Mary Bell

Mary Bell gained a post-graduate diploma in voice and guitar from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama whilst teaching as a music specialist and special needs teacher in Dumfries and Galloway. She later trained as a music therapist at the Nordoff Robbins Centre in London. Mary’s passion is to make music accessible to all deaf and deafened children and adults. She has personal experience of re-learning to understand music since losing her hearing through meningitis when she was 36. Mary has level 2 British Sign Language and is an accomplished lip reader. Along with Teresa Brasier, she has taught music to deaf children in Greenock for the last 3 years and they hope to work closely with Drake and other partner organisations offering deaf accessible music workshops over the coming year.

Paul Binning

Paul has worked as a freelance music practitioner and lecturer for a number of arts organizations, local authority community projects and colleges in London including Morley College, The City Lit, and Hackney Community College. Having worked within a variety of local community projects including mental health project, Core Arts and youth work projects with Hackney Ocean Music Trust amongst others since 1997, he joined Drake Music London in 2001. Since moving home in 2004 he continues to work with Drake and various other community based arts / music projects. He also teaches courses focusing on music for the visual arts / multi-media and radio production at Edinburgh College using this post and previous experience of similar projects to help develop and teach the Drake Music accredited courses as well as facilitating music Space sessions.

Teresa Brasier

Teresa Brasier studied violin at the Royal College of Music and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. She has played with Scottish Ballet and in shows including The Phantom of the Opera as well as teaching violin throughout the Scottish Central Belt. She currently directs Leadhills Silver Band and arranges music for this community band. Teresa is also a counsellor and psychotherapist specialising in working with deaf and deafened adults. Teresa has level 3 NVQ British Sign Language. Along with Mary Bell, she has taught music to deaf children in Greenock for the last 3 years and they hope to work closely with Drake and other partner organisations offering deaf accessible music workshops over the coming year.

Matilda Brown

Matilda Brown is a Glasgow based composer and musician. She has been working with Drake Music Scotland for over eight years. Matilda loves making music with others. Working with Drake helps her to discover fresh and exciting ways to deliver this music.

Matilda writes for and performs in her own ensemble. Her most recent project, “Matilda’s Music and Mountains” is based on making music inspired by walking in the mountains and staying in bothies.

She is currently working with the community of the West Highlands of Scotland on performances inspired by walking the Cape Wrath Trail.

Matilda’s previous professional experience includes writing orchestral music for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the LSO and the Mostar Sinfonietta. She has also written pieces for Mr McFall’s Chamber and Nana Vasconcelos.  Over the years, Matilda has worked with theatres companies such as the Citizens Theatre and Thear Cymru.

Matilda is currently composer in resident for SCO’s ‘Connect’.

Marion Carracher

Marion Carracher, an all round musician playing the piano, oboe and cor anglais, completed her MSc Music Therapy (Nordoff-Robbins) with Distinction in June 2011 at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. Prior to this Marion completed her BMus (Hons) at The University of Manchester and a Postgraduate Certificate in Performance (Oboe) at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. As a music therapist, Marion has worked with many groups of people including children and adults with autism and/or learning disabilities, adults at a retreat centre, and older adults in a residential care home.

Lesley Crawford

Lesley Crawford is a freelance multi-instrumentalist, music technologist and sound designer. She plays piano, violin and guitar, and is a regular and experienced performer, playing in both orchestras and in bands. She is an experienced teacher and has taught with City of Edinburgh Council as well as privately. Lesley holds a BMus(hons in Music Technology) and MSc(Sound Design) from The University of Edinburgh.  She is interested in all aspects of music making and in particular the use of technology and accessible notation systems to create an open learning environment for all.

Katie Davies

Katie graduated from Durham University in 2012 with a BA(Hons) in Music and since then has been working as a freelance musician. Katie works as a private piano and music theory teacher, but is also currently pursuing her passion for arranging 70s and 80s popular music for brass, wind and funk band. Katie also composes contemporary, acoustic chamber music. Katie joined Drake as a volunteer in 2012 and soon after became an Associate Musician.

Lewis Forbes

Lewis is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and music teacher.  He was awarded an MMus in Composition with Distinction from the University of Edinburgh in 2011.  Since then he worked extensively as a music session leader for children and young adults with additional support needs before completing a PGDE Secondary (Music).  Lewis enjoys exploring innovative and adaptive music technology and musical instrument design, and

as a composer, he often draws on elements of Scottish traditional music.  As a Drake Associate Musician, Lewis has facilitated performances as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, and the St. Magnus Festival in Orkney.

Chris Furness

Chris is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, piano, bass and drums. He has a wide range of experience as both a performer and teacher, including time spent in London teaching whole class music lessons in primary schools, working as the music teacher and choir leader at St Paul’s Steiner School, and as a guitar tutor, rock band leader and studio musician at Morpeth Secondary School in Bethnal Green. Chris completed an HND in Music Performance at City College Manchester in 2005, and has recently moved back to Edinburgh, where he has been working as a community musician for various projects in Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Borders.

Sharon Hassan

Sharon Hassan graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 1999 with a BA in Scottish Music.  Her professional life began as a former and founder member of the highly regarded folk band ‘Dochas’.  Well known on the Aberdeen ceilidh scene as being a bit of a maverick who will turn up with any array of instruments in tow she is in demand and seen as being one of the top fiddlers currently playing in the North East of Scotland.  Sharon has enjoyed performing at great music festivals including the Celtic Connections Festival, Glasgow and the Festival Interceltique de Lorient and currently gigs with her own 3 piece outfit Hoolichan and with Jonny Hardie and Davy Cattanach.

Sharon is responsible for the delivery and management of all Gadie Music’s education and community projects.  Sharon set up Gadie Music in 2009 after returning to her native Aberdeenshire and currently works with over 100 young people a week including the North East Folk Collective, a group of intermediate and advanced players aged 12-21 years.  She also works for Scottish Culture & Traditions in Aberdeen.

Her work with young people was recognised in 2012 when she was nominated and short-listed for ‘Tutor of the Year’ at the MGAlba Scottish Traditional Music Awards in December.

Ron Jappy

A graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 2011, Ron has always had a passion for performing and teaching music. From a young age, Ron made the best of the opportunity given to him to study music and has been influenced by a range of fantastic musicians and teachers. While studying in Glasgow, Ron has had a number of experiences and opportunities through the rich music scene available. Ron is now an accomplished fiddle, guitar and piano player. He is currently pursuing a number of musical projects and is in demand for performing and teaching all over Scotland.

Clare Johnston

I was involved in high level youth music playing both viola and recorder. I spent a number of years with the 52 Lowland Territorial Army band on flute and marching piccolo and in the ceilidh band as a fiddle player. My degenerative condition changed my course away from intensive music-making and I studied a BEd Primary Education degree at the University of Edinburgh. Still feeling drawn to music education as my first love, I returned to study at Napier University to gain a BA(Hons) in Music Studies. I specialised in instrumental teaching, and also gained my DipABRSM in viola teaching. I have a private teaching practice and have been involved with large scale projects such as SCO Vibe.

Rachel Mackison

Rachel is a Graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London where she studied violin, viola and piano before working in Kent as a music teacher and freelance musician Since moving to Turriff she has worked for Aberdeenshire and  Aberdeen City Councils, The Northern College of Education and Robert Gordon’s College. Currently Rachel is a member of the Rococo String Quartet and the Grey Cat Ceilidh Band as well as playing in numerous local orchestras. Working with young people and helping them to discover and develop a love of music and performing has been a lifelong vocation which she is excited to carry into her work for Drake Music Scotland.

Caitlin Mulgrew

Since graduating from University of Glasgow in 2008, Caitlin has worked with a number of arts organisations including Limelight Music (formerly Sounds of Progress), Communicado Theatre Company, Inverclyde Council Music Services and Morag Alexander School of Dance.  With Drake Music Scotland, Caitlin has led numerous projects since joining the team in 2009 including Figurenotes weekly rock band, Liveheart, West Lothian Schools project, Switch On project with many schools, and run various in house studio recording projects.

Fiona Sharp

Fiona gained a BMus Honours Degree from City University, London, in 2004, specialising in music therapy for children with sensory impairments. She then went on to work as a community music practitioner for the charities Sense Scotland and RNIB. Since January 2013, she has been working as a freelance music practitioner, running her own music practice, as well as gaining a diploma in Deafblind Studies and Level 1 British Sign Language.

Fiona has vast experience working with children and adults who have profound physical and learning disabilities, working in the care and health sectors and in education.

Lewis Shaw

I began making music aged 12 playing bass in rock bands, I eventually moved on to playing with a jazz orchestra and studied music formally at school. I studied music at Edinburgh Napier University focusing on composition but I also took classes in acoustics, music in the community, composing for film, performance, recording and music software.

As a bass player I have worked all across Scotland and Ireland, with various bands performing at weddings, events, function and parties for a range of clients from BP and the Royal Navy to graduating 6th year students and university freshers, toured with a Jamiroquai tribute band, played with the house band for the Edinburgh’s Got Soul choir and with the Tinderbox Orchestra.

As a tutor I work for GuitarLab teaching bass and for Bruntsfield primary school and the Tinderbox Orchestra as an assistant tutor.

Abi Sinar

Abi Sinar, violinist and all-round musician, completed her MSc ‘Music in the Community’ with Distinction from The University of Edinburgh in 2009. Since then, Abi has worked extensively as a Community Musician throughout Scotland.  As well as her work for Drake Music Scotland, her freelance career has included projects for Falkirk Council, Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh Young Musicians, as well as regularly performing and teaching privately.  Abi’s primary passion as a Community Musician is working with both children and adults with additional support needs.  She is currently developing this work on new projects in the North East of Scotland.

Niroshini Thambar

Niroshini is a musician and composer, creating work for theatre, education and community settings. She has worked as a live/studio session musician on violin and keyboards, delivers creative music workshops and creates collaborative audio-visual installations. Niroshini has a particular interest in life story, creative expression and identity. Recent installations include work for the Edinburgh Mela engaging with issues of identity and diaspora, and ‘Transmission’, a commission for Drake Music Scotland, supported by the PRS Foundation for Music.

Recent soundtrack composition work includes the CATS 2014 award nominated theatre show ‘The Secret Life of Suitcases’ (Ailie Cohen Puppets/Unicorn Theatre), ‘The Bridge’ by Annie George for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme, and (in collaboration with Nik Paget-Tomlinson)  ‘From Here to There’, a multi-media dance performance commissioned for the Edinburgh Mela Festival 2014.

Hazel Turnbull

Hazel first started playing music when she joined the local pipe band at eleven years old.  It became apparent that she had a natural talent for the pipes, and she quickly graduated into the competing pipe band.  From there Hazel began to expand her musical horizons at school showing a flair for xylophone and timpani, which she went on to study for a year with the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama Youthworks programme in 2006.

Hazel studied music at the University of Aberdeen, graduating in 2011 with her honours degree in Performance and Composition.

Since graduating, Hazel has been teaching both bagpipes and piano privately whilst trying to gather as much music experience as possible, including: work as a Music Assistant with New Rhythms for Glasgow, performing at the International Folk Festival in Imbsheim, volunteering with her local Hospital radio station as a request collector and producer, demonstrating a new music composition software with the ManHigh Project, and volunteering with Drake Music Scotland.  She has recently released a collaborative album of Scottish traditional music as part of the Edinburgh Youth Gaitherin’s Archive Project.

Hazel strongly believes in the benefits of music performance and the ways it can encourage inclusivity and self-expression, and she is keen to increase her knowledge and experience in this area.

Ewen Watson

Ewen Watson is a freelance music specialist based in the rural town of Forres in the north east of Scotland.  As the grandson of a former world champion drum major, music has been a part of Ewen’s life since a young age and he has been involved in music making and tuition for many years.  Currently working throughout the Moray area, Ewen runs music sessions for children, teenagers, adults and the elderly in schools, centres and organisations with both technology and traditional instruments.  Ewen is an accomplished song writer and performer with Scottish powerpop band Be Like Pablo.  Ewen graduated with a BA (Hons) Social Science from the University of Highlands and Islands and an MSc in Music in the Community from the University of Edinburgh.