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Severn Vale School

An Academy

Our instrumental staff

Omar Khokher

Omar Khokher is our brass instrument teacher in addition to being Subject Leader for Performing Arts as Severn Vale School. He has taught all brass instruments since 1996 and has also coached brass groups, and orchestra sectional rehearsals and directed the Colwell Arts Jazz Ensemble.

 
Omar studied as an undergraduate at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama from 1992 to 1996 and as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music from 1996 to 1997. As a student he performed with the European Union Youth Orchestra where he toured throughout Europe and South America, the World Youth Orchestra where he toured Canada, and was also a member of the London Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra.
 
Before training as a music teacher, Omar worked as a freelance musician and has played with leading orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Gran Canaria and The Symphony Orchestra of La Coruna.
 
In addition to his role at Severn Vale School, Omar also works extensively with trainee music teachers and leads the GITEP PGCE Secondary Music Course. He is also supporting the secondary developmental work of Make Music Gloucestershire as an advisory teacher. He has also been an external examiner of PGCE Courses at Birmingham City University and Goldsmiths University.
 
Omar continues to maintain an active schedule as a trombonist working with orchestras and ensembles in the South West, Cotswolds and Midlands regions.

Peter Martin

Peter Martin is a classroom and instrumental teacher (Piano, Guitar and Bass) at Severn Vale School as well as being the School’s Instrumental Coordinator. He also has various musical roles (outside of SVS) as a professional musician and educator in Gloucestershire.  

After graduating from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (B.Mus Hons.), Peter Peter Martinwent freelance as a musician while instrumental teaching for Gloucestershire Music [G.M.] (from 2002 – 2004). Within this two year period he also performed with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra, while doing Indie-style gigs in London.

Peter’s focus soon developed to the PGCE teacher training and he has been a qualified secondary school classroom teacher since 2005 as well as continuing his freelance teaching, tutoring and performing with various jazz, funk and function bands. As a busy musician notable performances have included performing with Lilian Boute (the current Ambassador of New Orleans), a number of large number highly prestigious performances, lots of musical productions (including tours), performing for the Royal British Legion in Azerbaijan as well as performing for British Royalty. Co-producing and recording a single of “I have a dream” with Steve Simms for the local Sands charity in 2010 was also a highlight for Peter, reaching #34 in the iTunes downloads chart.

As a freelance educator, Peter has been a tutor on various other jazz / rock courses as well as the lead tutor on the first Cheltenham Rock school course (Beyond Eternity Promotions 2007).   He had significant involvement tutoring on the Gloucester Academy of Music’s summer jazz course since 2002 and directed the course from 2004 – 2013.

Peter has also directed the Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra (GYJO) for G.M. since September 2006 and been part of developing the local jazz centre “Gloucestershire Jazz Live” (GJL), who received a diploma of merit from the Will Michael Jazz Education awards in 2009. Peter was appointed the Director of GJL (now catering for one adult and two youth  county jazz groups) for G.M. in September 2015, who have since received a diploma of “outstanding commitment to jazz education” twice from the Will Michael Jazz Education awards.

Victoria Kane (Singing Teacher)

Victoria studied music, BA Hons degree, at Huddersfield University and after graduating in 1992 taught singing and piano in Yorkshire for three years before moving into the world of Arts administration, working for the London Sinfonietta, the London Symphony Orchestra and British Council. While in London she sang for ten years with The Joyful Company of Singers and is now a member of the Orchestra of the Swan Chamber Choir (since it was founded in 2011), The Oriel Singers based in Cheltenham (since 2003) and an eight-part vocal group, Octavo (since it’s inception in 2013).

Victoria has performed as a soloist at local festivals and Tewkesbury and Pershore Abbeys, including performances of Duruffle’s Requiem, Carl Rutti’s ‘Til Earthly Passions Turn’, Vaughan Williams’ Mass In G, Bach’s G minor Mass and Handel’s ‘Messiah’. In 2010 she sang with Michael Bochmann and the English String Orchestra to give the premiere of Helena Cavan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Journey’.

As well as teaching at Severn Vale School, Victoria also teaches singing at Winchcombe Secondary School, has some private pupils and runs her local primary school junior choir, Music Box. She is a member of AOTOS (Association of Teachers of Singing) and the ISM.

Steve Browning (Guitar teacher)

Steve started playing the guitar at the age of thirteen, although his first instrument was the euphonium, and was soon playing with the Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra while at school.

Steve attended the City of Leeds College of Music from 1989 to 1992 gaining a Graduate Diploma in Jazz and Contemporary Music (1st Class) and he was awarded the college jazz guitar prize in 1992. In 1993 he also gained a PGCE teaching qualification from Bretton Hall College of Education, Wakefield.

As a freelance guitarist Steve has worked in a variety of musical settings including playing in theatre productions at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds and the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon. He has also played at major festivals such as Glastonbury and Womad plus he has toured in Europe with various bands. Currently Steve leads his own blues based band and continues to play jazz guitar gigs.

From 1999 to 2013 Steve worked for the Gloucestershire Music Service as a peripatetic guitar teacher. As well as teaching at Severn Vale School he currently teaches the guitar at Balcarras School, Cheltenham.