Meet the team
The SEDMC team are a friendly bunch – comprised of experienced management staff, professional musicians and dedicated trustees.
We all share the belief that high-quality musical experiences can have a life-changing impact for young people, and we work together to ensure more young people in the East Midlands have access to these opportunities.
All our ensembles are directed by professional musicians – who are masters of their craft and experienced teachers and mentors too. Our conductors inspire, challenge and encourage the young musicians of SEDMC to push their boundaries and develop their confidence.
Our staff team are all DBS checked, undertake regular safeguarding training and are monitored both internally and externally to ensure we always deliver the very highest standards.
SEDMC’s Ensemble Directors are supported by a fantastic management and administration team who keep everything running smoothly!
Director of Music & Senior Wind Band
Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Alison took up the flute after being handed a bent wooden fife to try whilst at Junior School! She joined Derby Youth Orchestra, her local music centre and County Orchestra, before going on to study a music degree at the University of Huddersfield and PGCE at Trent Park, London, alongside performance diplomas and flute studies with a professor at RCM.
Alison’s had a varied career as a teacher, mentor, music educator and orchestral flautist. She performs with many local and national orchestras, and has been a long-term member of Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra and the British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.
SEDMC highlights include conducting an unbelievably moving performance of Nimrod at the Menin Gate, Ypres; and the Senior Band achieving a Gold Award at the National Concert Band Festival at RNCM in 2018.
Alison loves being with children and young people making music together – from the excitement of their first sounds on an instrument to the huge sound of a full wind band or orchestra. She hopes all the fantastic music-making and friendships made at SEDMC will remain with each member for their entire life – as it has hers.
Whilst learning clarinet in his first school orchestra, Andrew was told he wouldn’t do very well – but he proved his teachers wrong and went on to achieve a grade 6!
Andrew’s been interested in music from an early age, and first got involved at SEDMC as a parent in 2002, when he bought Tom along to join. He soon decided his skills would be better utilised as a ‘desk volunteer’, which he did until being appointed Centre Co-ordinator in 2009. In his role, Andrew takes care of all the non-musical aspects of the Centre.
Alongside this, he works as a Music Support Practitioner for whole-class music programmes in primary school. Andrew particularly likes the comradery, friendliness and support among SEDMC students and enjoys watching them develop as musicians and young people.
Saturday Strings & String Along
Matthew began learning cello in year 4 and moved on to double bass at secondary school. He was a member of SEDMC from year 5 to 13 – before going on to study music at Bath Spa University and the University of Nottingham. After gaining a masters degree, Matthew became a double bass specialist, teaching for Derbyshire Music Partnership.
Matthew enjoys a varied playing career in orchestras, bands and shows – including a memorable performance of West Side Story at the Minack Theatre, Cornwall. He currently performs regularly with Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra and The Helix Ensemble.
No day at SEDMC is the same; Matthew loves starting new repertoire with his group and encouraging them to think as an ensemble. Alongside music, he’s an ardent cat enthusiast!
Big Band & Senior Wind Band
Tom first got involved in music at the beginning of primary school and soon after joined a beginner band at SEDMC, later know as the ALL STARS band! He continued his music education both in and out of school achieving a BA Hons degree in Jazz from Leeds Conservatoire.
Tom’s most memorable musical highlights include performing a new work by Gavin Higgins at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms in 2012 and performing as part of a big band with ‘jazz legends’ including Bill Geldard and Tony Fisher onboard a Saga cruise ship.
As an ex-member of SEDMC who progressed to being a career musician, Tom feels proud and nostalgic about seeing the ensemble members take a similar journey to himself, gaining places at Music College or University.
Tom’s day job is a Music and Managing Director of local performing arts company, Kristian Thomas Company, of which he is also a co-founder. Whilst oversees the company’s day-to-day running, he is also a musical director for many theatre shows, youth theatre classes, and KTco choir – Voices.
Justin was bought up listening to a wide variety of music, and grew to appreciate the many different styles and instruments being played. He began playing the drums aged 11, and joined several bands while at school. Justin went on to study Popular Music and Music Technology at Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies.
He has had some incredible experiences as a performer, from musical theatre to playing at Rock City and Download Festival. His love of teaching is obvious and is always amazed at how well they do – especially a grade 1 pupil who achieved a grade 8 distinction in just one year!
Justin’s days are full of teaching drums, guitar and ukulele in schools, followed by evenings performing, arranging and producing music and family time! He finds his SEDMC role incredibly rewarding – focusing on turning practice into performance, which gives a purpose and aim to rehearsals. He loves the variety of his work and feels very lucky to spend so much time with people who share his enjoyment and passion for music.
Intermediate Wind Band
After being inspired by an instrumental demonstration at primary school, Amy began her musical education playing the clarinet and finalised it with a first class honours degree from York St John University.
However, it was at SEDMC that Amy’s passion for music really blossomed, and she’s participated in many music centre tours as both a student and teacher. She loves seeing her pupil’s successes in their graded exams and performances, and their enjoyment making music in the fun environment at SEDMC.
Amy is now a freelance musician and teacher, working in a variety of settings. She’s a member of Blackwood Clarinets and performs regularly with many local theatre groups, bands and orchestras.
Prior to studying music at the University of Nottingham, Becky initially taught herself recorder, followed by lessons on flute and classical guitar. Becky works as an accredited teacher and delivers KS2 whole-class instrumental lessons on flute and ukulele. She’s training to work with KS1 and EYFS children, and feels it’s extremely important to set the foundations for future generations of musicians.
Alongside teaching she’s kept busy looking after her young family, playing with Ashby Concert Band, arranging and composing her own music, and performing with her folk band, Calling Time.
Becky feels privileged to work with the SEDMC students, helping them develop their skills and become confident young adults whilst making fantastic music together.
SEDYO & Theory Club
Being from a musical family, Chris took up a brass instrument in primary school and went on to study music through to University level, finally combining it with Education in his Masters degree. He began his teaching career in Derby and is presently the Head of Music at The Ecclesbourne School, Duffield.
Chris has been part of SEDMC for almost 20 years – initially as a member and more recently as a teacher! He loves the opportunities it gives for both children and adults to come together, make music and build long-lasting friendships.
Among his musical highlights is performing at the National Ice Arena alongside Torvill and Dean for the Olympic Torch Ceremony in 2012.
Tuck Shop Manager
Chamber Strings & SEDYO
Paul began playing the violin aged 8 – following in the footsteps of his elder sister, who wasn’t too impressed! He went on to play in his county youth orchestra and local music centre, before studying violin at the Royal Academy of Music, and orchestral playing at Goldsmiths College.
As a player, something just ‘clicked’ when Paul was playing the Gershwin Piano Concerto in Paris with the RTE orchestra, and he knew he couldn’t go wrong with his life choice! He’s had many highlights over a varied performing and teaching career, including being just a few metres away from James Ehnes performing Bach.
Paul teaches children and young adults at all ability levels and is the violin tutor for Derbyshire County Youth Orchestra. He has and will continue to inspire many young people to play the violin with love and understanding, as he does. As for SEDMC, Paul says – “I just love it – all of it!”
Clara comes from a very musical family and wanted to join in with her older sister and mum who both played the cello! She studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music in Cardiff – and not only loved being at music college, but also the fantastic opportunities including performing alongside musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and violinist Joshua Bell.
Clara is the principal cello with Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra and delivers whole-class instrumental lessons for KS2 children in Derbyshire. She tutors for local youth orchestras and especially loves directing the string groups at SEDMC, where they have lots of fun and make some lovely music together.
Intermediate Wind Band & Brass Band
At 11 years old, Adam got involved with music through Kirkbymoorside Brass Band, where his dad was the junior band master. Beginning on baritone and moving on to the euphonium, he won numerous awards and was proud to play in the National Youth Brass Band for 5 years. However, a highlight for Adam – as a 16 year old player – was being named the “Junior Euphonium Champion of the World”!
Whilst studying for his degree and MA at Huddersfield University, Adam was lucky enough to perform with several of the world’s premiere brass bands, including Black Dyke and Grimethorpe. He was a featured soloist at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, before moving to Derbyshire to become a teacher.
Adam currently works as a full-time peripatetic brass teacher in the East Midlands and spends his spare time performing with several ensembles and being a Daddy! He enjoys Music Centre – seeing the students progress through the ensembles reminds him weekly how important making music together can be.
Vocalise, Allegramente & Fresh Harmonies
Caroline’s been involved in music since a very young age – beginning piano lessons at just three years old, and learning recorder at SEDMC. She studied Commercial Music at Bath Spa University, and has since found an absolute love for choral conducting – including being on the Darley Park stage in front of 13,000 people!
Caroline’s sung with various bands over the years – from arranging and performing with an all-female A Capella group, through to playing keys and backing vocals in a Ska band. She works as a vocal peripatetic teacher in local schools, as well as running various choirs in the evenings and fronting a wedding/events duo and band.
Her favourite part of music entre is seeing the confidence of young performers grow through the power of singing!
Junior Wind Band
A trumpet teacher at Ian’s school asked if anyone fancied having a go – and so, aged 8, Ian began learning music! He studied a performance degree at Trinity College of Music, London and then worked in touring orchestra Philharmonie der Nationen (Philharmonia of the Nations). One of his highlights was performing in Castel Gandolfo for the Pope – and then actually getting to meet him!
Ian loves seeing the children at music centre start off in Junior Band with him, then within just a few years progressing through the SEDMC ensembles and eventually playing in the Senior Wind Band and SEDYO.
Ian works as a brass teacher in the East Midlands, alongside performing regularly for gigs and musical theatre shows. These gigs are heavily interspersed with a round of golf, gardening, and of course the real love of his life – watching West Bromwich Albion!
Saturday Blowers & Junior Wind Band
Designated Safeguarding Lead
Like many young children, Hannah started off learning recorder at school, before beginning flute and piano lessons alongside GCSE music. She went on to study music at the University of Huddersfield and work as an accredited teacher in Derbyshire.
Hannah loves the welcoming atmosphere and warm community vibe at SEDMC. One of the most memorable moments was performing with SEDMC flute choir at Music for Youth in Birmingham Town Hall – in the dark, wrapped in green fairy lights and dancing whilst playing!
Outside of music centre, Hannah’s worked with vulnerable children and young people through other youth charities, which made her the ideal person to take on the role of Safeguarding Lead at SEDMC.
Prior to studying performance, composition and music technology in Edinburgh, Dave learnt clarinet and piano. He became part of a music centre clarinet choir in Blackburn, where he loved being involved with the musical community and giving concerts to primary school children.
Dave has performed as a soloist with the Glasgow Chamber Orchestra, and with orchestras in Somerset and Wiltshire. He now concentrates on teaching and composing – enjoying accompanying his pupils in their exams, arranging new repertoire and hearing their wonderful musical moments throughout his teaching day.
Dave believes that everyone should have the opportunity of being part of a music centre – the music-making and socialising is second to none!
South East Derbyshire Music Centre Trust (SEDMC Trust registered charity 1180960) is the registered charity that runs SEDMC.
Our Trustees volunteer their time to oversee the way the Music Centre runs. They are also responsible for deciding the future development of the centre to ensure South East Derbyshire Music Centre continues to provide a space for young people to make music in Amber Valley and Erewash.
Our Trustees have a responsibility in many areas including, finance, sponsorship & fundraising, developing & updating policies and making strategic decisions affecting the future of the centre.
I joined as a trustee as my partner is a tutor, I loved hearing how music centre helped him as a child and is still inspiring others too. Not being musical myself meant I couldn’t join in any clubs, but as a trustee, I can help ensure the centre continues to provide the space for young people to make music together.
I have recently retired from being a Finance Director in various businesses in the UK and have also worked in many countries across the world with the French company, Saint-Gobain. After retiring, I took the opportunity to get involved in music again, joining the Derbyshire Singers and taking up the violin again after a gap of almost 40 years. In the late 1970s I was lead violin with the Coventry Youth Orchestra and had hoped to play in the Derby Concert Orchestra. Other interests include being a keen fan of Coventry City football team.
Phil is an active member of SEMDC and plays Saxophone in our orchestra. He’s our longest serving trustee and also our secretary. He makes sure all of our trustee meetings are minuted appropriately.
I had seen an advert for a voluntary position to be involved in a charity for music, and instantly wanted to be involved. I have a large background in music and performing arts and felt this was a great opportunity, and a good cause close to my heart. I am a very new trustee of the charity, looking to work closely with the members and to help promote the charity and to broaden the horizons and reach to more members. I look forward to learning more about my role and how I will be getting involved. I have a lot of experience working in hospitality within pubs and restaurants. I am currently a supervisor of a Gastropub and am part of the social media team and assisting the bookings coordinator. I have a degree in contemporary dance practice and have since continued to dance and get involved with performances.
All three of my children spent some time at Music Centre, with one of them attending for years playing the tuba. As someone who came to music in my 40s, when I took up the Celtic harp, I wish I’d had something as good as Music Centre to join when I was a boy.
Rachel’s children came through SEDMC playing in our ensembles, whilst they’re now grown up and no longer attend music centre, Rachel missed coming on a saturday and so came to take part in our adult choir Allegramente. Two years ago Rachel joined the team of trustees.
I have chosen to become a trustee as without help from volunteers SEDMC would not be able to provide the musical opportunities for all its students. My two children are currently members and have benefited not only from the musical activities but also the social aspects meeting with individuals from all ages. It’s great to see them progress from the first few notes to then playing in National festivals
Another parent of SEDMC members, Mark brings his business acumen to our trustee team, and is very interested in helping us secure funding.
Sheila has been helping at music centre for many years. After retiring from a career in music education, Sheila is now an honorary trustee and makes sure the biscuit plate is well stocked at our meetings