top of page

Music and Me

As a comprehensive school student brought up in Lancashire in the North of England music opened up life changing opportunities for me - not least sowing the seeds of an idea of becoming a conductor. 

You can read more about how I became a conductor in this blog that I wrote for the Royal Northern Sinfonia and The Glasshouse International Centre for Music - just click on the photo.


I'm very lucky to work with so many brilliant musicians in orchestras, opera companies and choirs across all kinds of music across the country.  Most recently I made my debut with the brilliant BBC Concert Orchestra conducting the longest running live music show in the world 'Friday Night is Music Night',  What an honour to join such a tradition of music making. 


I love the variety and breadth of my work.  This season alongside traditional concerts and opera performances I've conducted the newly formed Northern Silents Sinfonia in a live to film screening of Chaplin's film 'The Kid' at the historic Morecambe Winter Gardens; conducted the brilliant story 'Stan and Mabel' composed by Paul Rissmann with the fabulous Concerteenies and Hallam Sinfonia in fun shows for all the family, conducted Cole Porter's show 'Anything Goes' and brought a full orchestra right into the heart of our community - 'popping up' at Blackpool Victoria Hospital - the list goes on!

If you want to find out more about how I spend my conducting life please read on.

Friday Night.jpg
Northern Silents Sinfonia.jpg

Photo credit:  Timm Cleasby



It is a great privilege to be the Music Director and Conductor of the Young Sinfonia, the Royal Northern Sinfonia's Youth Orchestra, working with such fantastic and inspiring young players and being part of the vibrant musical family at The Glasshouse International Centre for Music.

I have so many musical highlights from my work here that singling any of them out is very hard.  If I'm pressed to then working with the Young Sinfonia and composer Anna Appleby on a year long Composition Residency culminating in the premiere of 'Bridges stands out (you can watch the premiere of the entire Suite on Youtube below); conducting the 10th Anniversary of the 'In Harmony' programme bringing together primary school musicians alongside the Royal Northern Sinfonia (check out the video capturing the joy of the occasion here), conducting 'The Snowman' live to film and premiering 'In the Swamp by the Light of the Moon' - book Francis Preston-Gannon and music by Iain Farrington - and that's just a start! 

Working with the National Children's Orchestra is always the most energising experience.  Without fail I come way from Residentials and Project Weekends buzzing with new ideas from working alongside the young players and the team around me!  And what fun is had by all as we make music together.

Collaborating with Sinfonia Viva on projects that bring new ears to the power of an orchestra is always very special.   Projects have included bringing songs and compositions from partners schools  to life with their young musicians alongside the players from Sinfonia Viva in live shows and recordings of the 'Pioneers' Project' to the beautiful family show 'Paddington's First Concert'.

Paddington Sinfonia Viva Oct 2023_edited.jpg

Working with young people who are at the beginning of their professional careers as musicians is an important strand of my work.  Earlier this season I conducted Southbank Sinfonia at Sinfonia Smith Square in their Side by Side Project with Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School  in a thrilling programme of Sibelius Symphony no 2 and Anna Meredith's Nautilus.  I relish creating the conditions in the rehearsal room to enable the sharing of skills, ideas and enthusiasm between more experienced players and the next generation - the power of role models is huge!  Next season I return to Leeds Conservatoire leading a Side by Side project with their Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of Opera North as well as Young Sinfonia's annual Side by Side with Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Smith Square.jpeg
Side by Side, Orchestra of Opera North & Leeds Conservatoire, Oct 2019_


I firmly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience music of every kind and that includes the limitless range created by orchestras, opera and choirs.  This underpins so much of my own work today not only as a conductor but as Vice Chair for Orchestras Live. 


Orchestras Live work across England connecting communities with world class orchestral experiences.  I learn so much from being part of this innovative and open minded team.  You can find out more about our work here and read a blog I wrote for them all about how I believe Orchestras can connect us all.

OL icon.png
Orchestras Live.jpg


Besides conducting opera, orchestras and choirs across the country I'm passionate and committed to making the best music here in my own community in Lancashire.  I'm proud to be the Music Director for the award winning Blackpool Symphony Orchestra and Preston Opera.

At Preston Opera, with our wonderful President Amanda Roocroft, we provide emerging artists with the opportunity to sing a full role, fully staged with orchestra supported by an exceptional Chorus.  So many of our Principals go on to pursue successful careers with leading opera houses.   Bringing the magic of opera in all its technicolour glory to the doorstep of audiences in the North West means a great deal to me.

Eugene Onegin.jpg
Macbeth, Preston Opera, June 2019_edited

At Blackpool Symphony we take great pride in serving our town.  Alongside concerts in venues across area, including the historic Blackpool Grand Theatre designed by Frank Matcham, I create, design and deliver a vibrant programme of educational and community events with the orchestra including Family Concerts, Conducting Workshops, Side by Side Concerts and more.  This work is central to our purpose here in Blackpool.


This season we 'popped up' at Blackpool Victoria Hospital bringing the orchestra right into the heart of our community and reaching new ears for our orchestra.  We entertained visitors, patients and staff as they passed through the Foyer.  Donations were collected for the Blue Skies Project.  A very special afternoon of

music making.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital.jpg

During the Covid pandemic Blackpool Symphony Orchestra's Lockdown recording of 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' raised over £3,000 for Blackpool Foodbank and won numerous awards.  Even in the darkest of times music still connected us all.  You can watch our award winning video here.

Thankyou for taking the time to read this.

bottom of page