The NLMS Team

Ensemble directors & conductors

Dan Watson : Conductor - Symphony Orchestra

Dan Watson

Conductor - Symphony Orchestra

Dan is a freelance conductor specialising in the amateur, community and youth orchestra sectors, and he currently holds principal and guest conductorships with a number of orchestras across the Midlands. His aims as a conductor are to bring together professionals and community musicians alike, culminating in high standard performances and rewarding life experiences.

Daniel Hogan : Conductor - Sinfonietta

Daniel Hogan

Conductor - Sinfonietta

Daniel Hogan is a 26-year-old British conductor who has recently graduated with First Class Honours in his Masters in Conducting at the Royal College of Music, where he studied under a full scholarship with Toby Purser, Peter Stark and Howard Williams. He now studies for a Professional Diploma at the Royal Academy of Music with Sian Edwards.

In concert, Daniel has conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Moravian Philharmonic. He has also acted as an Assistant Conductor for some of the UK’s finest orchestras, including the Philharmonia, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, English Symphony Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

In Summer 2022, Daniel was an active participant in the Järvi Conducting Academy, having been selected from over 200 candidates. He was taught by Paavo, Kristian and Neeme Järvi. Daniel is mentored privately by Martyn Brabbins and Christopher Seaman, and has also taken part in masterclasses led by Sakari Oramo, Vasily Petrenko, Jac van Steen, Ryan Bancroft, Rafael Payare, Colin Metters, Ben Gernon and Sir Antonio Pappano.

Daniel enjoys many close relationships with non-professional orchestras, being Music Director of the Kew Sinfonia and Chorleywood Orchestra, and regularly guest conducting the Hertford Symphony Orchestra, Farnborough Symphony Orchestra and Winchester Symphony Orchestra amongst others. He particularly enjoys working with youth orchestras, most recently being Rehearsal Conductor for the Ulster Youth Orchestra in the Summer 2023.

Upcoming highlights include the release of his recording of the Schumann Violin Concerto, with soloist Laure Chan and Daniel’s young professional orchestra, the Sinfonia Perdita. This was recorded at Abbey Road Studios during Spring 2023.

Laurence Williams : Choir director

Laurence Williams

Choir director

Laurence Williams is an international freelance conductor and soloist. He has worked with many top choirs in the country, including The Monteverdi Choir, Gabrielli Consort and Polyphony. He has extensive experience conducting non-professional choirs and runs a choral society, a children’s choir and a large music programme at a church in London. He thrives on working with non-professional musicians and bringing his singing expertise to help people achieve their best.

Paul Garner : Director - Brass ensemble / Trumpet tutor

Paul Garner

Director - Brass ensemble / Trumpet tutor

Now celebrating 40 years as a trumpet player, Paul is in demand as a teacher and freelance player. Early years were spent playing in brass bands (including the National Brass Band Finals at the Royal Albert Hall and the British Open Brass Band Championships) and touring both in England and Europe. He studied at the Birmingham School of Music, where he won the Ludlow Philharmonic Concerto competition. Following graduation from Birmingham (where he studied with Bernard Brown, Alan Whitehead and John Wilbraham), Paul travelled the world playing aboard cruise liners for P&O and Cunard. Summer seasons also saw Paul working with Linda Nolan, Mike Reid and Bob Monkhouse. Paul has also played for commercial radio and television including the theme tune for a special edition of ‘This is Your Life’ and as part of the brass section on an album for Walter Trout and for Katrina and the Waves. Locally he has played with the Cambridge Philharmonic, Sinfonia of Cambridge and K239 Chamber Orchestras, 78 RPM Big Band and Superstition (an 8-piece function band).

Chris Brannick : Director - Percussion

Chris Brannick

Director - Percussion

Chris Brannick was a founder-member of internationally renowned percussion quartet Ensemble Bash and was for fifteen years Principal Percussion of Glyndebourne Touring Opera orchestra, leaving to concentrate on contemporary chamber music.

In addition to his career as a percussionist, he is an examiner for ABRSM, has a maths degree, is a qualified executive coach, and in 2018 won the Global Motion Pictures Award for Best Screenplay. Chris has also written and appeared in plays at the Edinburgh and Brighton Fringes.

Gillian Tarlton : Director - String Group

Gillian Tarlton

Director - String Group

Gillian Tarlton is a widely experienced tutor and performer. Since studying at the Royal College of Music she has played violin with such groups as the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the London Mozart Players and the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, as well as the Bloomsbury and Ashington quartets.

Gillian teaches violin and viola to pupils of all ages. She is Head of Strings at London’s Centre for Young Musicians and Orchestra Manager for the London Schools Symphony Orchestra.

Instrumental tutors

Margaret Archibald (clarinet). Margaret has an infectious enthusiasm for music as recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral player, teacher, coach and lecturer. She has travelled widely in Japan, the USA and Europe performing on modern and historical clarinets. She was Sub-Principal Clarinet of the London Mozart Players 1984-2012 and for twenty-one years the LMP’s Education and Community Manager. She has performed with many of the major period instrument orchestras including the Academy of Ancient Music, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, English Concert, Gabrieli Consort, Hanover Band, London Classical Players and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Margaret passionately believes that music is for sharing, and in 2010 she founded the charity Everyone Matters that now takes a wide range of projects into schools, special schools, nursing homes, day centres and the wider community. A focus on intergenerational projects has given young musicians the opportunity to rehearse with professionals in order to perform alongside them in care centres for older people, including many living with dementia.

Anthony Barrett (trombone) studied at the Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, and is currently a music teacher in Lichfield, Staffordshire.

Ruth Beedham (Sinfonietta – cello) studied at Trinity College of Music with Alison Wells and Natasha Pavlutskaya. Whilst at Trinity Ruth won the Leonard Smith Prize for string and piano duo and was awarded a scholarship to continue her studies with a postgraduate diploma. She now studies privately with Naomi Butterworth.

Ruth is a member of The Backman Trio – a Finnish/British trio who have performed extensively across both countries. In 2012 they performed at the new music hall in Helsinki and made a recording for Finnish radio station YLE 1. Last year they launched their debut CD “Fantasia” (British and Finish piano trios) on Finish label Fuga. Ruth has been guest soloist with Wandsworth Symphony Orchestra and St Paul’s Sinfonia, and has made a solo demo recording for Oscar-winning film composer Rachel Portman.

In addition to her performing work Ruth enjoys a busy and varied teaching career that includes City of London School and Blackheath Conservatoire.

Nichola Blakey (Sinfonietta – viola) studied at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with first class honours and gaining the Licentiate teaching diploma. She now teaches violin and viola, both privately and at the North London Music Centre, and she is a qualified Alexander Technique teacher.

As a freelance player Nichola works with such orchestras as the BBC Philharmonic, the Orchestra of Opera North, the 18th. Century Sinfonia, The Brook Street Band and the Orchestra of Ex Cathedra. She also performs with various chamber groups, including the Kertész Quartet, a classical string quartet using period instruments, and in non-classical contexts for various artists and bands around the UK and abroad.

Jo Bradley (Symphony Orchestra – double bass). After 4 years at Trinity college of music and a time of playing with various orchestras, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, I joined the Orchestra of Opera North, where I spent 10 wonderful years. I left after my second child to become a full-time mum and slowly began to train as a Kodàly specialist in the delivery of music education from cradle to KS2/KS3.

A mixed bag of freelancing and Musical education specialist teaching led me to the Head of junior music post at Heathfield School, junior School to Rishworth. 15 years of  making music very important in education. Through all this time I have had the privilege of tutoring For National Children’s Orchestra of GB, some 26 plus years, National Schools Symphony Orchestra and The Benedetti Foundation since its launch in 2019.

Bass playing is my first love and spreading the joy of its wonder and versatility. My ethos..  Everyday’s a School day…..

Lewis Braham (Sinfonietta – double bass) began playing the Double Bass at the age of fifteen. He is a graduate from the Royal College of Music in London and studied with Tony Hougham, the Principal Double Bass of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

As a busy freelancer, Lewis has performed with the English National Ballet Philharmonic, London Concert Orchestra, Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra, Wilderness Orchestra, Kaleidoscope Orchestra, One Orchestra, Aurelian Symphony Orchestra, Backing Musician on the X Factor, Commonwealth Cantata and the London International Chamber Orchestra.

Lewis was selected to record the Double Bass backing tracks for the ABRSM’s Initial Double Bass Exam Pack for 2020-2023, which was designed to help beginners measure their progress and celebrate their achievements.

As well as performing, Lewis holds many teaching posts around the country including Visiting Teacher of Double Bass at King’s Ely, Visiting Teacher of Double Bass at the Stephen Perse Foundation in Cambridge, Visiting Teacher of Double Bass at St John’s College School in Cambridge, Visiting Teacher of Double Bass at Brentwood Senior and Prep Schools, Double Bass Tutor for Saffron Centre for Young Musicians, Instrumental Teacher for Thurrock Music Services and he also teaches privately.

Jeremy Bushell (horn). Jeremy started playing the horn at 14 years old, and had lessons at the Northamptonshire Music School with Paul Truman. He then moved to Manchester to study at the Royal Northern College of Music before freelancing up and down the country. He went on to work for the BBC SSO for 18 years, before joining the CBSO in 2016. CBSO highlights have included playing the Konzertstück, projects with Birmingham Opera Company and the Star Wars Tour! As well as playing in the orchestra Jeremy teaches at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, which he finds highly inspiring and motivating and is involved with the CBSO Youth Orchestra.

Graham Dolby (woodwind co-ordinator and bassoon tutor) read music at Anglia Ruskin University, where he studied flute, bassoon and piano accompaniment, and played sax in the Big Band. As well as his degree, he holds a teaching diploma from the Guildhall School of Music.

He teaches woodwind instruments in several schools in and around Cambridge, including St Faith’s, The Leys, The Perse Preparatory School, Hills Road Sixth Form College and Sawston Village College, where he also conducts the Wind Band. Graham has long played bassoon orchestrally (in the Sampson Orchestra, East Anglian Chamber Orchestra, and the K.239 Chamber Orchestra). Having left the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra in 1996 as Simply Reeds began to take off, he then returned to play clarinet in 2001 and has been co-principal clarinet since 2007. In January 2006, Graham joined the Huntingdonshire Philharmonic Orchestra as first oboe; he also plays the oboe in the wind quintet ‘Cambridge Winds’.

Cathy Fox (Sinfonietta – violin) studied with Gillian Findlay at Trinity College of Music. After graduating, she taught for Newham Music Service, Brighton College and the London Oratory School. Cathy teaches the violin at Centre for Young Musicians and coaches the LSSO 2nd violin sectionals. This year she has been performing with London Philharmonic Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales (with an occasional ridiculously brief trip to Dubai thrown in). Her favourite recent concerts have been an Enescu Symphony, a percussion concerto with Colin Currie and a John Williams 90th birthday celebration. Her happiest 2020 memories were of cycling around a car-free London in the sunshine.

Liz Fyfe (oboe). Born and brought up in Scotland, Liz Fyfe read Natural Sciences at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge where she was also one of their first Instrumental Scholars. She continued her studies at the Guildhall in London as a Sir James Caird Scholar, during which time she was a member of the European Youth Orchestra and was awarded the Orchestral Wind prize.

After leaving the Guildhall, Liz returned to Scotland as principal oboe of the Scottish Opera Orchestra for several years before moving back to London to freelance. Here she led a varied musical life working, recording and touring with all the major London orchestras and chamber groups. She has always had a soft spot for the cor anglais, and was delighted to become principal cor with the Royal Opera House Orchestra for ten years while Bernard Haitink was the Musical Director. This was a golden period, playing for legendary conductors such as George Solti, Claudio Abbado and Simon Rattle, and performing, recording and broadcasting constantly.

She has four children, lives in Marlborough, and, as the impact of family life and living outside London made itself clear, she has concentrated more on teaching and educational work. As well as teaching at Wells Cathedral Music School as their Oboe Specialist, she adjudicates and coaches a wide selection of groups of all ages, including the National Children’s Orchestra, the Wells International Summer School and Benslow and loves seeing her pupils develop and craft their own professional career paths both here and abroad.

Judith Van Ingen (Symphony Orchestra – violin) studied the violin and chamber music at the Royal Academy of Music with Rosemary Rapaport and Sydney Griller. Since leaving the Hallé Orchestra she freelances with many modern instrument orchestras across the country including English National Ballet, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Concert Orchestra et al. and she teaches at The Queen’s School, Chester and Liverpool University. Judith plays with period instrument groups (Baroque and Classical) and manages the 18th Century Concert Orchestra – an orchestra whose members play instruments of the period and perform in period costume.

David Lewis (Symphony Orchestra – leader) studied violin, viola and conducting at the Royal College of Music, London and commenced his professional career with the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera. He participated in many landmark performances and recordings with the company, working with artists such as Goodall, Pavarotti and Sutherland.
Since becoming freelance David has worked with major orchestras throughout the UK and abroad. He has worked in film, and on stage with RSC.  His concerto credits include those of JS Bach, Mozart, Max Bruch and Vivaldi (4 seasons).

David has also performed with period instrument groups such as AAM, Age of Enlightenment, and Florilegium. He has toured Canada with the 18th Century Concert Orchestra, a period ensemble he leads and directs.

David is a gifted string coach, and a regular tutor and adjudicator on both summer music schools and music competitions.

Joshua Lynch (Symphony Orchestra – cello) Recipient of the Freda Dinn and Ida Marbett Award, St James Chamber Music Prize and the Musiciens Entre Guerre et Paix, Joshua Lynch is a passionate devotee of chamber music and has already enjoyed a diverse and creative career. Joshua studied with Emma Ferrand and Gillian Today at the Royal Northern College of Music and then continued his studies with Ursula Smith at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Joshua is the cellist of the Celia Quartet, who are mentored by the Quartetto di Cremona and Simon Rowland-Jones. The quartet are part of the ‘Le Dimore del Quartetto’ and ‘Lincoln Center Stage’ networks and have enjoyed several tours in Italy, Sicily and the UK. Most recent highlights have included performing at the North Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and performing Schumann’s Piano Quintet as part of the Festival Note di un Sogno with Stefania Cafaro in Umbria. Joshua has performed at the Wigmore Hall, The Crucible (MitR), St Martin-in-the-Field and Salisbury International Arts Festival.

Away from the concert platform, Joshua has also enjoyed working alongside several bands, most notably New Order, The Charlatans, Daughter and Blossoms, as well as Mancunian poet, Mike Garry. Joshua is the Principal cellist of the Cambridge Philharmonic and has played with the London Symphony Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia. He also works regularly with his duo partner, pianist Sally Birkett, and they enjoy a busy concert schedule.

Away from performing, Joshua is a passionate teacher and holds the position of cello tutor at the Stephen Perse Foundation in Cambridge. He is a chamber music tutor at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and a regular tutor at ProCorda, Aboyne Cello Festival and NLMS Summer School.

Sarah Moore (flute) enjoys a busy performance schedule as an orchestral player and as a chamber musician, both on modern and period instruments. She performs with period instrument orchestras such as the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists, Newcastle Baroque, Northern Baroque, Leeds Baroque and the Eighteenth-Century Sinfonia. Sarah also performs with Bellissime Chamber Ensemble, which specialises in performing music from country houses, and she has been involved in recordings of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion and Mass in B minor with the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists, released on the Signum Classics label.

Sarah studied modern and baroque flute with Edwina Smith during her undergraduate degree at the University of York. She was awarded AHRC grants to pursue her postgraduate studies in York and, after completing her MA with distinction, she was awarded a PhD on rhetoric and baroque performance practice with Professor Seymour.

Teaching forms an important part of her career. She has taught modern and baroque flute at the universities of York and Hull, and at Ampleforth College, and she has led seminars, master-classes and workshops for undergraduates at the universities of York and Hull.

Brenda Stewart (Symphony Orchestra – viola) has been a member of the Bingham String Quartet since its formation in 1985. With the quartet she has travelled extensively in this country and abroad, and has been active in education at Radley College, the Benslow Music Trust, and chamber music courses in Shropshire and Norfolk. Her wide-ranging teaching activities have included long-standing commitments at the Junior Royal Academy, Queenswood School, Radley College and the Mary Ward Centre, London, where she taught adult beginners, coached chamber groups and conducted the string orchestra. She continues to perform professionally alongside her duties as Rector of the West Leightonstone Benefice in the Diocese of Ely.

Choir tutors & accompanist

Nicola Beckley (alto) studied mathematics at Warwick University and singing at the Royal College of Music. She is now Head of Singing at Streatham and Clapham High School and also teaches at the Old Palace of John Whitgift School in Croydon. She has worked professionally with a wide variety of choirs, including the BBC Singers, The King’s Consort, Philharmonia Voices, London Voices and London Sinfonietta Voices. Nicola has worked in many other choirs, consorts and opera choruses as well as undertaking solo engagements in oratorios and opera from Bach, through Brahms, to Britten.

Robbie Haylett (Choir – bass) holds a bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of Cambridge, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Performance Education from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Having recently established himself as a teacher and singer in London, Robbie works in various schools and with private students across the country, and has created and sung numerous operatic roles, including at Tête-à-tête and Grimeborn festivals. His choral experience includes working for several years as a Lay Clerk at Peterborough Cathedral and various projects as a freelance artist.

Jonathan Lee (accompanist)  studied at the Junior Royal Academy of Music, in Stellenbosch (South Africa), and at Cambridge University. Whilst at Cambridge he read for a degree in music, was an organ scholar at Sidney Sussex College, and studied the organ with both Nicholas Kynaston and John Wellingham. Prior to Cambridge, he was assistant organist at the Diocesan College in Cape Town. Jonathan has been organist at Berkhamsted Parish Church since Advent 2002, and in 2016 year he accompanied the church choir in a private concert for HM The Queen a few weeks after her 90th birthday.

Accompanying and continuo work takes him all around Europe including work with the Gewandhauschor and the Bach Choir of Madrid (on Spanish television) as well as work much closer to home, and he is the regular accompanist of the Chiltern Chamber Choir. Jonathan is staff accompanist on the NLMS music course, and in 2017 he directed the RSCM National Course in South Africa. He has been musical director of Berkhamsted’s Castle Choir since its launch in 2013.

Jonathan was for many years a music editor working for ABRSM, and has been responsible for several sets of the ubiquitous ABRSM piano exam anthologies.  He is a peripatetic piano teacher at Berkhamsted School, where he is also school organist.

Aimee Presswood (soprano) studied Music at the University of Manchester before completing a Masters in singing at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. Aimee worked for several years as a classical soprano before moving into teaching. She has taught singing and led choirs in many schools and for organisations including the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, Ulster Youth Choir, and the Hallé. She has studied singing and vocal teaching with Jenevora Williams, James Cuskelly, and Gillyanne Kayes, amongst others, and her specialisms are in ensemble singing, early music, and lieder. Aimee is a full-time music teacher in a London state secondary school, and continues freelance performance and vocal teaching work alongside this.

Michael Solomon Williams (tenor). Born in London, a graduate of the University of Leeds, the University of North Texas College of Music, The University of York and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and an alumnus of the Britten-Pears Young Artists programme at Aldeburgh, Michael works frequently with groups such as the The Academy of Ancient Music, London Voices, the Monteverdi Choir, The English Concert and the Dunedin Consort, as well as leading European ensembles including Le Concert d’Astrée, Les Eléments, Les Arts Florissants, Stradivaria, Ensemble Matheus and Le Cercle d’Harmonie.

In 2016 Michael founded international multi-genre social cohesion project Common and Kind, which brings together communities in the UK and worldwide with leading artists from across the musical spectrum in workshops, concerts and massed choir collaborations, launched with an original single featuring solo artists from across the musical spectrum ranging from Sarah Connolly to Snarky Puppy, thousands of singers, refugees and more from across the world. Michael also performs regularly with Dame Emma Kirkby’s Dowland Works, coaches adults and children across London and as Visiting Lecturer of Voice at the University of Southampton, and runs his local train station community garden in north-east London.

NLMS administration

Steve Bingham : CEO & Course Director

Steve Bingham

CEO & Course Director

Steve studied violin with Emmanuel Hurwitz, Sidney Griller and the Amadeus Quartet at the Royal Academy of Music, and founded the Bingham String Quartet in 1985. The Quartet has an enviable reputation for both classical and contemporary repertoire, has recorded numerous CDs, and has worked for radio and television both in the UK and as far afield as Australia. The group has toured in Europe, the Middle East and Australia and has worked with distinguished musicians such as Jack Brymer, Raphael Wallfisch, Michael Collins and David Campbell.

He has also appeared as guest leader with many orchestras including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, English National Ballet and English Sinfonia. He has given solo recitals both in the UK and America and his concerto performances include works by Bach, Vivaldi, Bruch, Prokofiev, Mendelssohn and Sibelius, given in venues as prestigious as St. Johns’ Smith Square and the Royal Albert Hall. Steve is also a conductor of some repute and is currently principal conductor of Ely Sinfonia, the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra and the Ad Hoc Sinfonia.

Steve is internationally renowned for his solo violin recitals, where he mixes acoustic pieces with live-looped electric violin arrangements in his own unique way. Steve has released five solo albums, “Duplicity”, “Ascension”, “Third” and “The Persistence Of Vision” and "Touch"alongside many single tracks. His sixth solo album, "Cuckoo" will be available from February 2024.

Steve’s interests include ornithology, photography and Celtic knotwork.

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Suzanne Meaden – Administrator & Treasurer
Suzanne is the tireless NLMS Administrator, giving NLMS countless hours of work, years of experience, and an attention to fine detail second to none.

Tessa Crilly – Chair of Trustees
Tessa has been a course member on violin for many years, and is also an accomplished singer. She brings a huge fund of business knowledge to NLMS.

Miriam Westendarp – Office Manager
Miriam is on site for the duration of the Summer School, manning the office (in the Uppingham School Library) and generally keeping everything running during the course.