Melys Winds

Melys Winds - Wind Quintet

Melys Winds is a polished wind quintet of prize-winning instrumentalists, perfectly suited for formal occasions, recital performances and also less formal social events, weddings and networking receptions. They comprise Vikki Scanlon (French horn), Hilary Stavros Ives (oboe), Hannah Scott (flute), Polly Horton (bassoon) and Rowena Mayo (clarinet).

Originally from Cambridgeshire, Vikki’s introduction to music began on the tenor horn and the flute before she saw the light and moved over to the French horn at the age of 17. Graduating from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in 2014 with a BMus (Hons), Vikki was presented with the Paul Bigmore ‘Music in the Community’ award. She has since returned to RWCMD and is currently in her final year studying for a master’s degree in Orchestral Performance. As well as her studies, Vikki enjoys a varied and exciting freelancing and teaching career, which takes her all over the UK and further, including trips to Poland, France and Austria.

US-born Hilary Stavros Ives has had a varied career working with theatre companies, orchestras, and now Melys Winds. Originally from Utah, she began her musical studies on violin and took up oboe a few years later. The oboe helped her secure her first professional musician job at age 17 with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and this experience solidified her desire to pursue music as a career. She attended the University of Iowa from 2007-11 and received her BMus with distinction. Taking a break from formal studies, she then returned to Utah and discovered a love of teaching. She also worked with USF for four additional seasons in the pit orchestra for Les Misérables (2012) and South Pacific (2015), as well as on stage for Twelfth Night (2014) and the 2012-2015 summer seasons’ The Greenshow, a free nightly pre-show with live music, dancing, and storytelling. Feeding her love of travel and teaching, she also lived in Ukraine as a volunteer English teacher for three months in 2014. While on holiday in the UK, she discovered the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and decided to take up formal academic studies once more. As part of RWCMD’s Orchestral Performance course, she regularly participated in side-by-side schemes with the Welsh National Opera Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. During her time with the College, she performed with the RWCMD Symphony Orchestra, in opera productions of The Marriage of Figaro and Semele, the Chamber Orchestra, and of course Melys Winds. She graduated in July 2017, and still regularly collaborates with the College as an administrator and performer, and enjoys every opportunity to play with Melys Winds. She currently teaches privately and with the Merthyr Tydfil Music Service, as well as freelances as a performer.

Hannah was born and raised in Bournemouth and first started showing interest in the flute from age 9. It was in 2012 that she accepted a scholarship to further her instrumental and musical development at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama where she subsequently achieved a first class degree. Kindly supported by Help Musicians UK, Clingan’s Trust and Split Infinitive Trust, she is studying for a Masters in orchestral performance at the same institute. As part of her course, she has opportunities to play in rehearsals with the Welsh National Opera and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Particular highlights were achieving the Daniel Emerlyn Davies Award, performing in the finals of the Kelleher Woodwind Prize 2016 and reaching the Finals of the colleges’ concerto competition 2017. Her freelance work has included performing with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Welsh National Opera. A particular highlight was performing with WNO at the Mayflower Theatre in Janáček’s From the House of the Dead.

Hailing from Hereford, Polly’s inspiration for music came from playing piano and percussion before taking up the bassoon aged twelve. Polly studied her BMus degree at the University of Leeds and was frequently part of the Leeds University Symphony and Chamber orchestras, performing the Mozart bassoon concert with the latter in her final year. Polly spent a year of her undergraduate degree studying abroad at the University of North Texas, under the instruction of Kathleen Reynolds. During her final year in Leeds, she had the pleasure of playing alongside her teacher, David Baker, in Opera North’s production of Andrea Chenier. Polly is now in her second year MMus Orchestral Performance master’s at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama completing her bassoon studies with Welsh National Opera’s Stephen Marsden and BBC National Orchestral of Wales’ Martin Bowen, hoping to further her love of orchestral playing to a professional standard with the dream of becoming an orchestral bassoonist. During her studies at RWCMD, she has spent time on placement with the BBCNOW and the WNO, both of which provided her with invaluable experiences. As well as this, Polly has been involved in Helen Wood’s interactive production ‘Tiddly Proms,’ encouraging the under 5s to engage with music performance, and is also set to play with Regency Sinfonia and Tyndale Choral Society in the near future.

When not playing bassoon or spending endless hours making reeds, Polly enjoys games of golf with her dad, drinking gin and playing cribbage.

Rowena is a Welsh clarinettist who graduated with a Master’s degree in Orchestral Performance from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in July. During her studies she has played with numerous chamber and orchestral ensembles which gave her the opportunity to perform in venues across the UK, including St. David's Hall, Hoddinott Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, the Sage and Symphony Hall. As well as the clarinet, Rowena enjoys playing the flute, saxophone, ukulele and singing, and in 2016 she was the winner of the Hugh Phillips Tripling Prize. When not playing music, Rowena has a keen interest in photography, often working for weddings and other events. She often wakes up on early winter mornings, taking long walks to capture the beautiful, frosty countryside near New Inn, Torfaen.