Head of Conducting, Royal Academy of Music
Sian Edwards studied horn, piano and conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music before winning a scholarship to the St Petersburg Conservatoire where she was a student of Prof I A Musin. She subsequently won the first Leeds Conductors’ Competition and started her professional career, working with major orchestras and opera companies in the UK and abroad. As well as symphonic and operatic repertoire Sian also conducts contemporary music. She has recently become Head of Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music, London.
Orchestras for All HQ
Chief Executive and Artistic Director
After reading music at Oxford University, Marianna joined Teach First as a music teacher at Highbury Grove School in Islington. She subsequently became the school's Director of Music, setting up its first in-school music academy and working closely with Music First, a charity that builds communities and transforms young lives through music in Islington. She became Music First’s director of programme development in 2010. Marianna founded OFA in 2011 and is the orchestra's Chief Executive and Artistic Director. She was nominated as a 2013 Woman of Achievement by Women of the Year and shortlisted for a Woman of the Future award in 2015. In 2016, Marianna won the Musician’s Union Inspiration Award for her work with Orchestras for all at the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence.
Head of Programmes and Operations
Stuart studied French and Russian at the University of St Andrews, spending his year abroad teaching English in Besançon, France. Following three years working for the Civil Service, Stuart joined OFA as Programme and General Manager in September 2014. Stuart is a keen musician, and plays principal clarinet in the North London Sinfonia and the Novelette Quintet.
Modulo Programme Manager
Anna graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in music and education studies. She joined the Teach First programme in the West Midlands in 2010, and taught secondary music for three years. Since September 2013, she has divided her time between managing the Modulo Programme and teaching music at a North London primary school. She loves singing and playing the ukulele.
Conductors for Change and Artistic Programme Manager
Emma Oliver-Trend studied for a BA and MA in Music at RWCMD and Dartington College of Arts respectively. After a decade as administrator and project manager with Music Theatre Wales, Welsh National Opera and Dartington Arts, she spent eight years as a secondary music teacher, most recently as Head of Performing Arts in Hertfordshire. Emma has founded and directed young orchestras, musical theatre and folk ensembles and is experienced in leading mixed-ability multi-instrumental groups. Emma teaches violin with Triborough Music Hub and the Nucleo Project. She is also violinist and Outreach Project Manager with the Bishop’s Stortford Sinfonia and was a guest conductor on the 2016 NOFA Summer Course in Leeds.
National Orchestra for All Programme Manager
After graduating from the University of Birmingham with a management degree, Sophie spent several years working at Birmingham Conservatoire in Concert Management and Professional Development. She left in 2007 to work at Cheltenham Festivals, organising both the Jazz and then the Literature Festivals, with a period between these roles as Centre Manager for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. More recently she was instrumental in developing an events strategy for The Growth Hub at the University of Gloucestershire before taking on this new role at Orchestras for All. Sophie spends a lot of time looking after her three daughters, but also sings in a Cheltenham based adult choir Mid-Life-Choir-Sis, and helps run the annual Gloucestershire Young Musician competition alongside Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra.
Laura studied Theatre and Performance Studies at Warwick University, graduating in the summer of 2016. She enjoys playing the clarinet, and performed in Italy as a member of her school's wind band. During her time at university she was responsible for coordinating a festival of new writing,and produced a couple of student performances. Since graduating, she has worked as a receptionist and in retail, and is excited about joining the team at Orchestras for All!
Danyal Dhondy is a composer, arranger and violist from South London. He has worked extensively in theatre and opera, for companies such as TARA Arts and OperaUpClose, and has a long-standing relationship with Kensington Chamber Orchestra. Danyal is founder and chair of Lucid Arts and Music, which has produced new works of theatre and opera at Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival, The Yard Theatre, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Bharat Rang Mahotsav Festival. He was nominated for an Arts Foundation Award in Opera Composition in 2010, and contributed to Sam Lee's Mercury-nominated album in 2012.
Nathan first studied as a guitarist and soon broadened his studies to include the saxophone and flute. He is now a true multi-instrumentalist and can be found performing and recording as a bassist, percussionist and pianist. He has composed many works for stage, screen and radio across a variety of genres including classical, jazz, latin and pop. He has acted as musical director and conductor at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican.
Ollie Tunmer - Percussion
Ollie's percussive ways started by hitting pots and pans in his kitchen as a toddler. Since then he has drummed his way through university, the Rio de Janeiro carnival and as a cast member of the international hit show STOMP. He got involved with OFA as part of his training as a classroom music teacher. He has since been humbled and inspired through his involvement with this incredible ensemble. Ollie now delivers Body Percussion and Samba Drumming workshops to schools, colleges, education conferences and corporate events throughout the world, and is currently working on his 'mouth popping' repertoire which currently includes 'Popcorn' and 'Axel F' from the film Beverley Hills Cop.
Marta Gonçalves - Flute
Portuguese flautist Marta Gonçalves graduated with distinction in 2009 from the Royal College of Music's Masters of Music in Advanced Performance. Since 2005 she has regularly performed with orchestras and ensembles including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Florilegium, the London Handel Players, English Touring Opera and the Academy of Ancient Music. She has broadcast several times for BBC Radio 3 and has recorded for various labels including Hyperion and Chandos.
Fiona Mitchell - Clarinet and Saxophone
Fiona studied at The Royal College of Music and The Royal Academy of Music, gaining her master's degree on the clarinet in 2010. For the last five years she has been a member of Orchestre Revolutionnnaire et Romantique during which time the Orchestra had a residency at the Opera Comique in Paris. She has also performed with English Baroque Soloists in Europe and the US and playing at places such as the BBC Proms, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Carnegie Hall, New York.
Fiona is a dedicated teacher who works at the London Oratory School teaching clarinet and saxophone.
Simon Tong - Upper Brass
Simon is an Essex-born trumpet player living and working in London. He was given a full scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music on the 4 year Bachelor of Music course. During Simon’s time at the Academy he won the John Soloman Prize for Brass & Woodwind and played first trumpet for many of the ensembles and orchestras including the Concert Orchestra and Opera. Outside the Academy he has been involved in various contrasting events, from performing a solo at the London Handel Festival to being recorded for a McDonald’s TV advert.
Richard Turner - Lower Brass
Richard studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music, and has worked with orchestras in India, Japan, UK and Chile where he held the position of assistant principal trombone of The Santiago Opera House. One of two founder members of ‘Old Dirty Brasstards’ (London’s finest drum ‘n’ brass combo), Richard has arranged, organised and played with the group at venues such as Glastonbury, Latitude and The Royal Opera House.
Julia Lungu - Violin
Julia studied violin at the Royal College of Music and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and has over ten years of experience teaching pupils of all ages and abilities on a one-to-one basis as well as in groups. Julia has also had much experience coaching school ensembles and orchestras. She is also the upper strings tutor for the Musicworks, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a violin tutor at the University of Edinburgh.
Lawrence Durkin - Cello and Double Bass
Lawrence Durkin trained at the Royal College of Music. He was a selected artist for the Park Lane Group in 2008 and was Artist in Residence at the Performing Arts Institute, Pennsylvania. Lawrence pursues an active freelance career as an orchestral musician and gives recitals throughout the UK as a member of Trio Aquilon who have recently released their debut CD featuring works by Brahms and Haydn. Other performance highlights include concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Fairfield Halls and Rachmaninov Hall, Moscow.
Megan Jowett - Viola
Megan began her musical studies aged 8 at the Kirklees Music School she went on to the Birmingham Conservatoire where she completed her undergraduate degree in 2014 and she is now in her first year of postgraduate studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Recently she has performed at Buckingham Palace and worked with the inspirational violinist Henning Kraggerud as a member of the Royal Welsh String Soloists. Megan is regularly principal viola in the Royal Welsh College Orchestras and has worked with highly acclaimed conductors including Carlo Rizzi, Edward Gardner and Pierre Valdes. Megan also toured with the jazz ensemble "A Moveable Feast" in the summer of 2015 with the performance from the Manchester Jazz Festival broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Currently Megan is the violist in two quartets which keeps her busy. She is an enthusiastic teacher and has worked with In Harmony and the award winning Strings Club. She also teaches privately and is looking forward to working with OFA this summer.
Georgia Hannant - Violin
Georgia is a passionate freelance violinist and teacher, based in London. An experienced orchestral musician, she has performed in many of the UK’s most prestigious concert halls, under the baton of such world-class conductors as Semyon Bychkov, Edward Gardner and Sir Mark Elder. She led the University of London Symphony Orchestra for two years, and has since enjoyed a successful professional career with orchestras across London. Throughout her training, she has had the opportunity to perform in masterclasses with world-renowned violinists James Ehnes and Maxim Vengerov. As a chamber musician she achieved much success as leader of The Melanson Quartet, who were Davey-Posnanski Scheme participants 2014-15 and received a High Commendation at the Wolfe Wolfinsohn String Quartet Prize. Her other collaborative work includes regular work with un-conducted independent ensemble Aldwych Sinfonia, based at St George’s Bloomsbury, and recording sessions with the likes of Rick Wakeman at This Is Metropolis and Abbey Road Recording Studios. Georgia has held many prestigious teaching posts, including violin teaching at Uppingham School, Junior Royal Academy of Music and King’s College London. She has been involved in OFA since 2013 and is thrilled to be returning as an Orchestral Tutor.
Kathy Chalmers - Horn
Having begun playing the horn at the age of 8, Kathy took up a place to read music at Oxford University in 2012. She has performed with Oxford University Orchestra, Oxford Philharmonia and Zeitgeist Chamber Orchestra, in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and the Holywell Music Room. She has also been repetiteur and subsequently MD with musical theatre company ‘RicNic’ since 2012 and is currently preparing for their 2016 production of Guys & Dolls. Since graduating, she has taught, firstly in Oxford as Graduate Assistant at Headington School, and now in Taunton at Queen’s College, while completing her PGCE. Kathy is thrilled to continue her work with NOFA, having volunteered with them since 2013.
Young Leaders Programme Co-ordinator
Jack McNeill Adams
Philip Whalley - Chair
Philip Whalley is Director of ESG Equities at investment group CLSA (UK). With over 25 years’ experience in finance and international equity markets, he leads CLSA’s global sustainable and responsible investment business advising clients such as BlackRock, Fidelity and Standard Life on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities. Having personally experienced the transformative power of music making, he is a firm believer in the importance of music in education and a keen supporter of music and children’s charities. He holds an MA in Law from the University of Cambridge, sings with The London Chorus and is an amateur pianist and cellist.
Kate Danielson - Trustee
Founder of Kate Danielson Associates, Kate has been a producer and fundraiser in the arts for over 25 years. Her work in music includes running the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, the development office at Wigmore Hall and consultancies with WOMAD and St Georges Bristol. She is also a trustee of the BBC Performing Arts Fund and supports young people into the arts as director of Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries.
Alice Poole - Trustee
Alice is a Technical Director working in international development, specialising in governance and public sector reform. She works for ICF International, after three years at the World Bank in Washington DC. She holds masters' degrees in public policy (Georgetown University) and an international MBA (University of Geneva). Alice is a keen supporter of the arts in many forms, and is passionate about social justice and opportunities for young people.
Susannah Simons - Trustee
Susannah is Director Arts and Outreach for Canvas, a multi channel network for the Arts on YouTube, and an experienced arts and media strategist and project manager. She was previously a successful Radio and TV presenter having worked for BBC Radio 4, Classic FM and Channel 4. She is a trustee of The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Youth Dance England.
Emily Sayers - Trustee
Emily is Curriculum and Assessment Lead for the Arts at Teach First and Subject Leader for Music in the Education Faculty at Canterbury Christ Church University. Her role involves visiting a wide range of schools and music education settings in order to support and develop music teacher trainees. The involvement of OFA with Teach First participants has helped shape the development of the Teach First music subject studies programme and Emily is delighted to now be involved with OFA as a trustee.
Martha Oddy - Trustee
A professional fundraiser for over 15 years, Martha has worked extensively in the charity sector, in particular in the arts and youth sectors. A music graduate, Martha started her career at the Philharmonia Orchestra before setting up the corporate fundraising programme at the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. At The Children's Society she led on EU funding as well as raising funds from institutional grantmakers, and then set up Trusts & Foundations fundraising at the newly established Canal & River Trust. She is now a Consultant working for Queen Rania Foundation (Jordan) at Princes Trust International. Martha is passionate about social justice and music and sings in London's Pegasus chamber choir.
Nick Pickles - Trustee
Nick Pickles is head of UK Public Policy at Twitter. Previously he was Director of the Privacy and Civil Liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, and remains a member of the group's advisory council. He graduated from Durham University in law, before serving as President of the Students' Union. He was a candidate in the 2010 General Election, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an internationally published music photographer.
Simon Page - Treasurer
Simon is a senior manager and Chartered Accountant with over 20 years experience working in the private and public sector. He has expertise in business planning and fund raising having raised long-term capital from pension funds, high net-worth individuals, fund managers and public sector institutions. Simon has had a life long interest in music and theatre having begun singing as a cathedral chorister at the age of 6 and attending the same school as Shakespeare! Simon’s own experience makes him a passionate believer in the importance of music in developing self-confidence and enriching children’s lives.
Lizzie Adams - Services & Programmes Manager at Small Charities Coalition & Trustee of Refugee Youth
Lizzie runs the support services for small charities for a national infrastructure body that champions the role of small charities and collaborates across all sectors to provide accessible and sustainable assistance for organisations just like Orchestras for All. As a cellist who hugely benefited from many years playing in orchestras throughout school and university, Lizzie is keen to now share her experience and knowledge to ensure others can access the opportunities she was fortunate enough to participate in.
Andrea Creech - Reader in Education, UCL Institute of Education
Following an international career in music performance and teaching, Andrea completed her PhD in Psychology in Music Education. Since then she has been PI, co-director and consultant for funded research and evaluation in the areas of musical development, lifelong learning, ageing, and well-being. She lead a teacher development programme for Higher Education Performing Arts lecturers and teachers, accredited by the UK Higher Education Academy. Her special research interests include issues relating to musical development across the life-span, music and well-being, psychology of ageing and later-life learning.
Jonathan Freeman-Atwood - Principal of the Royal Academy of Music
Jonathan is a performer, writer, educator, recording producer and Principal of the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Amanda Mackenzie Stuart
Amanda is a writer, filmmaker and biographer (Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt (2006) and Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland (2013)). She has many years of experience in the arts and has been involved in several feature films as an associate producer and co-screenwriter, and as a company director of Renegade Films and Prisma Communications Ltd. She has a particular interest in fundraising for youth music projects, including the New Oxford Consort, a unique early music group for 11-18 year olds.
Marshall Marcus - CEO of the European Union Youth Orchestra, Founder and Chairman of Sistema Europe
Marshall has been CEO of the European Union Youth Orchestra since the spring of 2013. He is also Founder and Chairman of Sistema Europe, Founder of Sistema Africa, a Director and Trustee of Sistema England, and a member of Sistema Global’s Advisory Board. During the previous two decades he was Head of Music at Southbank Centre and Chairman and then Chief Executive of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Rachel Page - Senior Development Executive at Jesus College, University of Oxford
Rachel Page is working on a major campaign to raise £45 million to secure the future of teaching and student support at Jesus by 2021, the College’s 450th anniversary year. Previously she was Executive Director at The Royal Society of Literature in Somerset House. Rachel cares about widening access to the arts for young people and is delighted to be an OFA advisor.
Sir Richard Stilgoe - Founder of the Orpheus Centre
Richard Stilgoe’s 50-year career in show business spanned radio, television, cabaret and theatre, led him to many egregious people and places and gained him a diverse collection of fortuitous and, in his own words, almost certainly undeserved honours. In 1997 he founded the Orpheus Centre, and remains a trustee.
Orchestras for All is registered with the Charity Commission in England and Wales
Charity Registration Number 1150438