Making waves Yorkshire Young Musicians Menu


Board of Trustees




YYM Staff

YYM at work


Thorn Meredith Music Mark, Chairman
Richard Ashton Opera North
Chris Bradley Opera North
Gill Gibbins Independent
Chris Maynard Music Mark
Fiona Pacey Independent


Penny Stirling is the Founding Director of Yorkshire Young Musicians.

She was born in Somerset and trained at the Royal College of Music in London. Although graduating as a pianist, her first job was as a Head of Strings and she then went on to run the string department at Wells Cathedral School from 1980 - 1990. After working as Head of the Instrumental Music Service for Wiltshire County Council, she married and moved to Manchester where she became Director of the Junior Strings Project at the Royal Northern College of Music. This innovative course, which won the Partnership Trusts' Thorn EMI award for innovations in music teacher training in 1995 and a Queen's Anniversary Prize for the RNCM in 1998, trains postgraduate students to teach, using children from the local community - thereby giving many youngsters an opportunity to learn a string instrument. Now run in conjunction with Manchester Metropolitan University, this is one of the few courses where teachers can train to teach instrumental music alongside their classroom studies and obtain a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (with subsequent Qualified Teacher Status).

In December 1999 Penny was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Northern College. In 2004, whilst still retaining a part-time position as Consultant to the Junior Strings Project, she moved to North Yorkshire and became Director of Yorkshire Young Musicians, a new DfES Music and Dance Scheme for highly talented children in the Yorkshire and Humber area.

Penny has taught violin, viola and piano at Wells Cathedral School, Chetham's, Junior RNCM and currently at St Peters School, York. She founded the chamber music course 'Young String Venture' at Lake District Summer Music and is Course Director for Pro Corda North and Director of Stirlings Summer Strings.

She often works with County Music Services on Professional Development days and is Course Leader for the Manchester centre of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music's Professional Development course leading to the award of CT ABRSM. In addition, she has worked as a mentor for the CT ABRSM course in Singapore and Hong Kong and as a presenter of Violin Seminars for the Board. Other recent work has taken her to South Carolina (USA), Norway and Bermuda to assist the teachers working for the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation. She adjudicates for many music festivals both at home and abroad.

ANDREW STAMATAKIS-BROWN MusB (Hons), GRNCM, PPRNCM(ens), composition and musicianship

Andrew studied on the prestigious Joint Course, at the University of Manchester and at the RNCM. He received the Margaret Ann Knowles Major Scholarship and several academic prizes from the University, graduating with first class honours in 2003. At the RNCM he studied composition with Gary Carpenter and Ian Vine and won prizes for composition and jazz improvisation. He has written for film, dance and theatre, and has had performances of his pieces in Europe, Australia and the States.

Andrew plays piano in, and composes for 6pac Jazz Sextet, who received the Royal Northern College of Music Gold Medal from the college Principal in 2004.The sextet has recorded 2 albums, the first of which was funded through the Peter Whittingham Award for an Innovative Jazz Project. Their project involved running workshops at H.E. institutions across the North-West and a nationwide composition competition. They have appeared twice as guest artists for BBC Songs of Praise and perform across the UK. Andrew made his Ronnie Scott’s debut in 2005 with singer Alice Zawadzki, and continues to work with singers across the country, including through Music in Hospitals, which takes live music into healthcare settings across the country.

In addition to teaching at YYM, Andrew has worked in other branches of music education for a number of years. With 6pac he is a member of the Live Music Now! scheme, which takes music to people who would not normally have access to it, and they also run their own Jazz Summer School, in conjunction with Dartington Plus in Devon. He currently teaches piano and jazz piano at the King’s school in Chester, delivers workshops for Streetwise Opera and has taught keyboard and improvisation skills on the London Suzuki Group Summer International School at Bryanston since 2004.

Daniel Browell BMus (Hons) MMus PGDip LRAM, piano

Daniel Browell enjoys a busy and varied performing career, having given recitals in the UK, Europe and North America since receiving acclaim in the national press for his London Southbank recital in the Purcell Room in 2006. He gave his BBC Proms debut in 2008, as part of a composer portrait broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and in 2009 he made his concerto debut at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. In 2010 he returned to The Bridgewater Hall to give a solo recital as part of the Manchester Midday Concerts Society’s prestigious season.

Daniel particularly enjoys his collaborative projects with instrumentalists and singers; he has performed with YCAT winner Kathryn Rudge at the Wigmore Hall and on many occasions since, and he regularly works for the BBC Philharmonic.

Daniel’s teaching experience varies from his work at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, to Yorkshire Young Musicians at Leeds College of Music and Repton School in Derbyshire, and in September 2014 took up the post of Associate Head of Keyboard at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Daniel’s recent highlights include a cycle of Beethoven’s piano concerti with the Birmingham-based Eroica Camerata, and concerto performances in the Netherlands and Scotland with the Universities of Scotland Symphony Orchestra. His future plans include the release of a CD of contemporary British composers, featuring the piano studies of Philip Venables, which he premiered at the Purcell Room.

JOHN DIVER BSc(Hons) CTABRSM LRSM ACIEA, DipLCM, Keyboards and Improvisation

John is a graduate of Surrey University where he studied piano with Peter Croser and since then has worked solely in music. He has been involved in music education for fifteen years and has considerable experience as both a classroom and instrumental teacher. He has run music technology workshops for the Associated Board, worked as a peripatetic piano teacher for Hull Music Service and held the position of keyboard and musicianship tutor with East Riding College. His current work includes piano tutor at Pocklington School and A level examining for Edexcel.

Throughout this time John has enjoyed a busy performing schedule as a freelance pianist/keyboard player, and also maintains a private practice teaching classical and jazz piano plus music theory and music technology.

He has recently achieved a diploma in jazz performance.

ROBERT MARKHAM DMA (Juilliard School), MMus, BMus, ARCM, piano

Following his undergraduate studies and a Masters Degree, Robert Markham completed his Doctorate in Musical Arts at the Juilliard School in New York. As a pianist he earned international recognition as a finalist in the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. He has also been first prize winner of the International Vincenzo Bellini Piano Competition in Italy and the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition in New York, and was awarded the Piano Prize of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition.

Robert has performed as concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician in Europe, Asia and North America. He has recently recorded a CD of Kenneth Leighton's chamber music for piano and strings with the Edinburgh String Quartet. As well as teaching at YYM, Robert currently serves on the staff of Birmingham Conservatoire and is Head of Piano at Birmingham Conservatoire Junior School.

SVETLANA PINEGINA Dip.Perf. (Perm, Russia), piano

Svetlana Pinegina has 20 years' experience of teaching piano and accompanying. She was born in Russia and from the age of 6 studied piano at home with her mother. She later attended a specialist music school, where she studied for 7 years, with the sole intention of becoming a piano tutor.

After finishing music school she began studying piano at the institute of Art and Culture and in 1982 she finished very successfully with a diploma in Piano and orchestral leadership, being amongst the top three candidates.

After completing higher education she worked in Russia for seven years as a piano teacher and accompanist. In 1990 she moved to Germany where she worked for eleven years in a music school as a piano tutor.

Svetlana moved to Leeds in 2001 to work at Leeds College of music as a piano teacher and accompanist.

RACHAEL GIBBON PhD (Manchester), BMus GRNCM, musicianship

Rachael trained at The Royal Northern College of Music, where she majored in Academic Studies. She also gained a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Manchester. As well as her work for YYM, she has taught and lectured for the Music departments of Manchester, Salford and Huddersfield universities and she is a tutor at the Junior RNCM. In addition, she is a clarinettist, pianist and recorder player who performs regularly both as a soloist and orchestral musician.

VIJAY RAJPUT MA, MPhil, PhD, Hindustani classical singing

Born in new Delhi, India, Dr. Vijay Rajput started Learning Music at the tender age of eight. He acquired his initial training and guidance from Pt. M. G. Deshpande, Pt. VinayChander Mudgal and pt. Madhup Mudgal ji. Subsequently, he had a rare opportunity to learn for many years under the tutelage of world renowned Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi Ji. He has acquired M.A., M.PHIL., PH.D.Degrees in Hindustani Classical music from the University of Delhi. As a maestro of khayal style of rendition and an artist of international repute, his performances have mesmerized audiences in India and abroad. He has performed in many national and international Sangeet Sammelans festivals and Mahotsave. He got the KALA JYOTHI award in 2010 for his excellent contribution in educating and promoting classical music in the North East of England. He is currently based in Newcastle upon Tyne. He is as keen a teacher as a performer and is a visiting lecturer in vocal music at Newcastle University & Leeds College of Music. He has been a chief examiner of Indian classical music at the Bharatya vidya Bhavan, London.

HARJINDER PAL SINGH BSc. santoor and tabla

Harjinder Pal Singh is a Namdhari Sikh who was born in Jabalpur, India in 1953. He is a senior disciple of the Santoor Maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma. His interest in music since his childhood prompted his father to send him to learn Tabla, from Bhai Labh Singh Ji of the Punjab Gharana at the age of 14.

While learning Tabla, Harjinder Pal continued his studies and obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Science. Later on he became the disciple of Ustad Nihal Singh Ji in order to learn the Pakhawaj style of tabla.

Seeing his talent, His Holiness Shri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji, the Spiritual Head of the Namdhari Sect, took Harjinder Pal to Bombay and made him the disciple of the Santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma to learn to play the Santoor, the hundred stringed instrument from the valleys of Kashmir. Under the guidance of his Guru, Harjinder Pal started practising the santoor and after years of practice he gave his first public performance in the prestigious Pt. Vishnu Digambhar Paluskar Jayanti Samaroh in New Delhi in 1986. While learning the Santoor he was awarded the Ustad Allauddin Khan Music Academy Bhopal Scholarship and participated in the 'Arambh 16' Festival held in Bhopal.

He has also participated in numerous other festivals including :

  • Sangeet Nritya Samaroh held in Delhi, which was co-sponsored by Sangeet Natak Academy and ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations).
  • Sarva Dharam Maitri Sangeet Samaroh held in Bombay in 1993, organized by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Shri Mahaswami Satabdi Mahotsava Samiti.
  • Several jugalbandi concerts held in Bombay and Pune, with Flute and Guitar.
  • Youth Festival held in St. Xavier College Bombay.
  • Sankat Mochan Music Festival Varanasi in 1993.

Harjiner Pal has toured extensively for SPICMACAY (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth) and given concerts, lectures and demonstration programmes in schools and colleges in various states in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab and Bombay. He has participated in the prestigious Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan held in Jalandhar. He is a graded artist of the All India Radio. He has toured abroad and performed in various cities in the United Kingdom and Kenya.

Harjinder Pal has taught music at the Sri Satguru Pratap Singh Ji Music A cademy as well as teaching santoor and tabla privately. He has also taught extensively in England as SAA-uk's Resident Artist. This has included private tuition, masterclasses, group teaching for the Leeds College of Music and teaching in Leicester.

RACHEL DENT BMus(Hons) Grad RNCM, harp

Rachel Dent began studying the harp with Dorothy Gilbertson of Harrogate before accepting a place at the Royal Northern College of Music in 1997, where she studied with Eira Lynn Jones. She received the Dearden Award for Achievement and the United Kingdom Harp Association Award in 1999 and graduated with an honours degree in 2001.

As a soloist, Rachel has performed widely across the north ofEngland, including venues such as St Ann 's Church, Manchester, Flixton House, Hull University, and Emmanuel Church, Didsbury. Rachel has also provided music for a scene in Granada Television's production of A & E and for BBC Songs of Praise. Her freelance orchestral career has included working with the Hallé Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and Sinfonia ViVa.

As a member of Chiron Duo (flute and harp), Rachel has performed for Manchester Town Hall, the East Riding of Yorkshire Winter Recital Series, St Ann's Church Music Society, and provided music for Granada television's My Favourite Hymns programme. Rachel released her debut album Awake, O Harp in 2004.

Rachel is dedicated to teaching the pedal harp and clarsach, and has over 25 students of all ages and abilities, many achieving outstanding results in both local/national music festivals and Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examinations. She has also had students accepted at Chetham's School of Music, the Purcell School and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music.

As well as teaching at Yorkshire Young Musicians, Rachel is the harp tutor for Leeds University, Ampleforth College, and St Peter's School in York.

GEOFFREY THOMPSON BA(Hons), Cert Ed, ARCM, ABSM, singing and ensemble

My earliest professional experience was the seven years or so I spent in the Royal Opera Company at Covent Garden. There, singing in the chorus and playing an assortment of roles, I was able to observe and talk to the greatest operatic talents at the time; 1976 - 1983.

These observations and conversations reinforced what my teacher, Otakar Kraus, had already instilled; a belief in Italian ‘Bel Canto’ singing.

Otakar, who had himself studied in Italy, showed me how to produce a supported, forward-placed sound which has formed the basis for my own singing and teaching. It is a classical technique which works as well in music-theatre and light music as it does in opera.

What every singer needs is a technique which gives them confidence in their ability to control the tone they are producing, thus allowing the music to speak through it.

The acquisition of such a technique is the key to allowing artistic expression. Lessons, therefore, take the form of exercises to develop this control. They are a mixture of those I was taught myself; those developed over the years and those specifically designed for each individual need.

These techniques are then applied to whatever music the student wishes to study.

Past and present students include, singers with solid or burgeoning professional careers; actors and dancers who have singing as one of their professional needs; recreational singers enjoying amateur music making and aspirant singers aiming for courses at acting or music schools. I hope the lessons are friendly and relaxed besides being productive.

HELEN TONGE Mus B(Hons), MA, PG Dip(RNCM), violin and viola

Helen grew up in Kent where she started playing the violin and viola with Sheila Veryard, and won the 1998 West Kent Young Musicians’ competition. She was awarded an academic scholarship at the University of Manchester, where she studied violin with Ronald Birks of the Lindsay Quartet and led the University’s Symphony, Sinfonietta and String orchestras and the New Music Ensemble.

Helen subsequently completed a Postgraduate diploma at the RNCM with Benedict Holland and then a Masters in String Quartet Performance at Sheffield University, under the tutelage of Peter Cropper.

She has performed extensively as second violinist in the Rivoli String Quartet, with whom she has played since 1999, as well as freelancing with other ensembles and orchestras including Manchester Camerata and the Manchester Concert Orchestra.

She teaches the violin and viola privately to a range of pupils aged 6- 50, and enjoys coaching chamber music groups. She has also been involved in education workshops as a member of the Rivoli Quartet.


Sally’s musical training started at seven years old with the Violin and later Piano. Her true passion was discovered in her teens with singing lessons where she found she had inherited her folk musician parent’s powerful vocal chords!

She was classically trained at the Royal Northern College of Music where she performed leads in many of their large scale productions and won many scholarships and awards. She went on to perform with Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Scottish Opera, record with the BBC and sing on BBC Radio 3 and the BBC Proms. She has already had her Hallé and Bridgewater Hall Debut Recital in Manchester and has premiered many new contemporary works.

Sally released a Gilbert and Sullivan album with Sony BMG last year as part of ‘The Gala Ensemble’. She has also performed with Manchester Jazz Band ‘The Big Band Theory’ and sang on ‘BBC Folk Musician of the Year’ Tom McConville’s album last year. She has most recently performed with Grange Park Opera and will be premiering ‘Il Gran Rifiuto’ with the Aluna Ensemble in Wales in November 2009.

As well as working as a vocal tutor with Yorkshire Young Musicians, she has been teaching at the RNCM Junior School and as a vocal coach in Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios with several new recording artists.

CLAIRE HOLDICH BMus(Hons) DipABRSM, musicianship

Claire graduated from the University of Hull with a first class degree in Music in 2004 and was also awarded the Departmental Prize for outstanding musical achievement. In 2005 Claire gained the Associated Board diploma in singing.

As a performer Claire has sung as a concert soloist with Hull Bach Choir, Hull Male Voice Choir and the Arterian Singers. She also enjoys performing at weddings, private functions and local events as both a singer and flautist.

Claire teaches singing, flute and music theory at Hull Collegiate School, Scarborough College, and for the Yorkshire Music Education Service. She is proud to have gained distinction levels in Associated Board examinations with singing pupils at every grade, and has former pupils who have since gone on to study at The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, Tech Music School London, and Cambridge University with a choral scholarship.


Marisa Caltieri (also known as Marisa Davis) was born in Italy and educated in England. She studied piano at the Royal Northern College of Music with Colin Horsley and since graduating has had a varied career in performing and teaching. Always in demand as an accompanist she has worked with Opera North, Aire-Music, Yorkshire Television and with an assortment of artists both in England and in Southern Spain. As Musical Director she has organised and directed a wide range of Operatic and Musical Theatre stage shows, nurturing and developing the skills of children, students and adults and preparing them for an excellent standard of public performance.

Career highlights include collaboration with the contemporary composer Robin Walker whose operas she has directed in the North of England and one of which was performed at the Northern Aldborough Festival, and the staging of Guys & Dolls, Fame, Les Miserables, and various other stage shows at Leeds College of Music. A talented pianist and teacher, Marisa enjoys preparing students for the technical, physiological and emotional demands of a musical career and has extensive experience in coaching ensembles and individuals to a professional standard. She currently enjoys working at Yorkshire Young Musicians and at Leeds College of Music.

PEGGY NOLAN BMus, 'cello

Peggy Nolan began cello lessons at the age of seven. During her school years, she studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and commenced her third level training at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2006 with Peter Dixon and later Raphael Wallfisch and Hannah Roberts.

Peggy is a member of the Eblana String Trio, RNCM’s Ensemble of the Year 2010. In the past twelve months the trio have performed in London, Manchester and completed residencies in France and the Scottish Highlands. They have a busy year of recitals ahead and are delighted to have been appointed Junior Fellows of Chamber Music at Birmingham Conservatoire for the year beginning in September 2013. Peggy was also a founding member of the Borromini Quartet, a young London-based ensemble, performing on instruments and bows of the classical period. In 2011 the quartet were the only UK based group to reach the final of the York Early Music Competition for young ensembles, and were chosen as beneficiaries of the Brighton Early Music Live scheme 2012-2013.

A busy freelance musician, Peggy frequently performs with some of the UK and Ireland’s finest orchestras including the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Manchester Camerata and Irish Chamber Orchestra. Peggy holds an International Artist Diploma in String Leadership, Master of Music and first class Bachelor degree from the RNCM.


Originally from Luxembourg, Claire Osborne read Musicology at the Universities of Strasbourg/France and Oxford, obtaining a French Maîtrise de Musicologie in July 2004. She joined Jan Repko’s violin class at the RNCM in September 2005, where she completed her BMus and Postgraduate Diploma in 2007 resp. 2008.

Claire is a former member of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, the European Union Youth Orchestra as well as the Jeunesses Musicales World Youth Orchestra. This has given her the chance to work with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. She has attended masterclasses with members of Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ensemble Intercontemporain as well as György Pauk, Benjamin Zander, Maurice Hasson, Ivry Gitlis and Tasmin Little.

Before joining Opera North full time in January 2010, Claire led a busy freelance life with the Hallé Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, Opera North, as well as back home in Luxembourg with Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Solistes Européens Luxembourg. In May 2007, she performed Brahms Violin Concerto with the Luxembourg Chamber Orchestra ‘Les Musiciens’. She also regularly appeared in recitals organised by the Schengen Music Academy in Luxembourg, Moscow, Brest, Brussels and Bratislava.

Claire is proud to be part of the YYM tutors’ team as YYM students bring along enthusiasm, talent and, most importantly, their love for music – YYM is a fantastic environment for these young people to blossom!

LUCY NOLAN MMus, viola & chamber music

Dublin-born Lucy hails from a musical family and began her musical studies at the age of eight. In 2004 she moved to Manchester to study at the Royal Northern College of Music graduating with an International Artist Diploma in Orchestral String Leadership, completed in conjunction with the Hallé, a Master Degree in solo performance with Distinction and a Bachelor Degree with First Class Honours.

A keen chamber musician, Lucy has been a member of the award winning Eblana String Trio since their formation in 2006. As well as frequent performances across the UK and further afield, Lucy is fortunate to have had masterclasses and lessons with distinguished musicians such as Hugh Maguire, Dora Schwartzberg, Gabor Takacs Nagy and Mstislav Rostropovich. The Eblanas are current Junior Fellows of Birmingham Conservatoire and the CBSO.

As a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, Lucy has performed in some of the Europe’s most prestigious venues including the Wigmore Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Royal Albert Hall and the Concertgebouw.

Lucy is passionate about teaching and as well as her position at YYM, she is currently on the staff at Junior RNCM, Manchester, Leeds and Hull Universities and Procorda.


Dean began studying the piano at the age of seven. He studied classical piano throughout his school years in the Northeast and then began performing locally for weddings and functions. After hearing Oscar Peterson for the first time in his teens Dean developed a passion for jazz and began studying jazz piano and improvisation. He now specialises in jazz and is a busy freelance pianist both as a solo performer and with various groups from swing bands to smaller trios and duos. He has recently completed a 6 month residency as jazz pianist for the Savoy Hotel, London.

As a tutor Dean teaches a wide range of students in classical piano, jazz piano and improvisation and theory. In addition to teaching for Yorkshire Young Musicians he is also tutor for the Cleveland School of Music.


Originally from Scarborough, Robert was taught the Trombone by Joe Blewitt and then at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester by Peter Leary. He attended the Royal College of Music as an Exhibitioner where Arthur Wilson taught him. Robert won the Arthur Sommerville Brass Prize and gained the ARCM diploma with honours. He has freelanced with the ECO, in west end shows, Oxford pro musica and played the Rimsky Korsakov Concerto with the Oxford University Wind Band. In 1978 he became a founder member of the orchestra of Opera North in becoming the sub principal trombone.

As well as teaching for YYM he teaches at Chetham’s, Giggleswick School and various universities.

In his spare time he enjoys many outdoor activities such as hill walking, mountain biking and paragliding which living in Yorkshire affords.

MICHAEL SEGAUD, violin & viola

In 2012 Michael finished his sixth year at the RNCM graduating with both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Viola Performance. While the majority of his studies were with Dr. Louise Lansdown he studied for his final year with Asdis Valdimarsdottir and also enjoyed many masterclasses with distinguished musicians including Nobuko Imai, Thomas Reibl, Paul Neubauer, Garth Knox and Simon Rowland-Jones and Baroque Viola specialist Annette Isserlis and Baroque Violin specialist Pauline Nobes.

A keen chamber musician, Michael is the founder violist of the Szepessy String Ensemble which has given many recitals across the UK. As part of the Ensemble Michael has participated in several chamber music masterclasses with members of the Endellion String Quartet, the Waldstein Ensemble, the London Haydn Quartet, the late Christopher Rowland, Peter Cropper and the RNCM's new International Chair in chamber music, Gabor Takacs Nagy.

Michael has performed solo recitals throughout the world but most notably gave a performance of Hindemith’s op.25 No.4 and 1939 Viola Sonatas at the 37th International Viola Congress in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Michael took part in the first Watson Forbes International Viola Competition held last year in St. Andrews, Scotland and in 2010 was one of only two British competitors selected to compete in the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition held on the Isle of Man. In 2011 Michael performed Brandenberg VI with the RNCM Baroque Ensemble and also gave a performance of the Hoffmeister Concerto with the Heisenburg Ensemble.

Professionally Michael has coached chamber music groups, conducted the orchestra and been a member of the pastoral staff on Pro Corda the international chamber music academy held at Leiston Abbey in Suffolk. He has been employed by the Scottish Schools Orchestra Trust as the assistant string tutor and orchestral manager since 2005 and in 2008 was invited to give a lecture on ‘String Techniques’ at Salford University. Orchestrally Michael has had experience with the BBC Philharmonic, Raymond Gubbay’s Manchester Concert Orchestra and also with the West End tour of South Pacific.

TIM SMEDLEY BMus(Hons) PGDip(Dinst), cello

After studying at Chetham’s School of Music with Peter Worrall, Tim gained a place at the RNCM where he was taught by Hannah Roberts and David Watkin (baroque cello). Since graduating, Tim has gone on to develop a career on both modern and period instruments and as a result has a broad range of musical experiences. Chamber music forms a vital aspect of Tim’s professional life and his chamber ensemble, the Band of Music, has recently recorded its debut CD (to be released during 2013). In addition, he is a member of Compagnia d'Istrumenti, who are an Ensemble in Residence at the University of York. He has worked with many eminent chamber musicians all over Europe in addition to frequently being found playing continuo cello for leading singers and instrumentalists.

As a modern cellist, Tim's orchestral work has included orchestras such as the Hallé, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and Manchester Sinfonia, whilst on period instruments he is frequently to be found performing with The King’s Consort, the Classical Opera Company, Yorkshire Baroque Soloists, the Gabrieli Consort and the Academy of Ancient Music. As a soloist, Tim has performed concertos with numerous orchestras, and enjoys an active recital programme. Most recently, he was the concerto soloist and director with Sale Chamber Orchestra, where he directed two concertos from the cello and conducted the orchestra in the remainder of the concert. Teaching also forms an important part to Tim’s career, and in addition to teaching at YYM, Tim holds cello teaching positions at Junior RNCM and The University of York as well as private teaching. During the summer he is a regular tutor on the Oxford Cello School.


Robert trained at the Royal Northern College of Music and Malmo Academy of Music in Sweden, and is a former prize winner of the British Flute Society Young Artist competition.

He is an active orchestral freelancer and has performed with the Hallé, Royal Scottish and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras, among others. In addition, he has appeared on numerous recordings and soundtracks, and has performed in broadcasts for BBC2, BBC4, BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM.

HELGA PENNY BMus(Hons)(Sheffield), Cert Ed., Violin & viola

Helga Penny began studying the violin before transferring to the viola and studying with Barbara Parham up to Grade 8. She also studied the piano with Ann Airton up to Grade 8. She did a music degree at Sheffield University, receiving viola lessons from both Hilary and Roger Bigley, graduating with an honours degree in 1985.

She joined the Kingston upon Hull Music Service later that year and has been a part of that service ever since. She has also taught upper strings at Hymers College and currently is the upper string specialist at Hull Collegiate School.

Helga is dedicated to teaching the violin and viola to students of all ages and abilities, many achieving excellent results in music festivals, ABRSM and Trinity music exams. She has had students accepted on both violin and viola at the RNCM, RCS, RWCMD and the Birmingham Conservatoire as well as many different universities.

She is particularly interested in chamber music and believes this to have an extremely beneficial effect on the student’s musical development. Quartet coaching has always been an important part of her teaching programme and many of her ensembles have achieved success at Music Festivals and National competitions. Helga has been Secretary of the Music Recital Club for many years, a position which encourages young soloists and ensembles to enjoy valuable platform experience.

She is a keen performing musician and has been a member of the Hull Philharmonic Orchestra for many years, many of them as Principal Viola. Her diverse tastes also include playing opera, musical theatre, Palm Court and chamber music.

Helga is delighted to be part of the team at YYM.

TOM EVANS, clarinet

Since graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2012 Tom has enjoyed a varied and busy freelance career combining orchestral and chamber music performance, music for health and teaching.

As an orchestral player he has performed with the Hallé Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and Sinfonia ViVa amongst others. With his reed trio, Trio Volant, he gives recitals up and down the country for music clubs and societies. Alongside this the trio leads educational workshops as part of the Live Music Now scheme and Music for Hospitals. Working closely within SEN settings Tom is an Associate Artist with Jessie’s Fund, Assistant Workshop Leader with Music Unlimited as well as being Musician-in-Residence at a number of schools on a long term basis. Tom also teaches Clarinet and Saxophone at Sheffield Music Academy.


ELIZABETH KENWOOD began learning the oboe aged 14 as a pupil at Weymouth Grammar School. She went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music, London, with Tess Miller and then George Caird as a post-graduate student. She also studied with Evelyn Rothwell-Barbirolli. At the Academy she won many prizes including the Leila Bull Oboe Prize as a first year student. During this time she won a concerto competition which led to performances of the Strauss Oboe Concerto with Edinburgh Youth Orchestra in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh and in the Festival of British Youth Orchestras at the Central Hall, Tolcross, in the Edinburgh Festival. She successfully auditioned for the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and was awarded a scholarship to study in the Netherlands with virtuoso oboist, Thomas Indermuhle. She was then awarded a Rotary International Foundation Scholarship for chamber music studies at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada.

ELIZABETH has combined a busy career as both performer & teacher. As a performer she has given many concerts as a member of the "Kenwood-Herriott Duo", oboes & piano, both throughout the UK and internationally. The Duo performed in Canada, Western & Eastern Europe. A highlight was a concert tour of South East Asia under the auspices of the British Council, aided at one point by the Sultan of Brunei's Ghurkas! Recent performances include a recital at the International Double Reed Society Annual Convention in Birmingham, UK, where they performed sonatas for Bass Oboe & Piano by Arthur Butterworth and David Baker.

ELIZABETH has visited the Ukraine on six occasions to perform and teach. She performed the Strauss Oboe Concerto with the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra in the Festival entitled "Virtuosos" and has also performed a recital in the contemporary music festival, "Contrasts". Teaching at the Specialist Music School in Lviv & at Lviv Conservatoire are a regular feature of her visits. She has sat as an adjudicator for the "Dmytro Bida Woodwind Young Performers International Competition" with leading teachers & performers from all over the former Soviet Union. Elizabeth has also performed and taught masterclasses at the Minsk Conservatoire, Belarus.

In the UK Elizabeth has performed as a member of the "Kenwood-Herriott Duo" at many music festivals and music societies. As a concerto soloist she has regularly performed with Leeds Symphony Orchestra & Di Musici II. She is very active as a freelance oboe player for all kinds of orchestral music performances and also as a chamber music player. She teaches oboe, bassoon & all woodwind in schools throughout West Yorkshire including Prince Henrys Grammar School, Bradford Grammar School, Guiseley School & Woodhouse Grove. She has enjoyed a busy woodwind teaching career for nearly 30 years and previously taught at Winchester College, St Swithuns, Winchester, Queen Annes, Reading, Taunton School & Queens College, Taunton.

PhD candidate York University Composition/Musicianship

Helen Madden is a Barnsley based composer, teacher, examiner and performer. She graduated from Leeds College of Music in 1995 with a degree in jazz, popular and contemporary music. She returned to the college again in 2012 and completed a MMus in composition, graduating with distinction. During this time Helen developed an interest in interdisciplinary approaches and is now undertaking a PhD in composition at the University of York. Aside from traditional art forms Helen is using this time to explore work which combines music, electronics, spoken word, movement and visual art forms.

Alongside composing Helen also focuses her time on music education. She is a seasoned music examiner and teacher, having taught music from primary to higher education (including Huddersfield University , UCB campus 2012-14). In 2014 Spartan press published 5 of her study books (woodwind, brass and piano) with pieces now being used on the London College of Music jazz and classical syllabus. Three more are due to be published in 2015. In 2014 her piano music was used in Alan McGee’s (Creation records) first feature film ‘Kubricks’. Her music is regularly used by music libraries in the UK and the USA.