Band Members

Sue Rivett – Fiddle


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 can 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 has returned with an individual folk style, & renewed enthusiasm for leading groups and running workshops alongside teaching.  Look out for Stick Youth Band (Willand FDC on 8 January 09, Ash Thomas workshop 15 May, TivvyFest ceilidh 23 May, Gittisham FDC in August) – Sue’s fiddle pupils, a young double bassist & several parents with fiddles, mandolin, cello & euphonium!

 

She has played with Bruce and Greta for 18 years, as they have developed their extensive repertoire & alternative playing styles. She is one of two fiddles in Meltdown & is frequently called upon to play in several other local bands.

Bruce Thomas - Guitar

 

Bruce was born on 13th December 1946 and brought up in a small village near Tiverton in Devon.

 

He started playing guitar in 1962, became lead guitarist in a schoolboy rock band and, with the exception of two sad years when the guitar went to the pawn shop, he’s been playing ever since.

 

In 1988 Bruce and a friend resurrected the folk club at the Welcome Inn, Halberton which they ran together for about four years hosting a number of top performers including the Albion Band, Show of Hands and Martin Carthy.  During this period Bruce performed regularly at folk clubs in the region, singing and playing guitar and tenor banjo.

 

In the 1990’s Bruce took lessons in classical guitar and began performing as accompanist and soloist with the mid-devon choral group, Oriana.  In recent years he has continued performances of this type with the choral group Conspirito.

 

The 1990’s was also when Bruce met Sue and Greta and discovered a shared interest in folk and classical music which led to the formation of the band which eventually metamorphosed into Stick The Fiddle.

 

With Stick, Bruce is basically the rhythm guitarist. His personal style of accompaniment enriched by the classical, flamenco and blues guitar techniques at his finger tips is an essential ingredient of the Stick sound.

 

Between gigs Bruce works as a freelance civil engineer, quantity surveyor or computer programmer. He lives in Tiverton.

Gordon Francis – Bass, Recorder, Percussion
Our man of mystery!!!!
Greta Tucker – Cello, Double Bass

Greta began playing the piano at the age of four, and at sixteen won an Associated Board Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music where she studied piano and cello for four years.  Her teachers included Harold Craxton, Gordon Green, Rex Stephens, Joan Bonner and Kenneth van Barthold.  She went on to work in London for twelve years as a pianist and accompanist before moving down to the West Country and having a family.  She now teaches and plays in Devon.

She is grateful for her classical background, but folk music has presented her with new challenges and opportunities in the context of making music with friends, very often round the kitchen table with cups of tea, as well as playing for dancing, at weddings and parties, and at folk festivals.  She has discovered the joy of playing the double bass whilst playing by ear and improvising, alongside taking classical exams.

Being a third of Stick the Fiddle is a hugely enjoyable part of her life - which also includes keep fit, ballet, bell-ringing,  playing in jazz bands and being village organist. 
Andrew Curtis – Keyboard

A native of the Westcountry, Andrew started piano lessons at the age of 8 & the organ three years later.  He was 12 when he first played the organ regularly for church services, & became organist and choirmaster at Holcombe Church when only 14.  At this time he was introduced to Folk Music when he became dance-class pianist for the late Kate (Kit) Coombes.  It was under her 'watchful eye' and tuition that his knowledge and love of the music developed.

He took a music Diploma course at Dartington College of Arts, Totnes under John Wellingham (organ) and Roy Truby (harpsichord) partaking in master classes at the John Loosemore Centre, Buckfastleigh, with Gustav Leonhardt, Christopher Hogwood and Peter Williams.  The regular Folk music classes of Peter Kennedy were always practical & fun, leading to many community events in the area

At Hull College of Higher Education he trained as a Primary school teacher & gained his B.Ed (Hons) in 1982.  Andrew is currently a Devon County supply teacher, having left 26 happy years of full-time teaching in April 2009.

Andrew has accompanied on organ and piano for local BBC television & radio, & has enjoyed conducting & working with both choral & operatic societies, in addition to orchestral & ensemble groups.  Recent work includes Disney's 'High School Musical 1', HMS Pinafore & Faure's 'Requiem'.

Andrew was delighted when approached to play keyboard with Stick, & has loved every opportunity working with this great, fun bunch, & learning new folk techniques & styles for a change, rather than directing!

© 2000 - 2017 powered by
Doteasy Web Hosting