About

Helen Ellison is a Suffolk based composer, performer and teacher. From a very young age, music has been an important part of her life and she has a love of all types of genres and instruments. Inspired by Benjamin Britten's instrumental knowledge she has always liked to understand in great detail how they work, sound and play. One of her piano teachers, Beryl East, had worked with Benjamin Britten. This has led to her interest in learning and trying many different instruments.

Piano was her first instrument after the family were given an upright piano when she was 4 years old. Piano Teacher Jane Sparrow was willing to give this young 5 year old alongside her older sister lessons. This soon followed with violin, recorder and singing at primary school. At Robert Bruce Middle School she had a chance to learn Steel Pans, her favourite being the Tenor Pans. In 1991, Rev. John Gates, offered her a chance to be Organist at All Saints, Hollesley and was given Organ Lessons with John Cooper under the Suffolk Young Organist Scheme. She remained All Saints Organist and Musical Director for 16 years. She began Flute with neighbour and friend, Mrs Karen Stanghan in 1993 and later with Catherine Sign. Helen got ABRSM Grade 8 piano when she was 12 followed by the Advanced Certificate in 1993. The following year she completed ABRSM Grade 8 in both Violin & Theory and achieved ABRSM Grade 6 in both Flute and Singing in July 1995. Helen regularly entered the Suffolk Festival on Piano including winning classes in solo piano, composition and organ.

Suffolk Music has provided opportunities to perform at many large venues such as Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Notre Dame Paris, La Madeleine Paris and many others. At the Barbican, Helen was Percussion Soloist No.2 in a performance of Britten's Childrens Crusade which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

In 1998 she completed her BA Hons Degree in Music at Colchester Institute aged 20 whilst under the command of Professor Bill Tamblyn. The course, unlike other Music degree courses available at the time, allowed her to try many areas of music and not just performance.

For many years Helen has produced and directed local concerts and shows in the Suffolk area, raising money for various charitable organisations. Her shows, George Gershwin (1998) and A Celebration of Fred Astaire (1999), both resulted in two major radio programmes, co-hosting and producing, with Keith Skues for BBC Eastern Counties. A movement from her orchestral ballet, The Coral Reef (recorded by Colchester Institute Orchestra) was broadcast on his show in November 2003.

Helen and family set up The Roger David Burrows Music Fund in memory of her late brother who died July 2012 from Non-Hodgkins T-cell Lymphoma (Cancer). For more information about the Music Fund visit www.rogerdavidburrows.co.uk.

Her many interests include wildlife, geneology, photography and in particular dance. She began Ballet at the tender age of 3 and at present enjoys Tap and Pilates with Coral Stebbings.

Helen Ellison currently lives and works in Suffolk with her husband John, daughter Emily and Gerbils.