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Philip Shaw, OBE, FRSA

Honorary President

Philip Shaw was the Head of Suffolk County Music Service for 31 years. We are delighted that he has agreed to be SMART's Honorary President, as his Valedictory Concert was the event that led to SMART's conception. Philip's knowledge and experience in the arts in Suffolk will be paramount to the charity's success. 

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Vicky James


Vicky studied at St Joseph's College and, later, Suffolk One. She played the flute and saxophone with Suffolk Youth Music. She was awarded a MusB (Hons) at the University of Manchester and was the President of the Manchester University Music Society (MUMS) for the academic year 2015/16. She was offered the job of Concerts Assistant with Royal Northern Sinfonia, at Sage Gateshead, and later was Projects Coordinator. She now holds the post of Assistant Orchestra Manager at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Cardiff. 

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Becci Reidy


Having enjoyed and benefited from the many opportunities offered by Suffolk Youth Music, Becci believes that everyone should have access to arts education, and the experiences and possibilities that such an education can open up. Becci was involved with Suffolk Youth Music for most of her formative years, playing with South Suffolk Intermediate and Youth Orchestras, Suffolk Junior Strings and Suffolk Youth Orchestra, from 1991 to 2001.

After studying for A-levels at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, she gained a BA (Hons) in Music from Cambridge University. She then trained as a lawyer and now works in-house at an insurance company, playing cello and piano with classical, folk, jazz, and rock/pop/funk/soul groups as often as her young family allows.

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Will Peall

Vice-Chair & Designated Safeguarding Officer

Will studied at Leiston High School and joined the Suffolk Youth Orchestra in 1987. He then studied Business and Finance at Essex and Northumbria Universities. Whilst he didn’t follow a career in music, he passionately believes that it was his involvement with music and the Suffolk Youth Orchestra, in particular, that gave him the confidence, drive and persistence to run successful companies in the health and social care sector. He is currently Chief Executive of Frantec Ltd.

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Wendy James

Treasurer (interim) & Fundraising Officer

Wendy is a headteacher. She passionately believes that all children and young people should be able to access a high quality Arts education. Wendy helped to establish SMART, as she wants to make sure that the young people of Suffolk have every opportunity to develop their talents and excel.


Wendy's daughter was a member of SYM from 2007 to 2014; she benefited from excellent music tuition. This experience helped her to develop her musicianship to a very high standard; it also developed many of the "soft skills" she required to enter the world of employment, e.g. self-confidence, collaboration, leadership, perseverance, resilience. After completing her degree at the University of Manchester, she was offered a position with the Royal Northern Sinfonia management team at Sage Gateshead and is now Assistant Orchestra Manager at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. 

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Carly Markkanen

Membership Secretary & Lead Board Member for Safeguarding

Carly is a professional horn player and educator who volunteered to become a trustee because she is grateful for the opportunities provided by the Suffolk Music Service during her school years and wants to ensure that future generations are able to access these same opportunities. Carly was a member of many South Suffolk ensembles and is a former principal horn of SYWB and SYO.

Carly studied performance at Trinity College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London and currently studies Arts Management at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. She has performed and led workshops across the world, from the Albert Hall to the Arctic Circle, and feels lucky that her career in music has allowed her to experience so many amazing places.

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Grace Harman

Media and Publicity Officer

Grace is a trumpeter and pianist and has just started a 4-year music degree at the Royal Northern College of Music, specialising on trumpet. She was a member of the Suffolk Youth Orchestra for 3 years, and particularly enjoyed the concert tours to Poland, Spain and Italy. She has also played for the East of England Co-op Band, Martlesham Brass and various ensembles at Kesgrave High School. She has also performed as a freelancer around Suffolk, playing in jazz bands, big bands, solo performances, brass bands, quartets, chamber music, offstage trumpet solos, pit bands, wind bands, and have led and conducted ensembles.


Grace's long-term aim is to become a professional musician. In her spare time I’m a keen follower of musical theatre and my dream would be to play in a West End pit band. Grace is very grateful for all the support and guidance she received through the County Music Service and is keen to ensure that this wonderful service continues to thrive!


Website: / Facebook: Grace Harman Music / Twitter: @musician_grace.

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Jake Batley

Community Music Officer

Jake benefited greatly from the Suffolk County Music Service which provided him with trumpet lessons from the age of nine and gave him the opportunity to play in many ensembles and orchestras. He played 1st trumpet in the Suffolk Youth Orchestra for several years which included many highly memorable European tours. Jake went on to gain a degree in music from Colchester Institute School Of Music and spent many years playing in various jazz, funk, soul and ska bands.


Jake now runs his own successful recycling business and is deeply grateful for his experiences with Suffolk Youth Music which were fundamental in making him the person he is today. He believes passionately in giving something back and enabling others to benefit as he did, which has lead to him becoming a SMART trustee.

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Sarah Waller

Community Music Officer

Sarah is excited to be a trustee for SMART because she spent the best years of her life being a part of Suffolk Youth Music and is very privileged to be able to help to offer these wonderful life experiences to future generations.

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Nathan Austin


Nathan is a bassist and a pianist currently finishing his A-level studies at Woodbridge School where he holds a musical scholarship. He passionately believes that all young people, no matter their background, should be offered the opportunity to at least experience music, after not becoming a musician himself until late in his high school career. He managed to obtain both a spot in Suffolk Youth Orchestra and a music scholarship to Woodbridge School after a year of playing double bass and 2 years of playing piano.


He enjoys a variety of playing environments including playing in small jazz ensembles, big bands, pit orchestras, symphony orchestras and chamber groups on bass as well as being a pianist for a Co-op juniors dance class once a week. The sheer amount of playing has opened his eyes to the wider world of music and only drives him more to give these opportunities to anyone who might want them, or not know that they want them yet. He is a firm believer that any barrier can be overcome with the correct aid. This led him to SMART, seeing it as an opportunity for him to help the next generation overcome their challenges.

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David Stowe

Nominated Trustee - Head of Suffolk County Music Service

David trained at the Royal Academy of Music where he studied the trombone and euphonium. As a professional musician he has performed, recorded and toured with all the major London orchestras including the London Symphony, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Royal Opera House, English National Opera and English Chamber Orchestra. He has worked with a wide variety of international artists including rock group Kasabian, singers; Andrea Bocelli and Jose Carreras and conductors; Andre Previn, Simon Rattle, Lorin Maazel, Michael Tilson-Thomas and Valery Gergiev.

After seven years as Head of Wandsworth Schools’ Music Service, David moved to Suffolk in January 2018 to take up the post of Head of Suffolk County Music Service.

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Callum Given

Nominated Trustee - Britten Pears Arts

Callum plays piano and saxophone and studied music at Royal Holloway, University of London where he had aims of becoming a music teacher, having been inspired by his own music teacher when growing up in Kent. There he nurtured his love for collaborative music-making as part of the a capella choir and after spending time on the committee decided to pursue a career in arts project management, starting his professional career through internships with Sound Connections and HMDT Music.


He is now is Head of Community at Britten Pears Arts, where he oversees work which increases the wellbeing of individuals and strengthens communities through music and heritage, specifically with young people, families, schools, those living with long term health conditions such as dementia and Parkinson's, and those in the criminal justice system. As part of this, he sits on Suffolk’s three Local Cultural Education Partnerships and is passionate about ensuring creative opportunities and their benefits are accessible by all.


Kayleigh Bishop

Nominated Youth Trustee

Kayleigh has been playing saxophone for 5 years and became a member of the Suffolk Youth Wind Orchestra in 2020. She is currently studying her A Levels at Thomas Gainsborough School where she has been an active member of their ensemble and choir for many years. She loves to perform and, through music, she has made many friends and learned many key skills which she knows she is going to carry on through the rest of her life.