Alma Guitar Trio
Hannah Woollacott, Jonnie Cumming and Rowan McConkey have been playing together since 2013, after meeting at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, where they are currently studying on the Masters programme under the tutelage of Mark Ashford and Mark Eden (Vida Guitar Quartet and Eden Stell Guitar Duo).
Alma are one of the few guitar trios currently performing; while there is a long tradition of guitar duo pairings, and increasingly, guitar quartets, the trio repertoire is seldom heard on the concert platform. The trio hope to expose the rare and neglected jewels of the trio repertoire by composers such as Stephen Dodgson, Timothy Bowers, Guido Santorsola, Phillip Houghton and Mario Gangi, amongst many others.
Alma are also passionate about expanding the repertoire for this rarely written-for ensemble, collaborating with composers such as Sabino de Bari, Ryan Probert and Susie Self. Alma also produce their own arrangements for trio from a range of styles and instrumentations, including works from composers such as Vaughan Williams, Albéniz and Piazzolla.
Hannah was awarded a First Class degree from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire after studying there on the undergraduate course under the tuition of Mark Eden and Mark Ashford. She is currently studying performance as a trio with Rowan McConkey and Jonnie Cumming on the Masters Course at the Conservatoire. Hannah has performed in masterclasses with Xuefei Yang, Marcin Dylla and Craig Ogden, among many other distinguished guitarists and in 2015, she was a finalist in the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Guitar Prize. Hannah enjoys performing a wide range of solo pieces for guitar, from Mudarra’s Fantasia X to Turina’s Sonata for guitar. Chamber music, however, has always been her main interest; Hannah has performed in a variety of different ensembles, ranging from a large guitar ensemble of 25 guitarists, to pieces for guitar quartet, trio and duo as well as performing in a duo with a flautist and working with other instrumentalists.
Jonnie Cumming started playing classical guitar at Sheffield Music Academy in 2009 under the tuition of Callum Dewar and then went on to study at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire under Mark Ashford and Mark Eden of the Vida Guitar Quartet and Eden-Stell Duo. Jonnie graduated with First Class Honours in 2015 and is now studying for a masters in performance at the conservatoire. Jonnie has had the privilege of performing in numerous solo Masterclasses with distinguished guitarists such as Xuefei Yang, Gary Ryan, Johannes Möller, Lorenzo Michelli, Chris Stell and David Leisner. In 2014 and 2015, he was a finalist in the Birmingham Conservatoire Guitar Prize adjudicated by international artists Helen Sanderson and Chris Stell respectively. Jonnie performs a wide range of solo repertoire including John Dowland, Marek Pasieczny, Dušan Bogdanović and Johannes Möller. In 2013 Jonathan gained a bursary to attend West Dean International Guitar Festival. He then returned to the festival in 2014 and 15 with the rest of Alma where they took part in a masterclass with the Grammy award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and performed in a number of concerts including the first 'Young artist platform'.
Rowan studied guitar as an undergraduate at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire under the tuition of Mark Ashford and Mark Eden where he was awarded 1st prize in the Conservatoire’s Guitar Prize. He has performed a wide variety of guitar music for solo guitar including works by Phillip Houghton, J. S. Bach, William Lovelady and Richard Rodney Bennett to name a few. Chamber music has been a substantial part of Rowan’s career to date and he has performed many works for 2, 3 and 4 guitars. Rowan is continuing his studies at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on the postgraduate performance course with colleagues Hannah Woollacott and Jonnie Cumming with whom he began performing in 2013. Rowan has performed across the UK with Alma Guitar Trio as well as internationally.