Sonia Allori is a composer, musician, performer, researcher and community music therapist. She has a Ph.D. in composition which explored her fascination in the combination of words and music and is currently researching D/deaf performance at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Recent commissions include: Lost & Found (2017/18), a therapeutic song-writing project working with stroke survivors with Drake Music Scotland, Eden Court Theatre, Strokeness, and PRS funding; Last Tango in Liverpool (2018) for string quartet, vocal track and trombone with Drake Music (London) at DadaFest; Never keep both feet on the ground (2018) a soundscape for Dada’s Women installation at “Exploding Collage” exhibition at Hatton Gallery, Newcastle. Sonia has been performing in Ellie Griffith’s Sound Symphony, a sensory theatre show for young people with autism which toured Scotland during Spring 2019.
Amy Bowles is a guitarist and singer and has a MMus from Royal Northern College of Music in classical guitar performance. Amy is an active community musician in the North West and has worked at Stepping Hill Hospital, Northern General Hospital, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester Eye Hospital and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, as well as in care homes and hospices. Her work focuses on care for people with acute health issues and she has ICU and Neonatal residencies with the charity Music in Hospitals and Care. Amy is an empathetic and engaging musician who sees beyond the patient’s illness and she uses music to create meaningful connections with people in extremely stressful situations. Amy is currently developing a project of running singing groups for people living with dementia and mental health issues.
David McFarlane is a Boltonian composer, artist and participatory music leader. He works for a range of music organisations in and around Greater Manchester, including TiPP, Manchester Camerata, Brighter Sound, Turtle Key Arts and Tandem Theatre.
His recent projects have included pieces for new music ensembles No Dice Collective and Etherow Reeds, and “Seeing Sounds: A Chromesthesia Concert” for Manchester Science Festival, a science communication show using technology to recreate the experience of sound-to-colour synaesthesia to directly visualise the sounds of a string quartet.
David studied BA Music at Oxford University, going on to study MA Composition (Electroacoustic Music and Interactive Media) at Manchester University. He is currently part of Manchester International Festival’s Creative Labs scheme, a programme of artist development working alongside and in response to the festival.
Annalise is a guitarist from Lewisham. In her youth, she participated in free community youth ensembles as soon as she started playing and continued through school. As she progressed, she had the opportunity to assist in leading sessions and help younger participants. This helped her realise that she wanted to work with kids in community-based projects.
Annalise has volunteered at St Christopher’s Hospice and for students at the Orpheus Centre, giving songwriting workshops, as well as assisting a music therapist to develop music classes for a school. These experiences have helped her gain confidence as a music leader, allowing her to realise her ambitions to work on similar projects in the future.
After university, Annalise began tutoring kids in guitar and piano. She hopes to set up future community clubs for kids and aspires to become a better teacher with the help of the fellowship.
Grace Smith is a fiddle player, clog dancer and music tutor based in Derbyshire. She can be seen performing with Monster Ceilidh Band, in a duo with Sam Partridge and with The Rachel Hamer Band. Grace is also passionate about music education and has had experience leading folk music workshops for young people and adults, including for Folkworks Summer Schools, Lancashire Music Hub and North East Fiddle School, as well as teaching 1-to-1 lessons and leading clog dance classes in the High Peak.
Lucia graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2011. She went on to sing solo roles with companies such as Northern Ireland Opera and Nevill Holt Opera, before focusing on her work as a music leader. She set up NI Opera’s outreach programme, working in a variety of settings; from theatres, libraries, community centers and hospitals, with people of all ages and different backgrounds. Projects often focused on breaking down the barriers within fractured communities across Northern Ireland.
She now leads projects all over Ireland and the UK for companies such as Classical Opera, Streetwise Opera, La Serenissima, Snape Maltings and Sestina Music. Eight years ago she founded ‘Mini Music Makers’, a preschool music business, and is now working with over one hundred families each week through these classes. Last year Lucia created and led ‘Opera Dots’; a new programme for the Royal Opera House for 0 - 5 year olds.
Nicola Wydenbach is a highly experienced vocal coach/workshop practitioner, having worked for The Royal Opera House, English National Opera, the BBC, Surrey Arts, Sing Up, Snape Maltings, Streetwise Opera and Garsington. She has recently been Musical Director for Snappy Operas and Mahogany Opera in Tower Hamlets and Cumbria. She is currently Musical Director for two mental health choirs, the D’Vine Singers in Sevenoaks and the Mind and Soul Choir in London as well the workplaces choir, Aviva Voices in central London.
Nicola is also a specialist in working with people with Parkinson’s, running two London based groups for people with Parkinson’s, and is Director of training for Sing to Beat Parkinson’s. She is also co-creating a dance and singing performance for people with Parkinson’s that will premiere at Snape Maltings in 2020.