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Who Are We?

Emma Cunliffe
Outreach Programmes Manager

Emma originally trained as a secondary school Music teacher, going on to be Head of Music at a large comprehensive. From there she went on to work at Huddersfield University, the BBC Philharmonic and The Bridgewater Hall in community music and music outreach roles, as well as working with many other arts organisations as a freelance project manager and consultant. Having studied at Chetham’s as a student, she couldn’t keep away and came back full circle to work here in 2010.

Emma lives in the Greater Manchester area with her husband and two young children and spends her spare time playing the bassoon, cooking, reading, swimming and trying valiantly (but in vain) to keep the house tidy.

Sarah Heard
Senior Outreach Programmes Coordinator

Sarah grew up in rural north Devon on a farm.  Her love of music led her to study the flute at the University of Southampton and from there she worked for Mark Warner in Kos, Greece and also for P & O Cruises on the Oceana and Arcadia.  Back on dry land, Sarah spent twelve years in Hampshire where she set up community ensembles Saxophony and Funky Flute Club as well as managing workshops for flute and saxophone players.  She helped curate the Musical A to Z for the Cultural Olympiad in 2012, bringing a Hip Hop orchestra to West Quay Shopping Centre and a massed Saxophone and Xylophone ensemble to the Turner Sims.  She was an ensemble leader and taught the flute for Hampshire Music Service while working for Winchester Cathedral and Winchester Festival facilitating their busy concerts and events programme.  Always keen to perform and support the performing arts Sarah has played for many amateur musical productions, over 80 so far!
Sarah moved to Manchester in June 2019 to work at Chetham’s School of Music as Concerts Manager.  She was delighted to join the Outreach team in November 2019.  Sarah enjoys travelling and photography, often at the same time, as well as exploring the beautiful Peak District.

Nina Pryce
Outreach Programmes Coordinator

Nina Pryce graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2019 where she studied Trumpet under Tracey Redfern, John Miller and Murray Greig. As a musician, Nina has performed in venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, Bridgewater Hall and on BBC Breakfast News; as well as the Poly Grand Theatre in Shanghai as part of RNCM Big Band tour 2018.

During her studies, Nina worked as Project Manager within the RNCM Learning and Participation team and, in her final year, was elected Education Officer for the Students’ Union. In these roles, Nina worked collaboratively to devise, manage and evaluate projects and events such as career fairs, educational performances and workshops, music mentoring schemes and public campaigns such as RNCMZero – a ground-breaking project to tackle harassment. Nina has also worked as Project Coordinator with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music to produce an exhibition celebrating Women in Music Education throughout history.

Increasing the accessibility of the arts is something Nina is passionate about and, as the winner of the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music Entrepreneurship Award 2018, produced a pilot project which provides live music events aimed at adults with additional needs and disabilities.

When Nina isn’t working in the Outreach and Practice departments at Chetham’s she enjoys eating, going to the gym and is unashamedly a devote fan of The Archers on BBC Radio 4!

Lily Caunt
Workshop Leader and Animateur
Outreach Programmes Coordinator

Lily Caunt has a varied career as a performer, teacher, workshop animateur and project coordinator. She studied music at the University of Bristol before going on to specialise in the flute at the Royal Northern College of Music, graduating from a Masters in Performance in 2017.

Lily started working at Chetham’s as a practice assistant in 2016 and soon became involved with the Outreach Department and the Girls Boarding House. Before working at Chetham’s she spent two years at the Purcell School, where her interest in music outreach began. Since then, bringing music to as many diverse communities and ages has been a passion of hers. She is a specialist with Artis Education, a Creative Artist/Animateur at Chetham’s and has taken part in projects with Brighter Sound, TiPP, RNCM and Olympias Music Foundation. Lily teaches privately and in schools throughout Manchester.

As a flautist Lily has performed solo and as part of chamber ensembles Tula Flutes (flute trio) and Lavena Trio (flute, viola and harp) across the UK. Her collaborative project with composer Sam Buttler focuses on site-specific composition. ‘A Ceiling Full of Stars’ was performed and filmed in August 2019 in Monteath Mausoleum in the Scottish Borders and was recently published by Tetractys Publishing. Sam and her are currently working on their next project and are looking forward to including community outreach this time.

Outside of work Lily enjoys Triathlon – swimming, biking and running – then eating lots of cake!

Sarah Atter
Workshop Leader and Animateur

Sarah Atter is a Manchester-based musician with extensive experience of devising and delivering education and community projects, alongside student and teacher training, large-scale residencies and consultancy work. She works across a variety of fields including music in healthcare, music in the community, music in education, music in criminal justice and collaborative cross-art form projects.

Sarah specialises in music facilitation and music engagement with vulnerable, challenging and hard-to-reach groups, and works both as an independent practitioner and in partnership with organisations including Manchester International Festival, Manchester Camerata, Streetwise Opera, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Music in Prisons.
As the Creative Director of Tram Tracks – a creative composition project conceived by Sarah and delivered in partnership with the Bridgewater Hall – Sarah worked with a team of practitioners and musicians, as well as nearly 100 community and education groups across Greater Manchester to write a song for every stop on the tram network. These can all be found on Youtube!

Sarah also lectures on the Participatory Music course at The University of Manchester and works at the RNCM as one of the Creative Project mentors for students. She designs and delivers artist development training for TiPP, Music in Hospitals and Care and Chetham’s School of Music. Sarah also inspires the next generation by teaching flute players of all ages across Greater Manchester.

As a flautist, Sarah works across the country in orchestras and chamber ensembles. She has performed at the Houses of Parliament as well as being filmed for the Real Housewives of Cheshire!

Outside of work, Sarah enjoys cooking (and eating), trying to do DIY and having lots of sleep!

Gemma Ashcroft
Workshop Leader and Animateur

Gemma studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and Trinity Laban and now leads a varied musical life as a freelance double bassist.

She is passionate about music education, working with a variety of organisations across the country to deliver music programmes and creative workshops, including the Hallé Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, TiPP and the RNCM.

Gemma teaches the double bass at Chetham’s where she also works with the youngest string ensemble, Violetta. She teaches whole-class strings for Wigan Music service and is the double bass specialist at two independent schools in Greater Manchester. She is proud to be on the tutor team for the National Children’s Orchestras, Greater Manchester Youth String Orchestra and NLMS Summer School.

As musician-in-residence at Martenscroft Nursery School, Gemma works with over 100 children a week in an ongoing music programme, as well as delivering staff training and regular parent and child music sessions in the community.

Alongside her teaching and workshop leading Gemma has enjoyed performing with many of the UK’s top orchestras and recording artists including the Hallé Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Sting, and Russell Watson.

Gemma is a keen scuba diver and open water swimmer, and she likes to spend her time out of the water attempting overly complex recipes and devouring good books!