OUR DIRECTORS

 

KEITH HORSFALL

Founder and Director since 2011

NATHAN SOUTHALL

Founder and Director Since 2011

SARAH PICKSTONE

Director since 2013

GARETH DONNEGOOLD

Director since 2013

ANDY MORLEY

Director since 2017

EMILY MOREN

Director since 2019

GARETH WIDDOWSON

Director since 2019

KEITH HORSFALL

Keith is a musician and teacher who gained a Honours Music Degree and Cello Performer’s Diploma from Huddersfield University and a Teaching Certificate awarded by the University of Leeds. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1999 and is a former Trustee and Regional Chair.


He has been involved in Arts Education for over thirty years as a teacher and administrator. His senior managerial experience ranges from directing a regional music service, a community arts team and a regional arts centre.


With various youth orchestras, bands and choirs he has directed, Keith has extensive touring experience throughout many parts of the world including Europe, North America, Australia and Africa. He has been the director of several major festivals and was Artistic Director for visit of the Queen to Dudley in 1994. He has led workshops in the UK and North America and was the keynote speaker at the Australian Music Educators National Conference in Canberra in 2005. Keith was Community Cultural Engagement Producer for the Birmingham leg of the Olympic Torch Relay in 2012 and was also recently the UK Manager for a European Erasmus+ project which explored Sustainable Projects of the Third Sector.


He has been closely associated with several national music organisations, including Music for Youth and as an executive committee member on the Music Education Council. He was a senior trustee and Company Secretary of the National Association of Youth Orchestras and is a founding director of Young Orchestras Community Interest Company. Working with young people from across Europe he has been the Course Director of the annual European Youth Music Week since 2005.


Between 2004 and 2006 he was Project Director of ’Ballet Changed My Life; Ballet Hoo!’. This was a unique and highly successful large-scale project working with four local authorities and Birmingham Royal Ballet to use the concepts of ballet and personal development to transform the lives of disadvantaged teenagers from across the West Midlands. The success of the project was seen by over 4.5 million viewers on Channel 4. Out of that experience he was, and remains, the founding Chief Executive of the Leaps & Bounds Trust which strives to further the above concepts for new tranches of at-risk young people and has since delivered eight highly successful regional projects, one of which, ‘Wrosne,’ was a semi-finalist in the National Lottery Awards.


He is the founding chair of Gig Caritas, a Stourbridge-based community association which raises significant sums for local charities by co-ordinating professional and high level amateur musicians to voluntarily come together to deliver a wide range of musical productions.


He is a trustee of the Contented charity, the current vice-chair of Black Country Arts Council and chair of Black Country Radio. 

NATHAN SOUTHALL

Nathan has been Deputy Director of Music and Examinations Secretary at Edgbaston High School for Girls since 2017, managing the peripatetic staff and working with girls from Nursery age through to A-level.  Previously, Nathan was Head of Music, Hardwicke Theatre Manager and Activities Week Coordinator at Thorns Community College in the West Midlands. He gained a Masters of Arts in Education at Birmingham City University in 2015 where he graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Music Technology (BSc) in 2009.  Nathan has been Director of Digital Media for European Youth Music since Young Orchestras was founded in 2011.


Nathan has sung with Birmingham Voices as part of Russell Watson’s UK Tour and on BBC’s Songs of Praise. He is an audio producer and sound engineer and work includes ‘Self Taught, Still Learning’, an album of original musical theatre songs written by Chris Passey, featuring various West End artists including Mark Evans (Wicked), Lauren Samuels (Grease) and Liam Tamne (Les Miserables).  Nathan worked as a peripatetic teacher for Dudley Performing Arts for three years, conducting and arranging music for ensembles, teaching double bass and electronic keyboard.  He also worked as an Audio Designer for Blitz Games Studios on the production of the video game ‘Karaoke Revolution Presents American Idol Encore 2’.  He also worked as a technical steward for Birmingham Conservatoire, mainly in the Adrian Boult Hall.

SARAH PICKSTONE

Sarah first came into contact with European Youth Music Week in 2006. After one year as a student, she returned as the Student Welfare Officer. She was asked to be a Director of Young Orchestras in 2013 and happily accepted. 


Music is a much-loved hobby for Sarah; she is a keen Viola player, playing regularly in ad-hoc orchestras, and thoroughly enjoys singing. After graduating with a BA Hons in English Literature, she has since worked at various charities as a Project Manager in both Birmingham and London.  Recently moving back from London, Sarah has settled in the West Midlands working for a medium sized, nationwide charity as a Marketing Manager.  Sarah enjoys the cultural side of Birmingham as well as looking after her new son.

GARETH DONNEGOOLD

Gareth grew up in the beautiful city of Swansea. He learned to play the Horn when he moved to Bishop Gore Comprehensive, later joining the West Glamorgan Youth Orchestra, where he was principle for 5 years, and National Youth Orchestra of Wales, of which he was a member for 5 years.  Gareth became a Director of Young Orchestras in 2013 after being a student and then member of staff for EYMW.


Gareth always had a passion for science and engineering and is now a professional engineer. He studied Chemical Engineering at Birmingham and is now an experienced Engineering and Project Manager for GE Oil & Gas.  Over the past 10 years he has led many large projects with budgets in the 10s-100s of millions, both in R&D and delivering client subsea oil and gas field developments. He has now moved into line management and manages a  team of around 60 engineers in 5 different sites, across 3 continents. Lately, this diverse experience has brought him into a special project within the company to overhaul all the major working practises and implement new system tools to improve efficiency across the whole of GE Subsea Oil and Gas.  He is a chartered engineer, and STEM ambassador, regularly working with young people in schools to encourage them to study and pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.


Now living in Bristol, Gareth is a husband and father but still finds time to play regularly around the amateur orchestra scene and be one fifth of the brass quintet Aviator Brass.

ANDY MORLEY

Andrew Morley studied conducting and orchestration with Denis McCaldin at Lancaster University and later gained a scholarship to study with Peter Stark at Trinity College of Music (now Trinity Laban) where he graduated with distinction and won the Ricordi Conducting Prize. He began his career with many ensembles in Lancaster, including symphony and chamber orchestras, chamber ensembles as well as choirs, choral groups and wind ensembles.


Whilst at Trinity, performances included Aaron Copland's ballet ‘Appalachian Spring’, Heinz Holliger's experimental study in breath ‘Pneuma’ and a concert alongside the late dance-band supremo Stanley Black. Notable conducting work has included Stockhausen’s rarely performed ‘Gruppen’ for three orchestras, an appearance with the National Youth Orchestra Sinfonietta at the Lake District Summer Music festival and the critically acclaimed ‘Medousa: A Miniature Opera’ for which he was composer and musical supervisor. Andrew has worked with soloists Simon Blendis, Guy Johnston, Stephen Hough, Jennifer Pike and Peter Donohoe, amongst many others, and has given the premiere of a new work for ‘DJ’ and ensemble by Gabriel Prokofiev which was later unveiled at the Proms. 


He has prepared music for renowned film composer Debbie Wiseman, conductors Barry Wordsworth and Ed Gardner, and has performed alongside celebrities such as Jonathan Ross, Henry Kelly and the late Sir Terry Wogan. Future work includes engagements with the Essex Chamber Orchestra, the Norfolk County Youth Orchestra, the Wolsey Orchestra, and the Dorking Chamber Orchestra as well as his fourteenth appearance at European Youth Music Week. Andrew has held teaching posts at Lancaster University, Junior Trinity and Oxford Brookes University and continues the roles of musical director with the Junior Trinity Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Elstree Concert Band and St. Paul’s Sinfonia, the latter of which he has conducted in over a hundred concerts. In February 2004 Andrew was awarded first prize at the Allianz-Cornhill Musical Insurance Conducting Competition (formerly the prestigious British Reserve competition) having received unanimous votes from both jury and orchestra. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

EMILY MOREN

Emily studied Music at The University of Leeds, specialising in Choral singing and conducting, and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Music in 2011. Emily conducted the University student choir, performing in venues across the city, including Leeds Town Hall, and became president of the Opera Society, staging two shows: Offenbach's La Belle Helene and Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe. Emily was a member of The Clothworkers Consort of Leeds (previously Leeds University Liturgical Choir) performing in venues throughout Yorkshire, including York Minster and Leeds Cathedral. 

Following her passion for education, Emily trained as a primary school teacher, completing her PGDipEd at the University of Birmingham in 2013. Emily is currently Acting Deputy Head Teacher, Inclusion Manager and Music Co-ordinator at Wren's Nest Primary School in Dudley. She conducts the School Choir and has entered them for various competitions across the Midlands; they gained second place whilst singing at Free Radio’s Christmas Stars. 

Emily is a keen performer, singing and leading numerous choirs. She is Choral Director for St Mary's Church Choir in Kingswinford and has sung with them in various venues across the UK; this includes Worcester Cathedral, Birmingham Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey. She sings for Gig Caritas in local charity fundraising events and is a former member of Team Productions Musical Theatre School, performing in Pantomimes and shows for charity. In 2016, she sang with Birmingham Voices as part of Josh Groban's World Tour.

GARETH WIDDOWSON

Gareth studied Music at the University of Sheffield, graduating in 2006 with a BMus (Hons) and again in 2012 with a PhD in composition. He is now a musician, conductor and teacher based in north Derbyshire and currently undertakes work with the Derbyshire Music Education Hub and Sheffield University.


As a composer, Gareth has had works played by ensembles including Hallam Sinfonia in their regular season concerts, the Derbyshire City & County Youth Wind Band and Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Wind Orchestra at the National Concert Band Festival. He attended the International Dvorak Composition Competition in 2013, -14. -15, achieving a third and second overall place and 2 special prizes.


Gareth is a percussionist and took part in the European Youth Music Week courses (run by Young Orchestras) in 2010, -11 and -12. As an organisation keen to support the compositions of its participants, he was asked to provide works for the courses in 2011 and 2012, and has contributed works on a regular basis ever since. He regularly plays for orchestras and ensembles in the North Midlands and South Yorkshire areas.

 

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