Phil Castang – Chair 2021 – 2023

Phil is Director of Creative Learning and Engagement at Bristol Music Trust. He is a trained sound engineer and music teacher, spending 7 years as at Berkshire Young Musicians Trust and Highgate School. Phil co-founded the International Guitar Foundation in 1994. After his MSc in Cultural Management in 2012, Phil became CEO of Newham Music Trust. Phil chaired the Bath Cultural Forum and spent 6 years as trustee at Bath Festivals.

Michelle James – Treasurer

Michelle is CEO of Sing Up and a Trustee of the Sing Up Foundation. Prior to that, Michelle held senior roles at Youth Music and ABRSM. Michelle is a violinist and singer and has a professional background in marketing, communications and fundraising. She is also a published author, having written the Singing School Handbook, co-published by Faber Music and Sing Up in 2018.

Philip Flood – Honorary Secretary

Philip Flood has been Director at Sounds Connections since 2010. Sound Connections champions equality, diversity and inclusion across all aspects of music education and is a leader in the field of youth voice. He was previously Head of LSO Discovery and Education Director at Spitalfields Music. He is currently Honorary Secretary for MEC, an advisor for the PRS for Music Foundation and a non-executive Director for PMLL (part of the MPA Group).

Barry Farrimond – Trustee

Barry is an experienced cultural leader with a track record of steering award-winning arts organisations. Music, social justice and creative technology have been at the heart of his career for over a decade. He has lots of experience working with boards, trustees, staff and stakeholders to develop clear, compelling visions for the future. Barry has been CEO of Open Up Music since 2014 and has overseen the expansion of Open Orchestras (an award-winning, school-based learning programme) to over 40 schools nationwide. In 2019, Open Orchestras was awarded Music Teacher Awards ‘Outstanding SEND Resource.’ In 2018, Barry received an MBE for services to accessible music technology for his work developing Clarion, an instrument that can be played with any part of the body including the eyes. Played by musicians within and beyond our programmes, Clarion received the Tech For Good Accessibility award in 2020.

Chrissy Kinsella – Trustee

Chrissy is CEO of the London Music Fund, the Mayor of London’s award-winning music education charity. She studied singing at Trinity College of Music and is currently studying for a Master’s in Music Education at the Institute of Education (UCL). Her first peer-reviewed academic paper, ‘The impact of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on community music-making in the UK’ will be published in the Journal of Music, Health and Wellbeing this summer.

Chrissy’s career has included working for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, Morley College, the London Schools’ Symphony Orchestra, the Centre for Young Musicians and their sister charity, the Foundation for Young Musicians. Initially joining LMF as Head of Programmes in 2012, she developed the LMF’s offer in partnership with music hubs, schools and professional arts organisations across London.

Outside of work, Chrissy continues to sing in a semi-professional capacity and is a keen amateur violinist. She is a Trustee of the Henry Wood Accommodation Trust which offers support with living and housing costs to young musicians at the four London Conservatoires, and the Riot Ensemble, an international performing group dedicated to the commission of new music.


Emma Lines – Trustee

Emma Lines is Senior Programme Manager for Scotland’s leading Charitable Organisation, Drake Music Scotland where she manages the Artistic Programme, planning and delivery of strategic activity with Scottish, UK and International partners. This includes having good knowledge of the Arts Sector in Scotland, particularly the field of Disability. Emma owns a private teaching practice, ELM School of Music and has been teaching woodwind and piano since 2002.

Emma is a Board Commissioner with the ISME Special Music Education and Music Therapy Commission and Board Trustee for New Music Scotland. For MEC, Emma is an active member in the ASN/SEND SIG, and co-wrote and designed the award winning “Short Guide To Accessible Music Education” in 2017 in partnership with Drake Music Scotland, Drake Music in England and MEC. Previously, Emma was Board Director and Co-Chair of the Edinburgh Youth Music Forum.

Prior to Drake Music Scotland, Emma was a YMI Coordinator for Edinburgh City Council on two projects offering free music tuition to over 1,000 primary age pupils, and as a Woodwind Instructor in Local Authorities across the Lothians. Emma had her first tutor book, Recorder Roundabout published in 2010.


Richard Jones – Trustee

Richard retired from a 42 year career in music education in 2019. He worked in large comprehensive schools, commissioned 10 works for wind band, adjudicated in festivals across the UK and in the Netherlands, USA, Canada and Australia. From 2005 to 2011 he was a national arts and music adviser for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and was a member of many policy groups. Richard’s final post was from 2011 to 2019 as Music and Arts Strategy Manager for South Gloucestershire. Whilst in post he managed three Youth Music Funded Projects, most notable of which focussed on Gypsy and Roma Travellers.

In “retirement” Richard is the Independent Chair of the Music Hubs of Music Partnership North, Somerset and Torbay. He has been a MEC Trustee for two years and has represented the Council at events in Paris, Stirling and London. He has also curated a number of short interviews with member organisations discussing how they have continued to thrive during the pandemic. He has a worldwide perspective, being a member of ISME and the International Music Education Policy Group.

Richard is a doctoral student at UWE researching into the conditions which create excellence in school music.

Ruth McPherson – Trustee

As an experienced marketing professional with eight years in the music industry, Ruth is skilled in marketing, communications, relationship management, project management, events and campaigning.

Ruth has worked at the ISM since 2016, currently as Senior Partnerships & Marketing Manager. In this role, she oversees the ISM’s relationship with a wide range of stakeholders from across the music education sector, including schools, hubs, higher education institutions, charities, associations, exam boards and suppliers. Together with Music Mark and the MTA, she developed and runs the #CanDoMusic campaign to support school and instrumental music teachers during coronavirus, and she sits on the steering group of Make Music Day UK.

Previously to her role at the ISM, Ruth was Title Manager at Rhinegold Publishing, which included working on Music Teacher magazine and the Music & Drama Education Expo. She is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (ACIM).