About us

We are a skilled and professional pool of musicians living and working in Dorset. We can cater for every occasion and have a full range of repertoire to call upon. At weddings, we can provide music for the entrance of the bride, the signing of the register, the exit of the bride and groom, as well as background music for the reception and the wedding breakfast. We are happy to offer advice on the best music to suit your occasion and will do our best with any special requests you might have.

The Minster String Quartet is proud to be a Partner and official string quartet for Parley Manor Weddings. Visit www.parleymanorweddings.co.uk/wedding-partners



 

Alice Metcalfe - violin

Alice grew up in Bournemouth where she was a member of the Bournemouth and Dorset Youth Orchestras. She studied violin at the Welsh College of Music and Drama and completed a Masters in baroque violin at York University. Now based in Wimborne, she plays regularly with various string ensembles and founded and runs The Minster String Quartet


Stefan Defilet - violin


Stefan is a local boy, growing up in Bournemouth where he led the Bournemouth and Dorset Youth Orchestras. He studied at Trinity College of Music in London and upon leaving set off on tour with the Canadian-based violin show Barrage. He went on to live in New Zealand where he played with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra and several string quartets. Now living in Dorset, he enjoys a varied career playing and teaching. He has played for many orchestras including the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and a number of string quartets. Recording highlights include BRIT award single of the year Girls Aloud ‘The Promise’, Pet Shop Boys, Alesha Dixon and several CDs with the BSO.

Julie-Anne Gillett-Smith - violin       

Julie-Anne has a Bachelor of Music degree from at Trinity College of Music and a postgraduate Solo/Chamber degree from the Royal College of Music. She was the recipient of several awards for both solo and chamber competitions and enjoyed a variety of freelance work and concerto opportunities in London before taking up a full time position in the 1st violin section of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. She has continued to play with other orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the English Symphony & String Orchestras and the BBC Welsh and Concert Orchestras, and during the course of her career has accompanied international artists such as Nicola Benedetti, Russell Watson, Il Divo and Katherine Jenkins.


Piotr Kopec - violin

Piotr studied at Trinity College of Music in London, gaining an honours degree in violin performance. Piotr is a member of several string quartets and works with orchestras, choral societies, chamber groups, opera and in musical theater. He has performed at hundreds of functions and weddings and recorded for various pop acts. With the Orion Trio he has performed on cruise ships around the world. He gives recitals and in recent years has performed all of the major violin concertos.

Aidan Fisher - viola

Aidan was born near Bath. He studied composition, viola and conducting at the Royal College of Music.  He was then appointed Composer - in - Residence at Charterhouse School, with funds from the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust.  In 1985 he was working in London as a freelance viola player, teacher (with The East London Late Starters Orchestra) and also as a composer.  He moved to Dorset in 1991, where he now teaches. He plays viola professionally with many local ensembles most notably with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra as an extra player.

Becca Defilet - viola      

Becca grew up in Bournemouth and started playing the Viola aged 13, soon playing with the Bournemouth, Wessex and Dorset Youth Orchestras. She accepted a place at Guildhall School of Music, where she went on to gain her Bmus and Pdot. While at college, Becca built up many contacts, which opened up several different avenues for her freelancing career in London for the next 12 years. Highlights include touring Europe with bands such as “My Life Story” and “The Tindersticks”, performing on the BBC’s “Top of the Pops” with artists “Jamiroquai”, Gary Barlow and Chrissie Hynde, recording for artists such as George Michael, Kirsty McCall, Morrissey and Beth Orton, and playing live with Neil Diamond. She also enjoyed writing for, and playing in some London based folk and country bands. She was leader of the Viola section of the London Pilharmonic Youth Orchestra and her Orchestral tours took her to Portugal and the USA. She also enjoyed touring the UK with the show “Timeless” (Suspect Culture Theatre Company), highlights including the Edinburgh Festival and “The Donmar Warehouse”.


Kathy Jackson - cello

Kathy comes from a musical family so grew up listening to live orchestras with her parents playing in them. She won a music scholarship at school and went on to study music at Exeter University. She has worked for a music publishers, as an orchestral librarian, and as manager of the BBC Radio 3 Music Library. Since having her three children she has retrained in IT and now works in education as well as teaching and playing the cello in various quartets and local ensembles. Kathy has built up a huge varied collection of sheet music for weddings and has been playing in string quartets for weddings for over 20 years. She also enjoys arranging new songs for The Minster String Quartet.
Nick Squires - cello

Nick is a cellist, producer and string arranger. Alongside that, he is the Music Director/Producer for Fitsteps.co.uk. He also teaches privately and coaches on Music Makers and The Oxford Cello School. Nick has played on countless Hollywood film scores, and number ones, and arranges strings for acts like Boyzone, Blue, Girls Aloud and the X Factor. Nick studied at the Royal College of Music and on graduating, played with all of the top London orchestras before getting bored with the politics of symphony orchestras. After that, he joined pop band Jamie Scott and the Town, achieving a No. 1 hit in Asia and supporting Take That and Kelly Clarkson, as well as headlining festivals with One Republic. Since leaving music college, he has regularly played the cello in the West End, in The Lion King, and as an associate dep for Wicked the musical. Now based in Bournemouth, Nick divides his time between studios in Surrey and London, and teaching in the Bournemouth area.