Staff & Trustees

 Orchestras Live Staff

Sarah Derbyshire, MBE, FRSA (Chief Executive)
Sarah has devoted her career – in paid and voluntary roles – to ensuring that all sections of society have equal access to high quality live performances. She is also committed to supporting the education and career development of musicians and music leaders. Sarah has led national organisations in these areas, including Live Music Now and the National Children’s Orchestra. She has also played a founder role in local organisations formed to address the barriers which stop people from accessing the best experiences of live music, including Pied Piper, NYMAZ and Jazz North.

In 2015 Sarah launched a report on music education: Musical Routes: A New Landscape for Music Education, in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Society.  A keen musician in her younger years, Sarah once played for the visionary violinist Yehudi Menuhin.  Although a performing career was not for her, music has remained central to her life. Sarah says “I feel very lucky to be working for an organisation which embodies my own belief in the power of music in every activity it undertakes”.

Stuart Bruce (Partnership Manager)
After graduating from the University of Surrey with a Masters Degree in Music in 1983, Stuart became Education & Community Officer for the English Sinfonia, one of the first orchestral education posts in the country. Subsequently he was a co-founder and Director of The Firebird Trust, an innovative community music organisation based in the East Midlands. The power of music to transform lives was a strong motivation when, in 1990, Stuart was appointed as Eastern Orchestral Board’s first Education Manager, a diverse strategic role which evolved into his current position with Orchestras Live.

As a highly experienced arts professional, which has included work as a performer and composer as well as creative producer, Stuart has dedicated his career to developing new ways for people to experience and engage with inspirational music. Stuart’s role as Partnership Manager sees him supporting numerous dynamic partnerships across the country, from Sunderland to South Essex, co-producing a wide range of orchestral projects and events.

Jan Ford (Partnership Manager)
Jan is passionate about introducing people to music and seeing the transformative effect it can have on people from all walks of life. In the deep and distant past she was a saxophonist, community arts worker, a trade union official, jazz agency director, music and communications manager for a regional arts board, lectured at De Montfort University and ran her own consultancy. She knows quite a lot about marketing, fundraising, contemporary music and travel having a portfolio of partners from Wiltshire to the East Riding of Yorkshire taking in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Cumbria for good measure.

Nancy Buchanan (General Manager) 
Nancy has been in the key admin role at Orchestras Live, and its predecessor EOB, since 1993. She is a chartered secretary and enjoys enabling her colleagues to fulfil their roles as effectively as possible. She has always been very involved with orchestras – on the side she plays the violin in the Haydn Chamber Orchestra and the St Endellion Summer Festival – and also sings in a London choir. She has a particular interest in charity governance and is a trustee of Finchley Children’s Music Group and of a Quaker publishing charity.

Caroline Porter (Funding Development Manager)
Further to stints in PR and educational publishing, Caroline has been fundraising for over eighteen years, raising money for a diverse range of causes at charities including Honeypot Children’s Charity, the British Red Cross and Crisis where she led the organisation’s events, trusts and major donor teams. An avid gig goer and (very amateur) choir singer, Caroline is passionate about social justice and the arts and finding donors whose money can help change peoples’ lives for the better.

Jane Macpherson (Communications Strategist)
Jane has 20 years’ experience in the arts, having worked in theatres, arts centres and touring companies. She has most recently led the communications for the Almeida Theatre, London, and is now a freelance consultant. Jane’s new appointment at Orchestras Live has reinvigorated her love of classical music, and she is looking forward to working with the ambitious Orchestras Live team to develop audiences across the country.

Karys Orman (Partnerships and Communications Administrator)
After spending almost a third of her life living, studying and working in Cambridge, Karys set her sights at a national level by joining Orchestras Live in July 2016. Her love of music has now been combined with an equal passion for spreadsheets and databases in her current role. Having previously worked for the Cambridge University Musical Society and professional British orchestra Britten Sinfonia, Karys enjoys supporting the Orchestras Live team with the experience and skills she has gained to date. In her spare time, she performs on baritone saxophone and clarinet with a couple of bands she started whilst at university.

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Orchestras Live Trustees

Kevin Appleby (Vice Chairman)
Kevin Appleby has been Concert Hall Manager of Turner Sims Southampton since February 2000 and in 2013 was named Concert Hall Manager of the Year at the ABO/Rhinegold Awards. In this role he is artistic director of the venue’s annual 70-concert series encompassing classical music, jazz, world music and folk. Turner Sims is part of the University of Southampton and, as a member of University staff, Kevin sits on the Arts Strategy Group as well as the national University Centres for the Arts Network (UCAN). Kevin was appointed Chair of the British Association of Concert Halls in 2016. Previous posts have included five years as Director of the 17-day, 70-event Bury St Edmunds Festival in Suffolk, and ten years in orchestral management for the London Mozart Players and the Wren Orchestra. He joined the Board of Orchestras Live in 2010.

David Bray
David Bray is Director of Education at Learning Effectively Ltd. He has held an extensive series of roles in the education sector and was the County Music Adviser for Northamptonshire for ten years. He is an award-winning conductor, worked as a trumpet player (specialising in the performance of early and contemporary music), a composer and is the author of several books and publications.

Catrin Griffiths
Catrin is Editor of The Lawyer, the leading news, insight and data business for the commercial legal sector. From 2015 Catrin led the digital transformation of The Lawyer through premium content and global coverage. She is a regular speaker, panellist and chair at legal, business and diversity conferences and is also patron of the newly-launched BAME & Allies diversity network, which aims to support BAME professionals in the law. Outside work she plays clarinet and saxophone and runs a choir in Highbury, north London.

Matt Littlewood
Matt is a director of Barclays investment bank and has over 15 years experience of advising companies and investors in the consumer and services sectors, most of which was at Merrill Lynch. He has served as both an executive and a non-executive director of various SME’s and has mentored businesses under the government-backed startupdirect programme. Matt is a keen jazz saxophonist and in his younger years played in the CYJO, CYO and TYJO. He lives with his family in Hertfordshire.

Neil Mathur
Neil Mathur has a passion for a variety of musical styles.  He is an experienced Management Consultant with Ernst & Young and has over 10 years experience of advising clients on performance improvement and risk management initiatives.  Neil is a Chartered Accountant, and a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Rebecca Saunders
Rebecca is a keen amateur violinist and is leader of Orchestra of the City. She joined the Board of Trustees in early 2017 and has previously supported the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain and Pembroke Academy of Music in non-executive roles. Rebecca’s career spans strategy, finance and retail, and she works as an independent retail and ecommerce consultant. Rebecca holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Tony Stoller, CBE (Chair)
Tony is a highly experienced strategic leader in the third sector.  He chaired the Joseph Rowntree Foundation from 2011 to 2017. In his executive career, Tony Stoller was a broadcasting regulator and a senior retailer. He was Chief Executive of the Radio Authority from 1995 until it was succeeded by Ofcom at the end of 2003, where he helped establish the new regulator. Prior to that he had been a Principal Director of the John Lewis Partnership, and Managing Director of Tyrrell and Green department store after an early career in local radio. 

Tony was awarded a CBE for services to broadcasting in 2004 and completed a PhD in 2015. As a media historian nowadays, he is Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Media and Communications at Bournemouth University, and his latest book on the history of classical music radio in the UK was published by Palgrave Macmillan last year and illustrates his lasting love of classical music.
Dan Watson
Dan Watson is an independent communications consultant. After editorial jobs for a publishing firm he moved to in-house communications roles at University College London and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Dan played double bass in the NYO and attended the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He continues to play with amateur orchestras in London when time permits. Dan lives in East London.

Jane Williams
Jane Williams is an arts manager and consultant, and has held senior management positions with English National Opera, the London Sinfonietta and publisher Music Sales. She has significant experience in contemporary classical music and has worked closely with many of today’s leading composers. Her current projects include programming the Guildhall School of Music & Drama’s instrumental Masters in Orchestral Artistry, working with the London Symphony Orchestra. Jane is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of Spitalfields Music’s programme advisory group, and a keen chamber musician.

Simone Willis
Simone is a Systematic Reviewer for Cardiff University in the area of health and social care. She is also an MPhil/PhD candidate at Cardiff Metropolitan University, researching musicians’ well-being. Her research interests include performance psychology, stress, and well-being, and she is particularly interested in developing strategies that will enhance musicians’ well-being. Simone previously taught violin, flute and fife for South Gloucestershire Music Hub and has taught for a number of schools in Wales and the South West. She is a keen orchestral and chamber musician.