Sue Rivett – Fiddle

Sue Rivett, band leader

Sue was born and brought up in York, where she started violin lessons at the age of 7, was introduced to folk dancing when she played for parish functions with a local accordionist, & went on to form a school classical/folk band which featured in various venues & on local radio.

A Geography degree and Diploma in Management Studies later, she worked as a PA in various companies until Wilf Saunders (formerly Greensleeves Band) invited her to teach violin. That had been a childhood dream; she started teaching & taking violin exams herself the following term.

Sue has worked in Mid-Devon schools as a peripatetic violin teacher since 1994, and enjoys inspiring students and groups to play classical, folk, jazz & American music. She has frequently joined with string teacher colleagues to arrange large scale concerts so that pupils could meet and perform to packed theatres: Tiverton 2001 & 2003 (folk fiddling with Stewart Hardy), Exmouth 2005, Shaftesbury Theatre, Dawlish 2006 (with Fiona McLean’s Camerata), and Honiton 2006, covering classical, folk & jazz ensemble for beginners to Grade 8. She was folk tutor on the Dartington Summer School Youth programme which started in 2006.

Sue spent 2007/08 in Newcastle studying folk & traditional music at the University, working & playing with tutors Catriona MacDonald, Stewart Hardy, Pete Tickell & Robin Dunn. She returned with an individual folk style, & renewed enthusiasm for playing and encouraging pupils and audience to play and dance.

In June 2014 Sue qualified as a Music Therapist, is HCPC-registered, and works in various local homes and hospitals playing music with people living with dementia and brain injury.


Peter Searle - Guitar & Bass

Peter Searle, band member

Peter is from a large musical family and has always been surround by music from a variety of instruments and genres. He moved from Lancaster to Tiverton in 1990 (aged 2 years) when his Dad became the minister of the Tiverton Group of United Reformed churches. It was only a matter of hours after moving in to the Manse on Old Road that there was a visit from the neighbours next door but one with an offer of help. They were church members Wilf and Berice Saunders. Peter’s Dad and Wilf became firm friends working together in schools and organising activities for children.

Peter attended Combe Mead (Wilcombe) Primary School but did not play any instruments or seem to have any particular interest in music. He then attended Tiverton High school for one year, where his music teacher was Andrew Curtis. The family moved to Brixham in 2000 and Peter became friends with some talented young musicians. He attended Brixham Community College and had the opportunity to have guitar lessons. His rapid progress showed that he had an affinity for just about any instruments with strings. He was a member of the school band and a regular at the jam nights in the town. In his final year at school he made his own electric guitar for a GCSE project.

Peter studied for a BTEC National Diploma in Jazz Performance at Exeter College. Here again he had the opportunity to perform regularly. At this time Peter joined a Jazz and Blues Band, in which he played both nationally and internationally headlining and supporting some famous artists.

In 2009 Peter moved with his parents to Portishead. He had recovered from a badly broken leg which had made it difficult to continue with the band. He did not have a lot of opportunity to play but renewed his interest and knowledge in making and restoring guitars. His Dad died at the beginning of June 2013 and the decision was made to move back to the Tiverton area where other family still lived.

Peter now has his own gardening and landscaping business. In his spare time he can frequently be found underneath a vehicle mending and refurbishing it. After taking part in a few concerts and events locally he gradually reignited his passion for playing the guitar. He now plays regularly for services at St Andrew’s Church Cullompton and joined ‘Stick The Fiddle’ in 2018.


Charlotte Wakefield - Flute and Whistle

(Biog and photo to follow)