Staff Profiles

Directors

Paul is a graduate of Leeds College of Music, where he gained a Graduate Diploma in Jazz and Contemporary Music (Hons). Paul has gone on to gain an MMus in music performance, and is currently continuing his studies and research with a PhD, focusing on popular music performance within HE.

Paul continues to work as a freelance performer, composer, and producer, incorporating numerous professional performances within a variety of performance settings, both nationally and internationally. Notable achievements include both stage and studio sessions with many internationally renowned musicians whose credits include, BB king, Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, BBC Big Band, Amy Winehouse and many others. As well as this, Paul has several album credits as a performer, producer and composer including Nublues - Dreams of a Bluesman – Technik Records, Snow on the Tracks- Dixiefrog Records (France), 21st Century Blues (USA) E2K – If Not Now- Topic Records (UK). Paul’s career has also included several professional stage, TV and motion picture productions including ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’,’ Blues in the Night’ and ‘The Boys of County Clare’. This has encompassed national and international tours and performances at several prestigious venues including The Royal Albert Hall and several major international festivals,

While maintaining a career as a performer, Paul has held several posts within higher education, including Leeds University, Lancaster University, and University of Huddersfield. This has led to his current role as Course Director, BMus popular music performance, Access to Music, Birmingham. His extensive work and research in the area of Popular Music Performance has led to the publication of two books, Concept – Drum and Bass, for tomorrow’s rhythm section and Grooves for Guitar, (Huddersfield University Press). These titles comprise of original performance repertoire for drummers, bassists, and guitarists that can be used in conjunction with diploma or undergraduate performance studies. Further academic posts include Specialist External Examiner, Royal Northern College of Music.

www.pafrancis.com

 

 

 

"Due to Catherine’s vast knowledge and talent along with her personality and supportive encouraging style, I have progressed and built up the confidence in my own playing and also the confidence to perform publicly; which was a great feeling". Jackie Rawlins - Adult student

Combining a career as both a professional musician and educator, Catherine can be found in a variety of performance and educational settings. With a specialism and extensive experience in early years music, her pupils range from 6 months to adults, beginner to professional, with a teaching and mentoring methodology that incorporates all aspects of music tuition, including music theory, aural skills and improvisation.

Along side this, Catherine has also developed parent / pupil focused classes incorporating Egyptian belly dancing and Zumba, encouraging both parents and pupils to develop the relevant skills and confidence to achieve their musical and inner potential. 

As a performer and session player, Catherine is a regular with the British Philharmonic along with other freelance orchestras and quartets and her performances span the full spectrum of music, from Classical to pop and everything in between. When not performing or teaching, she likes nothing better than a day in her garden.

Paul and Catherine are also inventors of ‘thepegmate’ www.thepegmate.co.uk’ a tuning aid for orchestral stringed instruments.

 

Teaching Staff includes: 

 

Jane Marlow - London office coordinator

Piano/Singing tutor

"Jane is a wonderful teacher and we are extremely lucky to get her.

She is great with Amelia who respects her very much" Farah Dunlop - Parent, London.

Jane studied Music and Drama at The University of Hull, and then trained in Musical Direction at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She has worked as a professional composer, performer and Musical Director at numerous theatres around the country on a wide range of productions from pantomime, to Noel Coward, to Stephen Sondheim. She is currently Musical Arranger for Illyria Theatre Company.

With a specialism in musical theatre, Jane has been the driving force behind several new and exciting original musicals for children, and runs annual workshops giving young people the opportunity to work with professionals from the theatre and performance industries. (www.musicaltheatreworkshop.co.uk).

As an educator and vocal coach, Jane has had many leading roles working with L.A.M.D.A, Laine Theatre Arts, Sylvia Young’s Theatre School, Goldsmiths University, Redroofs Theatre School, and Stagecoach Theatre Arts. Her recent appointment with the A.B.R.S.M as Honorary Local Representative in Ealing, West London, sees Jane at the heart of music education in the area.

 

 

Daniel Rhodes

Drums / Percussion

Since graduation from Leeds College of Music, Danny has forged a career as both a respected session performer and teacher. His performance profile encompasses the range of popular music including theatre, live and studio engagements; whilst as a teacher he continues to deliver engaging music education to all, beginners, intermediate and advanced students from 5 – 50.

 

Jeremy Perkins

Strings

Jeremy is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and the Brussels Conservatoire where he was awarded the Premier Prix. Whilst at the Brussels Conservatoire Jeremy made his Belgian debut at the Palais des Beaux-Arts and shortly afterwards his London debut at the Purcell room. Jeremy is currently undertaking research for a PhD.

 

Aimee Storton

Violin / Flute

One of our newest recruits, Amiee was the principal violinist for Bradford Youth Orchestra, where she was able to travel to Paris, Austria, and Germany to perform. She also had the pleasure of playing at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Music for Youth Proms. Aimée was a member of City of Leeds Youth Orchestra, and attended Yorkshire Young Musicians, a Centre for Advanced Training for exceptionally talented young musicians, between 2006 and 2013. She is now a member of Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra and the University Symphony Orchestra. Whilst continuing her studies Aimée is keen to impart her musical knowledge and experience to both young and old.

 

Ben Barker

Guitar / Bass/ Drums 

With many years as a respected and sought after session performer, Ben also has extensive experience teaching the variety of styles that encompass popular music. Whether it be Blues, Jazz, Rock, Funk, or anything in between, Ben has the experience and skills to bring your musical potential to life.  Ben can be heard on several albums with The Haggis Horns, www.thehaggishorns.com, as a composer, performer and producer.