Brass Tutors

Carl Woodcroft

Carl has taught and coached young musicians for Surrey Arts since 2005, working as a specialist brass teacher and as a tutor to the county youth orchestra. As a tuba player, Carl has recorded with orchestras for BBC radio and television appearing at the BBC Proms, Aldeburgh and Glastonbury festivals, as well as working with ensembles including the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London Philharmonic, Old Dirty Brasstards, Video Games Live, English National Ballet and Army of Generals. Carl has also recorded with Bastille at Abbey Road Studios for Amazon Music and performed on TFI Friday and BBC Songs of Praise. He has been used as a musician at both Pinewood and Leavesden Studios for background scenes in the films Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Military Wives. Carl studied at the Royal Academy of Music where his studies were made possible by EMI Music. He was a Britten-Pears Young Artist from 2012-2015. Carl also teaches at Royal Holloway University, Highgate School and as a guest tuba teacher at the junior department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Howard Beagley – Trombone

Howard was awarded a Junior Exhibitioner award to attend the Royal College of Music Junior department from 1988-1994. He studied with Ian White, winning 4 soloist awards as well as being Principal Trombone of the Surrey Youth Orchestra and performing with the National Youth Orchestra.  From 1994-1998 Howard studied at the Royal College of Music with trombone professor Arthur Wilson. During this time he gave several solo performances and was awarded the Senior Brass Prize. Since leaving the RCM Howard has performed with a variety of ensembles from London orchestras to jazz bands in Brighton. He has given solo concerto performances in the UK and across Europe.  Howard started working for Surrey Arts in  2000 and enjoys a varying portfolio of work from individual brass lessons to conducting ensembles.

Q – What got you interested in playing the Trombone?

A – When I was seven, a group came into my school (Whyteleafe School in Surrey) and played their brass instruments. I was amazed. Then one of them got up and played his trombone. Well, the sound was just amazing. What a fab noise and then he did loads of slides and I was hooked.

My older sister, who was at secondary school, told her music teacher and a trombone was found, lent to me and I started lessons. I haven’t looked back.

Q – What do you like about teaching?

A – Every student is different. Their expectations, their tastes, their energy. Finding the things that make them enjoy music, enable them to express themselves, that’s the buzz. Encouraging them to achieve and advance no matter how small the goal. Helping students cope and understand constructive criticism is very important. No one plays music perfectly every time no matter how hard we try. Learning to live, cope, and make better these imperfections is a huge life skill that will transfer to other aspects in life and school.

Q – Do you have any other interests?

I love cooking! If I am not gigging at the weekend making a Sunday roast or inviting family and friends over to share some food (while listening to some good music) just fills me with joy.

Q – Do you have a favourite piece of music?

A – This can change on the day, my mood and my energy level. Sometimes it is Opera. Puccini usually — Tosca, Turandot or Verdi’s Rigoletto. Sometimes I just want the simplicity of the piano, Chopin’s Nocturne in C Sharp Minor (especially played by Ashkenazy), or the comic and probably the best: J.A. Greenwood’s The Acrobat played by me!!!

Edward Maxwell

Edward Maxwell was born and brought up in Birmingham (which explains his misfortune in supporting Aston Villa). He studied at Sussex University and the Royal College of Music and enjoys a varied career as a freelance trumpet player and teacher. Highlights have included playing in seven productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company (including sharing a stage with David Tennant in Richard II) and making a fleeting appearance as a court musician (standing behind Cate Blanchett) in the Oscar-winning film Elizabeth the Golden Age. He has played in many shows including the West End production of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, for which the band was nominated for an Olivier Award. He has performed, recorded and broadcast with numerous ensembles, ranging from jazz and contemporary music to playing the natural trumpet in leading European period instrument orchestras such as Florilegium and Die Kölner Akademie. For many years, he gave music presentations at Hampton Court Palace in a wig and tights. A keen composer, editor and arranger, his music has been published by Boosey & Hawkes, Music Sales, Spartan Press and Warwick Music, and has appeared on the ABRSM trumpet syllabus. As a music educator, he has run training workshops for instrumental teachers and has contributed articles to Music Teacher Magazine. Edward teaches at a number of schools in Surrey. He also has a sideline as an artist – He lives in Westcott with his wife, Sian, four children and a variety of animals.  For more information, please visit