Lasham Festival Players



Josh Hall Oboe & Artistic Director



Ria Nolan Double Bass



Eva Richards Cello



Jody Smith Violin



Rebecca Stubbs Viola



Megan Thompson Violin

Josh Hall is a freelance oboist based in Manchester having graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Jonathan Small & Jenny Galloway. He previously studied at Birmingham Conservatoire with George Caird, Jenni Phillips & Richard Weigall. He has worked with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North, Skipton Camerata, Welsh Chamber Orchestra & Mowbray Orchestra and has participated on schemes with the Hallé Orchestra, whom he performed with, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. During his time in Birmingham he performed as Principal Oboe with the CBSO Youth Orchestra & Academy.


As a soloist, Josh has performed Strauss’s Oboe Concerto with the Wirral Symphony Orchestra, Finzi’s Interlude for Oboe & Strings as part of the Fondazione Cantiere in Montepuliciano with the RNCM String Orchestra.


During his studies Josh has participated in a number of masterclasses with international artists including Francois Leleux, Jonathan Kelly, Alexei Ogrintchouk & Nicholas Daniel. He has also attended masterclasses in Klausen, Italy with Nick Deutsch & David Walter.


Alongside performing Josh has a real passion for chamber music and is currently Artistic Director for the Lasham Music Festival in Hampshire. 

This player has kindly been sponsored by 2Excel Engineering Ltd.

Originally from Dublin, Ria began playing the Double Bass at the age of 11, studying at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. She later completed both her undergraduate and masters degrees at the Royal Northern College of Music a scholar. Ria’s teachers at the RNCM included Roberto Carillo Garcia, Max Zeugner and Jiri Hudec, and she has participated in masterclasses with Bozo Paradzik, Joel Quarrington and Leon Bosch amongst others. 

Ria is a committed chamber musician, and has collaborated with many ensembles and festivals, which has given her the opportunity to perform some of the greatest chamber music pieces involving the double bass. During her studies she very much enjoyed enjoyed playing in several double bass ensembles, and received tuition from musicians including Dr. Hugh Maguire, Peter Cropper, Roger Hamilton and Dora Schwarzberg. 

As an orchestral player, Ria works with ensembles including BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, The Hallé and Manchester Camerata, She is a former member of Southbank Sinfonia, a chamber orchestra made up of the most promising young musicians from around the world and during her training was also part of the Britten Pears Young Artist Programme. She has performed with conductors including Marin Alsop, Elim Chan, Sir Mark Elder, Kurt Masur and Gábor Takáca-Nagy. 

Ria is also a passionate educator, and has be involved in projects with East London Music Group, Project Instrumental, RNCM Young Strings and Southbank Sinfonia. In addition to this she has held several teaching positions and is currently completing a PGCE in Group Instrumental Teaching. 

Jody Smith is a freelance violinist based in Birmingham. In 2019 she graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with a First Class Honours degree. As a soloist she has performed in venues across the UK including Symphony Hall, Brangwyn Hall and Birmingham Town Hall. Awarded the Cowen Prize for violin in her first year of study, Jody then went on to win the Norman George Violin Scholarship Competition in 2018.

At the age of 14, she became a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and performed with them for 3 years under conductors such as Vasily Petrenko, John Wilson and Edward Gardner. Jody led the RNCM Symphony Orchestra on several occasions during her degree, including performances at the Bridgewater Hall and the 44th Cantiere Internazionale D’arte, Montepulciano. Jody has performed with the Manchester Camerata and the BBC Philharmonic both during and after the Professional Experience Schemes, and joined the Manchester Camerata on their tour to India in 2019.

As a chamber musician, Jody performed in the RNCM Chamber Music Festival for 3 years running, whilst receiving coaching from Levon Chilingirian, Leonard Elschenbroich, Stephan Picard and Sara Bitlloch. She is also a member of the Amica Duo, who perform in care homes and hospitals around the UK. 

This player has kindly been sponsored by Hampshire Cheese Co.

Eva Richards graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with Distinction in 2018, where she studied with Nicholas Trygstad. She has recently completed her MA in Cello Performance with Anthony Arnone at the University of Iowa, where she also taught cello and coached chamber music.


As a soloist, Eva has recently performed concertos with the Laganside Sinfonia and the Ulster Orchestra in the final of the Flax Trust Music Awards, for which she was award the Audience Prize. Eva has premiered works in Manchester, Iowa, and the Midwest Composers’ Symposium in Cincinnati, and she has performed in the Irish Heritage Awards in the Wigmore Hall.


Eva has worked with the Ulster Orchestra, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and in 2019/20 was the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra in Iowa. She has also given masterclasses and performances in Iowa and at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Currently Eva teaches privately and with the Irish Chamber Orchestra’s Sing Out With Strings initiative.

Rebecca is a professional freelance violist based in Manchester. She holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Performance and first-class Bachelor’s Degree from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, where she studied with Louise Lansdown, Lucy Nolan and Robin Ireland. Rebecca 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 also 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. Rebecca is currently a member of the Rumava String Trio.

Megan Thompson is a freelance violinist and strings teacher based in Manchester. Megan completed her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Steven Wilkie. An active freelance violinist and session musician, Megan performs regularly with ensembles such as Manchester Concert Orchestra, Skipton Camerata and Docklands Sinfonia as well as performing as the solo violinist for the Carpenters Story UK Tour and the Illegal Eagles.


Megan has had the opportunity to work with ensembles conducted by Vasily Petrenko, Sir Mark Elder, Jac Van Steen, En Shao & Anthony Hermus. Megan has worked as principal second violin in projects with leading violinists James Clarke and Pavel Fischer and has performed in side-by-side projects with the Hallé Orchestra and Manchester Camerata. She has also participated in masterclasses with artists such as Yossi Zivoni, Henk Guittart & Verokia Eberle.


Alongside performing Megan is an active educator and is passionate about beginner strings pedagogy. In 2019, she became a musician and teacher on the Liverpool Philharmonic In Harmony programme and in 2017, was the recipient of the Leverhumle Scholarship Internship Award with RNCM Young Strings, with whom she is a regular guest teacher. Megan is also the violin teacher and trustee of the award winning Olympias Music Foundation, a charity which delivers free music lessons to primary schools in Greater Manchester.


Megan is currently completing a PGCEi in Instrumental Teaching with the Music Masters programme at Birmingham City University.

This player has kindly been sponsored by an anonymous benefactor