Who are “The Mastoly Quartet”? Lynne Hodgson – Trumpet, Tony Miller – Trombone, Stephen Mayes – French Horn, Margaret Croucher – Piano/Organ Lynne Hodgson writes:I began learning the cornet at the age of 12 and quickly moved to the trumpet too. I played with my local brass band as well as with youth orchestras, jazz bands operatic societies and the county youth orchestra and brass band. I carried on my performance studies at the University of Surrey where I was tutored by Alistair Mackie (Principal Trumpet with the Philharmonia Orchestra). I stayed on at university and gained my Masters in Music and also a Masters in Philosophy (Music). I lived in London for a number of years and played with the Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra, Chelsea Opera Group and the Corinthian Chamber Orchestra in the top music venues in London – The Royal Albert Hall, South Bank Centre and St John’s, Smith Square. I moved to the West Midlands just over 8 years ago and currently play for a number of orchestras and groups around the West Midlands. I am delighted to be a member of the Mastoly Quartet and very much enjoy the wide variety of music that we play. I am married to Andy and we have one daughter, Jessica who will start school in September 2019. Tony Miller says:After the customary piano lessons I switched to trombone at the age of 14. This was sparked by the arrival of a new neighbour who played the trombone in the National Orchestra of Wales and taught at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where I duly attended my weekly lessons, progressing through school, county and national youth orchestras. My steepest learning curve came when I was given the chance to play with the orchestra and wind band at the RWCMD. After university I moved to Abergavenny where I worked in the purchasing and quality control areas of the manufacturing industry. I continued playing trombone in pit orchestras for several amateur operatic societies. After moving to Birmingham with my company I joined the Staffordshire Band where I competed at championship level for a number of years before joining Sutton Brass and Enigma Brass. Through these I have been led back to playing with many orchestras – 10 at the last count. I met Stephen and Lynne at Solihull Symphony Orchestra and formed the Lynts Trio – the precursor to The Mastoly Quartet. Our repertoire now encompasses almost everything from Baroque to “bonkers” – how many concerts have you attended that feature a solo anvil? I am married to Gwyneth and we have two grown-up children. Stephen Mayes tells us:I began playing the horn when I was 13 and studied with professional horn player, Andrew McGavin until I was 21. I played with the Essex Youth Orchestra for 6 years as well as the Havering Youth and Symphony orchestras and, as a student, I earned a bit of cash playing in pit orchestras for shows around East London. My dreams of being a full-time horn player were interrupted by ordination into the ministry of the Church of England. I served as vicar for 41 years during which time I had little opportunity of playing. As retirement approached I was inspired to start playing again by an unexpected encounter with Geoff Bryant, a famous professional horn player in London. I joined the Solihull Symphony Orchestra in which I have now played for over 10 years, and opportunities to play with other orchestras and groups grew rapidly. I met Tony and Lynne and we formed the Lynts Trio: we played together for 5 years before meeting and joining with our pianist, Margaret. I love working with the Quartet: we play informal concerts and help churches and other groups raise money for charity. I am married to Carol and we have three ‘adult children’. Following my love of picking out nursery rhyme tunes by ear, I began learning piano at the age of 5 and I was taught, for the next 13 years by Irene Badger., I worked my way through the grades, winning medals and winning classes at Birmingham Music Festivals each year. However, when time came for me to choose a vocation I decided that although music had to be my focus, I did not want to pursue a career in performance and so I trained to be a teacher. In Hampshire, carrying on my piano studies with John Talbot and Hugh Davis, I graduated from Southampton University and was offered a job back in my home city of Birmingham. Whilst teaching I also continued my studies at Trinity College of Music in London obtaining three further diplomas. Having taken a career break to have my children, I took early retirement in 2005 and set up a small business – “M4Music” – which has enabled me to continue my love of music making. I have also been a church organist for 20+ years and I also freelance as an accompanist with choirs and orchestras throughout the Midlands area. I met Stephen in 2017 and he asked me to do a “guest slot” in one of their “Lynts Trio” concerts……the rest, as they say, is history. I am married to Richard and we have two wonderful children, Matt and Claire, both now adults.