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The latest news from Gloucestershire Academy of Music
Mon 18 Mar 2024

Former GAM student Richie returns as Executive Director

We’re delighted to announce that we have a new Executive Director for Gloucestershire Academy of Music in the form of Richie Ashton-Phillips, who attended holiday courses and later tutored on jazz courses at GAM.

Richie takes on the role at a crucial time for GAM, as we hope to have completed the purchase of our premises, city council-owned Barbican House, this summer. He brings experience from musical enterprises, county music services, business, events management and, all importantly, as a musician.

He said: “I’m very excited to be joining GAM as Executive Director. I have benefited from the musical education it provides during my own formative years. It’s wonderful to be returning to GAM at a time where the organisation is poised to make huge leaps forward in the cultural services it provides. Alongside all of the incredible staff and trustees,  I can’t wait to be an instrumental part in its growth over the coming years.”

Richie graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music with an honours degree in Jazz studies in 2001. He joined Cardiff County and Vale of Glamorgan Music Service as a 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, which ran innovative projects in primary and secondary schools throughout 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’ managing the well-known shop, as well as hosting events for the city’s Blues Festival and Folk Trail. More recently, he had a senior role with The Cheltenham Trust.

Richie, who met his wife Laura on a GAM course, lives near Littledean with their young son and three border collies. He hosts a radio show on the volunteer local radio station, Dean Radio and is an active musician on the local jazz and blues circuit, as well as writing and recording in his home studio.

Photo by Rob Lacey