Assistant Artistic Director
Senior MfE Coordinator
Youth Programme Coordinator and Finance & Marketing Officer
Events Coordinator and Fundraising Officer
Music for Everyone Board of Trustees
John Hess – Chairman
Dr Angela Smallwood – Secretary
Matthew Lax – Treasurer
Angela Kay MBE
Founder, Artistic Director, Conductor – Nottingham Festival Chorus, Nottingham Chamber Singers, Southwell Daytime Voices, Wollaton Daytime Voices & Nottingham Community Voices
Angela Kay studied at Nottingham College of Education, now Nottingham Trent University, and has been involved with the choral life of Nottinghamshire for most of her professional life. After giving up her post as head of music at a comprehensive school in 1980 to raise a family, Angela formed the Nottingham Choral Trust (now Music for Everyone) and has continued to develop it by working with enthusiasm and imagination as its Artistic Director. Originally known in Nottingham as a mezzo soprano soloist, Angela’s career developed first into choral and then into orchestral conducting. She has conducted many of the major works from the choral repertoire to critical acclaim, including Brahms’ Requiem, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Bach’s St Matthew Passion. In July 2003, Angela received an honorary Masters degree from Nottingham Trent University in recognition of her services to Music Education.
Most recently, Angela was awarded an MBE in the 2014 New Year Honours list for services to music in Nottinghamshire and in 2015 was awarded the Lady Hilary Groves Prize by the national music organisation, Making Music. This prize is awarded to one individual each year for their outstanding contribution to music making in their local community.
Assistant Artistic Director, Adult Music Health Initiatives Lead, Conductor – West Bridgford Daytime Voices, Nottingham Lunchtime Voices, Assistant Conductor – Nottingham Chamber Singers
Rachel was a founder member of the internationally successful a cappella ensemble Voces8 with whom she performed and toured extensively. She was also an active member of the London choral scene for 10 years, performing at the highest level with groups such as Tenebrae, London Voices, Howard Goodall’s Enchanted Voices, and the Eric Whitacre Singers. She has performed a wide range of repertoire, from the classical tradition to Hollywood movie scores, contemporary opera, and classical-pop crossover.
Rachel has spent the last 5 years working in the USA as a soloist, choral singer, vocal coach and singing teacher. She is now thrilled to be back in her homeland, starting this new venture with MfE and continuing her work as a vocal and choral animateur. She lives in West Bridgford with her husband, Henry and her two young children, George and Stella.
Conductor – Sherwood and Beeston Open Voices
Victoria is a pianist, horn player, saxophonist and singer. She was educated at Clarendon College and went on to study music at Newcastle and Huddersfield Universities.
From 1995 to 2011, Victoria worked in education and was Director of Music, at St Mary’s RC High School, Chesterfield and Assistant Conductor of the Derbyshire Youth Chorale. During this time she toured Japan, Italy, Austria and America. She was the Musical Director of Cranwell Military Wives Choir until 2015 with whom she worked on the BBC’s Beechy Boys project.
Victoria was Musical Director for Radcliffe Male Voice Choir from June 2011 until 2016. In October 2016 the choir took part in the 25th London Welsh Festival of Male Choirs at London’s Royal Albert Hall, where Victoria became the first female guest conductor to take to the podium in its 50 year history. Currently Victoria works with South Nottinghamshire’s Men’s Chorus, Lyrical soNGBirds and works for the Derbyshire Music Partnership. Victoria also performs semi-professionally with a small female choral group called Quadravox.
Conductor – Vocals
Alison is a music graduate of the University of York and completed a PGCE course at the University of Reading specialising in music education for Early Years pupils. She is now a part-time teacher of Key Stage 2 pupils at St Peter’s Primary School, Ruddington and spends the rest of the time looking after her little boys! Alison has sung in various choirs, plays cello in the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra and took part in the very first youth choir course in 1988!
Leader – West Bridgford Open Voices
Pip has sung in a number of chamber choirs, performing in and around the Nottingham area. She has taught in Nottingham for over 35 years, rehearsing Senior School choirs and vocal ensembles. In the early days of Music for Everyone, Pip also worked with the under 18s on their weekend Choral Trust courses.
Accompanist – Southwell Daytime Voices, Wollaton Daytime Voices, Sherwood Daytime Voices, Nottingham Chamber Singers & Nottingham Festival Chorus
Angela graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, London in 1982, having studied piano, piano accompaniment and singing. After a Music PGCE year at the London Institute of Education, she spent several years teaching music to A-level, before concentrating on private piano and singing teaching, while her daughters were young.
Angela is now a freelance accompanist. She has been a singing member of MfE for over 30 years and a member of Nottingham Chamber Singers for nearly all of those years. She has also accompanied the chamber choir for more than 10 years. Angela is accompanist to MfE’s Nottingham Festival Chorus and plays for several of the Daytime Voices choirs too. She is also a member of St. Peter’s Church Choir, Nottingham.
Conductor – Nottingham Youth Band West Bridgford
After starting her professional life as a metallurgical engineer, Claire read music at Nottingham University specialising in Renaissance and Baroque Music. On graduation she completed a dual PGCE in instrumental and classroom music teaching at the University of Central England, Birmingham. For the last 18 years she has taught music in local secondary schools, where she fosters a passion for instrumental study and performance.
As a trumpet player Claire has toured extensively with orchestras, wind bands, brass quintets and brass bands, and has played in some of the world’s finest venues, including Montserrat Basilica, the Belarus National Opera House, and Carnegie Hall in New York. She is currently lead trumpet of the Nottingham Symphonic Wind Orchestra. Claire also has a wealth of conducting experience with both wind bands and brass bands at all ability levels and across the age spectrum. She also MDs an annual musical.
Claire is passionate about performance, education, and ensuring that generations of future musicians enjoy our rich cultural heritage.
Principal Instrumental Animateur; Conductor – East Midlands Youth Band, Nottingham Youth Band Beeston, Nottingham Strictly Strings and Nottingham & Loughborough Daytime Orchestras, Accompanist – Nottingham Lunchtime Voices
Josh is a conductor, composer and arranger-orchestrator best known for his international career in the theatre, film and TV industries, with credits across the UK, London’s West End and Europe including such hit shows as The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Cabaret. Josh is also a musicologist and leading expert on Broadway music, for which he has conducted research in New York, London and Los Angeles. He enjoys bringing some of this expertise to specially crafted arrangements for MfE’s ensembles. He studied in London, Manchester and Huddersfield, studying conducting with Sir Colin Davies and Natalia Luis-Bassa and composition with Duncan Druce. Josh is a member of London’s music theatre workshop Book, Music and Lyrics.
Having toured the world as an instrumentalist and conductor, Josh now resides once again in his hometown of Nottingham. He joined the MfE team in 2021 and leads on all things instrumental and orchestral.
Conductor – East Midlands Youth String Orchestra
Richard Howarth has had a distinguished career as a violinist, leading and directing orchestras for over thirty years. In recent years he has been in increasing demand as a conductor.
Richard has conducted Manchester Camerata, the Ulster Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the London, Scottish and Manchester Concert Orchestras and, from the violin, has directed Manchester Camerata and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He conducts/directs his own orchestra, Manchester Sinfonia. In 2010 Richard travelled to Jordan to work with the Amman Symphony Orchestra.
Richard is in demand as a string coach/conductor and works regularly at the Royal Northern College of Music and Chetham’s School of Music. He enjoys working with amateur groups and is Principal Conductor of Sale Chamber Orchestra and Westmorland Orchestra and has recently been appointed Conductor/Music Director of Blackburn Symphony Orchestra. He is a regular guest conductor of Chester Philharmonic Orchestra and Wrexham Symphony Orchestra. Richard conducts the East Midlands String Orchestra and the East Midlands Youth String Orchestra run by Nottingham based Music for Everyone.
Trained as a violinist at the Royal College of Music in London, Richard worked with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and as Leader of the Ulster Orchestra before becoming Leader of Manchester Camerata. He has been a guest leader with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Scottish and Welsh Symphony Orchestras, the BBC Philharmonic, the Halle, Orchestra of St John’s Smith Square, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, East of England Orchestra and Bournemouth Sinfonietta.
Richard runs and directs the successful Manchester Chamber Ensemble and is a member of Trio Melzi with pianist Sarah Beth Briggs and cellist Hannah Roberts.
Principal Guest Conductor
James was appointed as our Principal Guest Conductor in September 2009. Prizewinner in international conducting competitions, James Lowe’s work as Artistic Director of the Hallé Harmony Youth Orchestra featured in Orchestra United, a four-part documentary shown on Channel 4 last year. Lowe is Artistic Director of the New Bristol Sinfonia, Principal Conductor of the Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble, Principal Guest Conductor of Music for Everyone, and held the position of Associate Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Educated at the University of Edinburgh, Lowe continued his development as Benjamin Zander Conducting Fellow with the Boston Philharmonic, and has studied with leading conductors in master classes, including Jorma Panula, Neeme Järvi, with Valery Gergiev and with Bernard Haitink, who has recently invited him to work as his assistant with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam this May.
One of two prizewinners in the Tokyo International Competition for Conductors and special prize winner in the Jorma Panula International Competition, he has appeared in performance with the Osaka and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestras, the Residentie Orkest Den Haag, the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, Scottish Ballet, the orchestra of Welsh National Opera and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, as well as working with numerous other ensembles in many European countries, South Africa and the USA.
In addition to Orchestra United, James Lowe will feature in The Interpreters, a German film following three young conductors. He lives in Edinburgh and Berlin.
Leader – Sherwood & Beeston Open Voices
Cliff graduated as a teacher in 1991 and taught in London and Notts for the next 20-something years! Music was always a big part of his younger life (playing trombone and euphonium in the Salvation Army) and his teaching life, seeing the establishment and development of choirs, bands and creative groups, which often performed works, songs and musicals that Cliff had composed.
Since 2012, he has been far more involved in music-making and composing than a full-time teaching career allowed. Cliff is currently involved with a number of choirs, sometimes composing, arranging, accompanying and leading their music making. He has also performed with an amateur choir in Paris at UNESCO and Notre-Dame.
A major part of Cliff’s work has been for adults with learning difficulties, in which he helps to run a number of informal choirs. In recent years Cliff has also been involved in musical theatre, composing and arranging songs for various theatre companies and performances.