01845 597627 or email

About Yorkshire Young Musicians

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YYM sponsors

About YYM

Advanced training

YYM at work
  • YYM was established in 2004 to provide advanced training for exceptionally talented young musicians aged between 8 and 18 within the Yorkshire and Humber region. It aims to enable specialist young musicians in the region to benefit from the highest quality tuition in their locality, rather than having to travel long distances or go away to school
  • It is overseen by a unique partnership comprising Opera North, Leeds Conservatoire and all sixteen local authority music services in the Yorkshire and Humber region.
  • The Head of YYM is Emily Alexander.
  • It currently operates every Sunday at two centres; one in Leeds at Leeds Conservatoire and the other at Albemarle Music Centre in Hull.
  • YYM provides specialist (one-to-one) instrumental tuition and advance general musicianship training across a wide range of musical genres and traditions
  • It is an inclusive scheme, available to all who can benefit, regardless of their means, social or ethnic background, or whether they have any disability. Government financial support is available ensuring that this opportunity is within everyone’s reach. Students can get government support not only for their fees, but sometimes also for such elements as instrument and travel costs. The only restrictions stem from the need for all participants to possess the very high levels of musicianship and commitment required to benefit from the scheme, and by the availability of suitable specialist tuition.

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What does studying at YYM involve?


YYM at work

YYM operates on Sundays during term time.  If you join the scheme you will find the wide variety of activities on offer will take up most of the day, roughly between 9.30am and  4.00pm. Some instrumental tuition may take place at other times, by arrangement.

The Sunday sessions are designed to leave you free to continue to participate in any general school and local authority music activities with which you wish to be involved.


Teaching takes place in two centres: one in Leeds at Leeds Conservatoire and the other at Albemarle Music Centre in Hull.

Here is travel information for Leeds and Hull YYM centres.


Music is a demanding but richly fulfilling discipline. It brings its own rewards, but it also fosters wider attributes such as creativity, self-confidence, self-discipline and teamwork.

If you aspire to a career in music then the YYM scheme provides a firm foundation and will prepare you for a Conservatoire or University education. This standard of musical education is not readily available through the regular school system.

If a career in music is not for you, and you plan to study and work in some other professional sphere, you will nevertheless find that your life has been equally enriched by your experience in Yorkshire Young Musicians.


YYM at work

Once you have got through your audition to YYM  an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) will be drawn up for you by the head of YYM, in close consultation with your parents / carers and the YYM mentor from the teaching team, who will be allocated to you. Your mentor will continue to monitor your progress and development on a regular basis throughout your time at YYM.

Your ILP will usually contain four main elements:

  • Individual Instrumental Tuition
  • Ensemble Performance
  • Musicianship
  • Second Study

Individual Instrumental Tuition

YYM currently offers individual tuition in the following specialities, and has an ever-expanding team of highly qualified tutors:

  • Keyboard: piano
  • Percussion: timpani and orchestral percussion, drum-kit
  • Strings: violin, viola, cello, double bass, guitar, harp
  • Wind: clarinet, flute, oboe, bassoon, saxophone
  • Brass: trumpet, trombone, french horn, tuba
  • South Asian Classical: santoor, sitar, tabla, vocal,
  • Voice

Tuition on your chosen instrument will be central to your Individual Learning Plan.

Your tutor – drawn from the YYM’s panel of teachers specially selected for their experience in the care and development of young talent – will help you develop a carefully designed practice routine. They will also outline (in conjunction with your mentor a framework for the advancement of your technical, interpretative and performing skills. This might include participation in examinations, public concerts and/or local and national competitions.

Who is YYM for?

The scheme

YYM at work

YYM is an inclusive scheme aimed at exceptionally talented young musicians between the ages of 8 and 16.

It is open to all, regardless of their means, their social or ethnic background, or whether they have any disability.

It is musically inclusive, too. It is designed to identify and nurture exceptional talent in all areas of performance and across a wide range of genres and traditions.

How good do I have to be?

You need to possess very high levels of musicianship and to wish to dedicate a significant amount of time to developing your skills still further.

This does not mean that you need to have achieved a certain level of pass in music exams, or any specific formal education achievement. Your ability will be assessed via audition and your acceptance into YYM will be based on potential, not just current achievement.

Advice auditions

If you are unsure whether YYM will be suitable or not, just ask for an advice audition.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does YYM tuition take place?

YYM at work

On Sundays, during term-time, between approximately 10.00 and 4.00

Where does it happen?

At one of the YYM’s Centres. There is one at Leeds Conservatoire, 3 Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7PD and a second in Hull at the Albemarle Music Centre.

How much does it cost?

There are grants and travel bursaries available for those for whom the fees are beyond their means. See for more information

Who is eligible?

Talented young musicians aged 8 - 18 from the Yorkshire and Humber region. For more details see the box above.

How good do I have to be?

You need to possess very high levels of musicianship and to wish to dedicate a significant amount of time to developing your skills still further.

This does not mean that you need to have achieved a certain level of pass in music exams, or any specific formal education achievement. Your ability will be assessed via audition and your acceptance into YYM will be based on potential, not just current achievement.

Advice auditions

If you are unsure whether YYM will be suitable or not, just ask for an advice audition.

YYM centres


Leeds Conservatoire, 3 Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7PD.

The first YYM centre opened is based at Leeds Conservatoire, the country's largest music college, situated in the centre of the City of Leeds. YYM has access to many of its facilities including tutorial and practice rooms, performances spaces and instruments.

Parking is available close to the College and is relatively easy on a Sunday.

Travel information for Leeds YYM centre


The Albemarle Music Centre, 60 Ferensway, Hull, HU2 8LN.

This building is home to YYM's second centre. It is built on three floors and located in the heart of Hull city centre.

Parking is the St. Stephen's shopping centre car park. The Albemarle Music Centre is in this complex.

Travel information for Hull YYM centre

Money matters

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Money matters

Paying for tuition

YYM provides specialist (one-to-one) instrumental tuition and advanced general musicianship training to all who can benefit from it. If the cost of the fees is beyond your means, then there are grants and travel bursaries available.

YYM at work


Fees are payable in advance, and may be paid termly, annually or by standing order over a few months. Current fees are £3,802 per annum. Maximum grant available is £3,802.

YYM at work


The Government's Music and Dance scheme provides grants designed to assist those who may need financial support in order to afford Yorkshire Young Musicians Fees, details .

Travel Bursaries

Students who are in receipt of grants from the Music and Dance Scheme may also be eligible for bursaries to assist with travel costs incurred in attending Yorkshire Young Musicians.

How to apply

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How to apply

Next audition days

Please phone 01845 597627 or for more details.

Step one

YYM at work

Read in the home section of this website to find out whether the approach to learning music offered by YYM is right for you (or your pupil or offspring if you are a teacher or parent!). If you think it is, then move on to Step Two. If you are not sure, why not contact YYM direct, or ask for an advice audition? Phone: 01845 597627; to email.

Step Two

Download an application form from the website, ring 01845 597627 or to request one to be sent in the post. The form asks for basic details about yourself (name and address etc) as well as for information about your current musical capabilities.

Step Three

YYM at work

When you have completed all sections of part 1 of the application form and had it signed by your parent/carer, send it off to Yorkshire Young Musicians, 56 Market Place, Thirsk, YO7 1LW.

Step Four

YYM at work

Give part 2 of the form to your current teacher, and ask him/her to complete it and post it to YYM at the same address.

continued …


All prospective students for Yorkshire Young Musicians (YYM) will be expected to attend an audition.  This will normally be before a panel of two people.

You should be prepared to perform two pieces of contrasting style on your first instrument (about ten minutes) and one piece on your second instrument if you have one.

The panel will be looking for signs of musical talent and promise regardless of the applicant’s level of technical accomplishment.

For this reason, you should choose your audition pieces carefully.  It is better to play something with which you feel totally comfortable rather than a piece which stretches your current ability and therefore has a “risk” factor.

Before the audition you will have a chance for a warm-up (but not a terribly long one, so practising for a while before you leave home is still a good idea). During this time, if you have asked for an accompanist, they will come and run through your pieces with you. Remember to bring your accompaniment / piano parts!

In your audition, if you can play from memory then it would be a good idea to do so, but only if you feel comfortable doing this.

If the panel have come to a decision they may not hear the whole of your pieces. Do not be put off by this as it is quite normal.

Musicianship tests will take place after you have played, but usually in a group situation. In the group session you will be asked to do various movements to music so wear suitable clothes and shoes for moving in (girls are better off in trousers).

A music stand will be provided but if you require any special equipment you should bring this with you or speak to the Head of YYM well in advance of the audition.

You will be notified of the result within two weeks of the audition date.

The panel will want to have a chat with you to discuss your ideas and hopes for your musical career. Above all, we want this to be a good opportunity for you to perform so try to keep relaxed and ENJOY IT!


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YYM Staff


Board of Trustees




YYM at work


Richard Ashton Opera North
Jacqui Cameron Opera North, Chair
James Dickinson Music Mark
Anna Keogh Leeds Conservatoire
Phil Needham Music Mark
Paul Moffatt Independent
Penny Stirling Independent
Joe Wilson Leeds Conservatoire


Penny Stirling is the Founding Director of Yorkshire Young Musicians.

She was born in Somerset and trained at the Royal College of Music in London. Although graduating as a pianist, her first job was as a Head of Strings and she then went on to run the string department at Wells Cathedral School from 1980 - 1990. After working as Head of the Instrumental Music Service for Wiltshire County Council, she married and moved to Manchester where she became Director of the Junior Strings Project at the Royal Northern College of Music. This innovative course, which won the Partnership Trusts' Thorn EMI award for innovations in music teacher training in 1995 and a Queen's Anniversary Prize for the RNCM in 1998, trains postgraduate students to teach, using children from the local community - thereby giving many youngsters an opportunity to learn a string instrument. Now run in conjunction with Manchester Metropolitan University, this is one of the few courses where teachers can train to teach instrumental music alongside their classroom studies and obtain a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (with subsequent Qualified Teacher Status).

In December 1999 Penny was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Northern College. In 2004, whilst still retaining a part-time position as Consultant to the Junior Strings Project, she moved to North Yorkshire and became Director of Yorkshire Young Musicians, a new DfES Music and Dance Scheme for highly talented children in the Yorkshire and Humber area.

Penny has taught violin, viola and piano at Wells Cathedral School, Chetham's, Junior RNCM and currently at St Peters School, York. She founded the chamber music course 'Young String Venture' at Lake District Summer Music and is Course Director for Pro Corda North and Director of Stirlings Summer Strings.

She often works with County Music Services on Professional Development days and is Course Leader for the Manchester centre of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music's Professional Development course leading to the award of CT ABRSM. In addition, she has worked as a mentor for the CT ABRSM course in Singapore and Hong Kong and as a presenter of Violin Seminars for the Board. Other recent work has taken her to South Carolina (USA), Norway and Bermuda to assist the teachers working for the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation. She adjudicates for many music festivals both at home and abroad.

ANDREW STAMATAKIS-BROWN MusB (Hons), GRNCM, PPRNCM(ens), composition and musicianship

Andrew studied on the prestigious Joint Course, at the University of Manchester and at the RNCM. He received the Margaret Ann Knowles Major Scholarship and several academic prizes from the University, graduating with first class honours in 2003. At the RNCM he studied composition with Gary Carpenter and Ian Vine and won prizes for composition and jazz improvisation. He has written for film, dance and theatre, and has had performances of his pieces in Europe, Australia and the States.

Andrew plays piano in, and composes for 6pac Jazz Sextet, who received the Royal Northern College of Music Gold Medal from the college Principal in 2004.The sextet has recorded 2 albums, the first of which was funded through the Peter Whittingham Award for an Innovative Jazz Project. Their project involved running workshops at H.E. institutions across the North-West and a nationwide composition competition. They have appeared twice as guest artists for BBC Songs of Praise and perform across the UK. Andrew made his Ronnie Scott’s debut in 2005 with singer Alice Zawadzki, and continues to work with singers across the country, including through Music in Hospitals, which takes live music into healthcare settings across the country.

In addition to teaching at YYM, Andrew has worked in other branches of music education for a number of years. With 6pac he is a member of the Live Music Now! scheme, which takes music to people who would not normally have access to it, and they also run their own Jazz Summer School, in conjunction with Dartington Plus in Devon. He currently teaches piano and jazz piano at the King’s school in Chester, delivers workshops for Streetwise Opera and has taught keyboard and improvisation skills on the London Suzuki Group Summer International School at Bryanston since 2004.

JOHN DIVER BSc(Hons) BSc(Hons) LRSM DipLCM, CTABRSM, Keyboards and Improvisation

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 twenty 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 also maintains a private practice teaching classical and jazz piano plus music theory and music technology.

He was recently awarded a diploma in jazz piano performance.

SVETLANA PINEGINA Dip.Perf. (Perm, Russia), piano

Svetlana Pinegina has 20 years' experience of teaching piano and accompanying. She was born in Russia and from the age of 6 studied piano at home with her mother. She later attended a specialist music school, where she studied for 7 years, with the sole intention of becoming a piano tutor.

After finishing music school she began studying piano at the institute of Art and Culture and in 1982 she finished very successfully with a diploma in Piano and orchestral leadership, being amongst the top three candidates.

After completing higher education she worked in Russia for seven years as a piano teacher and accompanist. In 1990 she moved to Germany where she worked for eleven years in a music school as a piano tutor.

Svetlana moved to Leeds in 2001 to work at Leeds Conservatoire as a piano teacher and accompanist.

RACHAEL GIBBON PhD (Manchester), BMus GRNCM, musicianship

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 has taught and lectured for the Music departments of Manchester, Salford and Huddersfield universities and she is a tutor at the Junior RNCM. In addition, she is a clarinettist, pianist and recorder player who performs regularly both as a soloist and orchestral musician.

VIJAY RAJPUT MA, MPhil, PhD, Hindustani classical singing

Born in new Delhi, India, Dr. Vijay Rajput started Learning Music at the tender age of eight. He acquired his initial training and guidance from Pt. M. G. Deshpande, Pt. VinayChander Mudgal and pt. Madhup Mudgal ji. Subsequently, he had a rare opportunity to learn for many years under the tutelage of world renowned Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi Ji. He has acquired M.A., M.PHIL., PH.D.Degrees in Hindustani Classical music from the University of Delhi. As a maestro of khayal style of rendition and an artist of international repute, his performances have mesmerized audiences in India and abroad. He has performed in many national and international Sangeet Sammelans festivals and Mahotsave. He got the KALA JYOTHI award in 2010 for his excellent contribution in educating and promoting classical music in the North East of England. He is currently based in Newcastle upon Tyne. He is as keen a teacher as a performer and is a visiting lecturer in vocal music at Newcastle University & Leeds Conservatoire. He has been a chief examiner of South Asian Classical music at the Bharatya vidya Bhavan, London.

HARJINDER PAL SINGH BSc. santoor and tabla

Harjinder Pal Singh is a Namdhari Sikh who was born in Jabalpur, India in 1953. He is a senior disciple of the Santoor Maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma. His interest in music since his childhood prompted his father to send him to learn Tabla, from Bhai Labh Singh Ji of the Punjab Gharana at the age of 14.

While learning Tabla, Harjinder Pal continued his studies and obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Science. Later on he became the disciple of Ustad Nihal Singh Ji in order to learn the Pakhawaj style of tabla.

Seeing his talent, His Holiness Shri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji, the Spiritual Head of the Namdhari Sect, took Harjinder Pal to Bombay and made him the disciple of the Santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma to learn to play the Santoor, the hundred stringed instrument from the valleys of Kashmir. Under the guidance of his Guru, Harjinder Pal started practising the santoor and after years of practice he gave his first public performance in the prestigious Pt. Vishnu Digambhar Paluskar Jayanti Samaroh in New Delhi in 1986. While learning the Santoor he was awarded the Ustad Allauddin Khan Music Academy Bhopal Scholarship and participated in the 'Arambh 16' Festival held in Bhopal.

He has also participated in numerous other festivals including :

  • Sangeet Nritya Samaroh held in Delhi, which was co-sponsored by Sangeet Natak Academy and ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations).
  • Sarva Dharam Maitri Sangeet Samaroh held in Bombay in 1993, organized by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Shri Mahaswami Satabdi Mahotsava Samiti.
  • Several jugalbandi concerts held in Bombay and Pune, with Flute and Guitar.
  • Youth Festival held in St. Xavier College Bombay.
  • Sankat Mochan Music Festival Varanasi in 1993.

Harjiner Pal has toured extensively for SPICMACAY (Society for the Promotion of South Asian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth) and given concerts, lectures and demonstration programmes in schools and colleges in various states in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab and Bombay. He has participated in the prestigious Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan held in Jalandhar. He is a graded artist of the All India Radio. He has toured abroad and performed in various cities in the United Kingdom and Kenya.

Harjinder Pal has taught music at the Sri Satguru Pratap Singh Ji Music A cademy as well as teaching santoor and tabla privately. He has also taught extensively in England as SAA-uk's Resident Artist. This has included private tuition, masterclasses, group teaching for the Leeds Conservatoire and teaching in Leicester.


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. She also enjoys performing at weddings, private functions and local events as both a singer and flautist.

Claire teaches singing, flute and music theory at Hull Collegiate School, Scarborough College, 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.

PEGGY NOLAN BMus, 'cello/chamber music

Peggy Nolan began cello lessons at the age of seven. During her school years, she studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin before commencing her third level training at the Royal Northern College of Music studying with Peter Dixon and later Raphael Wallfisch and Hannah Roberts.

Peggy enjoys a varied music life, including chamber music, orchestral playing and teaching. As a member of the Eblana String Trio she has given numerous performances for music societies and festivals throughout the UK. Other highlights have included performing the Hindemith String Trios in Stellenbosch, South Africa, a recital for the Internationales Musikfest Goslar, Germany, as well as being selected as Park Lane Young Artists from 2015-2016. For two years the trio held the position of Junior Fellows in Chamber Music at Birmingham Conservatoire, providing chamber music classes and tuition to students within the chamber music department.

Peggy was a founding member of the Borromini Quartet, a young London-based ensemble, performing on instruments and bows of the classical period. In 2011 the quartet were finalists of the York Early Music Competition for young ensembles, and were chosen as beneficiaries of the Brighton Early Music Live scheme 2012-2013.

A busy freelance musician, Peggy frequently performs with some of the UK and Ireland’s finest orchestras including the Halle, BBC Philharmonic, English National Opera, Orchestra of Opera North, and Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Peggy holds an International Artist Diploma in String Leadership, Master of Music and first class Bachelor degree from the RNCM. She has taught at Yorkshire Young Musicians since 2010 and also teaches at Birmingham Conservatoire.


Originally from Luxembourg, Claire Osborne read Musicology at the Universities of Strasbourg/France and Oxford, obtaining a French Maîtrise de Musicologie in July 2004. She joined Jan Repko’s violin class at the RNCM in September 2005, where she completed her BMus and Postgraduate Diploma in 2007 resp. 2008.

Claire is a former member of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, the European Union Youth Orchestra as well as the Jeunesses Musicales World Youth Orchestra. This has given her the chance to work with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. She has attended masterclasses with members of Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ensemble Intercontemporain as well as György Pauk, Benjamin Zander, Maurice Hasson, Ivry Gitlis and Tasmin Little.

Before joining Opera North full time in January 2010, Claire led a busy freelance life with the Hallé Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, Opera North, as well as back home in Luxembourg with Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Solistes Européens Luxembourg. In May 2007, she performed Brahms Violin Concerto with the Luxembourg Chamber Orchestra ‘Les Musiciens’. She also regularly appeared in recitals organised by the Schengen Music Academy in Luxembourg, Moscow, Brest, Brussels and Bratislava.

Claire is proud to be part of the YYM tutors’ team as YYM students bring along enthusiasm, talent and, most importantly, their love for music – YYM is a fantastic environment for these young people to blossom!

ADAM DAVIES BMus(Hons.), MMus (Dist.), PGDip (Dist.), piano

Adam was educated at Beverley Grammar School, and is an alumnus of the RNCM, where he graduated with BMus(Hons.), Masters and Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in performance, and was the recipient of the Norman George Scholarship for accompaniment, Fergal O’Mahony Undergraduate Prize, and scholarships from both the Drapers’ Company and the Oglesbys. Adam studied with Irina Glushenkova, John Gough, and Dr. Murray McLachlan, and has benefitted from lessons with distinguished pianists including Michel Beroff, Philippe Cassard, Michael Lewin, Noriko Ogawa, Martin Roscoe and Kathryn Stott. Adam was also winner of East Coast Young Musician and EPTA UK Piano Competition, a recipient of third place in Wales International Piano Competition, and reached the finals of the RNCM Gold Medal Competition and the II Krystian Tkaczewski International Piano Competition in Poland.

Currently active as a soloist, teacher, chamber musician and conductor of St. John’s Festival Orchestra, Adam has played in venues throughout the UK including Beverley Minster, Hull City Hall, St. Martin-in-the-Fields and St. Paul’s Church, Covent Garden. Upcoming performances include Schumann Piano Concerto with Bolton Chamber Orchestra and Rachmaninov Concerto No. 4 with Scottish Sinfonia.


Robert trained at the Royal Northern College of Music and Malmo Academy of Music in Sweden, and is a former prize winner of the British Flute Society Young Artist competition.

He has performed with among others, the Hallé, Royal Scottish National, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Ulster orchestras and can be heard on numerous recordings and soundtracks, in addition to broadcasts for BBC television and radio, and Classic FM.

Robert is an experienced tutor and teaches both privately and for Yorkshire Young Musicians. He boasts a 100% exam pass rate, although he gladly attributes this to the hard work and determination of his students!

HELGA PENNY BMus(Hons)(Sheffield), Cert Ed., Violin & viola

Helga Penny began studying the violin before transferring to the viola and studying with Barbara Parham up to Grade 8. She also studied the piano with Ann Airton up to Grade 8. She did a music degree at Sheffield University, receiving viola lessons from both Hilary and Roger Bigley, graduating with an honours degree in 1985.

She joined the Kingston upon Hull Music Service later that year and has been a part of that service ever since. She has also taught upper strings at Hymers College and currently is the upper string specialist at Hull Collegiate School.

Helga is dedicated to teaching the violin and viola to students of all ages and abilities, many achieving excellent results in music festivals, ABRSM and Trinity music exams. She has had students accepted on both violin and viola at the RNCM, RCS, RWCMD and the Birmingham Conservatoire as well as many different universities.

She is particularly interested in chamber music and believes this to have an extremely beneficial effect on the student’s musical development. Quartet coaching has always been an important part of her teaching programme and many of her ensembles have achieved success at Music Festivals and National competitions. Helga has been Secretary of the Music Recital Club for many years, a position which encourages young soloists and ensembles to enjoy valuable platform experience.

She is a keen performing musician and has been a member of the Hull Philharmonic Orchestra for many years, many of them as Principal Viola. Her diverse tastes also include playing opera, musical theatre, Palm Court and chamber music.

Helga is delighted to be part of the team at YYM.

TOM EVANS BMus(Hons) MMus LRSM, clarinet

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, music for health and education.

As an orchestral player he has performed with the Hallé Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, 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 the trio leads educational workshops as part of the Live Music Now scheme, Superact and Creative Inspiration.

The Music for Health sector is an area that Tom is particularly enthusiastic about and he is an Associate Artist with Jessie's Fund, Musician in Residence in a number of SEN schools as well as a Workshop Leader with Music Unlimited.


Tony gained a first class degree in music in 2007 at the University of Hull, receiving the Andrew Brown Memorial Prize for his achievements. The following year he completed a Masters Degree funded by the AHRC, specialising in solo piano performance. He studied the piano with Irina Glushenkova and gained specialist training from some of the country’s leading concert pianists.

A piano tutor for over 15 years, Tony also teaches piano at Hull Collegiate School and is a regular accompanist for music exams, ballet, recitals, music festivals and the Maureen Hunter choir. The choir has recently performed at Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral and the Vatican. In 1999 he was awarded the Gough and Davy Rose Bowl for the most outstanding competitor at the Hull Music Festival.

JASDEEP SINGH, South Asian Classical

Born and raised in Leeds, Jasdeep acquired a deep insight into the art of South Asian Classical music through his teacher, Ustad Dharambir Singh MBE (as a Yorkshire Young Musician) and has continued to develop his skills in performance, composition, training and teaching over the years.

His dynamic performance experience spans a wide range of prestigious and high-profile venues across the UK and abroad, including annually at the Southbank Centre, London as a member of Samyo and Tarang (National South Asian Music Orchestras), and Buckingham Palace in 2011 for HRH Prince Harry as part the BBC2 documentary Goldie's Band: By Royal Appointment. In 2012, Jasdeep performed at the United Nations opening of the Amphitheatre in Doha, Qatar, in a production lead by the film composer Vangelis and the Royal Albert Hall hosted Jasdeep at the 2014 BBC Proms, showcasing his own original compositions based on South Asian Classical music. Jasdeep recently performed live on BBC2 accompanying kathak finalist Vidya Patel on the BBC Young Dancer 2015 Grand Final, and accompanied the legendary Donovan at his Shram-Rock concert at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool.

Jasdeep has also worked with musicians and producers such as Guy Chambers, Cerys Matthews, Melanie C, and Vangelis as a regular studio session musician on a diverse array of records and soundtracks. Jasdeep continues to push the boundaries of South Asian Classical music in the UK as well as developing his unique versatility as a young artist.


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.

JO McCALLUM, saxophone

Jo studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and since graduating has worked as a performer, arranger and teacher.

She has directed and performed in her own projects and in 2009/10 she managed an Arts Council funded tour for her own big band, featuring and promoting Manchester musicians, composers and arrangers.

Jo's arrangements have been performed by the RNCM Big Band featuring guitarist Mike Walker, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Big Band, Jeremy Sassoon's Tribute to Ray Charles, Paul Pashley and the Litework Collective. She has also been commissioned to arrange big band and small band music for education projects for Music For Life, Runshaw College and Altrincham Grammar School for Girls.

She recently led an Arts Council funded youth big band project which commissioned twelve composers to write a piece for youth jazz orchestra.  The original project culminated in a north west tour with the Music For Life Cheshire Youth Jazz Orchestra featuring guitarist, Mike Walker and in 2014/15, Mike and Jo rehearsed and performed the commissioned music again with the Wakefield Youth Jazz Orchestra.

CHRISTINE NOLAN M.Mus-Performance, G.Mus Hons-RNCM, LRAM (teaching), PGCE-Music, ’cello

Christine began her chamber music career as a cellist with the Bartholdy Piano Trio, performing in Manchester, Birmingham and St John Smith’s Square, London, gaining the Idelwild Trust and TSB Awards. Whilst at the Royal Northern College she played with the Armida String quartet, participating in master classes with the Vermeer, Brodsky and Franz Schubert Quartets.

As a member of  the  Alexandra String Quartet she made appearances around the country, including as “quartet in residence” at the Brereton International Wind Symposium, working with Gervase de Peyer, Maurice Bourg and Walter Boeykens. Later came the Roslyn Piano Trio, a Manchester – based group placing emphasis on playing rarely heard 20th century repertoire alongside the more well known standards.

Christine also forged duo partnerships with pianist and composer Anthony Hedges and cellist Julie Wright, and more recently with Italian bassist Pietro Lusvardi in duo “Basse Corde”, taking diverse repertoire from baroque to jazz / improvisation to concerts and master classes around the north of England.

Solo engagements include concertos and recital work, such as the Festival d’Aiuot d’Aquitaine (Dordogne) and charity performance for the Jacqueline Du Pres Memorial Fund in the presence of patron, the Duchess of Kent.

She combines this with work as a freelance orchestral cellist, accompanist and teacher. Her first teaching post was at St Peter’s and St Olave’s school in York, combining beginner to post grade 8 cello pupils, with ensemble and orchestral tuition. Christine is now a part-time tutor of cello and chamber music for the Hull Music Service, pupils ranging from Wider Opportunities classes, to students continuing to pursue courses in music at University and Conservatoires, as well as ensembles performing at the National Finals in Birmingham of Music for Youth. She has a number of advanced and adult private students and joined the teaching staff at Yorkshire Young Musicians in 2015.


Richard is General Manager of the Howard Assembly Room at Opera North. He also project managed the renovation of this arts venue which produces small scale opera, chamber, world and folk music and education projects for the Company. Previously for Opera North Richard has been Orchestra Director and PR Manager.

Prior to his move to Yorkshire Richard spent six years as a professional oboist working predominantly with Scottish Opera, and also BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He then joined the PR agency Weber Shandwick based in London as an account manager.

Richard became a trustee of Yorkshire Young Musicians in January 2014.


Thom was educated at Lawnswood School, Leeds and then Brasenose College, Oxford where he was awarded an Exhibition for conducting the Chapel Choir (1985-1987). Following a PGCE qualification from the University of Leeds he taught Music in schools including four years as Head of Music at Colne Valley High School. Thom’s career involvement with young musicians continued when he joined the staff of Kirklees Music School in September 1999 as Assistant Principal. He was appointed Principal in 2004. The Music School's concerts, involving choirs and many varied instrumental ensembles from throughout Kirklees, have become established over the years as showcases of young musical excellence and Thom very proudly names Kirklees Youth Symphony Orchestra among his principal conducting interests.

Thom is well known as the conductor of Colne Valley Male Voice Choir which has had numerous successes in festivals, concerts and competitions both at home and abroad. In addition to this, Thom’s career as a baritone soloist has taken him the length and breadth of the country, performing in operas and oratorios as well as lighter concerts and first performances of contemporary works.


Paul is a Senior Manager and People Leader at KPMG based in the Leeds office. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and has 15 years’ experience advising clients in the pensions industry on a range of issues. He is an enthusiastic amateur clarinettist and plays in the Sinfonia of Leeds.


Fiona was an upper strings teacher, then Head of the Music Service in Leeds until retirement, when she became a student of composition at Huddersfield University.

Her doctoral thesis was on the psychology of learning and teaching and learning instrumental music, specifically variable practice. She chaired the Federation of Music Services string group leading to the publication of A Common Approach, a framework for a teaching curriculum.


He was formerly director of Improvised Music Company (IMC), an Arts Council funded resource organisation for jazz and related music, established by Irish musicians and supporters in 1991. Today it is among Ireland’s leading specialist music producers with a portfolio that includes 12 Points, an award winning festival showcase for emerging European artists that rotates its location between Dublin and other European cities, and Down With Jazz, a festival of creative music that draws its inspiration from Ireland’s anti-jazz campaign of the 1930s.

Gerry is a saxophonist who has worked as a freelance musician and also as a teacher, building a programme of educational provision for early-career musicians. He has served as Secretary General of the European Jazz Network and is a member of the European sub-group for Leeds 2023, the city’s bid for European Capital of Culture.


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.


Gemma Salmon, originally from South Devon, studied piano at the Royal Northern College of Music with Paul Janes and graduated in 2009.  As well as teaching for Yorkshire Young Musicians at Leeds Conservatoire, Gemma works at Xaverian 6th Form College, a private music school called The Music Place, and is also a deputy teacher at Junior Royal Northern College of Music, all based in Manchester. With over ten years of teaching experience, Gemma enjoys helping students overcome challenges and developing their musical understanding and creativity.

She has also worked for a specialist music theory website developer, writing content and recording scripts for educational videos. Gemma has a keen interest in music marketing, having worked with The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, at the RNCM and on other musical projects.


Geraldine Cassidy was born in Dublin; she studied music and history at Trinity College, and violin and singing at the Dublin College of Music. She continued her singing studies in London at the Guildhall School of Music, at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. She was engaged at the Vienna State Opera as a member of the opera studio and her first professional engagements were in Ulm and in Salzburg, playing leading roles including Konstanze (Die Entführung) Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and the Countess (Marriage of Figaro), Violetta (La Traviata) and Gilda (Rigoletto), Rosina (Barber of Seville), Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress) and many more.

She then lived in France and in Switzerland where she taught singing in music schools, universities and conservatoires, before moving to the UK in 2015, where she took up her present post as Senior Lecturer in Singing at the Leeds Conservatoire.


Dave is a guitarist and researcher based in Manchester. He studied music to Master’s level at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he is now undertaking a PhD funded by a prestigious Arts and Humanities Research Council Studentship. His doctoral thesis is a study of political philosophy and electronic mediation within politically motivated art.

As a musician working primarily in contemporary and experimental music, Dave has given first performances and recordings of many works. He has played at various significant international festivals, including Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK) and SPOR festival (Denmark), but also in basements, warehouses and car parks around the UK. His ensemble experience includes a troubadour duo with Laurie Tompkins for a Sound and Music-funded tour, Almost Credible Music, Graham Llewellyn, An Assembly, ddmmyy, The House of Bedlam, the Northern Chamber Orchestra and Manchester Camerata.

Dave s recording experience ranges from Divine Art to Classic FM, and includes numerous BBC Radio broadcasts. He has an album (remote systems, with Aaron Parker, Slip Imprint) due out next year.


Christopher graduated with a first class degree from the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in 2016. Christopher’s operatic roles include Spoletta Tosca; Daniel Buchanan Street Scene; Njegus The Merry Widow; Monsieur Triquet Eugene Onegin; and he also sings regularly with the chorus of Bergen National Opera.

Christopher is a regular guest soloist throughout the UK and has performed many works including Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s The Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, and Bach’s Magnificat. In 2015, Christopher made his debut at the Bridgewater Hall (Manchester) as the Tenor soloist in the UK premiere of Penderecki's Symphony No.7 ‘Seven Gates of Jerusalem’.

ANDREW DUNLOP BMus(hons), GradRNCM, MMus(dist.), DMA

Equally at home in chamber music, song, and solo recitals, Andrew is a versatile musician who has performed across the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Switzerland and New Zealand. He received his Doctorate from the Eastman School of Music in New York, where he studied as a Fulbright Scholar under the guidance of Professor Barry Snyder. Andrew previously studied at the RNCM with Carole Presland, Alexander Melnikov and Mark Ray where he graduated with the Masters of Music in Performance with Distinction and the Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours, in addition to the Alfred Clay Scholarship and the Hilda Anderson Dean Award for the highest recital and academic marks. During his student career, he was awarded scholarships from numerous organisations including Fulbright, Eastman, RNCM, Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Craxton Memorial Trust, Musicians’ Benevolent Fund, Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarship Trust and the Doris Strake Prize from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. He was also a prize-winner in the RNCM Concerto, Ravel, Recital and Weill Prize for Chamber Music. From 2011-2012, Andrew served as the John Wilson Junior Fellow in Collaborative Piano at the RNCM.

In addition to his work as the Company/Orchestral Pianist for Northern Ballet, he regularly works as a staff pianist for Lake District Summer Music, the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain, the Geneva International Summer Festival and Academy of Music and is an examiner for the ABRSM. Andrew is the Artistic Director of ‘Lorn Live’ Chamber Music Festival in Oban, Argyll. Previously, Andrew has worked as a Staff Pianist/Coach for Leeds Conservatoire and taught Keyboard Skills at the RNCM. Andrew is a Samling Scholar and Concordia Artist. Andrew also enjoys working in the field of Traditional Music and reached the finals of the BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year in 2013. He has represented Scotland twice at the Pan Celtic Festival in Ireland where he won First Prize in the New Song and International New Song Competition and Second Prize in the International Harp Competition. More recently, Andrew has served as an adjudicator for the Royal National Mòd in both Scotland and Canada. Frequently working with his sister, Gaelic Singer Joy Dunlop, Andrew can be heard on both her albums Dùsgadh and Faileasan.  Andrew was born in 1985 in the Scottish west highland town of Oban and grew up in the nearby village of Connel, gaining his formative education at Achaleven Primary School and Oban High School respectively.


Pietro has an extensive background not only in teaching, but also as a performer and composer, covering both classical and jazz. Following graduation from the Conservatoire of Como in Italy he played professionally with a number of European orchestras including Orchestra Sinfonica di Brescia and Pomerigi Musicali in Italy, and also toured with the Sinfonica Orchestra of Cluj Napoca and the Filarmonica Oltenia of Craiova in Romania. He founded the award winning avant-garde jazz ensemble Gatto Marte, which has published ten albums to date. The group, playing Pietro’s compositions in 2000 won the 1st prize at the European Festival Arezzo Wave as best emerging band; and playing his composition to accompany the silent film ‘Gold Rush’, won 1st prize in that category at the Harlock International Festival of Bolzano in 1998.

From 2000 Pietro spent 4 years in California playing with orchestras including the Monterey Symphony Orchestra and the Bay Shore Lyric Opera Company, and various classical ensembles. He also performed extensively in jazz venues and continued to compose and perform for silent film.

Since coming to the UK in 2004 Pietro has been commissioned to write an opera by Teesside University which has been performed in England and Ireland, to write music for ballet by Tees Valley Dance, and to write a Concerto For Double Bass and Orchestra by the Hull Philharmonic Society, which he performed in 2011 with the Hull Philharmonic Orchestra and in 2013 with the Teesside Symphony Orchestra.

Pietro currently also has a busy teaching schedule including pupils at the University of York, Durham University, Hull University, Ampleforth College, and Hymers College Hull.


Tom is a professional musician and music leader, with considerable experience working with young people in all sectors through his work with organisations such as Live Music Now and Jessie’s Fund. He takes an improvisational, co-creative approach to music making, and is experienced in delivering specialist training in this area - including as part of the Music For Health module at the RNCM. Tom promotes well-being, enjoyment, and confidence away from the music stand!


Slava began his musical education at the age of five with Irina Bazarova in Kharkov, Ukraine and later with Victoria Lazovaya and Igor Prihod’ko.

In 2003 he was awarded an Associated Board (ABRSM) full scholarship to study with Norma Fisher at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he won many major awards including the coveted RNCM Gold Medal.

His studies continued until 2010 on the first RNCM International Artist Diploma Course with the generous support of the RNCM, the MBF Music Education Award, the Philharmonia Orchestra Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, The Worshipful Company of Musicians and The Boise Foundation.

Slava has taken part in masterclasses with Stephen Hough, Alexander Melnikov, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Nelson Goerner and Richard Goode, among others.

His competition successes include first prizes in the Luzenko International Piano Competition in Ukraine, Moray International Piano Competition in Scotland, the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe and Jacques Samuel Intercollegiate Piano Competition. He was a finalist in the Busoni International Piano Competition and has been awarded the Silver Medal of The Worshipful Company of Musicians.

After graduating from the RNCM, Slava received a full scholarship to study on the Advanced Performance Course at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music.

Slava has appeared as a recital and concerto soloist in the Ukraine, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK. He made his debut in 2009 at Wigmore Hall, as winner of the Jacques Samuel Intercollegiate Piano Competition. A CD – ‘Live at Wigmore Hall’ – was released the following year, and received glowing reviews.

Slava has worked with many professional orchestras including CBSO and Manchester Camerata. In 2016, he performed as a soloist with the LSO at the Barbican in a series of concerts featuring music from Japanese video games.


Since performing at the Wigmore Hall at the age of sixteen, Ryan has played in many distinguished venues throughout the UK and abroad in Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. Ryan graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a first-class MMus (Hons) and the Royal Northern College of Music with a first-class BMus (Hons).

Ryan was awarded first prize in the Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition, Brant International Piano Competition, the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship and the Carnwath Scholarship. He also won the RNCM Piano Recital Prize and Chopin Prize as well as the RNCM Concerto Competition, subsequently playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1, Op.23 with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra in the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. He was also a recipient of the Yehudi Menuhin English Speaking Union Scholarship and as a result was able to attend the prestigious Piano Masterclass International Series at Banff Arts Centre in Canada.


Ben Parker is a composer, pianist, and practitioner based in West Yorkshire. His music has been performed by The BBC Singers, The Kreutzer Quartet, The Manchester Camerata, The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra, Trio aTem, SizeZero Opera Company, The Manon Quartet and many more, at events such as the New Music North West Festival, BBC Radio 3’s ‘Afternoon on 3’ series, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Manchester Pride’s Music Concert Series, DECONTAMINATION# concert series, Emirates Airline Festival Of Literature, and others across the UK and abroad.

Ben was the Arnold Cooke Scholar at the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Dr. Emily Howard where he graduated with a first class honours degree in Composition. Since his studies, Ben’s creative practice considers spacial art forms, linguistics, critical theory, pop culture, and mental health as paramount to the development of his current works.

As an educator, Ben is passionate about working with a wide range of people through community engagement projects, as well as working with a variety of high schools, sixth form colleges, and specialist music academies as a music assistant, and composition specialist. His teaching approach is person-centred, adaptive towards a Student’s long-term goals, and learning styles most natural to them. He regards the importance of a Student’s mental health, confidence, self-worth, and zealous attitude towards their artistic discipline, as highly as he does their technical progression, performance development, and academic advancement.


Rebecca grew up in Suffolk and started playing the Viola at the age of nine. She is currently a Masters student at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), where she studies with Lucy Nolan and Veit Hertenstein.

Rebecca is an experienced orchestral player. She freelances with Manchester Camerata having completed the Professional Experience Scheme. She has also performed with Sinfonia Cymru and regularly leads the Viola section in many of the RNCM ensembles. Rebecca was previously a member of the National Youth Orchestra.

Rebecca has a great love for chamber music. She is a member of the Anella Quartet who were the recent joint winners of the 2018 RNCM Weil Prize. They regularly perform recitals around the North of England. Rebecca was a member of the Vandepeer Quartet who received the John Barborolli/Laurence Turner Memorial Prize for String Quartet. In addition, they were finalists in the 2016 Weil Prize and were international artists at the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival.

As a soloist, Rebecca has received the Thomas Barratt Memorial Prize for Viola and was a finalist in the 2017 Viola Prize. Rebecca has been fortunate enough to have had masterclasses with

BETHAN MORGAN-WILLIAMS BMus (RNCM), Master of Music HBO (Royal Conservatory The Hague)

Bethan Morgan-Williams (1992-) is a Welsh composer. She writes instrumental, vocal and electronic music for people of all ages and abilities, finding motivation through the simple urge to provide performers with new and exciting music. Described as ‘marvellously oblique and obscure’ [5against4] while being ‘rooted in something ancient and folky’ [The Telegraph], Bethan’s music is fluid and expressive.

In her short composing career, Bethan has already accrued a significant number of prestigious awards, including a Leverhulme Scholarship (2018-9); the Susan Bradshaw Composer Prize (RPS – 2017-8); the Christopher Brooks Composition Prize (Young Composer in Residence with the RLPO) (2015-7); the LSO Panufnik Scheme (2015-6); and the Psappha Ensemble ‘Composing for Trombone’ Scheme (2017). She was shortlisted for Manchester Jazz Festival’s Irwin Mitchell Prize (2014); a Paul Hamlyn Award (2017); and ISCM World Music Days (2019 & 2020).

Teaching includes tutoring and guest lecturing up to university level, as well as private tuition in composition, violin, viola and piano. Described as ‘special’ and ‘a rare find’ by students, Bethan is an inspiring and intuitive teacher.


Soprano Juliet Montgomery graduated with a 1st Class BMus(hons) degree, a PGDip with Distinction and a MMus from the Royal Northern College of Music.


Operatic credits include Fiametta The Gondoliers, Peep Bo The Mikado, Zorah Ruddigore (National G&S Opera Company), Adalgisa Norma, Valencienne The Merry Widow (Preston Opera), Susanna The Marriage of Figaro (Opera on Location), Countess A Dinner Engagement, Una Novizia Suor Angelica (MOE), First Lady Magic Flute (RNCM Spotlight), Isobel Pirates of Penzance (Heritage Opera), Clara La Vie Parisienne and Susan Company (RNCM). Juliet has performed with the chorus of Scottish Opera and most recently joined the chorus of Opera North for their semi-staged production of Verdi’s Aida.  She has performed internationally, on radio and on television and was a Young Artist in Buxton Opera’s MacBeth in 2017.


Juliet enjoys teaching for Yorkshire Young Musicians, Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School, Waterhead Academy, Ramsbottom Music Centre and privately.


Drummer, guitarist and educator based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. 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 a 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 in a sell-out showcase featuring the music of Ella Fitzgerald.


Peter studied guitar at the RNCM with Gordon Crosskey and John Williams. He was one of the first guitarists to join Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now and played for over 10years in the Aguado Guitar Duo. Peter has worked with Opera North over many years.

Peter has been at the forefront of new developments in guitar teaching for over 20years, firstly helping to develop the EGTA Chanterelle series and then co-authoring a completely redesigned ABRSM guitar syllabus in 2009 which included several new books, their first for guitar. More recently Peter has worked on the current 2019 syllabus.

He has been a senior lecturer at Leeds College of Music since 2004, and an External Examiner at the RNCM since 2009.


Greta Gasser is a Romanian-born British pianist currently residing in the Manchester, United Kingdom. Since coming to the UK, she has given recitals in many churches and venues, including St. Martin in the Fields (London), Lansdowne Club (Mayfair), St. Ann’s Church, St Emmanuel’s Church and the RNCM Concert Hall (Manchester). Greta has also been involved in various musical projects which have included collaborating with musicians when performing in Spotlight Concerts, Monday Recital Series, and competitions.

Always interested in expanding her experiences with exciting projects, Greta has played the piano in the ITV Series Victoria as a hand double for Jenna Coleman starring as the young queen (UK, 2016).

Educational and outreach projects are an important part in Greta’s musical interests. Some of these projects have included performing at the Bridgewater Hall for the Christmas with the Halle and for the Pre-Composing project, taking part in the RNCM Guinness World Record for the largest number of people simultaneously playing the same piano, performing for the RNCM/MMU Rosamond Prize, the SU Music for Health Scheme and RNCM Music in Hospitals.

Greta is also a passionate piano teacher who loves to help her students achieve their musical potential. Apart from teaching at Yorkshire Young Musicians, she is running her own music teaching studio (Gasser Music Studio), delivering music workshops, and teaching in secondary schools. Her students have a 100% exam success rate in all examinations enrolled.

She graduated with Master of Music with Distinction from the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), where she studied Piano Performance under the distinguished teacher Helen Krizos. Greta has also studied with Frank Wibaut at the RNCM, Gabriela Nemes and Roxana Sava at George Georgescu Special Music and Arts High School, and Diana Brătan at the PianoForte Music School (Romania). She was prize winner of the ‘George Georgescu International Music Performance Competition’ (Tulcea 2003-2011), the ‘W. A. Mozart International Music Competition’ (Targoviste 2008), and The Romanian National Olympiad of Music Performance (2003-2010).

Greta is very grateful for the generous support offered by the FW Wright Piano Scholarship, Helen Rachael Mackaness Award, George Stanger Music Trust and Prodan Romanian Cultural Foundation.



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Press Release 6 Jan 2020


Yorkshire Young Musicians Announces Retirement of its Director

Penny Stirling, the founding director of Yorkshire Young Musicians (YYM), will retire in April 2020 after 15 years dedicated service to the organisation.

A Fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music and Leeds College of Music, Penny joined the Centre for Advanced Training, funded by the government’s Music and Dance Scheme, that specialises in training for talented young musicians aged 8 to 19, in 2004. With the help of its founding partners at Opera North, Leeds College of Music and Music Mark, she established the first centre at Leeds College of Music; three years later she established a second centre at the Albemarle Music Centre, Hull.

Penny leaves a strong legacy; an inspirational training provision that develops a strong musical foundation for aspiring young musicians in Yorkshire.

Penny says of her time at YYM:

‘Setting up a new opportunity for advanced musical training in the North has given students the chance to develop their musical skills in their locality. I have loved helping to find and develop these talented and inspiring youngsters, many of whom are now performing in top positions in the musical world. Their enthusiasm and dedication to developing their art should be an example to all and is testament to the value of hard work.

 The YYM Tutors are a really wonderful team who are not only fantastic and committed teachers, but many are brilliant players in their own right.  Working with them to enhance the students’ learning has been an utter joy and the combination of supportive parents, fabulous students from all parts of our region and amazing staff means YYM is firmly established allowing me to retire with confidence in its future.’

Representing the Board of Trustees, Richard Ashton says:

‘Penny is a selfless musician; inspiring, nurturing and supporting young musicians has been a way of life not just a career. Her stamina and enthusiasm are infectious. Her nurturing capabilities, both with students and with their parents and carers has been unfailing. The care she has taken to coax, persuade and encourage students to exceed their own expectations of excellence has been phenomenal; her innate ability to spot talent in young classical musicians has ensured all children have had an opportunity to train at the highest level regardless of their background. Truly the envy of her peers.

Penny has cemented YYM’s reputation into the heart of arts, culture and education in Yorkshire and every pupil she has nurtured will feel a huge debt of gratitude. On behalf of them all, our founding partners at Opera North, Leeds College of Music and Music Mark, and for future students at YYM we are exceedingly grateful for all her work and wish her well in her retirement.’

Plans are underway to build on Penny’s legacy and ensure there is a smooth transition by recruiting a new leadership team.


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