Head of Engagement Services, University of Reading.
What do you do for PMZ?
I listen, I question, I offer support and advice when and where I can, if I can. My background is in arts management, music education, charity fundraising and data management and analytics.
Do you play any instruments?
Yes, I am a music graduate from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. I play (or played) the Clarinet, Saxophone and Piano. During my studies, however, I became more interested in community music, music in therapeutic settings, music education, and arts management.
What musical instrument would best describe you as a person?
I couldn’t choose one even if my life depended on it. The collective and collaborative brilliance of a whole orchestra, on the other hand… Being part of an awe inspiring, electrifying sound world is what I am about. It is very nerdy but I love musical structures like sonata form and I love epic symphonies like Mahler 1, Sibelius 2 and 5, Walton 1 and so on. I think my favourite orchestral piece would be John Adam’s Harmonielehre. The romantic tonal expression of the early 20th century meets the rhythmic complexity of minimalism; I just love it.
What has music done for you in your life?
I can’t imagine what my life would be like without music. It is such an instrumental part of who I am. The discipline of lessons, practice, and rehearsals; the lifelong friendships through ensembles; the sense of achievement of grade exams and performances; the aspiration to study music at conservatoire; my qualifications, my career and those softer, musically honed, skills such as resilience, determination, persistence, collaboration, self-reflection and constructive criticism can be attributed to my musical pathway.
Additionally, an important and all to often overlooked essential of music plays a restorative/ regenerative role in my life. That is the silences, pauses, breaths, gasps and rests, between the sounds. Like music, we can’t be Fortissimo all the time, so you’ll often find me seeking out quieter places away from the hustle and bustle of life. Although nature can be thunderingly loud at the best of times too.
What’s the best bit about working at PMZ?
It’s early days so far having just joined as a Trustee but I was always so impressed by the way the CEO of Plymouth Music Zone, Debbie Geraghty, spoke about inclusion and leadership in the arts when I saw her speaking as part of many a national Culture Sector Network conference panel. I have since had the pleasure of visiting PMZ on several occasions to meet the rest of the team and have always been equally struck by the sense of community and duty of care you all have towards each other. It is a rare and brilliant quality. It should be something you’re all proud of and should also be cherished. I feel excited to be able to be even a small part of that now.
What’s the first record/CD you ever bought?
My house was full of records and CDs, mainly classical, swing and jazz. Long road trips were usually drowned out by 60s bands and breakfast tunes were the classic dad vibes of Radio 2. So, in contrast to all this the first CD I ever bought was No Need to Argue the Cranberries second album in 1994.