Black and white photo of man with slightly curly hair looking into camera

Peter Jerome

PMZ Trustee 

Head of Engagement Services, University of Reading.

MUSICAL NOTES

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.

      Jo Higson

      PMZ Special Advisor – Equality Advocate

      MUSICAL NOTES

      What do you do for PMZ?
      I am a Special Advisor, bringing my specialist knowledge and thirty-five years of experience of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion to help in any way I can. I have worked both at a strategic level and on the front-line supporting people directly and currently manage a community team for The Co-operative Group (The Co-op). I am a Fellow of the Institute of Equality and Diversity Professionals, but it’s not just a job for me, it is a real passion running throughout my life.

      I have long been a supporter of Plymouth Music Zone, having brought a group of talented people being supported by Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support, back in 2011. I saw the transformational effect of PMZ then and will be ever grateful for Teri, the music leader for the group, who insisted I didn’t sit on the sidelines and gave me the confidence to sing. I have previously been a Trustee at Plymouth Music Zone too – which the pandemic rather disrupted. So, it’s great to be back to be supporting their incredibly inspiring work.

      Do you play any instruments?

      I started learning the violin at age 8, having been inspired by the Halle Proms in Manchester. It was a real treat to go in to the city on the train and see some world-leading musicians from around the world. I stopped when I went to University at 18 but have been back to it a couple of times, most recently in 2017 when I had lessons again. I also have a mandolin (same string configuration) which I started to teach myself during the pandemic, and intend to continue (with some lessons) when I finish my PhD.

      I have also had times of pure joy singing in harmony in choirs. I don’t have a strong voice for solos but sang alto in my school choir and loved singing in the annual carol service. We were once recorded for BBC Radio and transmitted on Christmas Day. In more recent years I have been part of a couple of choirs including the Barbican Community Choir and Voices at TRP.

      What musical instrument would best describe you as a person?
      Mmmm. A good question. I asked this of some of my Co-op colleagues and they suggested a gamelan because it has a beautiful tone, has international influences and is a bit unusual. I thought that was very nice of them to suggest – so yes, I’ll take that.

      What has music done for you in your life?
      I couldn’t imagine living without it. I love listening, participating and seeing the joy it brings to others. Which you can obviously see in abundance at PMZ. I really enjoy live music too, both in small intimate venues (there are some amazing local musicians – Alex Hart, Becca Langsford, Kay Scoble and Swingology to name a few) and large concerts. Ludovico Einaudi is one of my favourite composers and I loved hearing him at the Pavilions, and in the summer I went to the All Points East Festival in London to hear one of my current favourites, Jungle (“Back on 74” is my current earworm). There is something about feeling the music reverberate within your body that is so life-affirming.

      What’s the best bit about working at PMZ?
      The people – and the values that everyone upholds in all the work that goes on here. Seeing my passion for equality, diversity and inclusion play(!) out here is wonderful.

      What’s the first record/CD you ever bought?
      Eek. It was a 45rpm vinyl. The Wombles and The Wombling Song. Least said about that, the better.

          Anna Détári seated on some stairs, leaning her chin on her hand

          Dr Anna Détári

          PMZ Special Adviser

          Lecturer in Performance Psychology – a member of the Centre of Performance Science, a collaboration between the Royal College of Music and the Imperial College, London

          MUSICAL NOTES

          What do you do for PMZ?
          I’m a Special Advisor, looking for opportunities to support the charity in any health and wellbeing-related matter.

          Do you play any instruments?
          I’m a classically trained flautist with a BA and an MA and I’m still an active player (while lecturing in performance psychology and musicians’ health at the Royal College of Music) so I’m spending quite a lot of time in the practice room! I also play the piano – it was my first instrument which I started when I was 5 years old. These days, I don’t play as frequently as I wish to, but I’m happy to play the 3-4 pieces I still remember at dinner parties! During lockdown, I took up the recorder to play duets with my flatmate for fun – we went through every single piece of sheet music we could find on the internet in our daily practice sessions.

          What musical instrument would best describe you as a person?
          I will have to stick with the flute – it played a central role in my life (pun intended)! Its sound can be shiny and sparkly but also gentle and soft, and it fits in a variety of genres from classical to jazz, similar to the broad variety of my interests and activities.

          What has music done for you in your life?
          Music gave me meaning. I think I was about 9 years old when I told my mother that I’d become a musician and, while it has sometimes been a rocky road, I’m still convinced that it was the smartest decision of my life.

          What’s the best bit about working at PMZ?
          I met the Chief Executive of Plymouth Music Zone, Debbie Geraghty, at a national Think Tank on Musician Wellbeing organised by Britten Pears Arts and was deeply impressed by the charity’s inclusive and musician-centred practices – this is something we all could learn from! I’m hoping that by collaborating with and advising this wonderful organisation, I can bring some awareness of the importance of community music to our students at the Royal College of Music.

          What’s the first record/CD you ever bought?
          That’s a tricky one because I was surrounded by a steadily growing number of records and CDs from a young age (my family really appreciated music and kept buying new ones) and I’m not sure which was the first one I actually got myself. My guess is Jean-Pierre Rampal’s recordings of baroque flute concertos, but it might have been a birthday gift… nevertheless, those three CDs were played so many times that after a while my family begged me to put on something else!

              Liz Hill

              Liz Hill

              PMZ Trustee

              Retired Infant School Head Teacher 

              MUSICAL NOTES

              What do you do for PMZ?

              Hello, my name is Liz and I have enjoyed a career in teaching where I have been able to indulge my passion for music and the creative arts. Now, as a Trustee within PMZ, I bring my knowledge of education and safeguarding to support their work across the many communities they engage with.  I know how enjoyable and beneficial music is for all ages and how musical experiences can bring so much joy and confidence to every child but especially to those who have experienced trauma. I had the pleasure of working directly with Plymouth Music Zone for many years as a Head Teacher in a local Infant School in Plymouth and saw first hand the power and impact of PMZ’s approach and how much the children responded.

              Do you play any instruments?

              It all began when I was a child of 4 or 5 and I remember my mother playing the piano or violin whilst my brother and I sang or recited poems.  At school I learned to play the recorder and then took up playing the clarinet at the age of 11.  I really wanted to play the saxophone because it sounded so rich and sexy but the school had run out of saxophones so I had a clarinet instead!  I did love playing the clarinet and joined the school orchestra and had some lessons too.  It was only when I became an infant teacher that I realised what fun percussion instruments can be.  Since becoming a grandma I have an enthusiastic granddaughter with whom I can have fun with playing on bought and homemade instruments.

              What musical instrument would best describe you as a person?

              As a person I am optimistic and look for the positives and opportunities in life and am always ‘on the go’.  The instrument that best describes me is a Xylophone and if you use the pentatonic notes, anybody can play it, slowly or at speed and it always sounds great.

              What has music done for you in your life?

              I have an eclectic taste in music and enjoy ‘live’ music from local bands, orchestral stuff, folk and singing and playing with friends.  I think that music satisfies the soul and there is something for every occasion.  I enjoy recognising a tune or song and it evokes memories for me.

              What’s the best bit about working at PMZ?

              Working at PMZ gives me the opportunity to share my passion for music and the creative arts and to try to give others the opportunity to take part and enjoy musical experiences too. Plymouth Music Zone is open to everybody and the people who participate in the groups, workshops and behind the scenes all make it such a special ‘zone’ to be in.  Just think what a happy place Plymouth could be if everybody could have a little PMZ magic!

              What’s the first record/CD you ever bought?

              I have never bought a record as there wasn’t spare money in the household when I was growing up so relied on the radio and family musical sessions.  I do own some CDs now but I usually pick them up at the charity shop or buy them from a performing band.

                  Seth Lakeman

                  PMZ Patron

                  Seth is a renowned folk singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, who grew up just north of Plymouth, in Buckland Monachorum in West Devon. He is best known for his performances on fiddle and tenor guitar, but also plays the viola and banjo. We are delighted to have Seth as Plymouth Music Zone’s patron.

                  “I was completely blown away by the size of the operation at PMZ and the kind of opportunities they provide with their amazing work building the confidence and aspirations of their participants. They change lives everyday and I’m delighted to be Plymouth Music Zone’s first ever patron offering help whenever I can.” Seth Lakeman

                   

                      Deborah Myers

                      PMZ Special Adviser

                      Development Director and Consultant.
                      Current Director of Development of the Science Museum Group, the world’s leading group of science museums including five museums across the country. Trustee at Shakespeare’s Globe. 

                      MUSICAL NOTES

                      What do you do for PMZ?
                      I’m a PMZ Special Adviser with a specialism in fundraising for the arts.

                      Do you play any instruments?
                      I play piano and used to play flute, and I sing.

                      What musical instrument would best describe you as a person?
                      I’d like to think a cello – with its combination of warmth, emotion and boldness.

                      What has music done for you in your life?
                      I feel like music has touched every part of my life. My Dad inspired a love of jazz through his piano improvisation and my Mum and Dad took me to classical concerts. In my teens I loved the summer music camps run by Avril Dankworth (Johnny’s sister) that I attended which ignited my love of singing. My husband encouraged a love of opera which I pursued when I worked at the Royal Opera House and my children expand my horizons across rap, hip hop, musical theatre and more.

                      What’s the best bit about working at PMZ?
                      I love the way that music is for everybody at PMZ, young or old and of all abilities and from every section of the community. And I love working with PMZ’s chief executive, the inspiring Debbie Geraghty.

                      What’s the first record/CD you ever bought?
                      Every Breath You Take, by The Police

                        Prof Norma Daykin

                        Prof. Norma Daykin

                        PMZ Special Adviser

                        University of Tampere, Finland. Professor, Centre for Arts as Wellbeing, University of Winchester. Professor of Arts in Health, University of the West of England.

                         

                        MUSICAL NOTES

                        What do you do for PMZ?
                        I am a former Trustee for PMZ but stepped down when I moved to the University of Tampere in Finland. I was keen to maintain my international links with Plymouth Music Zone and its work so was delighted to be invited to remain as one of their Special Advisers. I am a musician and researcher specialising in the role of arts and music in supporting health and wellbeing. I have researched and written about the impacts of music in a variety of settings including GP surgeries, hospitals, communities and prisons, working with participants of all ages. I was previously based at the University of Winchester where I am a Professor in the Centre for Arts as Wellbeing.

                        Do you play any instruments?
                        I play the saxophone and I also compose and arrange music. I am the Music Director of a unique community orchestra, the Bristol Reggae Orchestra, a 30 piece ensemble that includes musicians and singers from a wide range of backgrounds. Since we began in 2010 we have performed all over the South West and Wales, and have been broadcast on Radio 3!

                        What musical instrument would best describe you as a person?
                        I’m not sure if it describes me as a person but my favourite musical instrument at present is the soprano saxophone. I am drawn to it because it has a clear voice and it is deceptively adaptable to lots of different playing situations and genres.

                        What has music done for you in your life?
                        I have been involved in music all my life. My dad was a sax player and music arranger who dedicated himself to big band music. My mum is a dance teacher and is still active, giving lessons for all sections of the community. I grew up with music and dance in equal measure. I love jazz, folk and Latin music and I currently teach salsa dance. I have found that dance and music are both fantastic ways of dealing with life’s challenges.

                        What’s the best bit about working at PMZ?
                        I am very pleased to be supporting PMZ as a Special Adviser. I hope to share my knowledge and awareness of the value of research as well as the development of best practice in community music.

                        What’s the first record/CD you ever bought?
                        In all honesty I cannot remember buying my first record but I used to be a great fan of Donny Osmond, David Cassidy and the Jackson 5 so it would have to be one of them!

                            Christopher Hunt

                            PMZ Vice Chair of Trustees

                            Creative Technologist, Controlled Frenzy. Director at Digital Plymouth

                             

                            MUSICAL NOTES

                            What do you do for PMZ?

                            I previously volunteered with PMZ’s Digital Orchestra to help extend their work with visuals, data and accessible interfaces. I’ve been inspired by that amazing group for disabled musicians over the past 2 years and have grown to absolutely love the work of Plymouth Music Zone.

                            Now I’ve become a Trustee and have started to support the digital strategy across the whole of PMZ to ensure they can extend their immense expertise further afield, including internationally. I particularly love the blend of digital and humanity that happens at PMZ. Others have much to learn from how they operate.

                            Do you play any instruments?

                            While never really able to crack playing something beyond Guitar Hero, a lifetime ago I used to sing and perform as part of several amateur dramatics groups. I realise that revealing this will doom me to getting on the microphone at the Digital Orchestra!

                            What musical instrument would best describe you as a person?

                            It’s obviously got to be something flashy, interesting and most definitely digital. Maybe a Yamaha Tenori-on?

                            What has music done for you in your life?

                            I’ll always credit that time spent singing with teaching me how to be confident in front of an audience and how to make my voice heard. It’s amazing what performing did for my self confidence.

                            What’s the best bit about working at PMZ?

                            The team is a huge, supportive family who make a real and valuable impact. Walking into the space, you just feel the love and appreciation for the work that happens here.

                            What’s the first record/CD you ever bought?

                            I must have been 7 or 8, so forgive the lack of taste, but it was ‘The Simpsons Sing the Blues’, bought with an HMV Christmas voucher. I probably know all the words to ‘Do The Bartman’ by heart!

                                Dr Clare Pettinger

                                Dr. Clare Pettinger

                                PMZ Trustee

                                Lecturer Public Health Dietetics, University of Plymouth. Freelance Creative Well-being consultant.

                                 

                                MUSICAL NOTES

                                What do you do for PMZ?
                                I am utterly thrilled and privileged to have joined the team as the newest PMZ trustee. I am a long-standing supporter of this amazing charity and have engaged in some fundraising activities over the years. As a successful singer/performer and passionate advocate for social justice in my chosen field of Public Health Nutrition, I am really looking forward to working with this amazing bunch of inspiring creatives to support the next stage of the PMZ business plan. I have strong local and regional networks in education, third sector and well-being, so hope I can combine my passion for social justice, well-being and music, so that more lives can be improved.

                                Do you play any instruments?
                                I learned piano (to grade 3) and violin (mimicking a very distressed cat!) as a child. I play a little bit of basic guitar, and currently trying to learn ukulele. But my singing voice is my gift.

                                What musical instrument would best describe you as a person?
                                Hmm, I struggled with this one. I am opting for the rather diva-esque ‘One-Woman-Band’ which I think sums me up rather nicely. The instruments in this outfit would, no doubt, change with the season/cycle/mood, but would probably include: rhythmic foot drum, bells on my elbows, cymbals between my knees, sassy harmonica coupled with raspy flute (unless I can think of a way of blowing both simultaneously) and to fill the gaps, some scatting vocals (possibly with loop pedal to over-lay several narrative layers)?ostentatious and scary thought really!!

                                What has music done for you in your life?
                                If music be the food of love, play on?
                                Music brings me sanity in a rather insane world.

                                I am very privileged to have had music as part of my life since being in the womb,  8 months pregnant (with me) my mum performed Handel’s Messiah as lead soprano*, so I have a strong genetic musicality.
                                *My mum is a well-known professional soprano. See link http://www.samling.org.uk/leaders/patricia-macmahon/

                                I spent a lot of my youth exposed to classical music, au-paired during the Salzburg Mozart Festival, and performed in several amateur musical theatre shows. I have now managed in my own right, to become an established singer and performer. I led a 10-piece funky soul band (2010-16) The Cuckoo Collective, who entertained dancing crowds across Devon and Cornwall. I am now part of the Q-Dettes, a four-piece female group of vocal composers, working with arresting arrangement of familiar songs (musical director, PMZ’s own music leader, Bernie Artuso). I am also writing my own material with husband Neil, which is a very exciting new phase of my musical journey.

                                What’s the best bit about working at PMZ?
                                Music is one of the most connective and powerful gifts we have. In our too often harsh and cruel world, music can bring hope, build bridges, exert joy and peace. PMZ is tapping into this transformational power ? with such inspirational results. I am already in awe of the team at PMZ, their work is incredible. They bring highly skilled compassionate musical joy to many individuals and communities in need, which is unique in itself. But they also have the privilege of working within a very rare ‘family-team’ environment, which is supportive of both personal and organisational developments. It is an honour to be joining this team, and I am really looking forward to giving my time and sharing some special magical musical moments.

                                What’s the first record/CD you ever bought?
                                Tourists – ‘So good to be back home again’ and Blondie – ‘Heart of Glass’.

                                    Professor Montserrat Fuentes Romero

                                    Prof. Montserrat Fuentes Romero

                                    PMZ Special Advisor

                                    Director of Culture, Xacara and Professor of Piano and Music, Anahuac University, New Mexico

                                     

                                    MUSICAL NOTES

                                    What do you do for PMZ?
                                    I have the great opportunity to be one of the Special Advisers on the Trustee Board, supporting and giving advice in areas of development to the PMZ Leadership Team. I am a musician and cultural project manager. I founded my own organisation based in Mexico supporting artists and their projects through capacity building and tools which will strengthen their professional abilities. Also, I am a Professor of the Music Contemporary Degree, at Anáhuac University in Mexico City. I teach Piano and theoretical subjects such as Wellness and Creative Projection for the musician and developed a Body Percussion online subject. I studied my MA at the Arts University in Havana, Cuba, where I started researching about Latin American teaching music methods. I also have 15 years of teaching experience that gives me the knowledge to support and develop the Special Adviser role for PMZ.

                                    Do you play any instruments?
                                    My degree is in Classic Piano in the Music Conservatory (INBA) in Mexico City. Then I studied the MA in formative processes in the teaching of the arts, in Havana, Cuba. A short film was made by the cultural channel in Mexico which was broadcast by television about me and my life as a piano student. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc69JCjv0Yw&t=10s
                                    I started my music studies when I was 7 years old and never stopped. My main instrument has always been piano, but when I was 9 years old I practised the violin for a year, I am not an expert as in piano, not even close. When I was in college I also played clavecin with the University Orchestra as part of a subject. I took singing lessons and took part of the University Choir.

                                    What musical instrument would best describe you as a person?
                                    Difficult question! I would say that my own instrument, the piano. The piano has a variety of sound and registers, as the variety of emotions I can feel and experience, and each one is contrasting and unique to the other. The piano has the opportunity to explore a lot of music genres, with different rhythms, and this can talk about my ability of adaptation and resilience, due to the fact I have been travelling and living in different and contrasting places, with different cultures, languages and traditions. This experience developed my capacity of resilience: ‘the art to get back’. This instrument has the possibility to be elegant and friendly. Because it is a harmonic and melodic instrument it can be played as soloist and be the only one sounding, but also has the ability to play in ensemble with other instruments; it can be part of a team and work as group; it has the gorgeous opportunity to be alone in some moments but has the fortune to be as a group.

                                    What has music done for you in your life?
                                    Music is life. I can’t describe a moment in my life without being involved in music. All the memories in my mind are connected to some genre of music. This means they are connected to my heart and my emotions. I used to have music since I was in my mother’s womb, she used to sing to me and, also, to sound beautiful music. I live with music every single day of my life: when I cook, when I drive, when I dance. Because of this, all the moments in my life are attached to some kind of music. Also, after college, I have the lovely opportunity to learn how important is music for all human beings. The powerful tools music can give in the learning process. I have worked with children in areas of disadvantage, teaching them music as another option for their life. Their realities are very delicate because of the few opportunities they can have in their futures. My experience with them is how strong can be music through its impact. Music is a gift that should be for everybody.

                                    What’s the best bit about supporting PMZ?
                                    In the past 10 years I have worked through music with different ages of people from 1 to 80 years old; in different contexts, as schools, university, vulnerable communities, vulnerable children, etc. I have seen the power of the music for changing lives and realities; the strong impact that art and culture can create in children futures and adults present. Because of that I have a particular passion for working towards creating inclusion, something shared by Plymouth Music Zone. Art, culture, and specific music, should be a right for every human being. I am very pleased to be supporting PMZ as a Special Adviser for sharing my knowledge, experience, ideas, and support in this great area of work: changing lives through art.

                                    What’s the first record/CD you ever bought?
                                    I think I was 6 years old, and I finished watching, on tv, a serial about the life of the great violin maker Antonio Stradivari. The theme of the tv serial was the very famous Canon of Pachelbel. I had a big crush on that piece. Immediately I asked my dad to buy me the cassette. This was my first record, even when I asked someone else to buy it for me. The first record I bought (with my savings), when I was 10 years old and I was listening the revolutionary latin american trova gender. I bought a CD (not cassette) of Silvio Rodríguez, a cuban composer and singer.