Rob studied music on the joint course between Manchester University and the Royal
Northern College of Music prioritising composition and clarinet, and later, saxophone. As
well as a degree and two diplomas, he received numerous composition awards from both
institutions. He then won a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music USA to pursue
An active composer, Rob has written music and undertaken commissions for large and small
ensembles plus solo works in various genres, including works for choirs, chamber orchestra,
jazz orchestra and numerous compositions for small jazz ensembles. His music has been
performed in such venues as London’s Royal Festival Hall and Barbican, Glasgow Royal
Concert Hall and RNCM Manchester.
Commissions have included a multi-media collaboration for the Highland Festival (2001,), a
cantata for the Devon-based eXe Singers (2011), and more recently a piano work for ABRSM
to be published in their 2017-18 Selected Piano Pieces. He also arranged music for the
Studio Brass Series method books (Studio Music, 1995).
He has released 7 CDs of original/improvised music for the British contemporary/improvised
music label FMR, four of which are in collaboration with Scottish pianist and composer Chick
Lyall and all of which have achieved national media broadcasts. His music has also been aired
on BBC Radio2, BBC Radio3, JazzFM, BBC Scotland and BBC regional channels.
Rob has performed and recorded across many genres with leading artists including: [jazz]
Mike Stern, Dan Gottlieb, Kenny Wheeler, Jim Mullen, Julian Arguelles; [classical] BBC
Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Ballet, Paragon Ensemble Scotland, Manchester
Camerata; Steven Osborne [gospel] Christine Getty, Dave Pope; [pop] Matthew Herbert;
[Scottish] Simon Thoumire, Anne Martin, Ingrid Henderson.
Tours, performances and recordings, including radio and television, have taken him across the
UK, Europe and USA and he is regularly in demand as a session musician. He plays Sopranino,
Soprano, Alto & Tenor saxophones, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, EWI (wind synthesiser) and
Festival appearances include Edinburgh International & Jazz, Bath, Cheltenham, Celtic
Connections, Prague International, Atina Jazz Italy, BBC Proms, Liverpool Jazz festival,
the Highland Festival, and Glastonbury Jazz Stage.
Rob’s commitment to music education over more than 20 years extends to a number of self initiated
projects such as his national company Jazz Course UK, his own venue The Music
Workshop (Scotland) and the Sound:Base project in central Glasgow.
As an ABRSM examiner in both jazz and classical disciplines, Rob works throughout the UK
and internationally, with past tours to Hong Kong and Malaysia, and in 2015 Indonesia. He has
presented professional development courses in the UK for ABRSM.