Who is Semitone?

To enquire about studying with one of the tutors at Semitone, please email info@semitonestudios.com or ring 0161 826 7613 and leave a message - we return all messages promptly.

Taylor Giacoma

Taylor Giacoma

Taylor Giacoma is the founder and Managing Director of Semitone. She teaches voice, piano, and music theory at Semitone and conducts the Semitone Singers. She also performs regularly as a solo singer/pianist, primarily her own compositions, and is a session musician for Oak Tree Music.

The music she writes and performs is often mistaken for something from a musical or Disney film, and though it doesn't fall neatly into any one genre it is often described as musical-theatre-y piano pop. Even her covers, which range from early 20th century musical theatre to Linkin Park, are highly unique.

Taylor is an American, but lives in Marple in the Northwest of England. She is primarily based at Semitone, which she founded in 2013. Dedicated to helping musicians and other creative folk find their way one tiny step at a time, Semitone is quickly becoming known as a go-to venue for original music as well as a hub for people in the community to come together to share in the joy of performance.

As a tutor, Taylor works with students of all ages at all levels in a wide variety of styles and genres. Her own musical education has been a journey from learning to play the piano by ear, later being classically trained in voice and piano, and finally finding her own personal style. She draws on this experience and encourages students to explore anything and everything that inspires them. As conductor of the Semitone Singers choirs, Taylor challenges her singers with everything from Elgar to Elton and Monteverdi to the Monkees, and sometimes her own arrangements and compositions. The Semitone Singers are often seen out and about in East Cheshire at various care homes, day centres, pubs and parties.

Taylor is also a proud member of Marple Runners and an active member of the Quaker community.

Peter Eccles

Peter Eccles

Peter Eccles is the Co-Director of Semitone Studios as well as the tutor for the Semitone Music Appreciation classes.

For 47 years Peter studied and taught mathematics at The University of Manchester, retiring in 2015. He is now an emeritus professor of mathematics at the university and occasionally gives short mathematics talks at the Semitone open mic. He has a lifelong interest in music and, on retirement, got involved with Semitone Studios having met Taylor through Quakers. He also began to tutor music appreciation courses for the Wilmslow-based Guild for Lifelong Learning. He continues his active involvement with Quakers and sings and plays the piano for fun.

Eleanor Jarvis

Eleanor Jarvis

Eleanor Jarvis is the Administrator and PA to the Managing Director, and she also teaches voice at Semitone.

Eleanor is a recent graduate of the University of Manchester, having studied a Bachelor of Music with emphasis on conducting. She has experience leading a good variety of ensembles, with a grounding in both choral and instrumental conducting. She is a committed singer, having been a chorister since the age of ten. Eleanor has conducted two chamber choirs as well the University of Manchester Chorus. In 2021 she founded The Marie Consort to provide further performance opportunities and chamber choir experience to the University students. Eleanor is currently tutored by Robert Guy and has participated in several conducting masterclasses with the Royal Philharmonic Society, Cardiff International Academy of Conducting as well as Musicfest Aberystwyth.

Steve Hall

Steve Hall

Steve Hall teaches piano, keyboards and music theory at Semitone.

Steve Hall keeps himself extremely busy! In addition to teaching piano, keyboards, organ and music theory, he also is constantly touring with his named band from the 60's 'The Casuals'. In contrast to this, Steve is also half of a male female piano vocal duo - performing music from the jazz, classical and Latin genres.

Patrick McKenzie

Patrick McKenzie

Patrick McKenzie is the in-house recording engineer at Semitone and also teaches guitar, mandolin and ukulele.

Patrick has worked in many areas of the music industry since graduating from Salford University's Popular Music and Recording programme in 2014. He has been a busker, teacher, singer/songwriter, sound engineer and band musician among many more musical jobs. He prides himself on a relaxed but focussed approach to teaching that allows the student to dictate what they want to learn. Patrick is a keen learner himself and has taught himself various other instruments including harmonica, sitar, violin and keyboards.

Sue Hatton

Sue Hatton

Sue Hatton teaches flute, recorder and beginner level saxophone and clarinet at Semitone.

Sue has been playing flute and recorder since the age of 10. She has been involved in many full orchestrated productions including West Side Story, Wizard of Oz and Grease. She has actively played at Phoenix Art Group as well as Poynton Band, putting on various performances. She has been teaching full time for the last 18 years and has taught all ages and abilities as well as in primary and high schools. Sue has a busy family life, she loves running and looking after her adorable rabbits and guinea pigs.

Frances Laker

Frances Laker

Frances Laker teaches music theory at Semitone.

Frances is an experienced cellist and pianist, with a keen interest in music theory. She is a recent graduate of the University of Huddersfield where she did her Music Bachelors (BMus) and achieved a Distinction in her MMus in Musicology, with a dissertation on women and music under Queen Elizabeth I. Frances has a Grade 8 in music theory and took several advanced analysis classes during her studies at university.

Elaine Savage

Riley Savage

Elaine Savage films, edits and uploads videos of artists performing at Semitone, and occasionally films Taylor and The Semitone singers, at other locations. Elaine writes poetry, comedy pieces and songs, which she performs as the artist Riley Savage. In 2015/16 she achieved a distinction from Access to music in Manchester, where she did the artist development course. Elaine recently graduated from Bath Spa University, with merit, in her Masters degree in songwriting. To see/hear Riley's work, go to rileysavage.co.uk.