Who’s who

Children playing brass instruments

Who’s who

A list of our patrons, tutors, directors, board members, and members of our management team.

GAM Patrons

Julian Lloyd Webber OBE


As son of composer William Lloyd Webber and brother of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, cellist Julian went on to become a scholar at the Royal Academy of Music, before spending time in Geneva with Pierre Fournier to complete his studies.
He made his concert debut in 1972, performing the Cello Concerto of Arthur Bliss.

This piece became one of 50 premiere works for cello that Julian went on to record, many of which had been written for him. Over the years he has inspired new compositions for cello from composers as diverse as Malcolm Arnold and Philip Glass.
He has collaborated with an array of artists including Yehudi Menuhin, Stephane Grappelli and Elton John.

Julian formed the Music Education Consortium in 2004 with James Galway and Evelyn Glennie. Following his final concert in 2014, Lloyd Webber now dedicates more time to his work in the field of music education.

Dame Janet Trotter DBE CVO

Janet is Founder Chair of the Cyber Trust, Chair of the Nelson Trust and a Board Member of Lilian Faithfull Care. She is a Member of the Advisory Board of the Great Western Railway and also Chairs the Gloucestershire Child Friendly Project which seeks to increase opportunities for all young people in the county.

Janet began her career as a teacher in Kent and was the founding Vice Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire. In 1989/1990 she chaired an Expert Group for government on Information Technology and Initial Teacher Education. She chaired the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Hospital 2002 – 2010 and was Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire 2010 – 2018.

She was awarded an OBE in 1991, a DBE in 2001 and a CVO in 2018.

Meurig Bowen

Arts administrator

Meurig is Director of the Cheltenham Music Festival, one of the UK’s most celebrated classical music events. He studied music at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar. Also a viola player in his teens, he was a member of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra.
Following graduation, and after a period managing The Hilliard Ensemble in London, he was Artistic Administrator of the Australian Chamber Orchestra from 1995-2001.

Returning to the UK, he was Director of the Lichfield Festival in Staffordshire until 2004, and then Head of Programming at the Aldeburgh Festival/Snape Proms before moving to Cheltenham in 2007.

Nicholas Daniel OBE


In a career of over 40 years, Nicholas has been a concerto soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, performing a huge range of repertoire from Bach to Xenakis, premiering works written for him by composers including Harrison Birtwistle, Henri Dutilleux, James MacMillan, Thea Musgrave, John Tavener and Michael Tippett, as well as encouraging many younger composers to write for the oboe.

He records and broadcasts widely, including regular recordings on the Chandos label. He has directed several music festivals and concert series and has been Music Director of the Leicester International Music Festival and lunchtime series for twenty years. His recording of concertos by Vaughan Williams and MacMillan was awarded the BBC Music Magazine Premiere Award in 2016. As chamber musician Nicholas is a founder member of the award-winning Britten Sinfonia, the Haffner Wind Ensemble and the Britten Oboe Quartet. In 2012 he received the prestigious Queen’s Medal for Music, for his “outstanding contribution to the musical life of the nation” and in 2022 he was awarded the Musicians’ Company Cobbett Medal, an annual award given by the Company to recognise outstanding contributions to chamber music.






Caroline Lumsden


Caroline trained as a violinist and singer at the Guildhall School of Music and then as a primary school teacher.   In 1981 she moved to Gloucestershire with husband Alan and their four children, where they founded Beauchamp Music Group.  This was followed by Beauchamp House International courses and Musicland Publications (1984). Caroline & Alan travelled the UK and to Hong Kong and Australia running teacher-training courses on their holistic Musicland ’Approach’.  In 1991, this became the Gloucester (now Gloucestershire) Academy of Music to cater for those advanced pupils who needed more intense training.

Caroline lectured for the European String Teachers’ Association and founded Junior ESTA (1993) to link pupils and teachers from around Europe. Many happy GAM European tours followed.  In 2005-2011 Caroline taught in London for Junior Guildhall and then for Junior Trinity, developing a programme for 3-11 year olds.  With many publications to her name and happy to be back in Gloucestershire, Caroline now divides her time between writing, and teaching for GAM.

GAM Instrumental and Vocal Tutors

Rebekah Allan


Rebekah studied violin at Trinity College of Music, winning the year 2000 Silver Prize for Strings and a scholarship to study in The Netherlands, living in the wonderful Amsterdam. Freelance playing started in Holland, touring St John’s Passion, and European cities with an opera company. On returning, Rebekah was involved in David Blunkett’s wider opportunities’ programme when he set out to give every school child the chance to learn an instrument. Rebekah plays for the internationally reknowned Hofesh Schechter Dance company, as well as Rambert dance. She is a member of Orchestra of the Swan, plays with Bristol Ensemble and numerous other orchestras and chamber groups as well as Pete Tong’s Ibiza Classics tours with the Heritage Orchestra and pop musicians such as RagnBone Man, Cosmo Sheldrake, Emily Barker, Marina and the Diamonds and Emili Sandé.


Cathy Hill


Cathy grew up in Gloucestershire, and started violin lessons aged 7. She went on to study Music at Exeter University, specialising in performance. She completed a postgrad Diploma in performance on violin at Birmingham Conservative, studying with Marat Bisengaliev. Following her studies Cathy moved to London, where she played in various ensembles, with a special interest in chamber music. She also collaborated on publishing projects with Caroline Lumsden and Musicland. Since returning to Gloucestershire in 2004, Cathy has been teaching full time. She enjoys playing with her quartet for various functions, and plays freelance in orchestras and ensembles. Irish and Scottish music is a real passion for her. She enjoys performing and playing a variety of music styles. 

Tomo Kimura


Catherine Smith


Catherine graduated from the University of Birmingham with an honours degree in Music, before studying for two years at the Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester Metropolitan University, where she gained her PGCE in Music with Specialist Strings. Since then, Catherine has worked as a Specialist Primary Music Teacher, KS2 class teacher, instrumental teacher and SEND learning partner. In the midst of this, she has three children and has spent many years in a variety of voluntary roles. Catherine is a qualified Paediatric First Aider and also has qualifications in Children and Young People’s Mental Health. When not teaching, or learning herself, Catherine plays violin with Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra and loves to spend any spare time either hiking mountains, riding her bike or reading the next book on her ever growing list! She is also currently training to be an Advanced Wilderness Therapeutic Practioner.


Caroline Lumsden


See 'Founder' profile above.

Shulah Oliver-Smith

Violin and Viola

Laura Galletta


Kate Skeet

Viola/Violin/Whole-class Gamelan

Kate Skeet is a performer and teacher of viola and violin. Growing up in Gloucestershire, she progressed through the county youth orchestras up to the National Youth Orchestra and National Youth Chamber Orchestra of Great Britain. With a music degree from Bristol University and a Postgraduate Certificate in Music Education from Trinity Laban Conservatoire, her life in music has ranged from arts management to work in a violin shop, finally settling down to a portfolio career of performing and teaching. As a performer, Kate specialises in period instrument performance and chamber music and has performed in many of the major concert venues in the UK and Europe. As an educationalist she has a busy teaching practice in a mixture of primary and secondary schools in Gloucestershire and privately, as well as being a tutor for GAM and a member of the Regional Advisory Team for the European String Teachers’ Association. In addition to string teaching, GAM has given Kate the opportunity to train as a gamelan tutor giving workshops and WCET sessions, and as a Ready Steady Play tutor for KS1 classes. In her spare time, Kate enjoys outdoor swimming and taking up many, mostly short lived hobbies.


Nina Sarnath           


Nina’s journey as a violinist began at age 4 at St. Cloud Suzuki Studio in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, USA. She has since studied at Harvard University, Boston Conservatory, and most recently the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she was awarded DipRAM for an outstanding final recital and the LRAM teaching qualification, as well as the Winifred Small Prize for Violin. She is especially inspired by early music, new classical music, and world music, and at home on both Baroque and modern violins.
In 12 years of freelance playing, she has played with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Grammy-winning Boston Modern Orchestra Project, as well as many other orchestras on both sides of the pond. She now plays with Bristol Ensemble, the Musical and Amicable Society, and several other orchestras across the UK.
Nina is an experienced teacher and is a tutor at Gloucestershire Academy of Music as well as maintaining a private teaching studio. She particularly enjoys teaching adult amateurs and believes it is never too late to learn an instrument!
She lives in Stroud with her husband and enjoys singing, gardening, long walks, and herbal tea.


Jenny Chaddock


Glyn Oxley


See profile in 'Management/Admin Team' below.

Abigail Davies


Abby grew up in a musical family and learnt Cello from a very young age. She enjoyed playing as part of Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra for many years and in her final year at school decided to also learn the Double Bass. She studied Mathematics and Music as a joint honours programme at the University of Birmingham. Alongside her degree, she worked Front of House with organisations such as Birmingham Hippodrome and the CBSO as well as sitting on the University’s Music Society Committee as Chorus Manager. She also completed a summer internship post-degree working with Birmingham Royal Ballet to curate a music outreach programme for the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. During her degree, Abby specialised in music education and its social and cognitive benefits, taking particular interest in the dynamics, benefits and draw backs of the National Whole Classroom Ensemble Teaching (WCET) as well as completing her dissertation on early years music education and the life-long benefits. She is now excited to be teaching and working with her classes and pupils at GAM and putting all her knowledge into action.

Tomasz Williams

Double Bass

Tomasz Williams is a double bass tutor with over a decade of teaching experience. He was trained classically under the guidance of Yuri Goloubev and has developed a deep understanding of the instrument's intricacies. Currently he serves as tutor at esteemed Schools, including Cheltenham College and Pates Grammar School. Beyond his role as a tutor Tomasz is a member of the local Jazz quartet Swing From Paris. Often described as the finest Gypsy Jazz in the Cotswolds. Tomasz brings a blend of classical and contemporary flair to his teaching inspiring students to explore the diversity of double bass playing. Tomasz's focus is on nurturing each student's growth to ensure they develop the skills and confidence needed to excel in their musical journey. Through his dynamic approach to teaching he aims to inspire a new generation of musicians to develop an appreciation for the art of double bass playing.


Zoë Roberts             


Zoë started playing the 'cello at the age of 11 and won Gloucestershire's Young Musician Of The Year competition at the age of 17. She studied with Ioan Davies before going to the Royal Northern College of Music to learn with Clive Greensmith. Whilst there, her quartet won the coveted Weil Prize and got to perform John Casken's Second String Quartet with the composer himself sitting in the audience! Her quartet were also the runners up for the equally prestigious Hirsch Prize. She did a Master's degree in historical musicology at Manchester University and later won an entrance scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, having been tutored by Lowri Blake. Zoë has played live on Classic FM and BBC Radio Gloucestershire and performed in many concerts including being the soloist for Haydn's C Major 'cello concerto, and Shostakovich's 'cello concerto no. 1 at the Cheltenham Town Hall. She has also given lunchtime recitals at the Pittville Pump Rooms and performed in an orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. Zoë taught the 'cello at the Oxford 'Cello School for several years and continued to teach privately before having a career break. She is now enjoying teaching a wide range of students, and is thrilled to be on the GAM tutor team!

Becky Chevis


Becky grew up in Gloucester, then read music at Jesus College, Oxford, where she studied flute with Kate Hill. After graduating in 2014 she moved to South London where she began freelancing as a flautist performing chamber music, folk music, and interdisciplinary improvisations with contemporary dance company InvoluntaryMovement. She also taught a flute group and led the choirs at Pembroke Academy of Music. In 2017 Becky moved back to Gloucestershire where she teaches flute and runs community-based music projects for Gloucester Academy of Music, as well as continuing to perform as a flautist in chamber music and traditional music.


Polly Jarvis

Recorder / Flute

Polly is a woodwind specialist who grew up in Gloucester. In 2017, she graduated with a First Class (Hons) Bachelor of Music degree from Bangor University, where she studied flute with Jonathan Rimmer. After graduating, she worked with GAM as both a teacher and as part of the office team, before completing her PGCE with the University of Bristol. Polly has worked in school music departments in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, and is currently Head of Music at John Masefield High School in Ledbury. She has performed with choirs and orchestras in a range of venues including Birmingham Symphony Hall, Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. At GAM, Polly teaches flute and recorder, but she also plays piano, and dabbles with guitar, ukulele and saxophone! She has recently been a Musical Director for the first time, for JMHS's production of Guys and Dolls.


Tessa Frye


Hannah Wrieden



Karen Sykes


Karen is a woodwind teacher from Gloucester. She teaches clarinet, saxophone and flute in both jazz and classical styles. When her son was offered a stage school scholarship in London she moved to Aylesbury where she taught full time in the music centre, including scholarship lessons and also ran a beginner wind band. When she returned to Gloucestershire she became a self employed wood wind teacher and now works in a variety of secondary and primary schools.


Paul McLaughlin       


Paul McLaughlin is a freelance musician, teacher and conductor, originally from Dundee and now living in Stroud. He studied at Leeds College of Music and Newcastle University and has spent much of his career playing in and directing a variety of ensembles, shows and projects around the UK. Paul is one of Brass Bands England’s Brass Foundations Youth Development team, working with schools and bands throughout the south-west to inspire and encourage more young people into brass playing and develop exciting musical partnerships in local communities. He is Principal Bb Bass of Sandhurst Silver Band (Championship Section), tuba player of JP AllStars Brass Quintet and 2nd trombone with The JayCee Big Band, as well as regularly stepping in to help other bands, orchestras and ensembles. Paul is also a regular Musical Director for Cheltenham Operatic and Dramatic Society, better known as CODS.

Peter Richards     

Trombone/ Brass

Peter grew up in Cornwall, and started playing trombone at 7 years old with the St Keverne Brass Band, switching to bass trombone at 15. Peter was also a member of several county youth music groups, including orchestra, wind orchestra, brass band & brass ensemble. In 2016, Peter commenced studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, studying with Alan Swain (Welsh National Opera), Darren Smith (BBC National Orchestra of Wales) & Roger Argente (ex Royal Philharmonic Orchestra). Since graduating, Peter has continued playing professionally through function groups, orchestras, big bands and brass bands, and in July 2021 joined the GAM-based Flowers Brass Band on bass trombone. He has also worked with numerous music services throughout the South West. Away from music, Peter is a big sports fan (especially rugby and football) and loves cooking and food, particularly curry!

Jenny Steele              

French Horn/Brass

Jenny grew up in Cheltenham, beginning horn studies at the age of 18 whilst a student at Warwick University. After graduating, she studied the horn with Ifor James in Freiburg, Germany and in London at the National Centre for Orchestral Studies. Following several seasons in the orchestra of Maggio Musicale in Florence, Italy, she returned to the UK to live and work in London, playing in West End shows and freelancing with a number of orchestras across the country. She became increasingly interested in teaching, and worked as a horn specialist for Bedfordshire county music service and for Hillingdon music service, where she directed the youth orchestra and co-ordinated the running of the music centre. Having moved back to Gloucestershire in more recent years, she now plays with orchestras locally and with chamber orchestras and ensembles based in Oxfordshire and Berkshire. Jenny also enjoys conducting and currently directs Colwell Arts Orchestra and Five Valleys Adult Wind Band. She is also a certified teacher of the Alexander technique.


Marcel Zidani


Accomplished pianist and composer Marcel Zidani pursued his piano studies under the guidance of Royal Academy Vice-Principal Mark Racz and, more recently, the mentorship of Professor Philip Martin. Marcel’s work in composition has gained him 2nd prize in the European Piano Teachers Composer Competition, a nomination in the British Composer Awards in 2015 and regular radio airtime. Marcel has composed educational music for exam boards and method books, contributing to the ABRSM Piano Star series and authoring 'Hey Presto,' a comprehensive piano method highly recommended by Epta and Pianist Professional Magazine. His CD, "Piano in the Small Hours," featured on BBC Radio 3, showcases his improvisational talent, earning acclaim as a 'Musical Gem' with a compositional style reminiscent of Chopin, Liszt, and Satie. He has a rich performance history at music festivals across the UK. Currently serving on the Oxford University Piano Teaching Panel, he is a dedicated piano teacher whose students have earned acclaim in Young Musician competitions and beyond.

Christian Lillicrap

Piano/Theory Holiday Course

Christian trained at the Royal College of Music in piano and composition and gained a GRSM degree. He has worked as a pianist, conductor, accompanist and music teacher privately and in schools with both children and adults. Christian worked for many years in the UK before travelling to Sydney where he lived for twenty years. In Sydney, Christian performed extensively as an accompanist and repetiteur as well as teaching class music and piano and coaching instrumentalists.


Chris Guild

Piano/Theory Holiday Course

Christopher Guild is a classical concert pianist hailing from the north of Scotland. He studied violin, piano, composition and jazz electric bass at St Mary’s Music School (Edinburgh) before entering the Royal College of Music as a Foundation Scholar. Chris went on to enjoy a notable performing career under the auspices of the Park Lane Group, the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme, and as a freelance pianist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and City of London Sinfonia. He is an internationally acclaimed recording artist, having released several solo and duo albums through Toccata Classics and Champs Hill Records, and specialises in British music from the early to late 20th century. A dedicated and sought-after teacher, Chris has taught Piano, KS3-5 Music and Music Theory in some of England’s leading schools, including Millfield, Reigate Grammar School, Salisbury Cathedral School, and the Godolphin School, Salisbury where he became Head of Instrumental Music. Until 2022 he was on the faculty at Junior Trinity, London, teaching Piano and Musicianship, as well as becoming the inaugural teacher of Advanced Theory. Chris relocated to Gloucester in late 2021 with his young family, and now teaches at GAM, Dean Close School and Solihull School.


Sarah Cheung


Sarah holds a Bachelor (Honours) degree of Music in Piano Performance, with a Distinction of Licentiate (LTCL) Piano Performance Diploma from Trinity College London, and DipABRSM in Piano Performance. Before studying music, she studied Chemistry and obtained a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Chemistry. Sarah is currently the piano accompanist of Tapestry Chamber Choir and The People’s Show Choirs, and teaches piano in schools. When she was young, she studied piano under the tutelage of Jura Margulis (Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg), and Cheung-yu Mo (DMA of The Julliard School). Sarah has been teaching piano and music theory since 2004, and is especially talented in communicating and connecting with children and children with special needs. Sarah also loves performing, with wide range of piano performance experiences with choirs, charity bodies and ceremonies over 20 years, from formal recital setting to outdoor venue. She enjoys sharing the joy of music with people from different walks of life. Sarah lives in Cheltenham with her two children.


Joe Silmon-Clyde


Joseph Silmon-Clyde grew up in Gloucestershire and graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London where he was awarded his Bachelor of Music in 2023. Whilst at Royal Holloway, he studied piano under Matthew Stanley and pursued his studies in composition under various professors. In his third and final year, he was selected as one of Royal Holloway’s Composers in Residence and was commissioned to write a piece for chamber choir, influenced by one of the paintings in the university’s vast gallery. During his degree, he took particular interest in studying music education in a key final year module. He was given guidance on 1:1 teaching by Mary Dullea, who gave lectures on the various methods and techniques of peripatetic teaching. Since graduating, Joseph has moved back to Gloucestershire where he teaches piano at Barbican House and GAM’s Grade 5 theory group in Cheltenham.

Willow Burden


Willow grew up in Gloucester, before studying at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with Amanda Roocroft, where she gained her Bachelor of Music with Honours in Performance. During this time she explored many operatic roles, while performing with various chamber ensembles and delivering public recitals. Since graduating, Willow has established her teaching practice throughout Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, both privately and as a visiting teacher to various schools around the county. In addition, she delivers music curriculum, alongside her role as music coordinator at a primary school in central Gloucester. With a special interest in performance anxiety, Willow works to cultivate not only great singers, but confident performers, to the benefit of her students' performances. She places an importance on vocal health, carefully guiding her students as they explore the possibilities of their singing capabilities. In addition to her work as a teacher, Willow has a varied concert diary as a soloist throughout the Southwest. Alongside this, she has explored the works of women composers, performing recitals of varied programmes, to share the music of lesser-known composers.


Jessi Pywell

Infant Singing and Rhythm / String Starters

Nick Perfect             


Tom Harvey            

Acoustic and Electric Guitar/Ukelele

Tom trained as a guitarist at the Royal Welsh college of drama. As a dedicated gigging musician Tom has played with musicians like Gregory Porter, a variety of bands from jazz and blues to rock and pop. Tom started teaching in his secondary school at the age of 16 and has since then taught in schools and privately throughout England and Wales. His teaching style is encouraging and promotes creativity. Tom especially likes to lead workshops which he has lead with Community music Wales and Cymru Jazz Wales. As a regularly performing musician Tom prudes himself in being able to offer his experience and professional insights to the students that he teaches.


Simon McCarthy


Paul Newman          

Acoustic and Electric Guitar

Paul began his career playing the guitar in pop covers band Peggoty’s People, touring American Military bases in Germany in the late sixties. He subsequently studied Jazz at the then newly formed Leeds Music Centre, and returned to Cheltenham to play with a  Big Band before moving to London with 8-piece band Rupert X, which made an album on Virgin Records. Whilst in London he worked as librarian for English National Opera. He returned to Cheltenham in 1975 and taught the guitar through his private practice. He continued to play for local dance bands and eventually formed his own, Fifth Avenue, which performed all over Gloucestershire for over three years. In 1983 he started teaching at Cheltenham College and then Charlton Park, which became St. Edward’s, and he has remained at the school ever since. In 1998 he joined the legendary Ramrods who were popular at the Thistle Hotel for 60’s nights and as a result played some very prestigious gigs including the London Hilton, Celtic Manor Hotel and even the Fairford International Tattoo. Paul continues to play live gigs with the Crescendo Big Band and smaller jazz ensembles in the area.

Luke Hartley        

Drum Kit

Luke is a drummer & composer from Monmouthshire, Wales. He has been a performing musician for 13 years with appearances at the Rockerfeller Centre, New York and UK festival main stages such as Boomtown and Cheltenham Jazz and Nozstock. His playing has also featured on the soundtracks of Netflix Originals and the BBC 2 Documentary Last Chance Lawyer NYC. He studied Jazz at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where he achieved a first class honours degree and now teaches in 12 schools with Gloucester Academy of Music, Gwent Music and DS School of Music.


Sarah Loveridge

Whole-class Ready Steady Play

Originally from Manchester, Sarah is a graduate of the University of Birmingham (BMus), the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (Postgraduate Performance Diploma), and Birmingham City University (Music Masters PGCEi). Now based near Bristol, she works across the UK as a freelance violinist with groups including Welsh National Opera, English Symphony Orchestra and Ensemble Cambrica, as well as her own professional String Quartet. As a session musician, Sarah has recorded albums for Public Service Broadcasting, Gavin Thorpe, Jess McAllister and Scars on 45 and has performed live at numerous festivals. Her remote-recording work includes trailer album releases for Tonal Chaos Music Studios in LA, and Morgan Visconti’s Human Music Label in NYC, all done from the comfort of her own home-studio during lockdown. Sarah is devoted to Music Education, currently holding positions as Head of Strings at St Marys Calne, and tutor for WCET Violin and ‘Ready Steady Play’ classes for GAM, having also trained with Blackbird Early Years Music in Bristol. Previously, Sarah co-founded and directed Youth Orchestras in South Gloucestershire and established the Let’s Play! beginner instrumentalists’ programme for Thornbury Area Youth Music. Sarah has a passion for the holistic wellbeing of musicians and is also a professional Alexander Technique teacher.

Sophie Shone

Whole-class Ready Steady Play

Sophie studied the bassoon at the Royal Academy of Music and has enjoyed a varied freelance career playing with orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Ballet Sinfonia and Orchestra of the Swan. She is passionate about introducing music to children and has worked on numerous orchestral outreach projects as well as leading pre-school music classes. She has been part of the Ready Steady Play team since 2020. Sophie lives in Cheltenham with her husband and two daughters.

Alexandra Baltyn

Whole-class Gamelan

A pianist and piano teacher, Alex attained a Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree at Cardiff University before studying Musicology at the University of Warsaw, Poland. Whilst studying academically, she attended the AMSRiJ ‘Krzystof Komeda’ Rock and Jazz Music School in Warsaw to further her piano repertoire, focusing on jazz, blues, boogie-woogie, and other modern piano styles. At this time she had the opportunity to learn Javanese Gamelan and toured extensively with Warsaw Gamelan Group. She now leads gamelan and gamelan-based percussion workshops at GAM. In 2014 she completed the EPTA Piano Teachers’ Course, held at the Purcell School of Music near London. She continues to perform on the piano and gamelan, working with many bands, music groups, and other collaborations. She finds performing very beneficial to her teaching approach: it is one thing to observe and instruct, but quite another to do it yourself!

Management / Admin Team

Glyn Oxley


Glyn graduated from Edinburgh University with an honours degree in music. He studied conducting and took part in several education projects which had a profound influence on him during his time in Scotland. He then worked as a freelance orchestral player, conductor and lower strings teacher in the North East before moving to Gloucestershire in 1993 after meeting Caroline Lumsden at a string teachers conference and beginning what has been a lifelong relationship with Gloucestershire Academy of Music.

Glyn has since worked with ensembles of all ages and abilities, including the National Children’s Orchestra, Junior ESTA, Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra, Gloucestershire Youth and Youth Chamber Orchestras and Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra. Glyn is now Artistic Director of GAM, and director of the Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year competition. He continues to teach the cello and perform regularly. He lives in Hartpury with his wife and four children.

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Sue Bain

Operations Director

Sue joined GAM in 2022 with over twenty years experience of school business management in both the primary and secondary sectors.  Her connection to GAM began 28 years ago when her sons joined Beauchamp playgroup.

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Richard Ashton-Phillips

Executive Director

Locally born and bred, Richie took up music in his early teenage years studying drum kit and percussion with local teachers. He soon found himself principal percussionist with Gloucester Youth Orchestra, Gloucestershire Youth Wind Orchestra and often playing drums/percussion with Gloucester Youth Jazz Orchestra.
Richie graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music with an honours degree in Jazz studies in 2001. After graduating Richie took up post with Cardiff County and Vale of Glamorgan Music Service as drums/percussion teacher and was a regular performer with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National Opera, The Welsh Jazz Composers Orchestra and Cwmaman Silver Institute Band.
In 2009 Richie, moved to Oxfordshire County Music Service as leader of Drums and Percussion and the Youth Jazz Ensembles. During his time with OCMS the Jazz department were awarded the Wil Michael Diploma for services to jazz education on several occasions. In 2011 alongside his work with OCMS, Richie became director of World Beats. Leading on creative and strategic development the organisation saw rapid growth through creating innovative projects in primary and secondary schools through Oxfordshire and Berkshire. Richie was recognised for this work as runner up in the Inspirational Teacher Award at the 2016 Classic FM Music Teachers Awards.
Since moving back to Gloucestershire Richie had a share ownership of local music retail and performance business ‘SoundHouse’ which sadly was forced to close after the pandemic. Up until his appointment at GAM he had been in a Senior role at The Cheltenham Trust managing all aspects of the live entertainment side of the trust.
Now living with his young family in the heart of the Forest of Dean, Richie is a passionate walker enjoying long walks with his border collies and spends as much time as possible writing and recording in his home studio!

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Shelagh Silmon-Clyde

Barbican House Administrator

Shelagh graduated in 1995 with a BA (HONS) in Psychology & Sociology, followed by a PGCE. She worked in Gloucestershire Primary schools as a Class Teacher and SENDCo for 14 years before becoming a SEN teacher at a Steiner School, working with KS2, KS3 and KS4. In 2011 Shelagh trained to be a Dyslexia specialist, gaining a Diploma in Dyslexia & SpLD and Advisory Teacher status. She has a wealth of experience of working with children with Autism, Social, Emotional & Behavioural Needs, Hearing Impaired and those dealing with Bereavement and Mental Health. Shelagh has focused her work to provide consultation, assessment, strategies and advice to teachers to remove barriers to learning, promoting the achievement of individual pupils.

Shelagh has been our Cheltenham Administrator since September 2018 and has more recently been involved with String Zone on a Monday evening and GYCO Inspire. She has also been part of the Big String team for the last three years.

All three of Shelagh’s children have been involved with GAM for several years.

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Cath Woodman

Reception Administrator

Cath worked as Financial Administrator for GAM between 1988-2020, before taking a step back to concentrate on providing a reception service on a Saturday at GAM Junior Department, Gloucester. She was born and raised in Gloucestershire and has been involved with several charitable organisations in the local area. Between 1989 and 1995, she was the Chairman of the Governors for a local school.

Cath trained at a solicitor’s and for the Clerk of the Peace of Gloucester. She has held administrative roles at two local businesses.

In 1988, Cath retrained as an educational teaching support assistant, for children with special needs, working in several schools, specialising in delayed language development and Asperger syndrome. She has completed several special educational courses, including Makaton sign language and LEA Grade 5.

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Jacqueline Kingsley

Development Consultant

Jacqueline has been working as a professional fundraiser in the cultural sector for the past 30 years.  She brings vast experience of managing complex capital and revenue campaigns to GAM, specialising in grants from trusts and foundations and gifts from individuals.  Her clients have ranged from large national to small local charities, and includes organisations dedicated to music, opera, theatre, dance and visual art (and everything in between).  She has recently moved to Gloucestershire and has spent the majority of her career raising funds in London and the South West.  She is a former Trustee of the RWA in Bristol and Engage (the national association of gallery education) and is currently a Trustee of Spike Island.  Jacqueline is a music graduate and enjoys printmaking in her home studio.

Karin Lythell

Schools Administrator

Karin holds a Bachelor of Education degree and taught music in secondary schools in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire before taking early retirement and becoming Schools Administrator for GAM.

As a pianist, she joined Flowers Band at Championship level on tuned percussion and now continues behind the scenes as librarian, logistics and front of house.  Heavily involved in banding throughout the South West,  Karin is Secretary of Gloucestershire Brass Band Association, a member of the West of England Council of Brass Band Associations and National Finals organisation.
She has worked with Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Music County Music Groups and been privileged to accompany them to National Competitions and on tours abroad.  Experience of individual clarinet and piano teaching as well as whole class brass has all helped to give her the basis to work closely with our school-based team of teachers, liaising with students, parents and schools, helping to plan and deliver our growing school programme of lessons and sessions.
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Becky Chevis

Stand By Me Project Leader/Gloucester Dementia Choir Leader

Becky grew up locally then read music at Jesus College, Oxford, where she studied flute with Kate Hill and researched therapeutic community music. After graduating in 2014 she moved to South London where she began freelancing as a flautist performing chamber music, folk music, and interdisciplinary improvisations with contemporary dance company Involuntary Movement. She also trained as a Primary School music specialist for the Southwark Music Service and set up their first intergenerational projects with care homes, primary schools and sixth forms. In 2017 Becky moved back to her native Gloucestershire where she now runs Stand By Me, GAM’s intergenerational music project, and is the music director for Gloucester Dementia Choir. She continues to perform chamber music as a flautist and is a musician for Music in Hospitals and Care.

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Jane Rothery

Early Music Administrator

Jane grew up in Cornwall, going on to study Music and Education at Cardiff University, and gaining a PGCE. She has worked within the voluntary sector, helping to set up several charities. She co-founded ‘The Wallich’, a charity that provides open door accommodation, and has played a crucial role in establishing the volunteer wing of ‘Mindsong’, which provides people with dementia access to music. In 2000 she received an MBE for her work.  

She has also been involved with a wide range of community organisations, including the Forest Voluntary Action Forum (FVAF), the Gloucester Adult Education department, ‘Last Thursday’, Meals on Wheels, and the Forest Quakers. She is a keen amateur singer, accordion player, and has sustained an interest in early music as a member of the Forest minstrels.  She is married with two children and seven grandchildren.   

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Jackie Champion

Finance Officer

Jackie joined GAM at the end of 2022 having worked in finance and administration in the charity sector for the past six and a half years.  Prior to this she worked as a teacher in adult education settings.

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Josephine Murray

Marketing & Engagement Co-ordinator

Josephine joined GAM in October 2023. As well as media and marketing, she has experience of journalism and literary translation. She has also taught modern foreign languages in Gloucestershire schools.  Josephine has sung with choirs since childhood, most recently with The Cappella Singers. 

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Shelagh Silmon-Clyde

Barbican House Administrator

Shelagh graduated in 1995 with a BA (HONS) in Psychology & Sociology, followed by a PGCE. She worked in Gloucestershire Primary schools as a Class Teacher and SENDCo for 14 years before becoming a SEN teacher at a Steiner School, working with KS2, KS3 and KS4. In 2011 Shelagh trained to be a Dyslexia specialist, gaining a Diploma in Dyslexia & SpLD and Advisory Teacher status. She has a wealth of experience of working with children with Autism, Social, Emotional & Behavioural Needs, Hearing Impaired and those dealing with Bereavement and Mental Health. Shelagh has focused her work to provide consultation, assessment, strategies and advice to teachers to remove barriers to learning, promoting the achievement of individual pupils.

Shelagh has been our Cheltenham Administrator since September 2018 and has more recently been involved with String Zone on a Monday evening and GYCO Inspire. She has also been part of the Big String team for the last three years.

All three of Shelagh’s children have been involved with GAM for several years.

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Board Members

Viv Hargreaves


Viv has immersed herself in musical education and music making in Gloucestershire since stepping down as a local newspaper editor following a 40-year career in newspaper and magazine journalism.

Married with two sons and four grandchildren, Viv was a bursary student at St Paul’s Girls’ School in London and went on to read Chemistry at Leeds University. She later trained as a sub-editor at the Morgan Grampian Group in London before branching out into regional newspaper journalism in Cambridgeshire and later with The Citizen Newspaper in Gloucestershire, where she was deputy chief sub-editor.

She was editor-in-chief of a county magazine group based near Bristol before becoming editor of the then Northcliffe-owned The Forester newspaper, sister paper of The Citizen and Echo.

She has recently stepped down as chair for the past decade of Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra but continues to run the Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year competition. She was a former chair of the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra in her home patch and has sat on the boards of Gloucester Culture Trust and Marketing Gloucester Ltd. 

Viv was appointed a Deputy Lord Lieutenant in 2018 and is a member of the Honours Group. She is a member of the Arts and Heritage Committee of the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire. She began learning the piano and violin from the age of six and plays for Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra.

Stephen Belinfante


Following a degree in Fine Art and Music from Reading University, Stephen decided to combine his career as an artist and musician with teaching.

Stephen taught art and music at Cleeve School in Gloucestershire until 1998. During that time he was seconded for two years to work with the county arts education team and was also the Art subject coordinator for the Post Graduate Teacher Training Diploma at the University of Gloucestershire.

In 1998 he was appointed School Arts Inspector for Worcestershire Children’s Services.  In this role he led the Worcestershire Music Services and Arts Education teams.

During his career, Stephen has also worked as education consultant, Ofsted inspector and GCSE examiner .

As a musician, Stephen is a keen singer and horn player and conductor of Cheltenham Philharmonic and Cantilena Orchestras. As a dedicated painter he has exhibited across Gloucestershire, and has presented solo shows at the Gardens Gallery Cheltenham and the Curve Gallery in Churchdown.

Fenner Curtis

Fenner has been Head of Marketing and Box Office for Longborough Festival Opera since 2016 and formerly worked as a marketing executive for Cheltenham Festivals.

Music is an important part of Fenner's life.  For the last 15 years, Fenner has run the highly respected local group, Swing From Paris.

Gill Greenwell

A former lawyer and senior business executive, Gill has over 30 years’ experience working as a corporate lawyer and regulatory compliance professional in the financial services sector.

For many years she led the Legal and Compliance teams at Chelsea Building Society, and was instrumental in setting up the Society’s Charitable Foundation. Latterly, she worked at an international level for Belgian insurer Ageas Insurance advising the business on EU Regulatory Compliance strategy, and chairing the UK Association of British Insurers (ABI) Conduct Regulation Committee.

Gill has always felt committed to her local community. She was a Governor/Trustee of Balcarras and St Edwards schools In Cheltenham. A former Parish Councillor, she is currently Chair of Charlton Kings Business Connect group. 

A keen musician, Gill plays the violin with Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra (GS0) and Cheltenham Philharmonic Orchestra, and is a Committee Member of GSO. 

Ian Mean

Ian is the former editor of the Western Daily Press, Editor in Chief of Gloucestershire Media and the Northern News Editor for the Daily Mail. Ian is a Freeman of the City of Gloucester and supports local cultural organisations such as the Churchdown Male Voice Choir, of which he is President.  He  is currently the vice chair of GFirstLEP, Business West Director for Gloucestershire and the Chair of Gloucestershire hospitals organ donation committee.

Amelia Conway-Jones

Amelia is a member of the first violins of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.  Previously to this she was co-leader of Orchestra of the Swan and enjoyed a hugely varied freelance career.   With the Philharmonia Orchestra Amelia has performed in America, China, South Korea and throughout Europe.  Amelia is very proud to be a trustee of GAM, having started the violin at the age of four at Beauchamp Music Group with founder Caroline Lumsden.  She loved her many years of attending GAM and the holiday courses as a child, and is thrilled to still be involved.
Amelia enjoys music of all kinds and has performed with the band Human Pyramids at Glastonbury, 2000 Trees and Arctangent festivals.  She also played on the 2012 Christmas number one charity single, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” with the string section of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.


Damian Kenny

Damian worked for 3 years as a District Health Officer in Malawi before becoming a GP in Gloucestershire in 1991. Damian was also a tutor in General Practice, working with GPs and other health workers to promote consulting skills, facilitating skills, teaching skills, etc. He retired in 2018 but continues to do some freelance educational work and is a tutor for medical students on the Effective Consulting course at Bristol University.

Damian has always enjoyed playing music and plays violin with the Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra and European Doctors’ Orchestra. He enjoyed teaching music to his three children and accompanying them on the piano for exams and concerts. Recently, he enjoyed playing weekly ‘Live on the Drive’ concerts with his daughter, for neighbours who listened from their own drives!  Following retirement, Damian joined the GAM board and enjoys seeing young people develop their musical talent as they make music together.

Tony Veazey

Company Secretary

Tony is a retired solicitor.  Educated at grammar school, he has an MA in law from Cambridge University.  Tony qualified as a solicitor and has practiced as a partner in private practice and has been company secretary for various private companies.  As an amateur string player, he enjoys his role of GAM’s company secretary and serving as a Trustee.  He is also a supervisor at the Gloucester and District Citizens Advice Bureau. 

Deborah Lanyon

Chair of Finance Committee

A former pupil of Rosemary Rappaport and Winifred Roberts, Deborah read music at Durham University where she also gained an MSc.  She then gained more qualifications with the Chartered Insurance Institute and Chartered Institute of Marketing and, later on, a diploma in Early Medieval History at the V&A. Although music is Deborah's passion, she is interested in all art forms and is keen to bring the arts to the forefront of our national identity. 

Charles Woodd

Charles is a qualified actuary, and having worked in Financial Services for 30 years he now leads the Finance department for St. James’s Place Wealth Management, based in Cirencester. However, over the last 20 years he has also become heavily involved in a wide variety of local community and voluntary activities outside work, including being a Trustee with The Corinium Education Trust, New Brewery Arts, and The Barn Theatre. He has also been Treasurer for Cirencester Parish Church for a number of years, and worked supporting a number of other charitable organisations, often with finances! He has recently joined the Board of the Three Choirs Festival as their Treasurer.

A life-long musician and singer, his involvement with GAM has been kindled through accompanying his son to the development orchestras, re-establishing his connection with his viola, and loving the community. On a really good day his wife also brings her cello along! His fear is that at some point soon his son will leave him behind!



Jennifer Aviss

Jennifer Aviss graduated from Trinity College of Music before gaining an MA in Educational Psychology and Special Educational Needs from the University of London.  Her teaching career led to headships at Eaton House School and Wetherby School before she became Director of Schools and Colleges for Alpha Plus Group.  Jennifer was the Chief Operating Officer for Northern Europe for Inspired Education Group from 2016 and became Principal of St George's School in Montreux until August 2021.  Jennifer brings her specialisms in safeguarding and school leadership to the GAM board.

Supriya Kesavan


Supriya was born and raised in Mumbai, India. After an engineering degree, she went to America to purse a Masters in Business Administration. She then got married and moved to the UK. During the course of her work, she studied and qualified as an Actuary and now works at St James Place, Cirencester as an Actuarial Reporting Manager.

She has always been a keen music enthusiast and trained in Classical Indian music between the ages of about five and 13. Her son, Sid, plays the Cello, and trains under Glyn Oxley. This has given her an opportunity to get closer to GAM and in her own way contribute and give back to society in a field that she is passionate about. As treasurer, she hopes to bring to GAM her expertise in presenting accounts, and help make sense of numbers in a way that is understood easily by everyone. She also hopes to help with forecasting these numbers, and thus help the team identify areas of growth and improvement.