival. Regularly performing with new music ensembles including, Lontano, Icebreaker, notes inegales and Colin Currie Group, Rowland is also active in the orchestral field and has played with such orchestras as: Philharmonia, Bournemouth Symphony, London Philharmonic, European Community Chamber, City of London Sinfonia and BBC National Orchestra Of Wales.

Berginald Rash

Berginald Rash

clarinet
Currently based in Dublin, Ireland, Berginald Rash is Co-Founder & Artistic Director of Vivre Musicale. Comfortable as both a chamber musician and soloist, Berginald has collaborated with members of such orchestras as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Frankfurt hr-Sinfonieorchester, and the RTÉ ConTempo Quartet and has been a featured soloist at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland. He has recently been heard with such orchestras as the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony and is a member of London-based Chineke! Orchestra.
Linton Stephens

Linton Stephens

bassoon

Linton was born in Chester grew up on the Wirral. He began playing the Bassoon at the age of 16 and was swiftly awarded a place to study at the Royal Northern College of Music junior school where he continued his studies at the senior college under Graham Salvage and David Chatwin, after gaining a scholarship. He also went on to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in performance for which he was a prestigious Ogglesby Scholar and achieved a distinction.

After a short hiatus from study he won a place at the renowned Hochschule für Music Franz Liszt in Weimar, under Prof. Frank Först. Whilst in Germany he played as guest principal with the Wenigerode Kammer Orchester and Eisenach Theater Orchester.

Linton is the sub-principal bassoon with Chineke! Orchestra with whom he has performed at the proms and Wigmore hall. He also enjoys varied freelance career. Recent appearances include BBC Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Clonter Opera, Opera North, European Opera Centre, Northern Chamber Orchestra, English National Ballet, and the South Pacific tour.

He is passionate about music education and equality within the industry. He regularly runs workshops and coaches ensembles for young musicians throughout the country as well holding a seat on the board for the Musicians Union equality committee.

In the little free time he has he enjoys illustration as a hobby.

David Oxley

David Oxley

french horn

David studied at Wells Cathedral School as a DfEE Music Specialist and continued his education at Royal College of Music as an Alice Templeton Scholar, where he was awarded the Herbert Samuel Horn Prize.  He now works across the European Union with the Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, RTE National Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, Stavanger Symphony, Britten Sinfonia & Southern Sinfonia Orchestras.  However, whilst studying he realized he loves performing various styles of music and has explored a diversity of avenues during his career.

His first professional contract was with McFly & he later went on to work with other pop artists including The Clientele, Jeremy Warmsley, Leona Lewis & The Killers.  As a jazz player David has had the pleasure of performing with Frank Sinatra Jr, Johnny Mathis, Liza Pulman, Dionne Warwick and Dame Shirley Bassey.

David’s various ventures also naturally led him to working in music theatre, beginning by touring with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, eventually working on the World Premiere of Lend Me A Tenor and the revival of Miss Saigon in the West End.  David now enjoys a busy freelance career combining work in the West End with commercial, orchestral and ensemble playing as well as teaching at London Oratory School.

Hazel Correa

Hazel Correa

violin

Hazel Correa studied the violin at the Royal Northern College of Music, and has since enjoyed a busy and varied career as a freelance violinist. She works regularly with orchestras such as the Ulster Orchestra and London Mozart Players as well as taking part in collaborations with musicians such as Courtney Pine (saxophone) and Kuljit Bhamra (tabla). She runs a Bollywood band called the Bombay Gold Orchestra, and was also a member of a multi-cultural collective “Ku-da mix”, made up of 18 musicians from around the world. Hazel has recorded for film, television, CD and radio broadcast, and regularly performs chamber music with members of the Northern Lights Symphony Orchestra and the London Novello Ensemble.

Also committed to music education, Hazel teaches violin, and conducts a string orchestra, Camerata, at Harrow Young Musicians. She has also given many solo performances with HYM Philharmonic Orchestra including concertos by Bruch, Piazzolla and Vivaldi.

Gavin Davies

Gavin Davies

violin
Gavin was born in North London and lives in Southgate. He studied the violin with Marta Eitler and Jaroslav Vanecek, and later with Natasha Boyarsky at the Royal College of Music, where he was awarded the Royal Orchestral Society Scholarship. He has a busy freelance career, working with a variety of orchestras and ensembles including English National Opera, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia and English National Ballet. In addition to chamber concerts and recitals, concerto performances have included works by Bruch, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Haydn, Bach, Lalo, Tchaikovsky, Vaughan Williams, Ravel, and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. He is leader of the London Novello Ensemble, giving chamber concerts in accessible and intimate venues.
Clifton Harrison

Clifton Harrison

viola
Viola and viola d’amore player Clifton Harrison has performed as a chamber musician and recitalist throughout the United States, Central America, Asia, and Europe. He is the viola player in the acclaimed Kreutzer Quartet with whom he has recorded extensively. A proponent of contemporary music, Clifton has collaborated with many of today’s leading composers and has premiered scores of works. He has given masterclasses throughout the United Kingdom, USA, and Asia and records widely for film and television. Alongside his commitments with the quartet, Clifton has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, Chineke! Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, London Mozart Players, Royal Philharmonic, Rambert Dance Company Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and most of London’s period performance ensembles.

 

Clifton studied at the Julliard School with Dorothy Delay (violin) and Karen Tuttle (viola) and at the Royal Academy of Music with Yuko Inoue and Jane Rogers (baroque).

Davina Shum

Davina Shum

cello
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Davina Shum studied at the University of Auckland and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.  She held the Manchester Cello Fellowship with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and was a member of the Sydney Sinfonia.  In 2013 Davina joined Southbank Sinfonia in London performing under Vladimir Ashkenazy, Edward Gardner and Charles Hazlewood in venues such as the Royal Opera House, the Southbank Centre and the Royal Albert Hall.  As a chamber musician, Davina has performed in the Crush Room and Paul Hamlyn Hall in the Royal Opera House, the Purcell Room in the Southbank Centre, the Anghiari Festival in Italy and Young Virtuosi Festival in France. As a freelancer, Davina has performed with groups of many genres, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Concert Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Chineke! Orchestra, Riot Ensemble, and Kate Simko and London Electronic Orchestra.  Davina is also the co-creator and co-host of a new podcast Musicians’ Weekend, which explores the weird and wonderful lives of those who keep music-making alive.
Nathan Knight

Nathan Knight

double bass
Nathan started learning the double bass when he was 8 years old and soon found himself performing with the National Children’s Orchestra, London Schools Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Duncan McTier, Graham Mitchell, Dominic Seldis and Rodney Stewart, and graduated in 2016 with a First Class Honours degree, also receiving the Regency Orchestral Award. While studying he was principal double bass in projects conducted by Semyon Bychkov, Christian Thielemann, Edward Gardner, Trevor Pinnock and was a member of the 2015/16 Sainsbury’s Royal Academy Soloists under the direction of Clio Gould. Nathan has played in public masterclasses for Joel Quarrington and Gunars Upatnieks, and in private masterclasses to Matthew McDonald, Bozo Paradzik, and Hal Robinson. He has performed on various occasions with the English National Opera, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Chineke Orchestra and the London Philharmonic. He has important roles in outreach projects that help classical music spread to communities where there is not much exposure. He is a music leader for Kuumba Youth Music, an intern on Royal Academy of Music’s ‘First Strings Experience’, and the Double Bass tutor at Sistema England.
Andrew Tait

Andrew Tait

piano

Andrew has performed throughout the world from Sweden to South America.  He comes from a distinguished line of teachers; Gordon Fergus-Thompson, James Gibb, Edith Vogel and Mikael Kazakaevitch.  He studied as an undergraduate and post graduate at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest, and Trinity College of Music.  Andrew’s concert activities are diverse and extensive, encompassing solo piano specialising in Bach and modern related works, vocal and instrumental accompanist, and occasionally organ and harpsichord continuo.  As a chamber musician specialising in repertoire for Piano, Clarinet and Cello, he has also won many prizes at international competitions and performed at major concert halls both in the UK and abroad.  Internationally, he has also recorded for radio, television and film.

The lighter side of his career includes performing on Top of The Pops with ‘Boy Bands’ of the 1990’s.  He has a keen interest in choral music and currently directs Koruso! Southwark Community Choir.