STAFF & TRUSTEES
Meet our dedicated team who are making and teaching music in the city.
Lucy studied music at Sheffield University and gained her Masters in Musical Performance in 2011 under the tutorship of Peter Cropper and Moray Welsh. Since graduating, Lucy has enjoyed a varied career in both playing and teaching the cello. Current roles include: Strings Ensemble Director at North East Derbyshire Music Centre, cello coach for the City and County Derbyshire Youth Orchestra, Musical Director for Archordia Chamber Ensembles, cello tutor at a number of schools in Sheffield and Chesterfield, and freelance coaching and teaching up to university level.
As well as playing classical repertoire, Lucy has a particular interest in improvisation, pop and folk music. Lucy currently records and tours with many UK artists performing at venues such as Wembley arena, Shepherds Bush Empire, The Sage, The Leadmill, and at many music festivals. Recently Lucy has either performed with, or supported, bands including: Elbow, Reverend and the Makers, Britain’s Got Talent winner Tokio Myers, Jon Boden, Sam Sweeney, The Dunwells, Giggs and Bill Ryder Jones. Lucy has also played cello and sung live as a play listed artist on BBC radios 2, 3, 4, and 6 Music and performed on Sky Arts and BBC televison. Lucy's own band Before Breakfast also look forward to an upcoming full UK tour and a number of new releases.
Originally from a small town in Manitoba, Canada, Tessa moved to England in 2002 with her husband. Having always enjoyed playing piano, Tessa decided to study for her BMus at Sheffield University as a mature student and mother to three budding musicians.
In 2019, Tessa gained her Masters in Music Psychology in Education, also from Sheffield University. Besides undertaking some private piano teaching, Tessa’s main interest is research in music and arts education. Currently, Tessa is working on a research project mapping access to the arts and culture in Sheffield schools and communities on behalf of Create Sheffield.
Chris Noble is from the Lake District originally, but has lived in Sheffield ever since he was a student here. He is a contemporary composer and jazz arranger, and he balances this with teaching the piano privately, working at Sheffield Music School, and working as an ABRSM examiner. He has written pieces for performance by such varied artists as Ensemble 360, contemporary pianist Phil Thomas and percussion duo Passepartout, and has collaborated across the arts with projects involving artists such as dance company Ffin Dance and metalwork sculptor Gill Brent with his composers’ collective Platform 4.
Graduating with a PhD from Sheffield University in 2009, Chris lists a number of diverse influences upon his work, including jazz pianists Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans, alongside contemporary composers such as Marc-Anthony Turnage and Richard Rodney Bennett.
Chris arranges for big band and jazz ensembles, and in 2017 he received a commission from the music hubs of South Yorkshire to compose an oratorio, Jazz Journeys, for 600 children to perform at the Albert Hall in the Music For Youth Prom series - many of the pupils at Music School were involved. This was a joint collaboration with the internationally renowned trombonist Dennis Rollins (who has won numerous national and international jazz awards).
Chris also runs the brand new Sheffield jazz super-group Straight 8s (a big band comprising former and current members of Renegade Brass Band, Flok, Bad Brew, Screaming Maldini, Hot Diamond Aces and Dr Fat Lip).
Tim studied French Horn at the Royal Northern College of Music for 5 years, graduating in 2002 with a Masters Degree in Performance. In the same year he was also awarded the British Reserve Prize for Horn in Memory of Sydney Coulston.
During his studies at the RNCM, Tim began working as a freelance Horn player, and since then has worked with many orchestras including the BBC Philharmonic, Hallé, Manchester Camerata, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Opera North and Welsh National Opera.
Tim is also active as a chamber musician and teacher. As well as working for Sheffield Music School he teaches Horn privately and for the Sheffield Music Hub, and is the Horn tutor for CSYO.
Shelagh studied the violin at the Royal Academy of Music with Howard Davis, winning the Winifred Small violin prize and obtaining her LRAM while she was there. During her playing career she worked with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
During 18 months living in Ireland, she played with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and RTE Concert Orchestra. She has also played for West End shows and on several film scores.
Shelagh has taught the violin and viola for East Sussex, Surrey and Berkshire Music Services, and was on the staff at Tonbridge Grammar School for Girls before moving to Sheffield in 2005. She now teaches privately as well as teaching at Barlborough Hall School and Mount St Mary’s College. She regularly coaches chamber ensembles in Derbyshire.
She spends a lot of her time driving her three children to many different activities and enjoys gardening with her husband.
Morven was previously the leader of the Tippett Quartet with whom she toured internationally and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Since 2002 she has appeared as Guest Concertmaster with ensembles such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert and BBC Ulster Orchestra.
Morven has also performed as Guest Principal with The London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Philharmonia Orchestra and The Academy of St Martin’s in the Field. Morven is also a regular at Abbey Road Studios for Hollywood films including Harry Potter and Batman and for artists such as Gregory Porter and Kenny Gee.
My name is Ben Eckersley, I play cello and piano and in my professional life work as a music teacher, performer, session musician, arranger, accompanist, sound engineer, promoter and fiendish quizmaster. Despite teenage dreams of being either a stand-up comedian or action film director, I’m actually quite glad I chose music, and in the eighteen years since I arrived in Sheffield I’m pleased to have crossed paths with pretty much every job the music industry offers, including brief spells as a theatrical composer, DJ, band manager, record label director and festival organiser.
I’ve always loved performing and after many years as a classical player and composer, I decided around a decade ago to take a sideways step into the worlds of folk and popular music. I’ve had long and fruitful collaborations with musicians including Jim Ghedi, Laura James and InFictions and contribute cello parts to an ever-changing roster of around a dozen local bands, whilst maintaining my own creative projects, Captives On The Carousel and Woolly Mammoth, both which have taken me to festivals and venues throughout the UK.
Also keeping me busy in 2019 are my jobs as Musical Director of the highly acclaimed Sheffield Beatles Project (a 30-piece band who perform live recreations of The Beatles’ greatest albums with an impractical level of detail) and Sheffield city leader for Sofar Sounds, an international organisation promoting intimate gigs for new and rising musicians; I’m a regular music writer for Now Then magazine, and I run Sheffield’s hardest quiz night at the Treehouse board game cafe. Aside from music I enjoy going to the cinema, quizzing, hiking, reading and board gaming.
Alan was born and educated in Essex. He started piano lessons at the age of six and organ lessons at ten. At fifteen he became one of the youngest ever Associates of the Royal College of Music. He read Mathematics and Music at Cambridge University, where he gained a M.A. degree.
After obtaining a Cert. Ed. he moved to Sheffield to a post as Assistant Music Teacher at King Edward VII School and in 1980 he was promoted to Head of the Music Department. Since 1987 he has worked as a freelance musician and teacher, teaching mostly piano and theory.
Gina has been teaching singing in and around Sheffield since graduating from the University of Sheffield in 2010 with a First Class degree in Music. Though she is classically trained, Gina has been a gigging pop/jazz singer since 2007. Her time fronting the indie-pop band Screaming Maldini saw her touring the UK, France and even Japan where the band’s album reached No.2 in the album charts. As well as singing, Gina has been song-writing for over a decade and is still writing and gigging with her most recent project, Before Breakfast.
As a professional singer, Gina has also supported Justin Bieber at Sheffield Arena with NYC outfit ‘The Knocks”, recorded a live session in Abbey Road Studios, played for BBC Introducing in Hyde Park, had radio play on BBC 6Music and has recently recorded original music for BBC 2.
As well as ensuring technically strong lessons, often using the Estill method, Gina encourages each student to discover the colours, tones and expression in their voices to communicate with audiences and develop a performance style. She leads pop choir ‘Neighbourhood Voices’ at Union St, a community choir in Walkley and works with Carney Academy on a regular basis.
We have a dedicated team of trustees who volunteer their time to help with the running of Sheffield Music School. We thank them immensely for their time and support.
Lesley Blyth | Chair of Trustees
Tessa Sawyer | Treasurer
If you are a parent of one of our pupils and would like to join the board, please contact us.