Hailing from Edinburgh, Leila began learning the flute at the age of ten. Nurtured by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland junior department and later the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra, she developed a passion for performing from a young age. A graduate of the RCS, Leila gained her Bachelor of Music degree under the tutelage of Katherine Bryan. In 2017, she won the Edinburgh Competition Festival concerto prize and was awarded the Colin MacLean Bursary Award to further her studies.
Leila went on to graduate with Distinction from the Master of Music program at the Royal Northern College of Music where she studied with Kevin Gowland and Laura Jellicoe. Highlights of her time at the RNCM include winning the Hallé Professional Enterprise Scheme, performing Mahlers’ Fifth Symphony under the baton of Vassily Sinaisky, and appearing as a soloist with the RNCM New Ensemble to perform ‘Terrestre’ by Kaija Saariaho. At the RNCM she was a founding member of wind quintet Festivo Winds. Festivo won the June Emerson Launchpad Award, the John Fewkes Chamber Prize for winds and were ‘Audience favourite’ at the Christopher Rowland Chamber Ensemble of the Year competition.
Now based in Manchester, Leila enjoys a varied career comprising of performing, outreach and teaching. As an orchestral musician she has performed with many of the top orchestras across the UK. She maintains regular appearances as a chamber musician with recent highlights such as performing Poulenc’s Sextet for Piano and Winds at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and being invited to perform for the Keswick Music Society. With a keen interest in promoting new music Leila has an ongoing collaboration with UnHeard – a collective of composers in Manchester – and is always seeking to commission and perform new music. Passionate about music outreach, this year – with Festivo Winds – Leila joined the roster of musicians at Live Music Now. Teaching plays an integral role in her musical life enjoys passing on her love of music and flute playing through her teaching posts.
Silvia Lucas is a Spanish pianist and performer, educated up to PhD level at the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, UK), where she was highly commended as a performer in the Gold Medal Weekend (2015). Ever since, she has been a very active performer of new music. As a contemporary pianist Silvia has premiered a large number of piano works, most of them dedicated to her, this includes three piano concertos and over 20 solo works. She has given solo recitals in the United States (Cornell University, New York), Spain, United Kingdom and Germany, amongst others.
As well as a pianist and performer, Silvia enjoys a busy teaching career in various institutions in the North West and is also private piano tutor. She is comfortable teaching a wide range of styles and abilities and tailors her lessons to the individual needs of each student.
Silvia is the artistic director and founder of noisescenes, a concert series which is funded by the Arts Council England, where she features new commissions of electroacoustic music and performance alongside her own performances of older and newer works.
Kathryn has experience teaching harpists across a wide range of ages and abilities, both in a one-to-one setting and in larger scale workshops. Alongside her job as harp tutor at The Grammar School at Leeds, she has also worked with RNCM Young Harps, Junior Royal Northern College of Music, and Wakefield Music Services. She finds great joy in nurturing a love for the instrument and growth not just as a harpist but also as a musician.
Graduating with First Class Honours from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Mollie Wrafter has been fortunate to experience a diverse range of musical opportunities and has shared the joy of teaching with others. Throughout her time at RNCM, she earned recognition for her violin performances, including notable achievements like the Norman George Violin Competition and the Nossek Prize for Chamber Music.
A substantial portion of Mollie’s journey has been dedicated to nurturing and fostering young musical talents, with teaching posts including Aura Music Academy in Manchester, ‘Little Maestros’ for 4-6-year-olds and St. Peter’s High. She finds it truly rewarding to assist students in preparing for exams and exploring a variety of musical genres, ranging from classical to folk and pop. Mollie has been instrumental in establishing the MiSST program at The Radclyffe School, providing violin lessons to over 200 Year 7 and 8 students and inspiring a broad spectrum of young musicians.
Beyond her teaching endeavors, Mollie’s musical journey has taken her to stages across Ireland, the UK, America, and Canada. As part of the Treske Quartet, she has had the privilege of collaborating with emerging composers, contributing significantly to the evolution of the string quartet repertoire. Her musical accomplishments extend to being featured on Manchester Collective’s inaugural album, ‘The Centre is Everywhere’, and earning recognition as one of Golden Plec Magazine’s ‘PlecPicks’ in 2021. Mollie looks forward to her continued growth and learning as she embarks on a new chapter by joining the Hallé Orchestra for the Advanced Orchestral Strings Programme. Mollie embraces these opportunities with eagerness, and her intention is to continue sharing the beauty of music and the joy of learning, while honoring the rich legacy of classical music and embracing the endless prospects for personal and artistic development.
Kimberley is a Soprano from East Yorkshire and attended the Royal Northern College of Music. She graduated with a First Class BMus Honours degree in Performance, followed by a Master’s degree in Performance and then a Postgraduate Diploma in Musical Performance receiving a distinction in both.
Notable solo opportunities include, performing in the Leeds International Concert Season in partnership with Leeds Lieder, singing at the New Music North West festival and at the prestigious Wigmore Hall. Kimberley also sang the role of the ‘Witch’ in Humperdinck’s opera Hansel and Gretel for a concert performance with the Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra.Notable competitions include:- a finalist in both the prestigious Frederic Cox Award and receiving an exceptional additional prize in ‘The Joyce and Michael Kennedy Award for the Singing of Strauss’. Kimberley was also a finalist in the RNCM’S Gold Medal Competition and a semi-finalist in the major vocal competition ‘By Voice Alone’ and‘The Elizabeth Connell Prize for Dramatic Sopranos’singing competition.
Solo oratorio work includes:- the soprano solo in Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, Gounod’s St Cecilia Mass, Rossini’s ‘Petite Mess Solennelle’, Elgar’s The Spirit of England and Haydn’s Mass in Time of War.
Kimberley’s RNCM roles include: Anna Maurrant in ‘Street Scene’, Sarah in ‘Company’,The Witch in ‘Hansel and Gretel’ and ‘Lucy’ in the world premiere of ‘The Bar’ by Lente Verelst for Hull Urban Opera Company.
Kimberley actually began her journey with YYM back when she was 16 years old, as a first study singer and is thrilled to be back at YYM now as a teacher. She hopes to use all the skills and experience she has gained as a performer and impart that knowledge to help nurture and grow the next generation of aspiring musicians.
Described as ‘a pianist destined to achieve great things’, Maria Luc is a British Pianist of Japanese and Vietnamese background based in Manchester with local roots in Chichester, West Sussex. A winner of the RNCM Concerto Prize, she has also been a concerto soloist with orchestras such as Liverpool Mozart Orchestra, Chichester Symphony Orchestra, Nottingham Helix Ensemble and the Athenean Ensemble.
A winner of the Norah Sande Award, RNCM Concerto Prize and RNCM Chopin Prize, she also received the Polonsky Foundation Fellowship to travel to, attend and be employed at the Aspen Summer Music Festival in the U.S.A. She has performed in venues in the U.K., Europe and the U.S.A including Wigmore Hall, Tung Auditorium, Stoller Hall and the Wales Millennium Centre.
She regularly performs with other chamber musicians and her collaborations with other instrumentalists won the Paganini Prize for Violin and Piano and the Barbirolli Prize for Cello and Piano. She plays in many chamber groups from duos to quintets. Highlights include performing quintet works in Harris Hall (U.S.A) and songs and cello duo at Wigmore Hall. She also regularly plays in festivals as a piano duo with both Imy Luc and Wyn Chan. She has enjoyed working with living composers including George Benjamin and Erollyn Wallen. Maria also composes and arranges herself, and has her works played at various festivals.
Her teachers have included Helen Krizos, Ashley Wass, Ron Abramski, Kathryn Stott and Graham Scott at the RNCM. In addition she has worked with pianists such as Andras Schiff, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and Stephen Hough. As a teacher who constantly strives for the highest standards, Maria builds on her experience as an established performer and mentor and is also inspired by her other creative endeavours. She has her own private teaching practice in addition to teaching at YYM. She has previously coached junior RNCM students, and was employed to teach at the Aspen Summer Music Festival.
Originally from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, Sam has been living in the Northwest for six years. During this time, he has achieved a first-class degree in Vocal Studies from the Royal Northern College of Music, and a Master of Music in Performance & Vocal Pedagogy from the same institution. He works as a regular singing teacher around the area and has a passion for providing high levels of training to people of all ages. Alongside his teaching, Sam also has a career as a professional opera singer. He has worked regularly with Opera companies in the UK, and in Bergen, Norway. Some highlights include time spent with The Grange Festival including productions of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, Verdi’s Macbeth, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Yeoman of the Guard and Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady. With Bergen National Opera & The Edward Grieg Kor, Britten’s Peter Grimes, Berlioz Requiem and upcoming performances of Delius’ Mass of Life & Mozart’s Magic Flute. During his training at RNCM, Sam performed many roles in the operas, most notably Mr Rushworth in Dove’s Mansfield Park, Mr Pasek & Rooster in Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen, and a variety of other roles during his time there. Prior to his study as an Opera Singer, Sam trained as a choral scholar at Norwich Cathedral for two years, and prior to that at his home cathedral of St Edmundsbury, where he grew up as a chorister. Sam is delighted to be part of the team at Yorkshire Young Musicians and is looking forward to help grow the next generation of classical musicians.
Matthew began to study the cello at the age of 13 and within 5 years of playing was awarded national prizes by the ABRSM for his high scores. He was subsequently accepted by the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2018 as a scholarship student. Matthew is currently studying for a Post Graduate degree at the Royal Northern College of Music.
Matthew is a freelance cellist, who has a wide experience of performing as a solo, orchestral and ensemble musician. After initially studying with Barbara Grunthal in Manchester, Matthew commenced his studies at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with Ulrich Heinen before studying with Ben Davies and Peggy Nolan. Matthew currently studies with Jennifer Langridge.
As an orchestral player, Matthew has performed with ensembles including the BBC Ariel Orchestra, the London Shostakovich Orchestra and the London Musical Theatre Orchestra. Matthew performs regularly with Nicola Benedetti in The Benedetti Foundation Orchestra.
Matthew is passionate about teaching and currently teaches cello for the Wolverhampton Music Service, The ARCO Project and as a Senior Lead Ambassador for the Benedetti Foundation. Matthew has worked closely with students at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department, conducting ensembles and coaching chamber music. Matthew frequently runs workshops in primary schools for the Cheltenham Festivals Musicate programme. Matthew teaches students from across the globe including Macau, Paris and Johannesburg.
Drummer, guitarist and educator based in Leeds. Tim studied at Leeds College of Music with some of the finest musicians in the country, where he continues to be involved as a visiting artist. He currently works with the Hammond Organ Quartet ‘Teduloca’ who have appeared at venues such as Ronnie Scott’s and the Vortex in London. Over the last few years, Tim has regularly worked with vocal artist Kate Peters, touring parts of Scotland and most recently performing a sell-out showcase featuring the music of Ella Fitzgerald.
Gary McKill is an award-winning composer-producer of many genres including all contemporary electric/electronic Pop and Rock forms through to orchestral. His original work has appeared on countless recordings and broadcasts for leading industry names in the UK and across the world; BBC, Sony Music, Sony Playstation, Channel 4, Hammer Films etc.
Teaching includes tutoring and guest lecturing up to university level with specialities in compositional practice (from Classical to Pop-Rock and for cinema), broadcast quality music production and electric guitar. His non-hierarchical approach refers to all music forms with the aim that theory, practice and technology are used for individual development and expression.
Gary was awarded an MA (distinction) from Leeds College of Music.
Rachael trained at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she majored in Academic Studies. She also gained a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Manchester. As well as her work for YYM, she is an examiner for International Baccalaureate and has taught and lectured for the Music departments of Manchester, Salford and Huddersfield Universities. She is a tutor at the Junior RNCM and a clarinettist, pianist and recorder player who performs regularly both as a soloist and orchestral musician.
Tom Harris is a Mancunian pianist, improviser, composer, and educator, most heavily influenced by Black American Music.
Since finishing formal music education in 2018, Tom has developed his practice through collaborative work with artists from across the UK, including Rosie Tee, Marco Woolf, and Nishla Smith. During that time he has also established a handful of longer-term projects – voice/piano duo wilkins/harris, music-driven theatre collective ulita, and CANYON, a multi-media collaboration with drummer Kai Chareunsy, which involves creating new work alongside filmmakers, poets, dancers, and visual artists.
As an educator, Tom is passionate about spreading a love of listening to, engaging with, and playing music. He believes that core musical skills can be taught through any style of music, and that the best results come from following students’ tastes and preferences. He encourages students to ask why they want to play music, and to examine the role of art in society more broadly.
Tom currently teaches piano and improvisation at UCan Studios, and musicianship at Yorkshire Young Musicians.
Since graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2012 Tom has enjoyed a varied and busy freelance career combining orchestral and chamber music performance, examining and education.
As an orchestral player he has performed with the Hallé Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Opera North, Raymond Gubbay’s Manchester Concert Orchestra and Sinfonia Viva amongst others. With his reed trio, Trio Volant, he gives recitals up and down the country for music clubs and societies. Alongside this he also works as an examiner for Trinity College London as well as teaching talented young musicians for a number of educational establishments in the North West.
Sophie studied Music and Arts Education at Bretton hall, Leeds University, graduating in 2003. She has been working in Leeds and the surrounding areas ever since as a singing teacher, performer, choral conductor and music workshop leader. She was part of the initial research project ‘ Musical Futures’ which investigated why musical students did not engage with music at school. She contributed to resources which have now been used internationally and the findings of the project created changes in secondary music education. In her week she has the pleasure of encouraging music making in people from the age of 9 months – 70+, working mainstream students and those with SEND. She leads the Leeds Playhouse singing group, Asmarina Voices, which is for women asylum seekers and refugees, who inspire her to find new ways of teaching and sharing music effectively and enrich her world with their music and experiences.
She discovered Dalcroze Eurhythmics at a teacher training session in 2007 and has never looked back. It’s approach just felt completely logical and instantly connected with her way of thinking. Through her Dalcroze training she has been able to approach music is a variety of ways and continue to advance her own musicianship. She hopes that students find this different way of learning music as exciting as she does.
Rafael Onyett started playing the guitar at the age of 8 in his hometown of Leeds, Yorkshire. His initial studies were on the electric guitar and by the age of the 13 Rafael had performed with a variety of bands in some of Leeds’ most famous venues including The Cockpit, and the 02 Academy. At 13 a change of teacher introduced Rafael to the classical guitar and he spent the next five years honing his skills across a wide range of musical styles on both instruments. At 17 Rafael was a member of the Leeds Youth Jazz & Rock Orchestra. By the age of 18 Rafael had committed himself to the classical guitar having become captivated by its repertoire and the challenges of the instrument.
In 2015 Rafael won a coveted place at the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) – Manchester studying with renowned performer and teacher Craig Ogden. Since studying at RNCM Rafael has performed in a variety of masterclasses with world-class guitarists including Zoran Dukic, Jacob Heringman and Stephen Goss. Rafael is a highly sought after performer in RNCM’s External Concerts and has given many solo performances throughout the UK. In February 2020, Rafael collaborated with Errollyn Wallen (MBE) on her solo guitar composition ‘Red’ prior to debuting it in an RNCM Festival showcasing her music. Rafael’s outstanding debut led to an invitation to perform at the prestigious Wigmore Hall – London in June 2021.
Rafael’s love of chamber music has culminated in numerous ensembles, most notably The Aluna Duo for Flute & Guitar, and Duo Chuva for Two Guitars. Both ensembles perform frequently across the UK, as well as developing highly successful outreach work and pedagogy. The Aluna Duo developed a series of interactive workshops in schools across Boston, Lincolnshire in conjunction with the Lincolnshire Music Service. Throughout lockdown Rafael’s ensembles have remained proactive, including a live concert streamed online from Preston Museum as part of the St Harris concert series. Currently, Duo Chuva are preparing to compete after recently reaching the semi-finals of the prestigious Royal Overseas League competition. Rafael also performs with The Chuva Collective – a larger ensemble collaborating dance and live music.
Rafael is a creative and highly committed guitar teacher with extensive experience teaching children and adults on the guitar. Rafael gained insightful experience into classroom teaching having worked with the One Education Music service as part of his RNCM BMUS degree. Since graduating, Rafael has held numerous peripatetic teaching positions in schools across Greater Manchester and Liverpool, alongside developing a network of private students. This included a position at the Cheadle-Hulme Music Academy as the resident guitar teacher. Most recently, Rafael has been working with the Yorkshire Young Musicians scheme, providing teaching cover at the Leeds Conservatoire.
Recently Rafael was awarded highly coveted Postgraduate Awards from both Help Musicians UK and Drake Calleja Trust. As an award holder, Rafael was invited to perform a solo recital at the Purcell Room – London in March 2021 (which will now take place at a later date). Rafael was also awarded The Ian Spencer Fox Guitar Bursary for further assistance to fund his RNCM Masters’ degree.
Kristin Lien was born in Taiwan in 1978. She undertook her initial studies at the Kuang-Jen Music School as a pupil of Anita Cheung and won numerous prizes and awards for both piano and cello. In 1995 she was awarded a Music scholarship to Durham School and she later became Durham Young Musician after a recital in Green Palace, Durham.
In 1997, she was awarded an entrance scholarship to the Royal Northern College of Music, where she learnt with Carole Presland. During this time, she performed in numerous concerts as both soloist and accompanist, also appearing in Masterclasses with Anne Queffelec, Ronan O’Hora, Martin Roscoe and Renna Kellaway. Kristin was awarded the Gordon Green memorial award and the “Anne Cantelo” Scholarship in 2001.
Between 2002 and 2003, Kristin achieved her Postgraduate Diploma and the Professional Performance Diploma at the RNCM. Since then, she has continued with her professional development training by completing her PGCE and was awarded Certificate of Teaching (CTABRSM) by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in 2012.
As a highly committed teacher, she is now a member of staff at Junior RNCM, Yorkshire Young Musicians, Bowdon Preparatory School and the Bolton School.
Scottish soprano Juliet Montgomery graduated with a BMus(hons), PGDip and MMus from the Royal Northern College of Music.
Operatic credits include Alison The Wandering Scholar (Northern Opera Group), Fiametta The Gondoliers, Peep Bo The Mikado, Zorah Ruddigore (NGSOC), Adalgisa Norma (Preston Opera), Susanna The Marriage of Figaro (Opera on Location), Countess A Dinner Engagement (MOE), Valencienne The Merry Widow (Preston Opera), First Lady Magic Flute (RNCM Spotlight), Isobel Pirates of Penzance (Heritage Opera), Una Novizia Suor Angelica (MOE), Clara La Vie Parisienne and Susan Company (RNCM). Juliet performed with the chorus of Scottish Opera in their concert performance of Puccini’s Edgar and joined the chorus of Opera North for their semi-staged production of Verdi’s Aida. She has been a member of the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company for five seasons and was a Young Artist in Buxton Opera’s MacBeth in 2017.
Juliet enjoys teaching singing for Yorkshire Young Musicians, The Singing Practice, Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School and privately.
John is a graduate of Surrey University where he studied piano with Peter Croser and since then has worked solely in music. He has been involved in music education for thirty years and has considerable experience as both a classroom and instrumental teacher. He has worked as a peripatetic piano teacher for Hull Music Service, held the position of keyboard and musicianship tutor with East Riding College and taught Music Tech A level at Wyke College. His current work includes piano tutor at Pocklington School and A level examining for Edexcel.
Throughout this time John has enjoyed a busy performing schedule as a freelance pianist / synthesiser player, and has an artist management contract with The Animal Farm Music (London) for his original compositions.
John also maintains a private studio, teaching classical and jazz piano plus music theory and music technology / recording. He was recently awarded a diploma in piano performance.
Claire graduated from the University of Hull with a first class degree in Music in 2004, and was also awarded the Departmental Prize for outstanding musical achievement. In 2005, Claire gained the Associated Board Diploma in singing.
As a performer, Claire has sung as a concert soloist with Hull Bach Choir, Hull Male Voice Choir and the Arterian Singers. Claire is principal flute of the Culture:WindOrchestra and 2nd flute in the Culture:Orchestra who regularly perform at Hull Minster.
Claire teaches singing, flute and music theory at Wyke Sixth Form College, Hull, and privately. She is proud to have gained distinction levels in Associated Board examinations with singing pupils at every grade, and has former pupils who have since gone on to study at The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, Tech Music School London, and Cambridge University with a choral scholarship. Claire is also a music theory examiner for Trinity College, London and an associate of Culture:Music, Hull’s new centre for music tuition and performance, and on the education team of the British Flute Society.
MA (Cambridge), MA (Durham), PGCE (Cambridge), Dalcroze Professional Certificate
Alison grew up in West Yorkshire, and studied music at St John’s College, Cambridge and Durham University. Whilst working as a cello and piano teacher, Alison was struck by the creativity and intuitiveness of the Dalcroze approach to music teaching, which explores music through movement, singing and improvisation. This led her to study for the Dalcroze Professional Certificate. Alison is currently studying for an advanced qualification in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, the Dalcroze Licence.
Alison enjoys working with young people of all ages. She has taught Dalcroze Eurhythmics at YYM since 2010, initially on the Leeds programme, and now at the Hull centre. She works with primary school teachers for the Voices Foundation, and has previously taught in various settings for Opera North. Alison’s latest musical adventure is as music teacher for Coram House, the Junior school at Ackworth School, Pontefract.
Bethan Morgan-Williams (1992-) is a composer who writes quirky, rhythmically-intricate music. Described as “marvellously oblique and obscure” [5against4] while being “rooted in something ancient and folky” [The Telegraph], Bethan’s music finds motivation in the apogee of musical performance. With composer-performer collaborations a key part of Bethan’s practice, each piece is written according to the characters of those involved.
Bethan is currently based in mid-Wales, having studied predominantly with Gary Carpenter at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and Diderik Wagenaarat the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag.