JENNIFER – Caller, Fiddle, Dancer
Jennifer grew up in Aberdeen, Scotland and began playing the violin at 8 years old. In her teens she played for the county orchestra and chamber group as well as playing for several years in both The National Children’s Orchestra of Scotland and The National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. She then moved down to London to study Acting and Music at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama, which she graduated from in 2010 with a BA (Hons) degree. Jennifer now works as an Actress and Violinist in a variety of genres, including playing for classical ensembles, folk/country bands & pop sessions for up and coming artists.
Her theatre credits include: 1st Violinist/Ensemble in “Love Story” (Bolton Octagon) 2014, The Fiddler in “Fiddler On The Roof” (UK Tour) 2013-2014, Violinist/Ensemble in “Chess The Musical” (UK Tour/Toronto) 2010-2011, Lead Violinist in “The Boyfriend” (Her Majesty’s Theatre) & Lead Violinist in “The Last Five Years” (London College of Music). Her TV/Radio credits include: BBC1, Channel 4, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Wales & XFM.
“Jennifer Douglas’ Fiddler is the real show stealer” – The Public Review, 5*
ROBYN – Caller, Dancer
Our Glasgow lass Robyn is a professional dancer and presenter as well as an expert ceilidh Caller with Licence to Ceilidh! You may recognise her from ITV’s Saturday & Sunday morning children’s show “Scrambled” or SkyOne’s “What’s Up TV” as well as other popular TV and radio shows.
Her background is in musical theatre and she holds a 1st class honours degree from the London Studio centre. As a dancer and performer, she’s been lucky enough to travel the world entertaining people of all ages on cruise ships. She was a professional dancer on an 11 month world cruise (July 2015 – May 2016) and her other past performance work includes: Featured Ensemble in “Little Shop of Horrors” Pleasance Theatre 2014, Jane in “Tarzan” Criterion Theatre 2014 and Cover Lead / Ensemble in “Beauty and the Beast” 2015 and “Dick Whittington” 2016 pantomimes. With her unique range of skills, in the last year Robyn has been a presenter at the Shell Eco Marathon at the Olympic Park in Stratford and appeared as a dancer for the Pet Shop Boys: Inner Sanctum residency at the Royal Opera House among other work.
ALYSSA – Caller, Singer, Dancer
Being from Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, Alyssa grew up surrounded by ceilidhs and Scottish music. She studied dance and theatre arts from a young age and trained at the prestigious Dance School of Scotland in Glasgow from the age of 16, gaining an A.T.C.L diploma in Musical Theatre from the Trinity College London. Alyssa was invited to audition for the first ever Andrew Lloyd Webber scholarship back in 2007 winning a place at the famous Arts Educational School in London, which she graduated from in 2010 with a BA Hons in Musical Theatre.
Since graduating Alyssa has performed in a range of musical theatre shows both on and off West End, including: Liesl in “The Sound of Music” UK Tour & Jordan 2010 – 2011, Jordan Tour 2013 and International Tour 2015, Romemary in “How To Succeed In Buisness Without Really Trying” London 2014, “Betwixt!” Trafalgar Studios 2011 and more…Alyssa brings great fun and energy to the ceilidhs she calls as well as clear instruction. In addition to this she is also a fantastic vocalist singing with our pop Covers band option, as well as performing as a dancer with Licence to Ceilidh on corporate and party bookings! Triple threat!
TOBY – Caller
Toby was born and raised in Scotland, and though he secretly wishes he could call himself a “Highlander” he is very proud to have grown up where he did, in the lowlands on the outskirts of both Stirling and Edinburgh. He spent a great deal of his teens playing in bands as both musician and front man but it was his love for performing that brought him south to study at the Guildford School of Acting. Upon graduation with a BA (Hons) he moved into London where between acting jobs he secured a career teaching History at the Historic Royal Palaces. If you have been to the Tower of London, Hampton Court or even Buckingham Palace then you will no doubt have seen one of his presentations. He has spent many years honing his skills at tricking people into learning with a laugh. This transferred perfectly into one of his all time loves- a good ol’ knees up!
He is a singer, dancer, actor and musician and has performed in film and tv, theatres and music venues up and down the country. His nearest and dearest refer to him as “The Friend Maker”… you’ll see why!
ALI – Fiddle
Ali Barnes is a fiddle player specialising in celtic & traditional music. An experienced performer, Ali has numerous TV credits including performing on reality TV shows like Made in Chelsea (twice) and TOWIE, talk shows including Loose Women and This Week and the recent period drama Sanditon. She has also played fiddle for celebrities including David Mitchell, Natalie Dormer, Jeremy Clarkson, Emma Watson, Charlie Boorman, Trinny Woodall, Noel Gallagher, Kirsty Alsop and Theo Wallcot among others.
She performs as a duo with husband Philippe Barnes, as well as playing solo and frequently depping with many other Irish and ceilidh bands, including Crossharbour & Calum Stewart. Ali has played for dance teams including Mary Rose & Royal George, Victory Morris and Chequered Flag Appalachian and is also a regular on the London Irish session scene and can be found performing in pubs across the city numerous times each week.
ALISON – Fiddle, Caller
A music graduate of Cambridge University, Alison was president of the Cambridge University Ceilidh Band and is now an established Teacher and Performer in the South of England. Although trained classically in violin, piano and voice, Alison quickly followed in her parents footsteps doing barn dances and ceilidhs with the family band from a young age. So already has years of ceilidh experience under her belt!
Alison teaches Violin, Fiddle and Piano both one-on-one and to whole classes, as well as regularly leading folk workshops at some of the UK’s biggest festivals and in her local community. She is also an Amateur composer. Her orchestral work ‘Journey’s End’ was most recently performed by ‘The Orchestra on the Hill’ in Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge as well as being performed in the past by the Essex Concert Orchestra and the South Essex Youth Orchestra. Alison has been a regular dance caller and fiddle player for Licence to Ceilidh for 10 years.
LAUREN – Fiddle
Lauren began studying the violin at the age of four in Canada. Her first teacher was Mana Primrose-Beaver, the wife of Martin Beaver who is currently the first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet. At the age of six she began studying with Erica Davidson who taught her until she was 18. During this period, she was a student of the Young Artist Performance Academy at the Royal Conservatory of Music, as well as a member of the Toronto Youth Symphony Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
Lauren completed her Bachelor of Music Degree in Violin Performance at McGill University under the instruction of Thomas Williams. She was then accepted into a Master of Arts program at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying with the international soloist So-ock Kim. Since finishing her studies, Lauren has been working as a free-lance musician in London. She is a violin and piano teacher at two schools: North Bridge House and Ark Academy as well as teaching privately. But her main passion is performing, playing for various orchestras, musicals and bands. After living in the UK for a number of years, Lauren has developed a passion for traditional folk music. She’s a member London’s folk band Ark Royal as well as performing most weekends with Licence to Ceilidh!
PHILIPPE – Guitar, Flute, Whistles
MIKE – PIANO
Mike started learning the piano and trumpet at the age of 6 and spent most of his early professional music life as an orchestral trumpeter and, when needed, a percussionist, studying at the Royal College of Music. A change of direction saw him studying classical singing and opera at Trinity College of Music from where he graduated in 2005 and completed a Postgrad Diploma in 2006.
Mike now performs mainly as a Baritone soloist in the South of England as well as various theatre pit-band appearances on the piano. He is a member of the prestigious choir at the Royal Hospital Chelsea and has had the privilege of working with some of the world’s finest conductors and performing in most of the main concert venues in the country and across Europe. Mike has been performing with Licence to Ceilidh for over 12 years!
DAN – Bass
Since moving to Brighton in 2003 and immersing himself in the music scene, Dan has played many styles of music from Salsa to Metal. He has performed at all of Brighton’s music venues with a variety of different artists and has also worked and toured the UK extensively with world music ceilidh band Boka Halat. Along with gaining a BA (Hons) in Jazz (2009) Dan is currently a tutor at the Academy of Music and Sound where he teaches contemporary bass guitar and music theory.
Highlights of his career to date include performing with: Sandi Thom, Alvin Stardust, Laura Vane (The Vipertones, Gnarls Barkley and The streets), Viola Wills (Joe Cocker, Barry White and Smokey Robinson), Jodie Kidd, UK premiere of Fame Forever, Port Arlington Celtic Festival (Australia) and a Tour of the French Alps. …and also performing at Sidmouth Festival, Towersey Festival, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and headlining the National Celtic Festival in Australia with Philippe Barnes (LTC Flute/Guitar) and Ollie Boorman (LTC Drums) in Celtic Jazz-Funk group All Jigged Out.
DAN – Bass
Dan graduated in 2008 with a BA (Hons) Professional Musicianship, since then he has been constantly in demand for his versatility and dashing good looks. Some of the artists he has worked with include: Pixie Lott, The Proclaimers, Buddy Greco, Craig Revel-Horwood, Kim Mezel (Maceo Parker), 911, Liane Carroll, Ray Lewis (The Drifters), Jaki Graham, John Cameron, Chico, Sonia, Bucks Fizz, Magic of Motown, Motown USA, Angie Brown, Joe Stilgo, FreshSteps UK, Dam Koek, Tom Fitzpatrick and many more…
Dan can also be heard playing double bass on the “Stella Artois” adverts and throughout Sky 1’s hit comedy “Spy”! His theatre credits include: Happy Days UK Tour (2014), Gotta Sing Gotta Dance (2012 – 2013, Jordan Productions), Blues in the Night (2013), Summer Ice Spectacular (2011, Jordan Productions), Millenium and Arts Ed Showcase Performances (2010 – Present) & Various UK Pantomime (2008 – Present). His recording credits include: BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4, Sky 1, Radio 4, Jazz FM, Hackney Empire, Soundtree Productions, The Pink Floyd Show UK, Dan Koek, Crossharbour, Tom Fitzpatrick, 2point9 Records & Bourne Leisure.
SIMON – Bass, Guitar
Simon was playing music from a very young age, starting with the piano at 2 and later moving on to brass instruments at 8 years old, playing trumpet and trombone in his local Scout band. He started playing guitar at 16, studying classically for a year and then taking private lessons with composer and session musician Steve Dodds (Mica Paris), before completing the Rock Metal and Intermediate guitar courses at the Guitar Institute in London. In his early 20’s Simon moved to Boston for 2 years to study at the famous Berklee College of Music, on the Performance Studies course. Graduating with the Berklee Certificate, having made the Dean’s list for Excellence every semester.
On moving back to the UK Simon quickly became a popular musician working in and around London & Brighton with rock bands, the jazz-funk improvisational group the ‘Kings Cross Project’, forming the jazz-funk band ‘Mobius’ with Otto Williams (ray Charles, Chaka Khan, Amy Winehouse) and the jazz duo ‘Indigo’ which quickly grew into one of the most popular duos on the south coast, performing regularly, making numerous appearances on BBC Southern Counties Radio and recording the album “Old, New, Borrowed and Blue”. In recent years Simon has been performing more regularly on the Bass, finding a particularly love for the groove and the sound of the instrument. Simon can regularly be heard with ‘The John Lake Trio’, ‘Big Als Jamboree’ & ‘Treatment of Choice’ as well as ‘Licence to Ceilidh’!
OLLIE – Drums
Ollie is constantly in demand for live and session work in a vast array of musical genres. Equally at home in an Orchestra pit for a theatre show, in a Jazz club, or on stage with a Pop act, Ollie has gained a reputation for equal measures of sensitive accompaniment and blistering powerhouse grooves! As a drummer Ollie has toured on some of the UK’s top musicals including: Happy Days UK Tour (2014), Joan Rivers Tour (2013), Chess The Musical (touring UK & Canada (2010/11), Grease UK tour (2011), The Producers UK tour (2008), By Jeeves UK tour (2005) Nunsense UK tour (2006), Gotta Sing Gotta Dance (2008/2009/2010/2013), Magic of Motown Reach Out tour (2008/2009/2010) & The Songs of Sister Act tour with the London Community Gospel Choir (2008).
He’s worked with artists including: 80s soul diva Viola Wills, Bass virtuoso Franc O’Shea, 70’s Glam Rocker Alvin Stardust, Mike McKoy, Joe Stilgoe, Leanne Carroll, Keith Emerson, Acid Jazz act Urubu, H from Steps, David Jordan, Paul Davis, Shane Hampsheir & BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards finalists All Jigged Out. As Musical Director, Ollie has also worked as a Musical Director on CITV’s Stephen Mulhern’s One Man Variety Show tour.
NIK – Drums
Nik is an accomplished drummer & musical supervisor based in Brighton. He developed a passion for music at a very young age and has worked as a drummer and musician on a diverse range of musical projects. After being fortunate enough to have received tuition from a number of Britain’s top Jazz musicians Nik became a deep rooted member of many of the South Coast’s leading Big Band & Jazz Bands.
Nik has worked with modern house music producers touring the UK & Europe, and recorded with some of the UK’s top up and coming acts. Nik has also worked as a Musical Supervisor for feature films & has a keen interest in Photography (you can see a number of his photos in our Gallery & on our Facebook page).