music changes young people’s lives

Meet Our Trustees

Profiles

Steph Owen - Chair

About me:

Music features in everything that I do, be that teaching in a classroom, playing ‘Cello in orchestras and ensembles or singing with my grandchildren in the car. I was incredibly lucky to have some truly inspirational teachers who shared with me their passion for music, nurtured my progress both theoretically and instrumentally and opened up a world of opportunities, friendships and adventures.

My recent experiences of sharing my love of music could not have been more different, featuring as they did, outreach projects with young people at risk of becoming involved in gang and knife crime and immersive work with children with profound and multiple learning difficulties. Both confirmed for me the power of music to enable communication for those who, for whatever reason, feel that they have no voice. I am enormously proud to chair our charity. Times are difficult, our young people need as much music in their lives as possible and their own inspirational teachers if they too are to be heard.

Favourite music:

To play in an orchestra, Nimrod, Variation 14, Elgar’s Enigma Variations. To listen to, Andante Quieto, ‘Cello Concerto Op 40, Gerald Finzi.

Robert Heath – Treasurer

About me:

I am a retired University lecturer and also taught in primary and secondary schools. I sang in the Staffordshire Youth Choir from the age of 14 and this this sparked my interest in music and I went on to sing madrigals and light opera at college. I played the piano form the age of 7 and now play guitar, saxophone and more recently the baritone horn. I currently sing in a community choir and play in two concert bands.

I was a former Chair of FOSYM and am glad to be able to return to FOSYM at this stage of its development. I am passionate about music education and enabling children from all walks of life to play or to be involved in music in one way or another.

 

Favourite music:

I enjoy a wide range of music and it’s difficult to pick just one artist or style but amongst the music I listen to and play most is Musical Theatre, English folk, jazz and artists such as Tom Waits, the Corrs and Fairport Convention. 

Jenny Mason - Secretary

About me:

Music has played a huge part across my life.  From an early age I sang, danced and played various instruments.  Music has enabled me to travel and perform across the world, have a brilliant time, and make many friends. By passing on my musical skills knowledge and experiences to others across the years, I have seen first-hand how transforming music can be.

For these reasons I am passionate about the work of FOSYM in enabling young people to take part in musical activities that can be life-changing in so many ways.

Favourite music:

I enjoy a wide range of periods and styles from Billy Joel to Shostakovich.  Pushed to choose one, I would opt for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony- – a wonderful mix of orchestral and choral music which evokes many wonderful memories for me, particularly performing it with Sir Simon Rattle, the CBSO and Chorus under the stars at the Alhambra Palace.

John Callister - Trustee

About me:

I’m originally from the Isle of Man, starting to play the recorder and violin at primary school before taking up the trombone at secondary school. I’ve loved listening to music and playing in all sorts of groups through my life and was fortunate to have violin and trombone lessons through my local music service whilst at school.  This opportunity took me to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, as a brass player, for my undergraduate degree and then Manchester Metropolitan University for a PGCE in music with specialist instrumental teaching.

After working as a freelance trombonist, conductor, teacher and MD, my work became rooted in Staffordshire, becoming Head of the Music Service in 2013. I am hugely passionate about the impact of a quality music education and believe that music services have a vital role to play in ensuring musical equity in local areas by working in close partnership with charities such as FOSYM. I feel privileged to be a trustee of this forward thinking, committed charity and to play a part in supporting musical opportunities for more children in the local area.

 

Favourite music:

I like most things, but film music tops the list.  Particularly, John Williams or James Horner. Jurassic Park from the former or the Rocketeer score from the latter are personal favourites!

Cathy Lamb - Trustee

About me:

I am a professional organist and animateur.  I am thrilled to be Director of MusicShare (a partnership singing schools programme between Lichfield Cathedral School and Lichfield Cathedral receiving funding from The Music Partnership via Arts’ Council England) and Head of Music Performance at Lichfield Cathedral School.

I was hugely lucky to have received much of my early musical education via the Hertfordshire County Music Service – being tutored by several of their staff at my primary and secondary school and attending their Saturday morning music centre.  It is therefore really thrilling to be able support music making of Staffordshire’s students as a Trustee of FOSYM.

Favourite music:

I have really eclectic musical tastes but if I had to choose one piece it would be Bach’s Toccata in F, BWV 540 for organ as it is just utterly joyful.

Leslie Robertson - Trustee

About me:

Music has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, from an early age playing records on my dad’s gramophone! For the main part I have sung in church, collegiate and cathedral choirs almost continually from the age of five and choral music remains my first love. I was fortunate to have been given that opportunity at an early age and recognise the importance of music in all our lives. In recent years my involvement with a local primary school has raised my awareness of the need for support. My involvement in FOSYM is my way or giving something back, trying to ensure as many children can enjoy the benefits of music as possible.

Favourite music:

That’s a toughie and impossible to answer in one go. In singing the music of Byrd and Bach to Britten and Bernstein, and to listen to – everything from Bach to the great romantics of Mahler and Richard Strauss and later. Perhaps Bach St John Passion in my view is the most perfect and sublime of all.

Val Lewis - Trustee

About me:

Nearly 40 years’ experience as a secondary Head of Music and even longer as a member of many different choirs – currently an alto with the CBSO – I am firmly convinced that music should be accessible to all.  FOSYM supported my three children through their years of music making – I am delighted to be able to give something back as a Trustee.

Val Martin - Trustee

About me:

Singing has been my passion since a very early age and I have had the privilege to be a soloist for many years, as a recitalist as well has performing with choirs.  My music tastes are eclectic, appreciating all genres, but my favourites have to be opera and classical, both vocal and instrumental.  Music is a part of who I am.

I have recently retired as Treasurer for FOSYM, where I used skills honed from my professional working background in the financial and business sector.  Supporting and encouraging young people to develop and discover their love for music and its life enhancing benefits is important to me.

Favourite music:

There are too many pieces of music that mean so much to me that I couldn’t possibly choose just one.  They jostle for position in my head; be it from Marietta’s aria in Die Torte Stadt (Korngold) to The Lark Ascending (Vaughan Williams) – they are all sublime.

Robert Fuller – Trustee

About me:

I am a multi-instrumentalist and composer who has a huge passion for a wide range of musical areas. I perform across the country in orchestras and as a solo performer, and I am the current Leader of the Sheffield University Symphony Orchestra, the Associate Director of the New Music Ensemble and work with orchestras across the country. I also support local schools in both Staffordshire and South Yorkshire through freelance volunteering and Sheffield University Music In The City Project to encourage as many people to get into music as possible. 

 

FOSYM is expanding rapidly and the future looks really bright! My aim is to help guide the charity you support to a new level, making sure as many people as possible can get the support they need by developing new ideas and systems. Growing up as a young musician in Staffordshire I want to now support those in the same position I was in and enable them to flourish to great heights!

 

Favourite Music

That’s difficult! I love a whole range of genres, but to pick a few pieces, Bach unaccompanied sonatas and partitas, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, Dora Pejacevic’s Violin Sonata, Faure’s Requiem, Stevie Wonder, (and secretly a bit of Taylor Swift!)

Lucy Fowell - Trustee

About me:

I’ve been a musician for as long as I can remember! Playing the cello and piano from an early age, I studied music at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department and Cardiff University before going on to work for the Association of British Orchestras, Royal Albert Hall and Steinway & Sons in London’s classical and jazz music scene. Thanks to personal and professional experience, I know so well the overwhelming importance of music not just to us as individuals, but to wider society.

Having since moved into the not-for-profit sector as a fundraising and marketing professional, I’m thrilled to bring my skills and experience to FOSYM in the hope that more young lives will be enhanced by the joy of music.

Favourite music:

An impossible question – to play, unaccompanied Bach cello suites; to listen to, anything by Bill Evans or Nina Simone; to dance to, anything with a big band.