About Oboe Workshops

In 2020 Oboe Workshops were set up to provide online courses for any age and standard of player. As so many in person courses were cancelled we felt it important to create a course that would give oboists a mid summer holiday boost.  We all really enjoyed these workshops and felt we wanted to keep them going! Not only do they provide workshops for when we can't meet in person but they allowed us to have students from Scotland, Ireland, England and the USA all meeting each other. It gave oboists in remote areas the chance to work with other oboists, some having never met another oboist other than their own teacher. The online situation also enabled nervous performers to join us and play without feeling like they were standing in front of an audience and this then gave them a real confidence boost.

Rachel Broadbent - Oboe Workshops Director

Course leader for Children's workshops

Rachel Broadbent studied at Birmingham Conservatoire with Jonathan Kelly and George Caird and then continued her studies at Guildhall School of Music & Drama studying with Richard Simpson, Kieron Moore and Jane Marshall.

Since her studies Rachel has worked regularly as a soloist, chamber musician, session musician and has played in various orchestras in the UK and overseas, including the Brandenburg Sinfonia, Southern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players and the Camerata Roman of Sweden amongst many others.


Alongside her performance work Rachel has always been passionate about teaching and passing on the love of music and playing the oboe to the next generation. Rachel teaches oboe and coaches chamber music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Junior Department and also teaches at Oakham School, St Johns College School (Cambs), The Leys (Cambs). She gives many workshops and demonstrations in schools about the oboe and has coached and performed at the Cork School of Music Double Reed Day as well as working at the Big Double Reed Day at GSMD for the past 9 years giving workshops and more recently coaching all the junior oboe participants.

Rachel has also created The Practice Challenge designed to help guide young students through their private practice routines and has published 20 Character Pieces which is designed to encourage musicality alongside developing technique.

If you would like to know more about Rachel you can visit her website www.rachelbroadbent.co.uk

Iona Walker

Oboe Reed Making & Oboe Maintenance Specialist


Iona studied oboe at Birmingham Conservatoire and was tutored by renowned oboists Richard Weigall, George Caird and Jenni Phillips. She also studied Baroque Oboe and Cor Anglais with Gail Hennessy and Anna Cooper. During her time at the Conservatoire, she participated in masterclasses given by prestigious soloists such as Chris Cowie, Rainer Gibbons and Nicholas Daniel. In 2009 Iona graduated with honours in and went on to gain a PGCE and NQT in music and instrumental teaching.

Iona is a well respected reed maker having set up her business IonaReed in 2014. Over the years her reputation has grown and she now supplies reeds to many countries and has been recommended by top professionals. She is passionate about helping others understand their reeds and frequently does video tutorials and has recently started doing online reed surgeries for people who want help with their reeds in an interactive way.

In 2018 Iona started training to be a woodwind repairer and studied advanced woodwind repair at the Llangunllo School in Wales. In 2019 Iona was fortunate enough to be offered an apprenticeship with Paul Windridge who is himself an expert woodwind repairer and instrument maker who before setting up his own business made oboes for Howarth and flutes for Rudall Carte.

When not making reeds or repairing Iona is teaching for Northamptonshire Music Services encouraging young oboists and coaching various ensembles.

For more information about Iona you can visit her website www.ionareed.co.uk


Philip Haworth

Course Leader for Adult Workshops

Philip was born in Lancashire and took tutelage from Rachael Clegg at Chethams School of Music. He then went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music with Melinda Maxwell and Rachel Pankhurst. Whilst still at the RNCM Philip had the rare opportunity to record a premiere of Edwin Roxburgh’s oboe trio – Shadow Play, with the renowned oboist Paul Goodey. During his time at the RNCM Philip won numerous prizes including the Cronshaw Lancaster Prize for Wind, Evelyn Rothwell Oboe Prize and a Henry Wood Scholarship. After which he moved to London to study a Masters of Music at the RCM studying with Christopher Cowie.


As a keen chamber musician, Philip has performed with many chamber groups in venues across the UK and other venues across Europe. With this passion for chamber music he is also a tutor on several Wind Ensemble courses including the Malvern Winds, Wind Ensemble Retreat in Yorkshie and Dartington International Festival. As part of the Atéa Wind Quintet, who have the Associate Ensemble in Residence at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire since 2012, Philip has recently become a guest oboe tutor at the Conservatoire getting to work with some fantastic young oboists. The Quintet were previously Artists in Residence at the Purcell School and double prize winners in the 2015 Carl Nielsen International Chamber Music Competition. The group are very thankful for the support of the Tunnell Trust, Live Music Now and the Kirckman Concert Society schemes, with whom they gave their Wigmore debut in 2015. With a passion for new music, Philip is also a member of the award winning ‘Riot Ensemble’ whose primary focus is new music which has taken him across the UK around Europe and beyond. Philip has recently worked with such orchestras as the Orchestra of Opera North, Hallé Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Ensemble, BBC Philhamonic, Den Fynske Opera in Denmark, London Mozart Players and the Orchestra of St Johns.


Maxwell Spiers

Workshop Tutor

Maxwell Spiers studied at the Royal College of Music with John Anderson and Christopher Cowie (oboe) and with Ruth Gerald, (piano).  Cor anglais studies were with Michael Winfield, Christine Pendrill and Sue Bohling.  After a year as co-principal oboe with the National Orchestra of Malta, Max returned to the UK when, in 2001, he was appointed principal cor anglais with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia - a position he still holds.  He has played guest principal cor anglais with all the London symphony orchestras, although his main work is currently with the London Symphony Orchestra, (with whom he has featured on many film and commercial recordings) the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia.  He is a regular guest with the English Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Northern Sinfonia, the Orchestra of English National Opera, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Royal Philharmonic and London Philharmonic orchestras.  He has given international masterclasses in Malta and Singapore and is the senior wind tutor for the South London Youth Orchestra.  West End show work has included productions of My Fair Lady and Oliver, (Drury Lane) The Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz, (London Palladium) Les Miserables, (Queen's Theatre) and Wicked, (Apollo Victoria).  Max has been part of the oboe faculty of professorial staff at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance since 2017, where he teaches cor anglais and reed making.