Our People

Meet our team

Young Sounds has a small staff team who all work remotely from home, collaborating with partners and peripatetic teachers across the UK to provide musical opportunities.

In each of Furthering Talent partner Music Education Hub regions we work with a local Connector. Our Identifying Musical Talent and Potential training is facilitated by musicians with a wealth of experience.

We have a very active board of directors and we are honoured to work with a wonderful array of dedicated patrons. We are hugely grateful to all our volunteers; those who give their time and support our fundraising, marketing and events on an ad-hoc basis.

Click on any profile below to find out more about the individual.

Staff

Young Sounds has a small staff team who all work remotely from home.

Hester Cockcroft

Chief Executive

Hester Cockcroft

Chief Executive

Throughout my career my focus has been on helping enable young people to fulfill their potential through creativity and the arts: it’s tremendously rewarding and exciting work. In all the organisations I’ve run the common theme has been tackling disadvantage: I strongly believe that every child, whatever circumstances they’re born into and whatever struggles their families might be facing, has the absolute right to develop their talents and be supported to gain the confidence they need to find the right path for them and fulfill their potential in life.

I’ve previously led a multi art form organisation delivering creative learning programmes in schools with young people, teachers and artists, producing major collaborative performances and long-term multi-disciplinary creative team initiatives. Prior to this I led a poetry and literature agency, producing its annual festival, creative education programmes and public art and cross-art commissions. Consultancy includes evaluation of Creative Partnerships and youth arts programmes and designing contemporary literature promotions.

AYM genuinely helps transform young people’s lives and that’s why I’m so proud to be leading our mission – to give talent a chance.

Hannah Turner

Awards Programme and Operations Manager

Hannah Turner

Awards Programme and Operations Manager

Music has always been a very important part of my life and identity. I was lucky to have access to a music education, learning violin and piano from a young age. I later studied music at the University of Surrey before moving into a career in arts management.

I began working for Young Sounds in 2015 and have enjoying being part of a such an ambitious small charity. As Operations and Communications Director I take responsibility for much of the day-to-day operations of the charity, as well as running our Annual Awards programme.  

In my spare time I am a keen songwriter and can be found at many an open mic night with my guitar.

Neil Phillips

Furthering Talent Programme Manager

Neil Phillips

Furthering Talent Programme Manager

Music has been the thread that has run throughout my life. I grew up in the Worcestershire and am a self-taught guitarist, singer and songwriter. I was lucky enough to tour internationally and record several albums as a professional musician in rock bands and have had songs included in films and computer games.

I retrained as a youth worker and went on to manage a variety of projects for young people facing barriers, including young carers, those in the criminal justice system and those at risk of offending.

I’m currently based in Lincolnshire and now oversee the Furthering Talent programme at Young Sounds. I’m incredibly proud of the work we do as an organisation and feel privileged to work with such a fantastic team.

I still enjoy writing music and play the occasional gig, but just for fun these days. I’m also a trustee at Severn Arts back in Worcestershire.

Sanpreet Janjua

Development Manager

Sanpreet Janjua

Development Manager

I truly believe that all children should have an equal opportunity to pursue their talents regardless of their financial situation and background. So I’m thrilled to be working for Awards for Young Musicians.  As Development Manager, I have the wonderful job of looking after AYM’s generous supporters and donors. Without this support, we wouldn’t be able to do the work we do and give talented children and young people the opportunity to reach their potential.

Previously, I worked at Nottingham Playhouse in a similar role raising much needed funds for the theatre’s community, education and outreach work.

AYM truly makes a difference to hundreds of children every year and I’m proud to be able contribute to this great work.

Maria Hemmings

Finance Officer

Maria Hemmings

Finance Officer

I have worked in the accountancy and finance sector for over 30 years, running my own business for the last ten years. Qualified as an AAT Licenced Accountant since 2000, I bring lots of experience to AYM.

I've worked in a variety of roles for a range of clients, from the retail sector, through to advertising agencies, local government, construction and creative media; I also worked at Bristol Zoo! This variety helps keep me up to date with the constant changes in the sector and the challenges this brings.

Working with AYM has been very rewarding.  An increase in staff, budgets, reporting and donations has resulted in a very busy role. The support AYM gives to young musicians is so worthwhile and the current projects are well supported and are helping children and young people to fulfill their potential, providing vital funding for their development and enjoyment.

Matthew Tiller

Digital and Communications Co-Ordinator

Matthew Tiller

Digital and Communications Co-Ordinator

Since my early teens my world has revolved around music. My desire to pick up a guitar and join a band has guided me through various parts of my life and led me to many opportunities, introduced me to some amazing people and carried me to some exciting places along the way.

Coming from a low-income background myself I’m aware of the obstacles young people face when trying to pursue their creative interests. I was very fortunate to have access to a free youth studio on the edge of my estate in my teens. My time there was crucial in setting me on my way towards studying Music Technology at college. There I found myself, achieving triple distinction and meeting lifelong friends and collaborators who shared my passion for music. Without that initial free access, I highly doubt I would be where I am today.

Before coming to AYM I spent a couple of years as a playworker at several adventure playgrounds in Portsmouth. I would later leave to focus on my University studies before spending almost a decade working at the much loved grassroots independent music venue The Wedgewood Rooms.

Besides my responsibilities at ‘The Wedge’ I was involved in several fundraising events. For the past ten years I’ve run an annual charity event called The St Valentine’s Day Massacre raising thousands of pounds for our partners at Youth Music. I was also involved in Dials Festival, a multi venue music festival in support of Solent Mind.

My own lived experiences and the transformative power of music is what drew me towards AYM. They provide so much support for such a small team and I'm thrilled to join them. I hope I will able to communicate the amazing work of my colleagues and the incredible talents of the young musicians we support.

Katherine Rigg

Development Administrator

Katherine Rigg

Development Administrator

*Katherine is currently on maternity leave and will not be able to respond to e-mails. For matters related to fundraising please contact our Development Manager Sanpreet or Katherine maternity cover Georgie*

I am passionate that all young people should have access to creative opportunities and feel empowered to explore their talent, without anything holding them back.

My career started in theatre – where I worked in fundraising and administrative roles for local theatre companies, regional venues and a West End theatre. I then joined the JMK Trust, where I supported the General Manager across fundraising and programme administration. I have also held administrative roles in retail and Higher Education organisations.

I’m thrilled to now be part of the team at AYM, helping to grow support for the charity’s fantastic work. I feel very fortunate to have had access to music education as a child. I learnt to play the trombone, which would not have been possible without support and teacher encouragement. As a shy child, I felt freer and happier whenever I played this unapologetically loud instrument! Although I stopped playing in my teens, I benefit to this day from the confidence that learning an instrument gave me.

I strongly believe every child should have the right to pursue their musical talent, whatever their circumstances. I’m proud to be supporting this work at AYM.

Charlotte Lincoln

Awards Programme Administrator

Charlotte Lincoln

Awards Programme Administrator

My musical journey began at primary school where I first encountered a cello. I was immediately captivated and spent the rest of my childhood taking any opportunity I could to learn and play. Music was, and still is, a way for me to express myself, be creative and have fun with friends.

I went on to study at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where I gained a BMus in Music Performance, followed by an MA in Community Music at the University of York. During this time, I became increasingly aware of the transformative power of music and when I wasn’t practising, I was teaching early years music classes and taking music into schools, hospitals, care homes and prisons.

These experiences formed my belief that everybody should have the chance to make music, no matter their circumstances or background. I am proud to be AYM’s Awards Programme Administrator and to be able to play a part in bringing musical opportunities to so many young people.

Sarah Barton-Wales

Partnerships Manager

Sarah Barton-Wales

Partnerships Manager

I have been involved in Music for as long as I can remember, being lucky enough to attend a brilliant school where Music was at the heart. After learning the clarinet and piano and playing in the school concert band, I discovered a passion for singing and went on to attend stage school and study for a degree in Performing Arts and Arts Management. My career has been varied from professional musical theatre, vocals on dance records and primary school teaching to name a few! 

Education has remained a passion throughout my career and I am now absolutely loving my role as Local Coordinator for the Awards for Young Musicians’ Furthering Talent programme and as Acting Deputy Head of Service for Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub. The roles combine well to enable me to bring a lifelong love of music to young people who otherwise would not get the opportunity.  I am looking forward to supportingas many young people, whatever their circumstance, to access music. 

In my spare time (!) you might still catch me singing with professional function band ‘Raise the Roof’ or appearing in a musical in one of Leicester’s theatres! 

Jessica Burroughs

Events Producer

Georgie White Winter

Development Administrator

Georgie White Winter

Development Administrator

I am a big believer that creativity is for everyone, and everyone should have access to it. Ensuring that young people have access to music and the opportunity to explore their creative potential in this field is not only beneficial for individuals but also for society as a whole. I am passionate about the future of young people and a strong believer that inspiring-education should be a given rather than for a select few. My background working for art galleries, creative charities and tutoring at University has given me the experience of working with some interesting people and extremely talented young people.

I love working in development, and using my skills in strategy, fundraising, and client management within the charity sector. I also love supporting young creatives and their potential, especially working in areas that have historical experiences of social and economic injustices. I have experienced first-hand the importance of gaining access to opportunity in a young person's life which in turn increases hope and development.

I am proud to be part of AYM, a vital charity that makes a real difference to so many people's lives and the future of our cultural landscape in the UK.

Lee Marchant

Furthering Talent Programme Coordinator

Sophia Loizou

Programme Manager: Identifying Talent

Furthering Talent Connectors

In each of Furthering Talent partner Music Education Hub regions we work with a local Young Sounds Connector

Chris Stringer

North-West Midlands Connector

Abimaro Gunnell

Lewisham Connector

Abimaro Gunnell

Lewisham Connector

I am a singer songwriter and music leader from South London, and music has always been a very important part of my life. Since graduating from a Popular music Degree at Goldsmith's in New Cross, I’ve worked with young people to help them access music. I'm excited about my role to work with young people in Lewisham to help shape their individual musical journeys, and to find new ways to keep young people engaged in music. When I’m not working in this role, I write and release my own music and take care of my baby daughter. On the weekends I love to walk and spend time eating good food with my family and friends.

Shelley Gabriel

Hull Connector

Stuart Hazleton

Greater Manchester Coordinator

Helen Borg

Bradford Connector

Helen Borg

Bradford Connector

Performing music had always been so important in my musical life that I decided to go into brass teaching so I could pass this love of music on to others. After teaching brass at a few schools in Liverpool I moved to Bradford to take up a full time brass teaching post. 

I have now been at Bradford Music Service for twelve years. I love the diversity of my job. I teach the full range of brass instruments in small group and whole classes. I conduct the Junior Brass Band and the Youth Wind Orchestra and I am also involved in the teaching and auditioning of the pupils who attend our gifted and talented scheme, The Delius School. 

I am now Bradford’s Furthering Talent local coordinator for AYM. I have had a lot of help in my musical journey from a variety of different people in different places and I realise how fortunate I am to have had these people to guide me in the right direction. I now aspire to be the person who guides the pupils on the furthering talent scheme in Bradford on their musical journey so that they can truly fulfil their musical potential. 

Rachel Greene

Sheffield Connector

Rachel Greene

Sheffield Connector

Lindsay Thomas

Manchester Connector

Rachel Davies

Worcestershire Connector

Emma Mapplebeck

Sunderland Connector

Helen Duxfield

Liverpool Connector

Mentors

Each Furthering Talent Ambassador Hub has a Mentor on hand to help young musicians on their musical journeys.

Amy Bannister

Sheffield

Amy Bannister

Sheffield

Amy Jasmine Bannister is a singer-songwriter with significant music industry experience having played in smaller venues but also larger festivals. She is a trainee Music Leader at Sheffield Music Hub and Music Education student at the University of Sheffield.

Matthew Crisp (Alumnus)

Bradford

Matthew Crisp (Alumnus)

Bradford

Every time I applied to AYM for help with funding my violin lessons, I wrote on the application form that my goal was to inspire others and to bring music to people who otherwise would not have been able to access it. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I worked on a diverse array of projects in the community, from sharing in the first musical experiences of babies and toddlers who sparkle with rhythm as they begin to make sense of the world, to collaborating with elders who provide new perspectives on our society through their music-making. As I worked on these projects, I began to feel that my music-making was achieving the goals I had laid out in those AYM application forms. I went on to study a master’s degree in community music and am informed by this practice in all of my work as a musician.

Since 2018, I have worked on AYM’s Furthering Talent and Talent To Talent programmes, mentoring young musicians, capturing their voices at events, and creating new music with them in which they compose and improvise sometimes for the very first time. I feel immensely proud of what these programmes have achieved and relish the opportunity to work on the ground with these young people, supporting their growth as musicians. In addition to this work with the young musicians, I provide administrative support to Helen Borg at Bradford Music & Arts Service, working with her to deliver the Furthering Talent programme in this area.

James Curgenven

Staffordshire

James Curgenven

Staffordshire

James Curgenven is a Leeds-born, Yorkshire based musician and woodwind specialist. James completed his masters degree at the University of Hull where he focused on improvised performance. The idea of improvisation communicating information from the improviser to the listeners is something that James is incredibly passionate about. This is something that is central to his professional life as a musician.

These ideas of communication through improvisation were employed by James during his previous engagements with AYM in Hull and Leicester. Allowing young musicians to embrace improvisation, rather than hide from it, has allowed them to express themselves in ways they couldn't before. In turn allowing them to develop their own creative practice and relate improvisation to the musical things that they do more regularly. This is central to the way that James mentors and teaches; showing musicians all the possible tools at their disposal. Therefore, allowing them to take more agency in their musical development and give them as many options and routes for them to follow as possible.

James also works regularly as a performer within a wide variety of different genres and styles. His improvisatory woodwind quartet, Karmic Script, is centred around communicating philosophies, practices, ideas and stories completely through improvisation. Their most recent project has been based in exploring Buddhist philosophies through improvisation.

James is also a member of the award-winning Wisteria Quartet, a saxophone quartet set up at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Wisteria Quartet has also launched a party band named Purple Cosmos.

James also performs regularly with a wide range of bands across the country. He performs regularly with the ska band Special Bru as well as with his own organ trio Equilibrium.

James is also a woodwind teacher at the University of Hull, Musica Kirklees and Bradford Music and Arts Service where he enjoys watching his pupils develop at a wide range of abilities and ages.

Leaphia Darko (Alumna)

Lewisham Music

Leaphia Darko (Alumna)

Lewisham Music

'I’m not an academic, not mathsy – but I realised I understood sound in a way that other kids didn’t.'

Effective communication is a talent in its own right, and for some people the initial glimmers can appear in strange and unconventional ways. For actor and musician Leaphia Darko, this began at a very young age when she found herself connecting with sounds in a way other children her age simply weren’t able to. A nursery teacher asked the class to wrap elastic bands around a shoebox and prang away, and Leaphia vividly recalls her fascination with the myriad sounds such a simple instrument could produce. This proved to be a defining moment in her life, one that set the tone for years to come.

Moving from Junior Trinity music school to studying at RADA, which she described as a “dream come true,” Leaphia has never forgotten the power of that early experience. Now both a professional actor and musician, she sees communication as central to her two creative lives. As she puts it: “music and acting are both about talking to people.” And all because of a bit of elastic tied around a shoebox…

Elfair Dyer (Alumna)

Greater Manchester

Elfair Dyer (Alumna)

Greater Manchester

Welsh harpist, Elfair, completed her master’s degree at the RNCM in Manchester, after gaining her BMus degree at the conservatoire with first class honours as an ABRSM Scholar. Elfair has embarked on a professional career as a harpist; releasing her debut solo album with SAIN records, touring with CLOUDS Harp Quartet, and freelancing with orchestras. In 2016, Elfair returned to the UK after living in Bangkok, working as a harp teacher and harpist in residence at the Tamnak Prathom Harp Centre. Elfair’s work as a Live Music Now! artist has led to her passion of working as a music practitioner in health settings, bringing music from the concert hall to challenging and more intimate environments. 

Recently, Elfair has enjoyed touring operas with Mid Wales Opera and Ensemble Cymru. Latest musical projects include working at the nursery at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and delivering Carnegie Hall's Lullaby Project for families in North Wales. Elfair lives in Greater Manchester and has a young daughter.

Elfair was supported by AYM when she was a teenager, and is delighted to be one of our mentors for the Furthering Talent Programme, working closely with the Greater Manchester Hub.

Victoria Goddard

Worcestershire

Victoria Goddard

Worcestershire

I started playing the trumpet at 7 years old and after 11 years of constant development in my passion, music performance is something I want to pursue during my time, not just at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, but for the rest of my life. Not many children keep constant interest in something for a while but for me it’s different. I knew I wanted to play a musical instrument; the trumpet was my favourite out of all the brass instruments, and after first picking it up, I had a moment of complete clarity - this was what I wanted to dedicate my life to. From starting in beginner/youth wind bands, and jazz ensembles through Seven Arts in Worcestershire, I have acquired a wealth of social and musical experience. This has allowed me to experience different avenues in music, whether it’s film music or jazz, my musical surroundings have helped shape my performing abilities as a performer. Whilst studying at the Conservatoire I’ve had many opportunities presented to me which I would love to put into practice when I graduate – things like performing and recording film compositions and playing in pit bands in theatres which I’ve had the pleasure of doing a couple times with Dynamik Theatre based in Worcestershire. By being apart of the Seven Arts community, you meet some amazing people who encourage and shape you as a musician through your time there, and I am truly lucky to have been, and continue to still be involved in such an awesome organization.

Jennifer Moss (Alumna)

YPPP Co-ordinator

Jennifer Moss (Alumna)

YPPP Co-ordinator

As a musician and educator, I am inspired by how music creates opportunities for people to express themselves, and fulfil the need to be seen and heard. I also take the responsibility of creating accessible and inclusive opportunities to learn within music seriously. Awards for Young Musicians aligns so wonderfully with these values, and I am proud to have worked with the organisation since 2018, after having been a previous awardee myself. As a mentor for the Furthering Talent programme, I work one-on-one with several young musicians; creating relationships, sharing our musical journeys and offering guidance. In this capacity, I have also had the chance to participate in Get Togethers, Awards Days and projects on the Talent-to-Talent programme as an Alumni Mentor. I now coordinate the Young People’s Programme Panel; an initiative to give a voice to our Furthering Talent students about how the programme is run.

Some favourite experiences from my time with AYM include supporting the workshop of singer-songwriter-composer Ayanna Witter-Johnson at a recent AYM Awards Day, and being in awe of her creativity and imagination with the activities she chose to lead. I have also been absolutely blown away when mentees have shared something incredible they have created with me, and equally other times when they have shown impressive maturity and self-reflection. It’s an amazing experience to be in a position to really hear and see these young people, and their talent, and to provide lots of encouragement!

Outside of AYM, I am a freelance clarinettist and chamber musician based in Scotland; I am a member of the Silver Keys clarinet quartet, and the Pancevski Duo. I have recently played in projects for Lammermuir Festival Orchestra, the Glasgow Barons, Puppet Animation Scotland, and the Nevis Ensemble. I am an educator committed to constant development of my skills; this year I am a Creative Learning Ambassador for the Benedetti Foundation. I have a love of song and poem-writing, and am currently exploring incorporating these disciplines into my musical activities.

Nina Savicevic (Alumna)

Manchester

Nina Savicevic (Alumna)

Manchester

A prize winner of both national and international competitions, British pianist Nina Savicevic is the recipient of the prestigious Wright Scholarship at the Royal Northern College of Music. She began her studies under Dr Galina Kulish at St Petersburg's Rimsky Korsakov Conservatoire, Russia, and later on with Dr Caroline Diffley. She gave her very first concert after three months. In 2013 Nina was awarded a full scholarship to study under Hilary Coates at Wells Cathedral School, one of the UK’s specialist music schools.

During her time at Wells, Nina gained success in various competitions, most notably winning first place at the Birmingham Piano Competition, first place in the piano category at Taunton Young Musician, and third place and Audience Prize at the Windsor International Piano Competition. She has competed in BBC Young Musician and was a finalist at the Scottish International Youth Competition. Nina was also awarded the Robert Lewin Scholarship from Awards for Young Musicians which enabled her to work alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra at Maida Vale Studios.

Born in Exeter 2001 of Croatian-Serbian descent, Nina often performs across the UK and abroad, actively promoting Serbo-Croatian classical music. Her overseas engagements include concerts in Croatia, Serbia, France, Germany and Hungary.

Nina is a keen chamber musician. Nina also takes an interest in British music, and performed Finzi’s Eclogue for Piano and Strings with the Exeter Symphony Orchestra. She also recently became part of the European Piano Teachers' Association (EPTA).


During 2021/2022, Nina performed across the UK, most notably at the 1901 Arts Club in London, St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh and at the Cheltenham Music Festival and Girton College, Cambridge. She also became a mentor for Awards for Young Musicians, where she works alongside young musicians and guides them with their studies.

Nina also teaches piano and has built up quite a number of pupils.

https://www.ninasavicevicpiano.com

Young People's Programme Panel

In 2021 we started the Young People’s Programme Panel; a group of young musicians participating in our Furthering Talent programme, who meet regularly online. Chaired by Young Sounds mentors, this is a space for them to chat about their experiences on Furthering Talent and explore the ideas for how to make the programme even better.

Sessions are led by young people and are an opportunity for them to meet their peers from different parts of the country and make some important decisions about how Young Sounds support other young musicians. Click here to find out more.

Identifying Musical Talent and Potential  Facilitators

Our ITP training is delivered by ten creative and curious musicians with a wealth of experience as performers, educators and community practitioners.

Natasha Gawlinski

Natasha Gawlinski

Natasha has been working in music education for over 20 years. Originally trained in teaching Key Stage 2 and 3 music she then went on to work in both secondary and primary schools teaching and coordinating music across whole schools. She has also worked for many years teaching woodwind and is currently one of the lead saxophone teachers working for Create Music in Brighton and Hove whilst studying part time for a Masters in the Teaching Musician at Trinity Laban. Natasha also plays saxophone in local big bands and a saxophone quartet.

“I feel really excited to be part of the team of facilitators due to be delivering the IMTP training. It is an amazing opportunity to promote AYM’s philosophy and incredible training programme across the country and hopefully enable so many more children to access musical opportunities within their areas.

Beth Gifford

Beth Gifford

Beth is a passionate educator, performer and multi-instrumentalist specialising in group music teaching and English folk dance music. She studied Viola at Birmingham Conservatoire and was a member of the first cohort on Music Master’s and BCU’s PGCEi in group instrumental teaching.

Currently working for Camden Music Service and the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), Beth believes strongly that music should be accessible to all and endeavours to support young musicians in their journey wherever possible e.g. she’s run CPD sessions for EFDSS and Music Mark on folk music for beginner instrumentalists. Participating in AYM’s Identifying Musical Talent and Potential training changed Beth’s perspective as a teacher, giving her the confidence to encourage musical experimentation from her students and help them access more opportunities. Beth is delighted to now be facilitating this fantastic training and to continue her own learning and growth as an educator with AYM.

Jon Kille

Jon Kille

Jon has been a music educator for 40 years, beginning his career as a teacher in primary/middle schools and subsequently as head of a music service overseas. He has worked as musician-in-residence in schools all over the world from Italy to the Falkland Islands to Brunei with the common aim of making music accessible to all.  Specialising in creating and delivering whole class instrumental programmes and workshops, Jon thrives on demonstrating the musical energy that can be created by groups of children and students of all ages who are well taught by well-taught teachers.  Becoming one of the Facilitators for the AYM ITMP programme will enable Jon to continue to share his passion for making access to music education fairer for all and he is looking forward to working closely with the energetic AYM team. 

Ben McCabe

Ben McCabe

Ben plays drums, french horn and sings in numerous bands across rock, folk, jazz, electronica and global music. He has played festivals and had airplay with Deep Cabaret, Natural Causes, Kollega and Paddy Garrigan and the Stroller Priests and also plays with ceilidh band Striding Edge one of Cumbria’s most in demand function bands. 

He is the musical director of Off The Rails creative jazz orchestra, now in its 25th year, founded Orbit Jazz Workshop and leads More Music’s Baybeat Streetband, a vibrant intergenerational community band.

At More Music community music and education charity he delivers creative music making workshops, heads up the early years programme and is the project manager for family friendly festivals in Morecambe including Catch The Wind Kite Festival.

Ben is looking forward to working with Awards for Young Musicians as an Associate Facilitator on the Identifying Musical Talent and Potential Programme. Having had such fantastic opportunities at school he is really glad to have this chance to learn more deeply about the eight facets of musical potential that the team have identified, and to help teachers and music leaders recognise them.

Helen Mead

Helen Mead

Helen has been a primary teacher and music specialist for over 20 years. She’s worked for music hubs as a peripatetic instrumental teacher and music curriculum teacher and for the past 11 years she has been based in a vibrant, inner-city primary school in Southampton. Helen is passionate about the importance and impact of music on the lives of every child regardless of their circumstance and loves seeing the joy that music brings to the children she teaches. She lives in Hampshire with her husband, two children and two dogs. Helen is really excited to be involved in the ITMP programme. She is looking forward to empowering  teachers to see the musical potential in their pupils and to share her stories of the impact of music in the classroom.

Hugh Nankivell

Hugh Nankivell

Hugh Nankivell is a reflective social musician and compulsive songmaker based in Bristol. Hugh has worked for AYM on developing this ITP programme during the last fifteen years. He also works as an Associate Musician for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra leading on intergenerational music-making, in hospitals, care settings and leading CPD training. His approach is to encourage and provide access for everyone to engage with music-making.

Clare Portman

Clare Portman

Clare’s passion for music grew from a very young age. At three she began to pick out familiar TV theme tunes on the keyboard, and at seven she started writing her own songs. Going on to learn the violin and guitar in her early teens, Clare’s enthusiasm grew further when she studied music at Dartington College of Arts in Devon. She moved to London after graduation, joined several bands, and enjoyed playing gigs all over the country to a variety of audiences.

Clare studied for a PGCE at Goldsmiths College, London, becoming a primary school teacher with a view to eventually teaching music in primary schools. She was a class teacher in a south London school for three years before the opportunity to teach music came up with her local music hub. Within a year she was teaching music exclusively and leading a team of peripatetic tutors. Clare has taught music in several primary schools over the last seven years, and finds it the most rewarding of jobs, especially working with children at primary level.

Clare currently lives in the West Midlands. A freelance musician and music teacher she’s also a singer-songwriter and performs across the Midlands. Clare is very excited to be working with AYM, and ultimately helping many more young musicians gain access to high-quality music lessons.

David Ross

David Ross

David has over a decade of experience as a music educator, working in primary, secondary, whole class, specialist instrumental and ensemble settings. He is passionate that high quality music education should be available to all and that every young person should be supported to explore their full musical potential. Working as both a teacher and Coordinator for AYM’s Furthering Talent programme with Sheffield Music Hub for more than three years has allowed him to work closely with families, schools and teaching colleagues to break down barriers to access for those who need it the most. David is looking forward to connecting with Music Hub colleagues across the country as a part of the ITMP team.

Rachel Thomas

Rachel Thomas

Rachel is based in Leicestershire where she holds a variety of musical roles including teaching, performing and working as an examiner for Trinity College London. She has recently become Central Bands and Orchestras Lead for Leicestershire Music and is looking forward to enabling more young people in the county to participate in ensemble playing.

After graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama on French horn, Rachel performed with many leading orchestras in Britain and Europe including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Opera House Orchestra, Birmingham Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Welsh National Opera Orchestra and the European Sinfonietta. She worked extensively with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra including a world premiere performance for 5 solo horns and orchestra at the BBC Proms in 2003.

Rachel has always taken a keen interest in developing musical talent in children – from leading music education workshops in London’s inner-city schools to performing and teaching music to children from many varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds in Hong Kong. She loves to travel and has a particular fondness for the countries and food of South East Asia.

” I am delighted to be involved with AYM’s ITMP programme. Discovering musical potential in young people and working with them to develop their talent is a hugely satisfying and fulfilling experience, and I am really looking forward to getting started!

Trustees

We have a very active board of Trustees

Lynda Beament

Trustee

Lynda Beament

Trustee

I was taken to an AYM event by a friend and was astounded at the talent and musicality of the award winners that performed that evening. I was also overcome by the experiences that the performers shared with the audience and the real difference that AYM had made to their lives. It was clear to me that without the support of AYM these exceptionally talented and very committed and hardworking young musicians would not have had anything like the opportunities that they had enjoyed. AYM had provided not only financial support to pay for instruments, specialist tuition and transport but also fantastic performance opportunities and and mentoring schemes that money just can’t buy. I was really impressed that these opportunities were being given to young people from lower income families who so often miss out.

I was also heartened to hear that AYM don’t just support the super talented! Their Furthering Talent programme is designed to identify young people in the state system who have musical aptitude but limited means to pursue it. As an amateur singer whose interest, kindled at state school, led to a lifelong passion which has been the basis of many friendships, extensive travel and much personal comfort and joy I felt duty bound to become an AYM supporter!

I have recently joined the board of Trustees to advise on communications and am really enjoying working with a great group of committed people

Max Brown

Alumnus Trustee

Max Brown

Alumnus Trustee

Thanks to AYM, I could continue my piano lessons and study the subject I love at A-Level. Now I’m studying Music at the University of Edinburgh with knowledge and confidence I would never have without their help, from workshops in music-based mentoring and identifying potential to building great connections and learning how to network. Now that I’m an alumna trustee I can’t wait to give others the same support I was given, making meaningful change to people’s lives, and I’m excited to see where we’ll go next!

Fintan Canavan

Trustee

Fintan Canavan

Trustee

Although I don’t play an instrument and sing only very badly, I have always loved music and singing, something I grew up with at home. The radio was always on in our house, which resulted in my exposure to an eclectic mixture of genres. My father had a particular love for opera, which led me to the classical world.

Encouragement from my parents and access to educational opportunities allowed me to have a career I would otherwise not have had. I have carried this awareness through my life and career. Being a trustee at AYM will allow me to bring my enthusiasm and energy into supporting talented young people to achieve their promise and become the next generation of musicians and singers.

Fiona Harvey

Trustee

Fiona Harvey

Trustee

I studied music at university and have spent most of my working life in the professional music sector. I run my own consultancy which covers music education policy; event and project management; operations and governance; organisational change and strategic development. I currently hold roles with the Association of British Orchestras, PRS for Music Foundation and Sound and Music. I enjoy using my extensive professional network to match people with ideas and to develop creative solutions.

I am an active musician, singing backing vocals with a country and western band; and I am an active consumer of the arts, in particular new music, theatre, art and so on.

I became a Trustee of Awards for Young Musicians because I believe that all children and young people should have the opportunity to develop and realise their potential and talent and I am proud to be part of an organisation that provides support, information and guidance to enable them to do so.

Karen Humphreys MBE

Trustee

Karen Humphreys MBE

Trustee

Karen studied cello with Donald McCall and Moray Welsh at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and, upon completion of her studies,  joined the staff of the School of Academic Studies at the Royal Northern, specialising in aural training. She was an examiner for the ABRSM for over twenty years, examining in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia as well as in the UK. 

Karen was the Head of the Junior Department at the Royal Northern College of Music from 1998 to 2023 and in 2019 she was awarded an MBE for her services to music education.

Having served on the adjudication panel for AYM for many happy years, Karen was delighted to be invited to join the Board of Trustees in March 2021.

Philip Jones

Chairman

Philip Jones

Chairman

Growing up in the 60s and 70s in a family of limited financial means, I was very lucky to live in a town where children were able to learn to play musical instruments free of charge; music became a big part of my daily life, both in and outside school. It was more than just being able to play: music gave me an essential leg-up in the world, leading circuitously to a career in management consulting and latterly in property development.

Sadly most of that state support is now gone, but within the limited resources we have, AYM can still make that essential difference for those we can reach.

Michael Littlechild

Trustee

Michael Littlechild

Trustee

I have been a Trustee of AYM since 2003 and I am a director of a company I co-founded called GoodCorporation, which specialises in evaluating how ethically companies behave and how far they do and they say they do. I have spent a lot of time travelling around the world checking out how Western companies are operating in emerging and developing countries. One of the things we look at is how they give money and in-kind support to the communities they work in.

I studied economics and modern languages. Languages are like music – there is always more to learn and you have to constantly practice them. Luckily I do a lot of my work in the languages I studied so I get plenty of opportunity.

I think I am the least musical of the AYM trustees as I have never played any instrument, though I spend a lot of time listening and going to performances, especially opera. I support AYM because of personal experience: I do not come from an educated family background and the support of my parents, teachers and many others gave me the opportunity to do everything I’ve done in both work and play; I can’t pay them back directly, but I hope I can make a worthwhile contribution here.

Beverley Mason

Trustee

Beverley Mason

Trustee

I have been involved with AYM since 2002, as its Chair for a while, and I’m proud to be one of the board of Trustees (they are amazing) where I lead on diversity and provide oversight, strategic direction and help with events and fundraising. That’s mission critical. In practical terms, the best thing that I can do is to be a 24/7 ambassador – to promote the value of our work and to make “things” happen through connections and ideas. One thing is for sure, I am zealous about AYM being relevant for a culturally rich, diverse and changing modern society, so that not only those young people whose families can afford to pay to develop specialist musicianship skills get ahead, but also to make sure that those with talent and in most need have a good opportunity to reach their potential, excel and grow with confidence. For a hardy and ruthlessly efficient organisation like ours that means  – hats off and hands in.

It’s important to me that, as an independent charity, we keep true to our vision and keep young people at the heart of what we do, and yet maintain our agility in working with partners, policy makers and donors alike so that all our fundraising efforts are all about responding to their needs and not about running a machine. That’s what I feel we are here to do – to help those talented and dedicated young people fulfil their hopes and dreams of becoming the best kind of musicians that they can possibly be.

Thomas Sharpe KC

Trustee

Thomas Sharpe KC

Trustee

I grew up in a very musical house. My father ran away from school to play jazz with the Foreign Legion in North Africa.  My mother studied as a concert pianist. Music has been central in my life through school, Cambridge, life as an Oxford don, and the Bar.

I believe strongly in offering opportunities to all musicians. I was a trustee of Help Musicians UK for 19 years, helping older musicians and students. AYM supports those from a young age and focuses not just on those who are talented but also in financial need.

Laurie Watt

Trustee

Laurie Watt

Trustee

Laurie Watt is someone who loves music and live music-making and wants to ensure that there’s a vibrant future for classical music. That starts with enabling young people with talent commitment and potential not to miss out on getting the best possible music education. Laurie is a Senior Counsel with Charles Russell Solicitors having joined the firm in 1972, now taking on an enhanced international ambassadorial role for the firm. Laurie also lectures on corporate governance issues and has given talks in London, Mexico, Hong Kong and Nigeria. A horn player in his spare time, he has successfully managed to combine his two passions of law and music throughout his career. Charles Russell represents a number of orchestras and other music-related organisations. “If I hadn’t played the French horn, I certainly wouldn’t have joined this firm.”
Laurie became a Trustee for AYM in 2007 and continues to serves on the boards of several music organisations including the Association of British Orchestra Trust where he is the chair, an Honorary solicitor to the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a Council member for The Royal Philharmonic Society.

Patrons

We are honoured to work with such an array of dedicated patrons.

Sir Simon Rattle OM CBE

Founding Patron

Sir Simon Rattle OM CBE

Founding Patron

Sir Simon Rattle was born in Liverpool and studied at the Royal Academy of Music.

For some years Principal Guest Conductor of the Rotterdam and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, in 1980 he became Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, stepping up to Music Director from September 1990 until August 1998.  He is also Founding Patron of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and since the early 1990s, has been a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

In September 2002 Sir Simon became Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker, where he remained until June 2018.

In September 2017, Simon took up the position of Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra.

More

Dame Evelyn Glennie CH DBE

Founding Patron

Dame Evelyn Glennie CH DBE

Founding Patron

One of AYM’s founding Patrons, Dame Evelyn Glennie CH DBE, is the first musician to create a full-time career as a solo percussionist. She performs internationally with the world’s finest orchestras and ensembles. In 1992, Evelyn performed the first percussion concerto in the history of the Proms in London, paving the way for future generations of percussionists and composers. Evelyn had the honour of a playing a leading role in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games in collaboration with director, Danny Boyle. In 2018, Evelyn has built upon this inter-disciplinary experience by composing the score for Gregory Doran/The Royal Shakespeare Company’s visionary new production of Troilus and Cressida and joining forces with Jazz Trio ‘HLK’ among a roll-call of other superb sound and performance artists. With over 90 international awards and honours to date, including the Polar Music Prize, the Companion of Honour and several GRAMMYS, Evelyn is also a leading commissioner of new works for solo percussion, with more than 200 pieces to her name. Her solo recording discography extends to over 40 CDs, The film ‘Touch the Sound’ and her TED speech remain testimonies to her approach to sound-creation and listening. Evelyn is committed to realising her mission – to Teach the World to Listen – while developing a public centre that ‘encourages everyone to discover new ways of listening, thereby enhancing communication and social cohesion.

www.evelyn.co.uk

Jess Gillam MBE

Patron (and Alumna)

Jess Gillam MBE

Patron (and Alumna)

AYM supported Jess from the ages of 13 to 17, helping with the cost of her Saturday studies at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music and enabling her to access a host of musical opportunities, including performing at prestigious venues on the charity’s behalf. In 2016, at the age of 17, Jess made history as the first saxophonist to win the Woodwind Final of BBC Young Musician of the Year. She then reached the Grand Final at London’s Barbican Hall, and performed Michael Nyman’s “Where the Bee Dances” with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, to widespread critical acclaim. In 2017 she made her BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall, where she performed as a soloist with both the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Since becoming an Alumna of our Awards programme at age 18, Jess has continued her connection with the charity by becoming a mentor to younger musicians on our Arts Council England-funded peer-mentoring programme, Talent to Talent; now she is our youngest patron. AYM turned 20 in 2018, as did Jess!

www.jessgillamsax.co.uk

 

Deschanel Gordon

Patron (and Alumnus)

Deschanel Gordon

Patron (and Alumnus)

Born in Hackney, Deschanel was supported by our Furthering Talent programme with funding for jazz piano lessons and mentoring from a professional jazz musician from 2009 until 2013. He graduated from Trinity Laban in 2020 with first class honours and subsequently won the prestigious BBC Young Jazz Musician in November 2020. In his new role as our Alumni Patron, Deschanel will support our work in a range of ways, from leading master classes for young jazz musicians to performing on our behalf.

“AYM’s help with the costs of piano lessons during my teenage years was absolutely crucial to my musical development, as was the amazing mentoring I had too. I’ll always remember other musical experiences AYM enabled as well, such as a visit to the Royal Festival Hall with other Furthering Talent students to see pianist Emmanuel Ax perform. It’s great to be able to give something back now as a Patron!”

Julian Lloyd Webber OBE

Patron

Julian Lloyd Webber OBE

Patron

One of AYM’s first patrons, 

Professor Julian Lloyd Webber is the Principal of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Widely regarded as one of the finest musicians of his generation and described by Strad magazine as ‘the doyen of British cellists’, Julian Lloyd Webber has enjoyed one of the most creative and successful careers in classical music today. As founder of the British Government’s In Harmony programme and the Chair of Sistema England, he continues to promote personal and community development in some of England’s most deprived areas. He was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Music in 1994 and – in recognition of his lifelong devotion to the music of Elgar – he was elected President of the Elgar Society in 2009.

At the age of sixteen Julian Lloyd Webber won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music and he completed his studies in Geneva with the renowned cellist, Pierre Fournier. Since then he has collaborated with an extraordinary array of musicians from Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Lorin Maazel and Sir Georg Solti to Elton John and Stephane Grappelli.

Julian Lloyd Webber has premiered more than sixty works for cello and he has inspired new compositions from composers as diverse as Joaquin Rodrigo and Malcolm Arnold to Philip Glass, James MacMillan and – most recently – Eric Whitacre. His many recordings have received worldwide acclaim: his Brit-award winning Elgar Concerto conducted by Lord Menuhin was chosen as the finest ever version by BBC Music Magazine and his coupling of Britten’s Cello Symphony and Walton’s Concerto with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner was described by Gramophone magazine as being “beyond any rival”. He has also recorded several highly successful CDs of shorter pieces including Cello Song, Unexpected Songs and – together with Jiaxin Lloyd Webber – A Tale of Two Cellos: “It would be difficult to find better performances of this kind of repertoire anywhere on records of today or yesterday” – Gramophone.

Julian is married to fellow cellist Jiaxin Cheng. He was the London Underground’s first official busker and he was the only classical musician chosen to perform at the Closing Ceremony of Olympics 2012. In April 2014 Julian received the Incorporated Society of Musician’s annual Distinguished Musician Award.

www.julianlloydwebber.com

Alpesh Chauhan OBE

Patron

Alpesh Chauhan OBE

Patron

Principal Conductor of the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini in Parma since autumn 2017, Alpesh Chauhan is praised for his musical insights and natural rapport with the players. He is a regular guest with major orchestras including the BBC orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Orchestre National d’Île de France, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale RAI, and the orchestra of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Born in Birmingham, Alpesh frequently appears with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra where until 2016 he held the position of Assistant Conductor. In 2022 he was awarded an OBE for his outstanding contribution to the arts. 

https://www.alpeshchauhan.com/

Duncan Ward

Patron (and Alumnus)

Duncan Ward

Patron (and Alumnus)

Duncan became a patron in 2012 saying: “It’s just a thrill to have quickly changed around from being a beneficiary to being able to give something back. I wouldn’t be able to be where I am or follow my musical dreams were it not for charities like AYMIt’s so important for young musicians who don’t have the means to be given those chances. It’s a privilege and a thrill. It’s really exciting.”

Sought after as both conductor and composer for an increasingly exciting range of projects around the globe, recent highlights include with the Frankfurt Radio, London Symphony, Bayerische Rundfunk, Swedish Radio, Bamberg, Trondheim and Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestras, Orchestre de Paris, BBC, Dresden and New Japan Philharmonics, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Glyndebourne Opera, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), New York.

www.duncan-ward.co.uk

Ksenija Sidorova

Patron

Ksenija Sidorova

Patron

Praised as “superbly subtle and virtuosic” (The Arts Desk) and “an amazingly accomplished artist” (Classical Source), Ksenija Sidorova is the leading ambassador for the accordion.

Encouraged to take up the instrument by a grandmother steeped in the folk tradition of accordion playing, Ksenija started to play the instrument aged eight under the guidance of Marija Gasele in her hometown of Riga. Her quest for more exposure to both classical and contemporary repertoire took her to London where she became a prize-winning undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music studying under Owen Murray.  She subsequently received her Masters Degree with Distinction. 

In 2009 Ksenija made her debut at London’s Wigmore Hall and appeared in the Park Lane Group Young Artists Showcase prompting The Times to single her out as“one of the real finds of the series”. In May 2012 she became the first International Award winner of the Bryn Terfel Foundation, and this year appears at the Royal Albert Hall as part of his 50th birthday celebrations alongside Sting.

A recipient of both the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Martin Musical Scholarship and Friends of the Philharmonia Award, as well as the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal, Ksenija has just been appointed a Junge Wilde Artist by the Konzerthaus Dortmund.

Ksenija regularly collaborates with Miloš Karadaglić, Juan Diego Flórez, Nicola Benedetti, Thomas Gould and Joseph Calleja. She works extensively with Avi Avital who, along with Itamar Doari, comprise the trio for the “Between Worlds” project which this year sees performances at Shakespeare's Globe, throughout Germany and on a substantial US tour (including dates in Boston, Washington and New York) in spring 2016. She has also appeared on Arte’s “Stars von Morgen” with Rolando Villazón.

Forthcoming highlights include performances of Erkki-Sven Tüür Prophecy with the NHK Symphony and Paavo Järvi; a tour with Latvian National Symphony Orchestra; and concerts with the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, WDR Rundfunkorchester, and at the Cheltenham and Bad Kissingen Festivals.  She makes her debut at the Vancouver Recital Series in September 2016.

www.ksenijasidorova.com

Gavin Higgins

Patron

Gavin Higgins

Patron

Described as ‘boldly imaginative’ [the Times], ‘a talent to watch’ [New York Times] and ‘one of the most interesting voices of his generation‘ [Limelight], Gavin Higgins is one of Britains most exciting and gifted compositional talents.

His career thus far has seen Higgins commissioned by – and work with – orchestras, ensembles and soloists including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Manchester Camerata, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble 10:10, The Royal Opera House, Rambert, the Carducci Quartet, the Fidelio Trio, the Piatti Quartet, David Cohen and Mark Simpson.

Gavin is currently Composer in Association with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

"I’m very proud to become an AYM Patron. I was one of the first recipients of the award when I was just 16 and it literally changed my life. So exited about working with this amazing charity and helping young musos from low income families!"

“There have been various points where I’ve almost stopped composing because I need to earn some money. I’m glad I’ve persevered because things are good at the moment but If someone has talent they shouldn’t be forced into a decisions between doing the thing they’re good at or not, simply because their parents aren’t rich. It doesn’t feel right or fair.”

Shabaka Hutchings

Patron

Shabaka Hutchings

Patron

Shabaka became a patron in 2012.

Over the last half decade, Shabaka Hutchings has established himself as a central figure in the London jazz scene, which is enjoying its greatest creative renaissance since the breakthroughs of Joe Harriott and Evan Parker in the 1960s. Hutchings has a restlessly creative and refreshingly open-minded spirit, playing in a variety of groups—most notably, Sons of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming, and Shabaka & the Ancestors—and embracing influences from the sounds of London’s diverse club culture, including house, grime, jungle, and dub. “The common theme in my career as a jazz musician has been wondering if what I’m doing is the thing that I should be doing,” says Hutchings, who studied classical clarinet at college at London’s prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama. “Me learning about jazz, how to play and interpret, was always a case of just trial and error. I think where I’ve come to recently is I’ve stopped trying to think ‘Is what I’m doing valid? or ‘Is what I’m doing part of the jazz tradition?’ and just see myself as a musician.”

www.shabakahutchings.com/

 

 

Miloš Karadaglić

Patron

Miloš Karadaglić

Patron

Firmly positioned as a leading exponent of his instrument, “The hottest guitarist in the world” (Sunday Times), Miloš Karadaglić, continues to top record charts and delight audiences worldwide.

His first three releases on Deutsche Grammophon achieved major chart successes around the globe and turned him into “classical music’s guitar hero” (BBC Music Magazine) overnight. His 2014 recording of Rodrigo’s concertos had the Sunday Times calling him “The King of Aranjuez”, while “Blackbird – The Beatles Album” (2016) was received with unanimous acclaim.

Miloš has appeared in recital at almost all major concert halls and festivals around the globe and has worked with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. He is also the first ever classical guitarist to have performed in solo recital at the Royal Albert Hall in London, The Guardian commenting: “More extraordinary by far, however, was the way a single guitarist… could shrink the Hall’s cavernous space into something so close.” The Independent concluded: “… a sleight of hand that makes Karadaglić not only a magician, but a serious and accomplished musician”.

In August 2018, Miloš returned to the Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Symphony Orchestra to give the world premiere of ‘Ink Dark Moon’, an exciting new guitar concerto written for Miloš by Joby Talbot. The performance, part of the 2018 BBC Proms, was received with great enthusiasm, with BachTrack commenting that “Karadaglić provided a supremely tailored performance, exploring the full range of sounds and colours.”

milosguitar.com

Tasmin Little CBE

Patron

Tasmin Little CBE

Patron

Tasmin Little is a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (FGSM), a Vice President of the Elgar Society, an Ambassador for The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts, and for Youth Music, a Patron of Awards for Young Musicians, and has received Honorary Degrees from the Universities of Bradford, Leicester, Hertfordshire and City of London. In 2016, she was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music (Hon RAM) by the Academy and the University of London.
Her multi-award winning and varied career encompasses international concerto and recital performances, master classes, workshops and community outreach work. Tasmin’s discography and performance schedule reflect her wide-ranging repertoire and she has given numerous World Premiere performances including concerti by Willem Jeths, Robin de Raaf, Stuart MacRae, Robert Saxton and Dominic Muldowney. Her newly commissioned work, Four World Seasons by Roxanna Panufnik, was premiered as a live broadcast on the BBC at the start of Music Nation weekend, leading up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In 2008, Tasmin launched her project, The Naked Violin, aimed at breaking down barriers to classical music by releasing a free CD for download on her website, and performing in the community where music is rarely heard. Within days of the CD release, 6,500 websites had linked to Tasmin’s site and within a few months, more than half a million people had visited and downloaded. She plays a 1757 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin.

www.tasminlittle.com

Photo (c) Benjamin Ealovega

Zeb Soanes

Patron

Zeb Soanes

Patron

Zeb Soanes is a familiar, trusted and authoritative voice across BBC Network Television and Radio. Zeb joined AYM as a patron in 2013 because he’s keen to add his voice to giving young people a chance to reach their musical potential.

Zeb is a Radio 4 Newsreader and regularly puts the nation to bed with the Shipping Forecast; he was invited to read the forecast at the Olympics to a worldwide audience of over a billion. On Television his voice launched BBC FOUR, he made a film about famous voices for The Culture Show and is a regular presenter of the BBC Proms. Recently he narrated a series of documentaries for the Dr Who 50th anniversary and played the Voice of God in a special live broadcast of Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde to celebrate the composer’s centenary.

www.zebsoanes.com

Photo (c) Charlie Carter

Thomas Gould

Patron

Thomas Gould

Patron

Described as an artist who “refuses to be defined by a single genre” (The Guardian), Thomas Gould is a violinist with wide-ranging musical interests. Gould has fast established for himself a reputation as one of Britain’s foremost interpreters of contemporary music whilst also remaining dedicated to the core classical repertoire.

Highlights of his 2015-16 season included performances of Max Richter’s Vivaldi Recomposed with Britten Sinfonia at the Barbican, Thomas Adès' Violin Concerto with Orchestra of St Luke’s in New York and with Philharmonie Zuidnederland in the Netherlands, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending at the Royal Festival Hall, and the UK premiere of Anthony Pateras’ Double Concerto for Violin and Live Electronics with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Highlights of previous seasons include performances of Bruch’s Violin Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, performances of Nico Muhly’s Concerto for Electric Violin with the LA Phil New Music Group and West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the London premiere of John Woolrich’s Violin Concerto with Britten Sinfonia, and performances with pianist Alasdair Beatson of Hans Abrahamsen’s Double Concerto with Britten Sinfonia and Sonderborg Symfoniorkester.

Gould is leader of Britten Sinfonia, one of the world’s most celebrated unconducted ensembles, and frequently directs the orchestra from the violin. His recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations arranged for strings by D. Sitkovetsky with Britten Sinfonia (Harmonia Mundi, 2015) was received to great critical acclaim. From 2005-2016 Gould was leader of Aurora Orchestra.

Gould’s solo albums include Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascendingwith Sinfonietta Riga (Live in Riga, Edition Classics, 2015), an album of contemporary works for solo violin (Bach to Parker, Champs Hill Records, 2014), and Nico Muhly’s Seeing is Believing with Aurora Orchestra (Decca, 2011). He has recorded two albums with the swing band The Man Overboard Quintetand several other jazz releases.

Gould trained at the Royal Academy of Music where he is now an associate. He plays a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin made in 1782.

www..thomasgould.com

Paul Lewis CBE

Patron

Paul Lewis CBE

Patron

Paul Lewis is internationally regarded as one of the leading musicians of his generation. His cycles of core piano works by Beethoven and Schubert have received unanimous critical and public acclaim worldwide, and consolidated his reputation as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the central European classical repertoire. His numerous awards have included the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year, two Edison awards, three Gramophone awards, the Diapason D’or de l’Annee, the Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana, and the South Bank Show Classical Music award. He holds honorary degrees from Liverpool, Edge Hill, and Southampton Universities, and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

He works regularly as soloist with the world’s great orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, NHK Symphony, New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, and the Royal Concertgebouw, Cleveland, Tonhalle Zurich, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Philharmonia, and Mahler Chamber Orchestras.

www.paullewispiano.co.uk

Professor Derek Aviss OBE

Patron

Professor Derek Aviss OBE

Patron

Professor Derek W. Aviss OBE was born in South London and developed his musical interests as a choirister in a local church choir. When his voice broke he looked for an alternative voice and took up the ‘Cello. Four years of study at Trinity College of Music launched him on a career as a performer and, very quickly, he also discovered the joys of being involved with music education. After six years away from Trinity, his old College invited him back to teach the ‘Cello as an occasional teacher. 37 years later Derek retired from Trinity (now Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance) as its Executive Director, previously having been joint Principal of Trinity Laban and Principal of Trinity College of Music.

A life long passion in music education has led Derek to his present portfolio of responsibilities where, in addition to several ongoing consultancies, he is involved with many musical charities as a non-executive director and patron. He was particularly pleased to have been asked to a patron of AYM, as it gives him the opportunity to help talented young musicians to achieve a similar start in life to the one he was fortunate to have provided for him through funding from the State.

Derek Aviss was awarded an OBE for services to Higher and Music Education in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List.

Ayanna Witter-Johnson

Patron

Ayanna Witter-Johnson

Patron

Ayanna Witter-Johnson is a multi-talented singer, songwriter, pianist and cellist. She has a phenomenal mastery for seamlessly crossing the boundaries of classical, jazz, reggae, soul and R&B, to imprint her unique musical signature with her virtuosic tap, strum and bow with her cello into her sound and vibe.

A British-born Jamaican, her music is a body of work that represents, celebrates and pays homage to her ancestral heritage, culture and identity.

“I’m delighted to be be a Patron AYM. My relationship with the organisation started as a donor and founder of the AYM Rose Walker Award for Woodwind, so I know first-hand that AYM bring immeasurable value to young musicians nationwide with support that makes a huge difference to early careers. Increasing and growing AYM’s impact and reach to diverse artists is important to me and I look forward to being part of AYM’s incredible future work.”

Founder

Michael Lewin

Founder

Michael Lewin

Founder

As a hi-fi consultant, one of Michael Lewin’s great pleasures was to show people ways to reproduce music in their homes at a quality-level which they previously had no idea could be attained. As Operations Director of the UK trade association for specialist hi-fi dealers, he helped members raise standards and provided training courses, as well as working with the press and public to promote the benefits of real hi-fi, and acting as an unofficial industry ombudsman.

Since childhood, music has played an important part in his life; he has sung as an amateur for 40 years.

He is delighted that (his uncle) Bob Lewin’s collection of violins and bows has been used not only to help talented young musicians but also to enhance the opportunities for musical education in the UK.

Volunteers

We are hugely grateful to all our volunteers; those who give their time an ongoing basis, listed above, and the many more who support our fundraising, marketing and events on an ad-hoc basis.

Edward Webb

Volunteer Photographer

Edward Webb

Volunteer Photographer

I studied music at university and have spent most of my working life in the professional music sector. I run my own consultancy which covers music education policy; event and project management; operations and governance; organisational change and strategic development. I currently hold roles with the Association of British Orchestras, PRS for Music Foundation and Sound and Music. I enjoy using my extensive professional network to match people with ideas and to develop creative solutions.

I am an active musician, singing backing vocals with a country and western band; and I am an active consumer of the arts, in particular new music, theatre, art and so on.

I became a Trustee of Awards for Young Musicians because I believe that all children and young people should have the opportunity to develop and realise their potential and talent and I am proud to be part of an organisation that provides support, information and guidance to enable them to do so.

Stephanie Kulesza

Volunteer Opportunities Coordinator

Stephanie Kulesza

Volunteer Opportunities Coordinator

I first heard Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf  when I was five years old, and since then, music has been a huge part of my life. I was able to attend some wonderful Robert Mayer concerts for children and soon began learning the flute and piano and joining the choir at school. Eventually I studied singing for four years at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama including two years on the opera course.  After several years singing professionally, in between bringing up three children, I decided to go into the administrative side of music.

I took up jobs at the London Symphony Orchestra, Harold Holt Music Management and Decca Records, then in 1999 I joined BBC Radio 3 where I worked on the Lunchtime Concerts, the Opera and the Proms Season, carrying out research for the presenters, arranging recording sessions, booking artists and liaising with agents and concert venues.  I recently retired and after having met Philip Jones at a concert I became very interested in the work of AYM.

I was so impressed by the young AYM Award winners who performed at the House of Commons, that I offered to become a volunteer. Having been so lucky with my own music education, I am really keen to further AYM’s work in helping talented young musicians and my aim is to help them acquire as wide an experience as possible of the wonderful world of music.

Awards Adjudication Panel

We're very fortunate to have some amazing support from an expert panel of adjudicators. They help us determine which young musicians are most deserving of receiving an Award. Comprising a number of specialists holding senior positions within music education on a national level the panel combine many years of performance, teaching and management experience with specialist instrumental and compositional knowledge. This richness of understanding and expertise is essential in ensuring a rigorous and equitable selection process.