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Meet the Team

A staff team works alongside representatives from our membership.

Bridget is wearing a black blazer, a blue and white polka dot shirt, and a Music Mark badge.

Bridget Whyte - Chief Executive Officer

Bridget Whyte was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in 2017 having previously worked as a freelance consultant for various organisations including the Department for Education, Arts Council England, Sing Up, Youth Music and the British Council. In recent years much of her work has been advocating for singing as an important part of education firstly through the setting up and then supporting at a senior level the English National Singing Programme – Sing Up, and then working for over four years to set up singing programmes to support educational learning across the world for the British Council.

“I’ve had the privilege of talking to musicians, teachers and young people in over 20 countries across the world throughout my career. Each of those conversations has reinforced my belief in the power of music to transform lives and bring peoples together.” 

Bridget is wearing a black blazer, a blue and white polka dot shirt, and a Music Mark badge.

Rosie is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. She is smiling at the camera and is wearing glasses.

Rosie Lowe - Programmes & Engagement Director

In Rosie’s role as Programmes and Engagement Director she works with the team to support the strategic development of Music Mark. Rosie oversees the development of existing partnerships and engages new partners to ensure Music Mark continues to support, connect and influence on behalf of its membership.

Rosie’s professional background combines her interest in education and music. After finishing her music degree, she worked as a Primary Teaching Assistant for a year, before deciding to make a small career change into the music education sector. She took up the position of Marketing and Fundraising Manager at Berkshire Maestros for a year before moving across to one of the Music Centres as Music Centre Manager. After nearly three years of running a vibrant centre for young musicians, she made the move to Music Mark to further her career in the music education sector.

“I’ve been surrounded by music for as long as I can remember as my mother taught music for many years. My earliest memories of music are hearing the beautifully sonorous sounds of the cello pouring from our practice room… that and the visiting teacher proving that even a hose pipe can be a musical instrument!”

Rosie is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. She is smiling at the camera and is wearing glasses.

Chris is wearing a maroon Music Mark shirt and lanyard. He has brown curly hair and a beard.

Chris Buglass - Membership & Operations Director

As Membership and Operations Director, Chris is responsible for the operation and governance of Music Mark, and for maintaining, supporting and developing the membership.

Chris has had a varied career in Finance and Operations roles, from working in the private sector, to Music Education Hubs and more broadly, in the charity sector. After two years working in the North East for a charity that supports asylum seekers and refugees, Chris is excited to have returned to the music education sector, alongside his work as a Chair of Gateshead and South Tyneside Music Hub and as Coordinator for Northumberland Local Cultural Education Partnership.

Chris puts his degree in jazz to good use by playing punk and alternative folk, though not in the same band. He can also quite often be found in the pubs of the North East on Friday and Saturday nights with an acoustic guitar, singing and playing 80s pop songs.

“From the moment I picked up a guitar at the age of 8, music has been a massive part of my life and when I first started working in music education, it felt as if this was where I belonged. I feel very proud and privileged to be working for an organisation that helps to make music education in the UK a more vibrant and effective force.”

Chris is wearing a maroon Music Mark shirt and lanyard. He has brown curly hair and a beard.

Matthew is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. He has dark hair, a beard, and is wearing glasses.

Matthew Crisp - Membership & Operations Administrator

Matthew monitors the inbox, responding to enquiries from across the music education sector while keeping online listings of jobs, resources, training and events up to date. Matthew also provides administrative support to the Music Mark team and assists in the smooth running of membership sign-ups and renewals.

Matthew studied violin at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where he developed a passion for participatory music-making and worked on a diverse array of projects from sharing in the first musical experiences of babies and toddlers sparkling with rhythm as they made sense of the world for the first time, to collaborating with elders providing new perspectives on our society through their music-making. After a move to York to study an MA in Community Music, and after working as a primary teaching assistant during the pandemic, Matthew now combines his role at Music Mark with work as a freelance musician and violin teacher.

“My favourite piece of music is Nina Simone’s ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free’. I could listen to her 1976 live from Montreux recording of the song on repeat, the piano meandering, the drums ticking away, ‘soar to the sun and look down at the sea’, and Simone fighting for justice.”

Matthew is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. He has dark hair, a beard, and is wearing glasses.

Jamie is wearing a maroon t-shirt and lanyard, and is smiling at the camera.

Jamie Munn - Development Manager

Jamie Munn is the Development Manager at Music Mark, and in this new role will be working with partners, funders and members to help further the cause of the organisation. Over the last 15 years he has worked in music organisations in the UK, Europe, East Africa, the Middle East and Asia focusing on how music can make a meaningful, positive social impact in communities. He is on the Board of Trustees of Drake Music Scotland, St Mary’s Music School Edinburgh and Mendelssohn on Mull Festival, and is a Fellow of the International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA).

“I don’t think we can underestimate the value and impact that first encounters with performing organisations can have on our musical pathway. Coming from a non-musical family, our school had a visit from Scottish Opera on their annual circuit of schools to put on a show in one day. It certainly sparked something in me and around 25 years later I am still able to remember the songs word-for-word.”

Jamie is wearing a maroon t-shirt and lanyard, and is smiling at the camera.

Abi is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. She has blonde hair and is smiling at the camera.

Abi Marrison - Schools Lead

Abi has supported education settings across East Anglia over the last 8 years to review and develop their arts and cultural offer for children and young people, including delivering training for the Arts Council England’s quality mark ‘Artsmark’. Prior to this Abi spent 10 years teaching in Primary schools, specialising in Early Years. Abi continues to work in a freelance capacity to support the connections between the cultural and education sectors.

“I did not study music beyond my own limited Primary and Key Stage 3 education. My Dad taught me some guitar basics when I was a teenager. However, I always had singing. I sang every day when I was a Nursery teacher, and I sing every day now: in the car, on the dog walk and doing the housework! I sing for me, because it makes me feel good.”

Abi is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. She has blonde hair and is smiling at the camera.

Sarah is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt, lanyard, and a dark blazer. She is wearing glasses and smiling.

Sarah K. Whitfield - Research Lead

As Research Lead, Sarah supports Music Mark and its Members by maintaining strong links between academic partners and Members. She develops resources and training, commissions research and coordinaties the monitoring of the charity’s impact on the sector.

Sarah is an academic who works across music and its related disciplines; she uses digital humanities research methods alongside traditional archival research to challenge established narratives, focusing on uncovering the work that under-represented and minoritised figures do and have done. She works to support inclusive music pedagogy and practice.

“Music has always been a huge part of my life, and I have a particular love for musical theatre and the way it can tell stories about who we are, and make young people feel seen and heard, perhaps for the first time.”

Sarah is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt, lanyard, and a dark blazer. She is wearing glasses and smiling.

Laura is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. She has blonde hair and is wearing purple earrings.

Laura Hailstone - Training & Events Manager

Laura is responsible for the logistical development and delivery of Music Mark training and events, including the annual conference, and leads on the curation of content across the programme.

Over the last 15 years, Laura has worked in local authority, community, and higher education events and is excited to be able to bring together her interest in events and music at Music Mark.

“Music has been a part of my life for as long as I remember. The opportunities and experiences I gained from learning music and playing in a youth orchestra can’t be underestimated. It is a privilege to be able to work for an organisation which enables me to give back to the music education community in this role.”

Laura is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. She has blonde hair and is wearing purple earrings.

Yusef is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. He has dark hair and a beard, and is smiling.

Yusef Sacoor - Training & Events Officer

In Yusef’s role as Training & Events Officer, he supports the development and delivery of the training and events programmes including the Annual Conference.

With a background in delivering non-profit community art events and projects, and experience in artist development and festivals, Yusef has also been fortunate to work with and within participant-led music mentoring and education environments.

“Beyond once playing on the same bill as a guitarist from the world-famous Showaddywaddy, my musical highlight has been watching first hand the impact of music on often discounted young people, whether rapping, producing, jamming or playing their instruments.”

Yusef is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. He has dark hair and a beard, and is smiling.

Katie is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. She has long blonde hair and is wearing glasses.

Katie Chappell - Marketing & Communications Manager

Katie leads on the development and delivery of Music Mark’s marketing strategy with the support of Lucy and Aimee. In the last 6 years, Katie has enjoyed creating marketing campaigns within the arts and education sectors and is excited to be able to combine her passion for marketing and music education in her role at Music Mark.

“A musical highlight of mine was having the opportunity to support a school visit to the Montreux Jazz Festival. It was a brilliant experience for the students to perform in the festival and to also see some amazing musicians perform.”

Katie is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. She has long blonde hair and is wearing glasses.

Emma is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. She has long blonde hair and is smiling.

Emma Cragg - Marketing & Communications Officer

Emma’s role at Music Mark is to support and connect our members by providing updates in our newsletters, as well as supporting our wider campaigns alongside Katie and Aimee. Emma studied Music at The University of Manchester and led the outreach department for the university’s music society. Since graduating, she has worked for the university in their communications department, but she is now excited to combine her marketing experience with her passion for music education at Music Mark.

“A musical highlight of mine was organising trips for the university’s Outreach Orchestra to perform in local primary schools. It was amazing to see how excited the pupils were to watch an orchestra in real life, and they loved guessing the names of the instruments and singing along to the music.”

Emma is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. She has long blonde hair and is smiling.

Aimee is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. She has long curly hair and is smiling.

Aimee Christodoulou - Social Media & Content Officer

As Social Media & Content Officer, Aimee works alongside the Marketing & Communications team. She supports the team to share the work of Music Mark far and wide, creating and disseminating content and promoting campaigns on social media. Prior to joining Music Mark, Aimee studied Music at the University of Leeds and worked as a freelance Marketing Officer within the Arts sector. She now merges her interests in music and marketing in her role at Music Mark.

“One of my favourite bands is Fleetwood Mac. As a teenager, I worked in a guitar shop and we used to play the album ‘Rumours’ all the time. My colleagues there taught me everything I know about guitars and had a big influence on my taste in music today, and I have very fond memories of this time. Every time I hear a song from this album I now think of the shop – it’s amazing how a song can be so powerful and bring back exact thoughts and feelings from many years ago!”

Aimee is wearing a maroon Music Mark t-shirt and lanyard. She has long curly hair and is smiling.

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We’re not currently recruiting but you can sign up to our Jobs Bulletin to stay up to date with our vacancies and vacancies from around the music education sector.

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Peter Smalley

Peter Smalley - Chair

Peter is the Chief Executive Officer of the Northampton Music and Performing Arts Trust, an independent charitable company which fulfils the functions of the former Local Authority Music Service and leads the Northamptonshire Music Education Hub and Rutland Music Education Hub.

Trained at the University of Birmingham, he has had a lifetime of experience in music education, initially in the classroom and then as an instrumental teacher for Staffordshire. In 1993 he moved to Northamptonshire as Head of Brass, serving for 19 years as one of the deputies to Peter Dunkley. In 2012 he became the CEO of the new charity.

Originally a trumpet player, he has experience as a performer, arranger and composer but more recently has focused on conducting. Since 2000 he has been the musical director of the Northamptonshire County Youth Concert Band appearing with them on many national and international stages. As a teacher he has worked on the development of brass pedagogy on a local and national scale: developing local schemes of work, teaching and assessment materials, contributing to the development of major teaching schemes, publications and examination syllabi, as well as being a member of the original Common Approach brass team.

He is a passionate believer in the transformative power of music and the arts for children and young people and the right of all children to benefit from exposure to them. Having been involved with Music Mark since its inception, and Federation of Music Services since 1992, he understands the need for a collective voice to campaign and advocate for the Music Education sector: supporting colleagues, influencing policy makers and connecting with partners across the industry.

“The combined voice of the whole sector is more powerful than any of us individually can hope to be and Music Mark is the vehicle to ensure that voice is heard.”

Peter Smalley

Peter Bolton - Vice Chair and Treasurer

Peter has been the chief executive of Kent Music since 2008, a thriving lead partner of the music education hub for Kent, the largest county in the country.

In additional to his music education career, Peter will bring a wide range of experience to Music Mark drawn from 23 years working in arts organisations in this country and abroad.

Posts include manager of the Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton, artistic director of Norfolk & Norwich Festival and running his own business Ovation which mixed producing international quality events and festivals with consultancy projects.

Yogesh Dattani - Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Lead and Champion for Inclusivity & Relevance

Yogesh is responsible for the strategic leadership of the Ealing Music Service and the Music Education Hub for Ealing and the development of effective and sustainable partnerships with a range of providers for the benefit of children and young people in Ealing.

His previous roles include over 20 years of teaching music in a range of contexts, including instrumental provision in schools, local authority music services & community organisations and management of an all through school-based music department.

Yogesh has been a Governor at 2 primary schools and is currently Vice President for Education at Watford Speakers, a local Toastmasters International club which supports members to become better speakers and leaders.

Yogesh has developed teaching strategies and resources for the teaching and learning of Indian music, which combine the very best of current pedagogical methods to keep children motivated whilst making sound progress from the start. Colleagues in the UK and Europe have benefitted from Yogesh’s workshops at national events, such as Federation of Music Services, National Association of Music Educators and Music Mark annual conferences, as well as bespoke training for music service staff in Hammersmith & Fulham, Southampton, Wiltshire, Harrow, Milton Keynes and Leicestershire.

Emma Calvert - Champion for Ambition & Quality

Emma was appointed Head of Service for East Riding Schools’ Music Service in 2018 having worked both in music services and the classroom for 18 years. Having spent her career as a secondary classroom teacher and pastoral head, instrumentalist and within music services both as a teacher and leader, she is able to bring a range of skills and experience to her current role.

Emma is a passionate exponent of the importance of music in children and young people’s lives and the right for all to have access to high-quality musical education, activities and experience.

Jan Ford - Champion for Inclusivity & Relevance

Working in the cultural sector, principally in music, Jan has originated and produced many unique and award-winning music engagement programmes in some of the most culturally underserved area in England. She has experience of working with all genres of music, from concept development through to production, delivering ambitious, sustainable, diverse music events and activities with a range of partners including professional orchestras, composers, musicians, venues, festivals, Music Education Hubs, Bridge organisations and local authorities across England.

With a thirty-five-year career encompasses lecturing, training, governance, facilitation, research, marketing, strategic planning and audience development, her inclusive collaborative and co-operative approach enables the widest range of people to participate in a cultural activities and planning processes.

Passionate about music education and the right of every child to be able to participate in, and enjoy music of all kinds, she is currently Chair of Lincolnshire Music Hub. She is also a member of Warwickshire Singers and Trustee of Kenilworth Arts Festival.

Sarah has blonde hair and is wearing a green top with black, prink and yellow leopard print marks on.

Sarah Lee

Sarah Lee has been Head of Service for Surrey Arts, the lead organisation for Surrey Music Hub and Cultural Education Partnership, since 2019. Prior to this, she was Head of Service at Kingston Music Service for over 10 years, during which time she lead a major transformation of the service.

With over 20 years of experience working in Music Education, including as a classroom teacher, peripatetic teacher and advisor for music technology, Sarah is passionate about music education and its potential to change lives.

Her recent work within the cultural sector including leading a number of cultural sector arts partnerships will enable Sarah to bring a wide range of experience to the board at Music Mark.

Sarah has blonde hair and is wearing a green top with black, prink and yellow leopard print marks on.

Clair McColl - Champion for Dynamism

Clair has been Strategic Lead for Dorset Music Service, the lead organisation for Dorset Music Hub, since 2019. Prior to this, she worked for Devon Music Service from 2003 supporting its evolution from a traditional music service into the lead organisation for Devon’s Music Education Hub.

Always an active musician, singer and songwriter since her teens, Clair had very little to do with the formal music education world until she gained a first-class honours combined arts degree in English and Music in 2002. Clair undertook a post-graduate qualification in Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy in 2018, and has spent time both as school governor and as a trustee of Devon and Dorset based charities promoting access to music and cultural activity, including the Devon Arts in Schools Initiative, Artsreach and Changing Key Dorset.

She is highly motivated to use the knowledge and skills she’s accumulated through her experiences to promote inclusion in music education in every sense.

“A musical highlight was my time spent as a vocalist with a nine-piece soul band performing across the South West where I live with my husband, ‘grown-up’ son and two cats Mork & Mindy.”

Jennifer McKie

Jennifer is the Head of Service for Lincolnshire Music Service which is the lead organisation for Lincolnshire Music Education hub. The Hub was awarded the Music Education Council Major Prize in 2019. Prior to this, she led the Hammersmith & Fulham Music Service for 6 years, working as an Advanced Skills Teacher.

Jennifer graduated with distinction from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music where she was awarded the Arthur Bliss Prize for singing.

In 2019, Jennifer was awarded the Clore Fellowship demonstrating enriched and transformative cultural practice and engagement.

Ciarán has short brown hair and is wearing a white shirt.

Ciaran O'Donnell

Ciarán O’Donnell has over 20 years of experience working in Music Education, including nine as a Head of Music Service: Services for Education (Birmingham 2014 – 2018) and currently Wolverhampton Music Service (2018 – present).

He is Chair of the successful Cultural Education Partnership in Wolverhampton and is a serving school governor for a local primary school. He has previously served as West Midlands’ Regional Representative for Music Mark and is an advocate for Music Services and the Arts in schools.

He has two children and spends his free time visiting relatives in Romania and Ireland.

“I remember playing on live TV for Children in Need as a ‘star performer’ alongside jazz trumpeter, Kenny Ball and I didn’t really appreciate how important that was at the time. It reminds me that there are most likely children all over the UK who don’t realise how much experience they are getting from the work of Music Service colleagues across the UK. It becomes memorable after you’ve done it!”

Ciarán has short brown hair and is wearing a white shirt.

Gemma Price is wearing a white blouse and a black blazer. She has wavy brown hair.

Gemma Price - Champion for Environmental Responsibility

Gemma is Director and Head of Service for Bury Music Service, a strategic partner in the Greater Manchester Music Education Hub.

Having spent her childhood playing in Bury Youth Orchestra, The National Children’s Chamber Orchestra and the National Youth Music Theatre, Gemma’s love for music drove her to study at Birmingham Conservatiore with Clive Lander and Nic Fallowfield. After graduation she began working for Bury Music Service as a part time peripatetic violin and piano teacher, whilst also working as a freelance violinist.

Although still passionate about performing and in particular working as a Music Director on music theatre productions, Gemma found her love of teaching to be the driving force behind her career. She now works as the Head of Bury Music Service and is dedicated to improving music education for all children in Bury.

Gemma Price is wearing a white blouse and a black blazer. She has wavy brown hair.

Angela has brown hair and is smiling.

Angela Ball - North West

Angela has been Deputy Head for Bolton Music Service for 9 years, before which, she was head of Knowsley Music Service for 10 years. Angela started her music education career as a head of music in secondary schools in both Norfolk and Lancashire, before moving to work in an advisory and management capacity in local music education settings across the Northwest. She has created and delivered training and support for music teachers across all key stages and has contributed to the development of several regional and national music strategies.

A passionate advocate for equality and diversity in music education, Angela currently leads on the I.D.E.A. (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) strategy for the Greater Manchester and Blackburn with Darwen Music Hub which strives to create an inclusive and sustainable musical offer for all young people within the partnership.

“My earliest musical memory is learning to play the recorder in infant school and having the staring role in the nativity as a donkey (keeping a steady beat on the coconut shells). It goes to show, you never know what may influence a young person to take music further. I’ve never looked back.”

Angela has brown hair and is smiling.

Elen has shoulder length brown hair with a blue ombre at the bottom. She is smiling and is wearing a stripy top.

Elen Derrett - National Youth Music Organisations

Elen is the Youth Leadership Coordinator at Orchestras for All (OFA) and a recent graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, graduating with a BMus (Hons) degree in Music Performance.

As Youth Leadership Coordinator, Elen’s role is focused on creating and facilitating opportunities for OFA’s young people to be involved in the charity’s key decision-making, and the planning and delivery of their work. As a young person and OFA alumna herself, she believes young people are best placed to tell us what they want and need, so it’s essential that their voices and opinions are heard, valued, and actioned.

Coming from a working-class town in North Yorkshire, Elen has faced many barriers throughout her musical journey because of her background but this has only made her more passionate about increasing inclusivity and accessible within music education, and the necessity of the arts.

Elen has shoulder length brown hair with a blue ombre at the bottom. She is smiling and is wearing a stripy top.

Julie Dorr - North East

Before starting to work for music hubs as a school improvement adviser in 2014, Julie’s past lives include that of professional clarinettist with UK-wide touring musical theatre orchestras, peripatetic woodwind teacher, secondary school head of music, music curriculum consultant for Charanga and primary school senior leader and music coordinator. Julie became a Music Hub Lead in 2017 and is passionate about music education, striving to remove barriers to access and ensuring that every child can reach their musical potential.

“It’s hard to choose a favourite piece of music but Louis Armstrong’s ‘Wonderful World’ strikes a chord with me. In the words of Louis, “it ain’t the world that’s so bad but what we’re doin’ to it and all I’m saying is, see, what a wonderful world it would be if only we’d give it a chance”.”

Simon Gray is wearing a blue shirt and a black lanyard with the word 'Staff' printed on. The background is a blurred image of a tree

Simon Gray - Wales

Simon has dedicated over 20 years of his career to music education, sharing his passion and expertise with countless learners and audiences alike. He has been Head of Bridgend Music Service since 2015 and more recently Head of Music & Expressive Arts for Bridgend County Borough Council. He strongly believes in the vital role of the arts in education and strives to ensure that all students, regardless of their background or ability, have equal access to high-quality arts education.

Simon is also the Chair of the Welsh Authorities’ Music Education Association (CAGAC) and a member of the advisory board for National Music Service Wales, where he continues to advocate for the transformative power of music in education.

In addition to his role in education, Simon is also an accomplished performer, having played trumpet/cornet in numerous orchestras, brass bands and big bands. He has also worked as musical director and conductor for a range of ensembles and musical productions. Simon has had a successful career in music education but has previously also worked in technical stage management. This led him to work in theatre, corporate and live events and working with bands and artists from the Spice Girls to Iron Maiden.

“As a student, I was fortunate to receive an unexpected lesson from the American jazz legend Wynton Marsalis. After meeting Wynton after one of his shows, he encouraged me to travel to his next concert in Poole the following day. There, he arranged for me to observe the band’s sound check and then join him on stage for a private lesson before watching the concert from the front row. Wynton’s remarkable dedication to education and his willingness to invest his time generously is awe-inspiring. Having had the opportunity to witness and benefit from it was an incredible experience, which has had a profound and lasting impact on me.”

Simon Gray is wearing a blue shirt and a black lanyard with the word 'Staff' printed on. The background is a blurred image of a tree

Paul Guenault - South East

Paul is the Director of Buckinghamshire Music Trust and has been in this role since October 2014. Before that he spent 23 years in secondary education in various North London boroughs, starting as a music teacher and finishing as headteacher. He continues to play occasionally as a horn player and pianist and to create music as a composer and arranger.

“My journey into music began when I heard a Dennis Brain LP and instantly decided I needed to play the French Horn. I went to my local music centre aged 10 and being quite small was told I’d have to start on something lighter like a tenor horn or cornet (no kinder-horns then). I said no and that I’d wait until I was bigger as that was all I wanted to play! A year later, I started and didn’t look back, with huge credit to a wonderful first teacher, Lancaster Music Centre and then Lancashire Schools Symphony Orchestra, I am a product of the system we all work to protect and develop.”

Mary Mycroft is wearing a grey jumper and necklace. She has blonde hair.

Mary Mycroft - London

Mary qualified as a Secondary Music Teacher in 2001, following study at the Royal Academy of Music and the University of North London. She spent several years working in London Secondary schools before specialising in Primary and Early Years music teaching whilst her own family were young. Mary worked with Hackney Music Service as tutor and Support/Lead Tutor before moving to a middle management position at Newham Academy of Music (now Newham Music). She joined Waltham Forest Music Service as a senior leader in 2012, progressing to Joint Head of Service in 2015 and then Head of Service in 2020.

A multi-instrumentalist at work, Mary is a violin/viola player and singer working with nu-soul duo, Flyt, and is also currently working towards a MSc in Leadership and Management with the University of Roehampton.

“One of my most random music encounters was with Nigel Kennedy when I was about 12; speaking to him after he had performed a beautiful concert of sonatas he drew horns, scars and fangs on the picture of Beethoven on my programme!”

Mary Mycroft is wearing a grey jumper and necklace. She has blonde hair.

Phil Needham - Yorkshire and the Humber

Phil has been leading Wakefield Music Education Hub since 2013 with a strong belief that creative practical music making is for everyone. He feels very privileged to be in a position where he can share his passion and promote the importance of music with teachers and young people of all ages. Previous to this he worked in secondary education for 14 years in various roles including Head of Music, Head of Year and Head of Lower School.

Phil currently gets a great deal of enjoyment from delivering whole class ukulele sessions, African drumming, song writing and directing vocal groups. He provides music CPD across the country, runs workshops in schools and is co-author of a series of nationally recognised publications that help teachers deliver the music curriculum. Phil is also a trustee of Yorkshire Young Musicians and Music and the Deaf.

“It’s hard to pick a favourite piece of music as there are so many but on reflection it is probably those little masterpieces that the young people we teach create. My earliest memories of music were falling asleep on an evening to the distant sound of my mum playing the piano or loud rock music in the car with my dad. Growing up I either wanted to be a music teacher, Bono from U2 or both!”

Kath Page - South West

Kath trained as a secondary music teacher after completing a music degree at Exeter University. Kath worked in many schools across the Southwest region, winning the Teacher of the Year in 2002 before stepping out of the classroom and into advisory roles.. She was the secondary music consultant in Hampshire before joining the Southampton Schools Inspectorate in 2008. Alongside this role Kath went on to become an Artsmark assessor and KS2 strategy trainer. Kath now leads two music hubs and is a lecturer at Winchester University for Music Education

“The musician I would most like to perform with is Elton John – and I almost managed it once! I grew up with his music, and being from Watford, and from a family of football fans I heard about him all the time!”

Lucy Reid is wearing a black and white blouse and glasses.

Lucy Reid - East Midlands

Lucy has been in music education all her working life. She began as a peripatetic woodwind and piano teacher and in 2001 began her journey within Nottinghamshire County Council working with the Arts Support Service. She later became Training co-ordinator and then went on to lead the Instrumental Teaching Service. In 2017 Lucy became Music Services Manager for Inspire which incorporated the teaching service for Nottinghamshire and the Music Hub. Lucy continues to teach in both primary and secondary settings on a weekly basis.

“I am a teacher at heart and continuing to teach keeps me grounded and reminds me why we are doing the jobs we do. I feel passionately that we may only get one chance with the young people in front of us and that they deserve the very best we can offer them. To see the smiles on our young people’s faces when they sing, play or perform is just magical and it opens a door for them to make their own musical memories.”

Lucy Reid is wearing a black and white blouse and glasses.

Mark Steele - West Midlands

Mark has been the Lead for Coventry Music since September 2017, having previously worked in Sheffield and Wakefield Music Service/Hubs and at the charity Orchestra’s for All. Mark has developed the redesigned Hub in Coventry to work with a broader and more diverse group of young people including work in all alternative provision sites in the city, including transformative music programmes enabling young people to return to mainstream settings through the power of music. Music being made accessible for all young people on their terms is core to his belief as an educator and what he strives to do every day.

“My favourite piece of music is Graffiti by Maximo Park – a band that me and my now wife bonded over at University.”

Ben Stevens - East of England

Following a successful scholarship audition to study cello at the Purcell School of Music and the Royal College of Music as a Sir John Ackroyd Scholar, Ben went on to perform regularly with many of the UK’s professional orchestras and West End shows. As his joy of teaching developed and following success in various roles across several music services, he joined Hertfordshire Music Service in 2019 as Music Director. Ben’s passion and focus now is to bring world class musical opportunities to all young people in an accessible and inclusive way, and to enable everyone to discover their own unique musical ‘voice’.

“I played with Brian May at the Royal Albert Hall as part of an orchestra and met him backstage so bucket list ticked! I would love to perform with Yo-Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin, or maybe with Jacob Collier…”

Nick has short hair and is wearing a blue and white patterned shirt and a dark blazer. He is smiling at the camera.

Nick Thorne - National Youth Music Organisations

Nick was prescribed music, in particular the clarinet, from an early age to recover from Asthma that he struggled with as a child. His weekly in-school music lessons enabled him to strengthen his breathing and soon his asthma was a distant memory. Ever since, music has been a huge part of his life.

Following roles at Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Dorset Music Hub, Nick founded the NYO Inspire programme at the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, enabling a broader, more diverse and inclusive culture to the charity. He then joined Orchestras for All as Executive Director in January 2020, which creates inclusive music-making opportunities for young people who would otherwise be excluded.

He is passionate about hearing from underrepresented voices, inclusion and accessibility within music education and looks forward to working alongside Elen to promote the vital role and impact of all the National Youth Music Organisations.

Nick has short hair and is wearing a blue and white patterned shirt and a dark blazer. He is smiling at the camera.

Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason

Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason, winner of the J.M. Barrie Award, is a former lecturer at The University of Birmingham and the mother of seven children. She is also winner of The Royal Philharmonic Society Story-Telling Award for her memoir, ‘House of Music, Raising the Kanneh-Masons’, published by Oneworld in 2020.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, her third eldest was the first black musician to win BBC Young Musician in 2016 and performed at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Two of his siblings are also former BBC Young Musician category finalists and the eldest, pianist Isata, has also presented for the Proms. Collectively, the Kanneh-Masons have performed at the 2018 BAFTA Ceremony, the 2021 BBC Proms, released an album, Carnival, with Decca Classics and played in concert halls across the world. During the lockdown months, the Kanneh-Masons garnered huge audiences for their popular Facebook live performances from their family home in Nottingham. These precious moments of family life and music have been beautifully captured in three BBC documentaries;  ‘Young, Gifted and Classical, The Making of a Maestro’ in 2016; the 2020 Imagine documentary, ‘This House is Full of Music’, and the most recent, ‘A Musical Family Christmas with the Kanneh-Masons’.

Faz Shah

Faz Shah (Farhaan Aamir Shah) is an actor, musician and composer who has performed all over the world and has proven to be a versatile stage performer both in music and in theatre.

Starting his violin studies aged 6 in Oldham, Greater Manchester, Faz went on to pick up the piano aged 9 and beatboxing aged 13. He became passionate about theatre aged 14 and continued his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and then Leeds College of Music. 

Faz became the first Gold Arts Award winner in the Northwest by writing his own play ‘Northern Dust’ and composing the score for it. Faz was then invited to attend an arts reception at Buckingham Palace held by Her Majesty The Queen and the late Prince Philip in order to celebrate and connect young artists with industry stars in 2011.

Faz now performs in various theatres as an actor muso / Music Director or as the composer. He has delivered educational projects and sessions with organisations including the Liverpool Philharmonic, the Hallé Orchestra, CBBC, CBeebies, Music Action International, Theatre in Prisons (TiPP), Stute Theatre, Oldham Theatre Workshop and the New Vic Theatre. He has delivered music projects in over 100 schools nationwide and is a Champion for Music Mark