Speakers

Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Roberts is the Professional Head of Army Music, with a career that spans over thirty-six years – having joined as a musician aged sixteen.

After a distinguished musical career, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 2015 and appointed Senior Director of Music Household Division – responsible for co-coordinating and directing State Ceremonial Music for the UK.  Since then he has led the music for all Royal and Massed Band occasions including The Queen’s Birthday Parade, Festival of Remembrance, Household Division Beating Retreat and the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph. He has directed the music for numerous BBC and ITV televised productions around the world and – in the past two years – these musical performances have achieved three BAFTA awards.

 In 2017 Colonel Kevin conducted on Commonwealth recording tributes to Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and performed alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Bach Choir, the Commonwealth Youth Choir, Sir Bryn Terfel, Sir Rod Stewart, Andrea Bocelli, Katherine Jenkins, Tinie Tempah, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe.

 Late in 2017 he was appointed as Principal Director of Music (Army) and now leads the Army’s musical education and training support programme for UK youth ensembles and the delivery of music training teams to thirty-one countries around the world.

 

 

Ian Cross is based in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge, where he is Professor and Director of the Centre for Music and Science, leading a lively group of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in exploring music, its materials and its effects from a wide range of scientific perspectives. His early research helped set the agenda for the study of music cognition; he has since published widely in the field of music and science, from the psychoacoustics of violins to the evolutionary roots of musicality. His current research focuses on the exploration of music and speech as components of the human communicative toolkit, and on the consequences of children’s engagement in group musical activities on the development of their capacity for empathic social interaction. He is a Fellow of Wolfson College Cambridge and is also a classical guitarist (for further details see https://www.mus.cam.ac.uk/directory/ian-cross).

Dr .Joshua Dickson is Head of Traditional Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Born and raised in Alaska, he arrived in Scotland in 1992 to study Scottish Gaelic at the University of Aberdeen (MA, 1996). He then undertook doctoral research in the history of the piping tradition of the southern Outer Hebrides at the School of Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh (PhD, 2001), now published under the title When Piping WasStrong: Tradition, Change and the Bagpipe in South Uist (John Donald, 2006). He has performed publicly in the contemporary Gaelic music scene with Na Trì Seudan and in Allan MacDonald’s award-winning 2004 Edinburgh Festival recital series, From Battlelines to Barlines. His ground-breaking anthology of piping studies, The Highland Bagpipe: Music, History, Tradition , is published by Ashgate under its Popular & Folk Music series (2009).  Recent published work has brought to light the role of women in the inheritance and transmission of traditional Gaelic canntaireachd in Hebridean life via the journals Scottish Studies and Review of Scottish Culture (2013).

 

He is currently concerned with leading ground-breaking curricular reform which has helped position Scotland’s national conservatoire as distinctive in the UK and wider Europe in the field of tertiary-level traditional music education. This has been enacted through curricular enhancement at the Conservatoire, an honorary lectureship at the University of St Andrews, the publication of research findings in McKerrell and West (eds) Understanding Scotland Musically: Folk, Tradition, Modernity (2018) and through the organization of a themed international conference, ‘Pedagogies, Practices and the Future of Folk Music in Higher Education’, which took place as part of Glasgow’s world-renowned Celtic Connections Festival of 2018.

Tim Knight was born in Northallerton, North Yorkshire  From 1969-1973 he was a chorister at York Minster under Francis Jackson and studied choral conducting with John Coates.

As a choral director he is the founding director (1994) of the Heritage Singers, a chamber choir, with whom he has toured extensively in the USA, Holland, Hungary and Norway, this choir has appeared at most of the northern UK Cathedrals and also in the Ryedale, Swaledale and Northern Aldborough Festival and has recorded five CDs.

He has also held director posts with Wakefield Festival chorus Grassington Singers,Thornton Vocal Union, the Burnley Municipal Choir and Vocalis and in 2009 founded the concert choir Heritage Masterworks Chorale.

Since 2014 Tim has been Director of Leeds Male voice choir and has in an astonishing turnround taken the choir from 12 to 55 voices, with innovative and diverse concert planning the choir has sold out all concerts since that time. He also directs the Eldon singers summer cathedral course open to all singers who wish to sing a weekends services in a Cathedral.

As a composer his output includes works ranging from teaching pieces for wind ensemble to large orchestral and choral works and is distributed worldwide through Spartan Press.

Tim  has also held the position of Music and Festivals officer for the National Association of choirs and is (since 2007)  Principal of the Yorkshire College of Music and Drama,he is also area chairman for the RSCM Ripon and Leeds area

BBC Introducing Composer & Head of Demerara Records
Moderator & Reviews Writer, FreshOnTheNet
Author, Trust-The-Doc New Music Blog

Dr Neil March is a Composer & Artist with a PhD and Masters in music composition from Goldsmiths University, who has pursued careers in the contemporary classical and pop worlds, and has been supported by BBC Introducing, for whom he performed with his live ensemble The Music of Sound at Latitude in 2017.

As well as having a genuine passion for music across an extremely broad spectrum of genres he is a husband, father and diehard Hornet (i.e. Watford FC fan).

Neil is author of the bi-monthly new music blog Trust The Doc which covers a wide spectrum of genres from contemporary classical and jazz to pop, folk, indie and urban music. Neil also records and performs as Environmental Sound Foundation.

 

Sue Williamson, Director of Museum and Libraries, Arts Council England

 

Sue is the Director for Libraries and Birmingham for Arts Council England. A professional librarian, she has many years’ experience in a variety of roles in public libraries, her previous role being Head of Library Services for St. Helens Borough Council.  A vocal and enthusiastic advocate for public libraries and the benefits and possibilities of their role at the heart of the community, Sue has seen at first hand the positive results of programming arts events and activities in Libraries. Sue loves all things cultural and is a voracious reader of popular fiction. Now living in Central Birmingham, Sue is embracing the opportunity to immerse herself in the thriving arts and culture scene in the West Midlands and is thankful on a daily basis that she is lucky enough to be paid to indulge her enthusiasms.

 

Dr Sarah Browne

Dr Sarah Browne is Head of the School of Performing Arts at the University of Wolverhampton. She has worked extensively as conductor, arranger, and musical director, and has worked in education for over twenty years. Sarah’s research interests include the politics of race and gender in musical theatre, critical musicology, and African American studies. She has previously published with Oxford University Press, Palgrave, and Routledge.

 

As Athena Swan representative, Sarah is proud to be promoting and supporting the work of female leaders in the University. She is currently working with The Canales Project and the UN Decade of Women project on the initiative, Hear Her Song.

 

King of the Dhol drum Worldwide:-

Gurcharan Mall BEM. CEO (50 Golden years in promoting Bhangra music worldwide) 66 years old. Now widely known as “Dhol King G Mall”, is one of the most prolific musical personalities in the Bhangra industry anywhere in the world since 1968. His talent, achievements and persona epitomise the core roots of Bhangra. Having been a key part of the birth of Bhangra music industry in the western world and given his soul to the movement, King G Mall is widely known as the first pioneer of making the Dhol drum popular around the world, with his previously bubbly unseen style of playing. He symbolises the music genre like no other musician of his generation. He’s commonly referred to as the ‘King of Dhol’, ‘Godfather of world Dhol players’, ‘Ambassador of Dhol’, ‘Foundation of Dhol in UK’ and World’s most entertaining Dhol player – Also became:- ‘Ambassador for World Bhangra Council’,, ‘Ambassador for Sanjhi Sewa’,, ‘Ambassador for Sky Dance’.

Dr. Ruby Bakshi Khurdi is an award winning International Motivational Public Speaker, Founder of Indo-Swiss Cultural Network, Global Goodwill Ambassador Country Chair for Switzerland, Chairperson for All Ladies League, Montreux Swiss Riviera, Women Economic Forum. Charismatic Educationist, Social Entrepreneur, Leadership & Cultural Trainer. She has received Exceptional Woman of Excellence Award at Women Economic Forum, Lisbon. She has been nominated Most Inspirational Female Entrepreneur of 2017 by Swiss Entrepreneur Magazine. She is a Role Model and Mentor to International students from Business and Hospitality Management Colleges. Her family and two kids have always been her first priority in life! She has given various successful workshops & podcasts on topics related to Effective Communication, Women Empowerment, Importance of Education and Emotional Intelligence. Her objective for 2018 is to create more awareness about her social projects, organize inspiring education.

 

Mark Stephen Pooler
Self-leadership and Transformation Expert |Professional Speaker |Author | Public Speaking Coach
Creative entrepreneur Mark Stephen Pooler has overcome the kind of adversity that most people cannot even comprehend. He has taken the resilience from his past trauma and turned that into an inspirational determination to help others.
After years of being severely bullied, Mark turned to drug addiction and started down a dark road of self destruction that nearly ended his life. After having the strength to overcome his addictions, he rebuilt his life stronger than ever.
Mark is now a professional speaker, a coach and an author. His area of expertise is self-leadership and transformation. He is passionate and dedicated to inspiring others to overcome their own adversity and find their inner entrepreneur to transform their lives.
Mark inspires people to find and use their courage and strength to empower and lead themselves to success.