At all Core Season events, Music Mentors are present to listen to each performance and provide focused, constructive feedback that will help each group continue their musical journey.

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  1. Sarah AylenSarah Aylen

    Sarah is a freelance examiner and choral director. Many of her choirs have gained a national reputation having appeared in radio broadcasts, recorded CDs, undertaken European concert tours and performed in the finals of BBC Radio 3 Choir of the Year. Sarah has been involved in Music Education for over 20 years, latterly becoming Director of Music in a large school. Here she has directed orchestras, choirs and musicals and encouraged a wide range of chamber music and popular music groups. She has also taught pre-school and primary school children and has worked for a music service as a choral animateur.

  2. Patrick BaileyPatrick Bailey

    Patrick studied music at the University of East Anglia before completing his education at the Royal College of Music. This was followed by fifteen years of freelancing as a conductor. He has worked with many professional orchestras, youth orchestras and contemporary music ensembles. His experience working with young musicians led him to work for the BBC Concert Orchestra as their Learning Manager, organising and running the orchestra’s work with young people and families. Currently, he is Education and Community Director for the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

  3. Issie BarrattIssie Barratt

    Issie is an internationally active composer, arranger, conductor, baritone player, record producer and educator who has performed at many leading concert halls, jazz clubs and festivals across the world. Issie directs and composes for her own large ensemble comprising twenty-one of Europe’s leading jazz artists, with whom she recorded her highly acclaimed debut album Astral Pleasures. Issie is also Founder and Executive Artistic Director of the National Youth Jazz Collective.

  4. Phil BatemanPhil Bateman

    Phil had a love of music from a very early age, learning to play piano, flute and saxophone, before going on to study at Birmingham Conservatoire. After university Phil began teaching music in primary schools and drama schools. More recently, Phil worked as Musical Supervisor for the hit West End musical Our House, with songs by Madness. He was also the Musical Director of Billy Elliot the musical, working with Elton John to create the show, which he conducted in its first year. Currently Phil is the Musical Supervisor and Musical Director for I Can’t Sing - the X Factor Musical, by Harry Hill, which will open in Spring 2014 at The Palladium in London.

  5. David BeerDavid Beer

    David Beer is a professional conductor and pianist. He taught music in schools, before embarking on a full-time career as a freelance conductor. He has conducted many West End shows and tours and has appeared on TV, radio, played on film soundtracks, and recorded 3 original cast albums. David was Director of Music at the BRIT School for Performing Arts, Director of Performance at the Academy of Contemporary Music and is a vocal coach at many leading drama colleges. He is also an examiner for London College of Music, and was recently awarded an FLCM for Professional Achievement.

  6. Leonora DaviesLeonora Davies

    Leonora has worked in almost every area of music education. She has taught in both primary and secondary classrooms, was the Inspector for Music and Music Services in the London Borough of Haringey for thirteen years and now works as a freelance music education consultant. In addition to authoring numerous publications, Leonora was Chair of the National Association of Music Educators, the Music Education Council, and was a member of the Music Manifesto Steering Group. She worked as both a trainer and mentor for Trinity Guildhall and as an advisor for Sing Up. She was awarded an MBE for services to education in 2003.

  7. Sam DunkleySam Dunkley

    Sam works as a community musician, running projects across the country for schools, prisons, councils, theatres and various other groups; specialising in large scale singing projects, songwriting and transition in schools. He also runs Performing Arts etc, a company which creates fun and exciting music theatre projects for young people. Sam has conducted at the Royal Albert Hall for the MFY Schools Prom and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall for the Sing for All Chorus. He also conducts Beverley Early Music Festival Schools Chorus and a community choir. Sam’s first instrument is voice, he also plays drums, guitar, bass and piano.

  8. John EvansJohn Evans

    John is a professional session guitarist, composer, songwriter and arranger who has played for Ray Davies, Chris Difford, Liam Bailey, Marti Pellow and The Divine Comedy. John has also appeared on soundtracks for the BBC and Channel 4, arranged music for various ensembles including the BBC Ulster Orchestra and Sinead O’Connor, in addition to playing in various West End shows, including Billy Elliot and Jersey Boys. John teaches composition and music technology at Sussex Downs College.

  9. Rob FarrerRob Farrer

    Rob trained in orchestral percussion at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Upon leaving college Rob joined the pop band The Divine Comedy. He has been fortunate enough to work with artists and organisations such as The White Stripes, Sir Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has played on many film scores, themes for TV programmes and in West End shows. Outside of performing, he is Head of Percussion at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Junior Department.

  10. Sarah FreestoneSarah Freestone

    Sarah is a violinist, guitarist, conductor and arranger. She is a member of the BBC Concert Orchestra and has performed with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Opera House Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Opera North and English National Ballet. She has been the musical director for over forty musical theatre, opera and ballet productions and conducts and presents the Guildford Philharmonic, Dartford Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Thames Gateway and the Kingston University Chorus and Chamber Choir. She also devises and leads creative learning projects for the BBC, Trinity Laban and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

  11. Andy GrappyAndy Grappy

    Andy is a freelance tuba player and has performed with London Symphony Orchestra, The Philharmonia, BBC Symphony and Concert Orchestras and has played on many film and TV scores. Andy has also worked with many leading jazz and world music artists including John Dankworth, The Jazz Warriors, Lester Bowie, Hermeto Pascoal, Sam River, Jason Moran, Courtney Pine and The Grand Union Orchestra.

    Andy played in the musical Chicago for ten years and since leaving has worked with artists as diverse as Tom Jones, Damon Albarn, Bellowhead and Massive Attack. Andy is also Head of STAX Music Centre in Southwark, London.

  12. Adey Grummet Adey Grummet

    Adey is a soprano who attempts to defy classification. She is also a lyricist, animateur, writer, vocal consultant, conductor, historian and gardener with a dark past in musicals and bands. She has created numerous roles in contemporary operas for major British composers and was a founding member of The Shout. She has worked for most of the leading opera companies in the UK and appeared as a concert soloist and recitalist in most major British venues. She is a programme advisor to the Spitalfields Festival and a member and trustee of the writers’ laboratory Book, Music & Lyrics. She works regularly in outreach work for the BBC, was part of the delivery team for Big, Big Sing, advises on vocal health for theatre companies, and teaches on projects in her local schools and with individuals of all ages.

  13. Tony Harris Tony Harris

    Tony is a performer, composer, writer and music educator. Currently he is Principal Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University. Previously he has taught in secondary schools, FE colleges, Birmingham Conservatoire and worked in the education team for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

    Tony is co-author of five textbooks aimed at young composers, author of The Legacy of Cornelius Cardew, and is currently writing a book on the performance artist Laurie Anderson. Alongside his academic career Tony is founder of the experimental music duo The Pound Shop Boys, has performed with The Cornelius Cardew Ensemble and released four albums of experimental electronica. He is also resident percussionist with CoMA East Midlands.

  14. Damien HarronDamien Harron

    Damien is a co-founder of BackBeat Percussion Quartet with whom he has toured internationally. He is known for his interest in many global styles of percussion, which has seen him make recordings for Mode, NMC, NonClassical and Tzadik labels among others. As a composer, Damien has written many works which involve young people, including a large work for the 2002 Blue Peter Prom that combined hundreds of young drummers and singers with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. He has led many creative education projects for organisations, festivals and schools all around the UK and beyond. Currently, Damien is a Senior Lecturer at Leeds College of Music.

  15. Keith HewsonKeith Hewson

    Keith studied music at the Royal Northern College of Music and then Leeds University. He was a secondary teacher from 1972 until 2008. Throughout his teaching career he was constantly involved in the development of school orchestras, brass bands, wind bands and choirs. In 2002 Keith was voted Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year and was given positions on the Specialist Schools Expert Panel and the government’s Music and Dance Scheme Group.

  16. Jennifer JohnJennifer John

    Jennifer is the Artistic Director of Sense of Sound, the award winning company that creates and produces amazing ways to celebrate singing. A vocal coach and mentor specialising in artist development, she is also the manager of Sense of Sound Singers, the national collective of singers, songwriters and vocal coaches working within the commercial music industry. Currently Jennifer is a vocal Lecturer at the Manchester branch of Brighton Institute of Modern Music and where she is also the choral director. Most recently she featured in Gareth Malone's choir series Sing While You Work for BBC 2 as one of the main vocal coaches.

  17. Kate JonesKate Jones

    From early beginnings learning the piano, adding a tenor horn and moving onto the french horn, music has always played a major part in Kate’s life. Whilst she pursued other subjects at university, Kate’s career has focussed significantly on music. From Choir of the Year and the Folkestone Menuhin Violin Competition, to BBC Radio 2’s Voice of Musical Theatre and the BBC Young Musician of the Year. Currently, she produces youth music events for the Mayor of London and in 2012 organised the Big Busk, London’s biggest ever street music competition.

  18. Sheila KentSheila Kent

    Sheila is primarily a teacher. She trained in Manchester and Leeds, during which time she broadcast as both a singer and woodwind player. She has headed music departments and taught children of all ages in schools, with many of her former pupils now being professional musicians. Currently she trains other teachers on Leicester University’s Masters degree programmes, and is an examiner working across the UK and as far afield as Hong Kong and Zimbabwe. She still teaches adults, primarily those involved in musical theatre productions, conducts an adult choir and performs on stage herself on occasion.

  19. Joanna MangonaJoanna Mangona

    Joanna studied clarinet and saxophone at the University of Wales and the Royal Welsh College of Music. This was followed by studies in Ethnomusicology at the University of Natal Centre for Jazz and Popular Music in South Africa. Upon her return to Britain she began working for Lancashire Music Service, initially as Head of Woodwind and then as Wider Opportunities Leader. Joanna now divides her time between working for Lancashire Music Service and Charanga Music for whom she wrote the Inspira programme. As well as teaching, writing and publishing, Joanna has remained active as a performer in theatre, orchestral work, big band and African ensembles.

  20. Jennifer MartinJennifer Martin

    Jennifer started playing the recorder at age 5, piano at age 7, the bassoon at 12 and the organ at 17. By the time she left school, she knew she wanted to be a composer. She went to Edinburgh University and stayed there for the next 18 years, doing a degree in Music and a postgraduate MPhil in Composition, before teaching on the Composition and Music in the Community courses. She has taught in universities, colleges, schools, nurseries, adult training centres and prisons and also ran the Learning programme for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Having returned to a freelance career, she now composes, runs Hebrides Ensemble, mentors young musicians, teaches composition and co-owns a software company.

  21. David McLeodDavid McLeod

    As a brass player and conductor David has performed internationally and can be found performing or recording with brass quintets, big bands, in musical theatre, orchestras and pop bands. David worked for nineteen years as a brass instructor for Midlothian Council and is currently Head of Instrumental Teaching for the same region. He continues to enjoy a varied playing career and conducts Newtongrange Silver Band.

  22. Andy MellonAndy Mellon

    Andy Mellon is a trumpet player, pianist, composer, arranger and musical director. He studied at Goldsmiths College and the Royal Academy of Music specialising in performance and composition. Currently he is musical director of Shifting Sands - a British Council project combining musicians from the UK and the Gulf states. Andy is the trumpet player and original member of the award winning folk band Bellowhead and is an Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre.

    His trumpet playing can also be heard on the soundtracks for many TV shows, films and adverts. As a composer Andy's work includes The Rime of the Ancient Mariner performed at the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall with a cast featuring 120 primary school children, as well as the seven minute opera, The Hartlepool Monkey for Streetwise Opera. In 2011 he was nominated for a BASCA composer award.

  23. Dave MilliganDave Milligan

    Dave studied Jazz and Contemporary Music at Leeds College of Music before settling in Edinburgh in the early 1990s. He is one of the most highly regarded pianists in Scotland, and has gained an enviable reputation as a highly skilled composer and arranger; writing works for large-scale ensembles down to solos, duos, string quartets and numerous arrangements for small groups. He is currently Musical Director of youth folk orchestra The Gordon Duncan Experience at Horsecross in Perth, and is in demand as a guest tutor at numerous youth learning projects.

  24. Gwyn Parry-JonesGwyn Parry-Jones

    Gwyn studied at Manchester University, where he co-founded the university chamber orchestra before continuing with his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. Gwyn taught music before playing with the Hallé Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. He also sang with the BBC Northern Singers and conducted both the Melandra Ensemble and Manchester Camerata. After a period teaching at Salford University College, Gwyn took up an academic post at Reading University where he was Head of Music Activities until his retirement in 2006. He continues to perform and conduct.

  25. Percy PursglovePercy Pursglove

    Percy studied at Birmingham Conservatoire and New School University, New York City. During his stay in New York he performed with a great variety of jazz ensembles. Percy now works as a freelance jazz musician, composer, arranger and recording artist on trumpet, double bass and cajon. He also lectures in jazz at the Birmingham Conservatoire, directs the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Wales and tutors for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland and National Youth Jazz Collective.

  26. Patsy ReidPatsy Reid

    Patsy is one the most in-demand traditional fiddle players in the UK. She has contributed cello, viola and violin to albums by Duncan Chisholm, Bella Hardy, Treacherous Orchestra and Tim Edey. She toured with Kathryn Tickell’s Northumbrian Voices, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman and performed at the London 2012 Olympic celebrations with Zakir Hussain’s Pulse of the World.

    Her unique blend of traditional and classical string techniques have led to many such collaborations, including most recently a trip to Kolkata working with Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani musicians. Additionally she’s recently formed a brand new string trio called VAMM, alongside Marit Fält and Catriona Macdonald.

  27. Jane SebbaJane Sebba

    As a child, Jane was a keen singer and pianist, also teaching herself guitar. She took up the bassoon aged thirteen and went on to join the National Youth Orchestra. A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Jane has been a musician throughout her working career: a performer, teacher, songwriter, composer, editor and arranger. She has worked in theatre, schools, colleges and publishing, and her music for children has been widely published and played on radio, TV and in concert halls all over the world.

  28. Andy StottAndy Stott

    Andy is currently Director of Popular Music Performance at the Royal Northern College of Music. He studied music at the University of Leeds, and completed a masters in Education Management at Liverpool John Moores University. As a performer, Andy has worked as a session drummer and percussionist. He has also worked extensively in the field of musical theatre as a musical director. In 2001 Andy was a producer and the Musical Supervisor for the first UK tour and West End run of the award-winning Broadway musical RENT.

  29. Eric TebbettEric Tebbett

    Eric began playing the trumpet at the age of seven and was a member of The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for three years. After being awarded a Preston-Simpson Scholarship he entered the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 1970, where he studied singing, piano and trumpet. Eric has performed extensively in Europe and the USA, as well as giving solo performances on both radio and television. For five years he was a member of The International Staff Band of The Salvation Army, before playing with the celebrated GUS Band for three years.

    After various teaching posts in schools and colleges he became Head of Brass and Percussion for Northamptonshire County Music Service and conductor of the Northamptonshire County Youth Orchestra. Recently he has worked as Chorus Director and Assistant Conductor for Central Festival Opera and he has sung the Evangelist in both Bach's St John and St Matthew Passions and appeared with Ely Cathedral Choir and Bath Camerata.

  30. Lisa TregaleLisa Tregale

    Lisa studied saxophone and voice at University of York, before working for the Dartington International Summer School, evenutally becoming the organisation's Executive Producer. This was followed by the role of Director of Beaford Arts, a rural arts organisation working with young people and communities across northern Devon. More recently Lisa was appointed to create South West Music School. Lisa is now the Head of Education and Participation of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, working across all areas of musical participation from early years to work with older people and everything in between.

  31. Alison WalkerAlison Walker

    Alison Walker is a creative musician, enjoying a varied and stimulating career as a performer, teacher and workshop leader. She plays recorder and cello, having studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Holloway, University of London and Vienna Conservatoire.

    Alison has a passion for music education and inclusive music making, delivering music workshops and musical collaborations for organisations including the BBC Proms, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal College of Music, MFY and for the Wigmore Hall. She is Recorder Tutor at Royal Holloway, University of London and teaches cello and recorder at all levels. Alison is also a tutor on the Royal College of Music’s undergraduate Outreach Programme.

  32. Sarah WattsSarah Watts

    Sarah studied at the Royal College of Music in London and plays the bassoon, saxophone and flute, but is best known now as a composer. Her published works include the Razzamajazz series, Band in a Book, Red Hot Song Library, Red Hot Recorder Tutor and Class Act. All these are published by Kevin Mayhew Ltd. Sarah is currently Artistic Director of the National Youth Music Camps. She enjoys presenting workshops and inset days in this country and abroad.

  33. Stephen WhibleyStephen Whibley

    Stephen is a percussionist and composer. Currently he performs in the BBC Concert Orchestra, and is also heavily involved with the orchestra’s education programme leading samba bands, junk percussion groups, and most recently coaching at a festival of Indian raga music. Stephen has previously performed with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and Northern Sinfonia in addition to various ensemble and solo playing. As a composer, Stephen’s compositions became recognised when he formed the percussion quartet 4-MALITY who performed at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, receiving critical acclaim for his piece for quartet, Monsoon.

  34. Ben WoodgateBen Woodgate

    Ben is a freelance Clarinetist and Saxophonist who has enjoyed working within many genres of music over the past 20 years. His career has taken him from Symphonic Wind Bands to Symphony Orchestras to West End musical theatre. He has performed with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Northern Ballet Sinfonia, the Bands of the Grenadiers, Coldstream, & Irish Guards, as well as playing in recording sessions for the National Theatre and the Old Vic Theatre Company. As well as deputizing on various other West End shows he can currently be found in the pit orchestra of the smash hit musical ‘Billy Elliot’ where he has held the woodwind 2 chair for the past two years.

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