Steve Donoghue – Bass Clarinet


With most of his ensemble experience coming from Concert Band performance, Steve has been playing Saxophone for about 10 years. As well as The Ace of Staves, he is affiliated with several other local groups/bands including the Dearne Big Band, Mr Swing’s Dance Orchestra and Side Keys & Co.

Whilst primarily being a Saxophonist, Steve has added several other instruments to his pallet, reflected in his contribution to Staves by playing Bass Clarinet and Cello.  He enjoys new challenges and his versatility has seen him earn places in many different ensembles throughout the years, both large and small, and is now also branching out into solo gigs.

After 6th form, Steve went on to study a triple diploma in music practice for 2 years, furthering his smaller ensemble playing experience, aswell as his arranging abilities.

Besides performing, Steve’s outgoing nature helps him forge connections with his local community and he also has a talent for transcription which he enjoys doing in his spare time.


Melanie Long – Tenor Sax


Beginning at primary school, Melanie has had around 20 years of musical training.  Starting out like most on the recorder before graduating to clarinet, she was taking the first steps towards her dream of playing the saxophone.  Once in High school Melanie was able to turn her attention to her saxophone: working through the grades, performing in several different ensembles and increasing her musical theory knowledge.

Music has always been a huge part of Melanie’s life from playing to composing and this lead to her gaining her BMus Music degree from the university of Huddersfield in 2010.  Her love of music comes from her passion for its use in everyday life and it is the foundation of many of her important achievements such as tours in several European countries and parts in pit bands for popular musicals such as Bugsy Malone.

More recently Melanie has developed her knowledge of early musical education and the primary music curriculum, including teaching drums, recorder and singing to primary school children, before rediscovering her love of performing and her saxophone.





Jess Smales – Alto Sax


Growing up with music as an important part of her life, Jess has dedicated a lot of her time to it throughout the years which has been reflected in many of her choices along the way.
This journey has ultimately led to Jess studying for her BA (Hons) in Music at the University of Hull which she will be finishing later on this year.  Following on from this, Jess is looking forward to being able to continue her studies at the University of Sheffield to gain an MA in Psychology of Music.

Jess’s first study is the clarinet, which she has been playing since she was just 7 years old. She is also proficient in saxophone and flute, both of which she taught herself in order to enhance her experience during a work placement at the Doncaster Music Service in her later school years.

Her ensemble experience is extensive and ranges from quartet work to soul bands to concert bands; a few notable groups she performs regularly with are: the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra, the Hull University Big Band, and Side Keys & Co.  On top of this she has enjoyed parts in many pit orchestras for popular musicals such as Sweet Charity, Guys and Dolls and Grease which were aided by her musical versatility.8b

Megan Waddoups – First Clarinet

Megan Waddoups (lead clarinet) grew up in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. She began to learn the Clarinet in primary school, and has loved it ever since. Her years of practise, band and orchestra rehearsals, European tours and musical theory knowledge has accumulated into 15 years of musical expertise.

She attended the University of Huddersfield from 2011-2015 where she studied Chemistry, but would always continue to keep her hand in music playing in a variety of ensembles. Megan is also a talented Saxophonist and Percussionist which has been reflected in her own musical education as well as teaching others.

Besides founding The Ace of Staves, Megan also contributes heavily to the many arrangements that make up their repertoire.