parallax background

Staff


JASSPA staff are a diverse and highly skilled teaching team. Music lessons cover classical through to rock and jazz, whilst Dance and Drama classes are creative, drawing on traditional and contemporary practices.

Lily Cooper (Drama)

Lily trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, in Drama Applied Theatre and Education (BA HONS).

She is currently the Education Co-ordinator for Kent based Company Play On Words Theatre Company, producing and running events, projects and classes for local young people, families, schools and communities. Her work includes workshops in schools to support the curriculum, weekly youth theatre sessions, site specific projects inspired by local history, sessions for home educated children, storytelling and imaginative play for pre-schoolers and producing large scale productions as part of local heritage festivals.

Lily has produced youth theatre festivals offering young people opportunities to work with and learn from industry professionals.

Lily has worked for years with the Anne Frank Trust UK: using Drama and storytelling for social education as well as working with The Royal Theatre Haymarket to Co-write the education pack and workshop programme for "The Two Worlds of Charlie F" - a project working with ex-service men and women injured in combat.

Lily also currently tutors the LAMDA syllabus to girls at Streatham and Clapham Prep School and has taught at Jasspa since 2008.

El Henderson (Drama)

Eleanor is an experienced actress, director and facilitator. After an undergraduate degree in English and Drama from Bristol University, she trained first in theatre, community and education at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and latterly as an actress at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She graduated from both with Distinction.

Eleanor enjoys a career that spans a range of projects in both education and within the industry as an actress. Her practice across the last few years has been primarily focused on creating work with and for young people. As Associate Director of Battersea Arts Centre's resident young company, she regularly collaborates with leading industry artists to create shows and projects for a range of participants of diverse backgrounds. She also works as a project leader and director in the criminal justice system, most recently directing a Christmas show with male prisoners at HMP Springhill with Kestrel Theatre.

As an actress, she has performed at a range of venues across the UK including the Hammersmith Lyric, Salisbury Playhouse, West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Yard, Soho Theatre and Shakespeare's Globe.

In her work as director with young people, she aims for the process to be guided by their own interests and impulses. She works in a playful and rigorous way that aims to inspire them and allow participants space to express themselves freely within exciting and bold creative structures.

El has taught at Jasspa since 2017.

Gemma Hannah (Drama)

2020 marks 22 years of experience working as an applied theatre practitioner and storyteller. Gemma has worked with a broad range of ages, from babies all the way to adults in a variety of different settings. She likes to draw upon folk tales from all over the world, using techniques such as physical theatre, choral speaking and soundscapes to bring stories to life and give children the opportunity to make the tales their own. To support, encourage and challenge a group and watch them grow and develop is a very special experience for a drama teacher.

Gemma also enjoys developing pieces of theatre with her pupils, and watching the adrenaline, excitement and buzz unfold as they experience the magic of performing in front of a live audience.

Gemma worked at Jasspa from 2005-2010, and it’s a joy to be back again! Over the past 9 years she has lived in the South of France and in Berlin, Germany. This experience of immersion into cultures, communities and languages has been an immeasurably rich and expansive and has nurtured her role as a theatre practitioner.

Amy Lovelock (Dance)
Amy is a professional dance artist, choreographer, creative director and teacher who graduated from LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts). Since graduation she has worked with choreographers and companies including Masters of Movement (performing and choreographing for the ‘World of Dance Tour’ in LA), Litzer Bixler, EEE-Motion Company, Hinged Dance Company, Motionhouse Dance Theatre, the Boxettes, Exzeb Dance Company and MOHO Dance for ‘Emerge Dance Festival’.

Amy has recently worked with choreographer Willi Dorner -Copenhagen International Dance Theatre and on ‘Stratford Living’ in association with East London Dance. She is also guest choreographer/director for the University of Cumbria and University of Lincoln creating original dance theatre pieces for 2nd year tours, as well as Lead Artist for East London Dance project ‘ON THE MOVE’.

Most recently Amy has worked with Bamboozle Theatre Company (touring the UK with productions of ‘PULSE’ and ‘MOONSONG’) and with Bodies In Urban Spaces in Fantastic Feat Festival.

Recent choreographic work includes for Opera North Youth Company and British Youth Music Theatre. Amy has taught at JASSPA since 2015.

Lucy McCann (Drama)

Lucy Grace McCann is a theatre director from London and is currently a Resident Director at the Almeida Theatre. Lucy studied at Warwick University and specialised in Shakespeare and the British Dramatic Tradition. From January 2020 Lucy will be the Head of Drama at St Christopher’s School in Hampstead.

Lucy’s main artistic collaborator is playwright Annie Jenkins. Her latest premiere production of Karaoke Play by Annie Jenkins was performed at the Bunker Theatre and received an Off West End commendation. Previously, A Tinder Trilogy by Annie Jenkins, performed to sold out audiences at the Camden Fringe Festival. Furthering her interest in new writing, Lucy has collaborated with playwrights Kelly Jones, Fergus Church and Georgina Burns on new short plays for events including Little Pieces of Gold. Lucy was previously Director in Residence at Magdalen College School, the Oxford Playhouse and Surbiton High School. Alongside directing, Lucy leads youth theatre sessions, having previously worked for the youth theatre teams at the Warwick Arts Centre and the Rose Theatre, Kingston. Lucy has taught at JASSPA since 2018.

Rachel Birch-Lawson, Rose Tran, Natacha Bisarre and Jo Rhodes (Visiting Dance)
Robyn Pressley, Spencer James, Alison Rogers, Robert Zuric and Suzie Rallings (Visiting Drama)

Emma Abbate (Piano)

Described as "an amazingly talented pianist" by the leading Italian magazine Musica, Emma Abbate has performed in duo recitals for international festivals and concert societies in Salzburg, Boston, Lisbon, Naples, Ischia, Poland, and at many prestigious UK venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Royal Opera House, St John’s Smith Square, St George’s, Bristol and at the Aldeburgh Festival, in addition to broadcasts on BBC Radio 3.

Emma is releasing a series of recordings devoted to 20th-century Italian vocal chamber music, the latest of which is Sera d’inverno: Songs by Ildebrando Pizzetti with mezzo-soprano Hanna Hipp. She has previously recorded the world-première disc of Shakespeare Sonnets by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with the BBC New Generation Artist Ashley Riches, and two volumes of Mozart's complete piano duets on original fortepianos with Julian Perkins.

Based in London, Emma is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and a staff coach at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She has been elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of her ‘significant contribution’ thus far to the music profession. Emma has taught at JASSPA since 2011.

Miho Arakawa (Piano)

Miho Arakawa is a pianist with over 20 years of experience teaching piano to students of all levels in UK and Japan. Miho started playing the piano at the age of 4 and was chosen to perform in an open master class with Japanese composer Yoshinao Nakada at the age of 7. She has participated and been awarded in several piano competitions.

Miho gave numerous concerts during her studies at Musashino Academy of Music in Japan, where she received her BMus in Performance and PGCE in Music Education with distinction. She furthered her studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London where she completed her MMus in Piano Performance during which she was invited to perform at one of the Russian music concerts organised by Alexander Ivashkin in London. She has performed across the UK, Europe, and far East Asia, including accompanying for a choir and exams.

Miho is an enthusiastic and dedicated piano teacher committed to providing lessons that help her students enjoy making music through playing the piano. She expertly applies various performing and teaching techniques to suit the individual needs of each of her students ranging from age four to adults.

Miho has taught at JASSPA since 2002.

Catherine Borner (Piano and Theory)

A former JAGS pupil, Catherine Borner studied piano and flute from the age of ten at the junior department of the Royal Academy of Music. After graduating from the University of York, she trained on the repetiteur courses at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Catherine has performed concertos with York University Chamber Orchestra, James Allen Community Orchestra, Meridian Sinfonia, played Petrushka and Nights in the Gardens of Spain with Bromley Symphony Orchestra and has appeared on BBC Radio 3 In Tune. As a repetiteur she has worked for British Youth Opera, Kentish Opera, Grange Park Opera and the 2005 Tower of London Festival. In 2006 she was trainee repetiteur at English National Opera, working on The Gondoliers, The Marriage of Figaro and La Traviata.

Catherine has been the accompanist to the North London Chorus since 2005. She co-runs the piano section of the Beckenham Music Festival and is the official accompanist for the strings section. She teaches piano privately, for Bromley Youth Music Trust and has taught at JASSPA since 2004.

Catherine also plays flute in Bromley Symphony Orchestra, James Allen Community Orchestra and The Elgar Sinfonia of London.

Catherine has taught at Jasspa since 2004.

Zrinka Bottrill (Piano and Theory)

An experienced and committed piano teacher Zrinka combines teaching at Jasspa with her employment at both Portland Place and Wetherby schools. Her pupils range from beginners to seasoned performers and with all she prioritises patience and confidence-building.

Zrinka also has considerable experience as a performer. She trained at the Royal Academy of Music and has appeared in venues such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall and St John’s, Smith Square in London, in Italy, Germany, Portugal, Russia and Croatia. She is a keen chamber musician and performs in a piano duo with her husband, Andrew Bottrill.

Zrinka has taught at Jasspa since 1998.

Carollyn Eden (Piano and Voice)

Carollyn is a singer, pianist and composer and has taught singing and piano for more than twenty years including teaching singing and piano at the Brit School.

Carollyn trained at Guildhall and has a very flexible teaching approach, varying her style of teaching to suit each student. She is happy to teach students either with music notation, from chord symbols, or by ear. A singer-songwriter and composer, she also teaches song writing, composition and music theory as well as piano and singing.

Her own music career has been very varied. As a singer, actress and pianist she has performed in a diverse cross section of music both in the UK and abroad, from early music to experimental projects, including performances at the Handel House Museum, Sapporo Concert Hall Japan, London’s Waterloo Tunnels Theatre Space, the Brighton Festival, the Institute for Contemporary Arts ( ICA ) and Westminster Cathedral.

As a composer and arranger she has supplied music for various BBC radio programmes including composing music for the Radio 3 series, ‘ Music of the Spheres” and music for videos by the European Space Agency.

Carollyn has taught at JASSPA since 2002.

Jon Feldmann (Piano and Theory)

Jon is a full-time piano teacher and has a wealth of teaching experience with pupils from 5 years of age to adults, beginners to diploma level. He has prepared many pupils for grade examinations, GCSE and A level exam performances, school performances, local music festivals and scholarships at Independent Schools in London. In addition, he regularly accompanies pupils for music exams and enjoys teaching theory.

Jon studied piano at Trinity College of Music Junior Department and then went on to achieve his Music BA(Hons) at Liverpool University, as well as a Guildhall School of Music and Drama Piano Diploma.

The driving influence in his piano teaching is a special interest in the relationship between muscular coordination and tension and the use of the musical imagination, listening skills and musical understanding to develop and influence all physical aspects of performance.

Jon also teaches at James Allen’s Preparatory School and Blackheath Conservatoire as well as having a large private teaching practice.

Jon has taught at Jasspa since 1993.

Marilyn Harper (Piano, Theory and Aural)

Marilyn Harper has been a well-established teacher of music, including piano, theory, aural and organ in Dulwich, JAGS since 1992. As a keyboard player she trained at the RMCM (now the Royal Northern College of Music), St Katherine’s College of Education in Liverpool and Cambridge University where she was the organ scholar at Girton College. Marilyn continues to maintain her own studies by taking lessons abroad occasionally and she regularly gives recitals in London. She is the Organist of Christ’s Chapel Dulwich, Director of Music at St Augustine’s Church, Honor Oak Park and organises concerts in Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Marilyn’s teaching covers a wide range from beginner to diploma level and she enjoys teaching from very young pupils to adults. Marilyn has been teaching piano, theory and aural at JASSPA since 2012 and often accompanies JASSPA candidates for music exams.

Stephanos Marinides (Piano)

Stephanos is a graduate of Trinity College of Music where he received his BMus in Piano Performance. During his time there, he received various musical awards including the Anthony Lindsay Prize for Piano Performance and the first year prize for Outstanding Musical Achievement.

Stephanos has performed in some of the most prestigious venues in London such as The Wigmore Hall, St John's Smith Square and the Queen Elizabeth Hall as well as venues abroad in Hong Kong and Greece.

Stephanos is a versatile musician having accompanied dance classes and choirs as well as having composed music for short films while continuously exploring creative music production techniques. He is an enthusiastic piano teacher with many years of experience, guiding students of all levels through concert performances and exams. Stephanos returned to teach at JASSPA in 2017.

Liz Sadzik (Piano)

Originally from Cheltenham, Elizabeth Sadzik studied piano and flute at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and subsequently at Trinity College of Music (now Trinity Laban), receiving an honours degree and the Cyril Cork prize. Inspired by the Alexander Technique lessons she received while training to be a pianist, Elizabeth became a Body Control Pilates teacher in 2010 and is particularly interested in how the restoration of good movement patterns and the release of tension can positively influence instrumental and vocal technique.

Elizabeth enjoys a diverse career. She is passionate about teaching and teaches both piano and Pilates to students of all ages and abilities. She examines within the UK and internationally for ABRSM, and took part in the launch of the 2019 piano syllabus, performing in a specially commissioned medley for Piano Trio at Kings Cross station, broadcast on Facebook Live. She plays in a band with film and television composer David Schweitzer, and has recorded for him on various projects including the children’s television series Charlie and Lola (flute and piccolo), a film about mental health entitled Riding the Rollercoaster (solo piano), and ArtSongs, a CD of songs about artists commissioned by the Tate Gallery (flute).

Liz returned to teach at Jasspa in 2019.

Richard Sizer (Piano including Jazz and Composition; Violin)

Richard started the violin at the age of 6 inspired by the musical ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. Piano and trombone followed later and aged 11 he joined the Royal College of Music JD where he won the composition prize and led the Symphony Orchestra. He also led Bedfordshire County Youth Orchestra and Opera before completing a Science degree at City University specialising in electronic music and acoustics. Since then he has worked with recording studios, film projects and taught violin, piano and composition.

Richard was Director of Music at Cumnor House School for 20 years, during which time there were many combined projects with groups such as the Royal Opera House and the BBC singers. In 2018 he launched ‘Saturn Strings’ - a shop front for composers to provide fun compositions for young string orchestras. In the same year he joined Langley School for Girls, teaching GCSE and A level music alongside initiating an instrumental programme for Year 7’s. In 2019 he completed a PG Cert. (string teaching) and in addition to various teaching jobs is currently conducting for Bromley Youth Music Trust and South London Youth Orchestra.

Richard taught at Jasspa in the early 2000’s, returning in 2019.

Lachezar Stankov (Piano)

Lachezar was born in Varna (Bulgaria) where he started learning the piano at the age of eight and made his concert debut in Holland at the age of twelve. At sixteen he was selected to participate in a series of concerts with the Varna Philharmonic Orchestra, where he performed the Grieg piano concerto No.1.

In 2005 he was awarded the ABRSM Full Scholarship for overseas students to study at the Royal College of Music and he obtained his Masters of Music Diploma in Piano Performance with Distinction at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music.

Lachezar has played numerous solo and chamber music recitals in the UK such as Rachmaninov’s ‘Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini’ with the North London Symphony Orchestra, solo concerto at the prestigious King’s Place with the renowned Chilingirian Quartet and at the Wigmore Hall lunchtime concert series.

Lachezar has performed with Sofia Philharmonic, Varna Opera and Pazardjik Symphony Orchestras (Bulgaria), Barth Festival Orchestra (Germany), Symphony Orchestra of Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil), and Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, Tucson (USA). Recently, he recorded an album with the Mendelssohn's piano and double concertos with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.

Lachezar has taught at Jasspa since 2008.

Martin Allen (Percussion and Drum Kit)

Beginning his career as a rock/Jazz drummer, Martin went on to study classical percussion at both Leeds College of Music and The Royal Northern, whilst working with both the Halle Orchestra and Ballet Rambert.

He then specialised in chamber music, performing with many of the leading chamber groups in the country including Lontano, Gemini and the London Sinfonietta. He has also performed regularly with the BBC symphony Orchestra.

His theatre work includes Music Director of over 40 shows, primarily with the Royal National Theatre (for whom he has directed several world tours) and with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Martin has performed regularly at the Proms. A long collaboration with Sir Harrison Birtwistle and a study of Iranian music with Fariborz Kianu led to him to become a Proms soloist on a solo written for him by Sir Harrison. He also has considerable experience of recording work in television, radio and feature film.

Martin currently teaches in several educational establishments but also finds time to perform with the Gavin Bryars Ensemble and was privileged to be the only musician to perform at the memorial for the late Sir Peter Hall, with whom he had worked for many years.

Martin has taught at Jasspa since 2004.

Alyson Cawley (Saxophone/Clarinet)

Alyson studied at Leeds College of Music before gaining a post-graduate diploma from the Guildhall College of Music and Drama. She has been teaching in schools in South East London for 25 years, including Kingsdale, Finton House, St Gabriel's School and Cumnor House School for boys.

She teaches all styles of music and all standards from beginner to diploma level. Alyson also leads the National Youth Jazz Collective short course and auditions pupils for their summer school.

Alyson performs Clarinet and all saxophones in various bands, nationwide. She is a member of Ronnie Scott's Big Band, Issie Barrett's Interchange, an Indian/Arabic inspired quartet called Charukesi and has a straight ahead jazz quintet with Martin Speake. Alyson lives in Ladywell and has two children aged 16 and 14.

Alyson has taught at Jasspa since 2011.

Vicky Cowles (Clarinet/Saxophone/Recorder)

Vicky trained at the Royal College of Music, later gaining a PGCE. She works as a woodwind specialist performing worldwide.

As a performer Vicky has worked on musical theatre shows in London’s West End and theatres across the UK doubling on all woodwinds. She performs regularly with The Swinging Magpies, a 1920s band and working regularly with rock tribute bands including The Pure Floyd Show, Progfathers and Cloudbusting. Vicky has had the pleasure to share a stage with artists including Robbie Williams, UB40, Bombay Bicycle Club, Kool & the Gang, Dog Eat Dog, Starsailor and Del Palmer (Kate Bush); worked and toured with jazz bands and artists including Sheila Tracy, Barry Forgie (BBC), Don Lusher, Bill Geldard, Chris Smith and Five Star Swing; and been conducted by Bob Chilcott, Stuart Bedford, Alison Bury and Sir David Willcocks.

Combining a career of teaching and performing, which she believes complement and enhance each other, Vicky teaches saxophone, clarinet and flute at Jasspa and co-directs Chameleon Community Jazz Band. She teaches from beginner to post-grade 8, including preparing students for conservatoire auditions and competitions in classical and jazz styles.

Vicky has taught at Jasspa since 2007.

Richard Halliday (Brass)

Since graduating from London’s Royal Academy of Music in 1998 Richard has appeared as guest principal tuba with many of the UK’s finest Orchestra’s including the BBC Concert & Scottish Symphony Orchestras, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra. Off the stage (or rather under it!), Richard has also appeared in the orchestra pit with both the English National Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet Orchestras as well as off stage for English National Opera.

Richard’s theatre credits include Chicago (Adelphi Theatre, London), Tales from the Vienna Woods, London Assurance, Captain of Köpenick (National Theatre) and The Golden Ass (Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre). In the studio, he has recorded for film and television, plus a wide range of other music as diverse as computer game soundtracks for Atari through to operas for Chandos with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Philharmonia.

A brass teacher for over 20 years he has taught all levels from beginner through to Conservatoire level and is currently head of brass at Westminster School with whom their first brass CD In Sono Tubae was recorded last year.

Away from the tuba Richard manages to combine his love of travel with that of the underwater world as a fully qualified Master Scuba Diver. He is also a keen cyclist and runner. Richard has taught at JASSPA since 2010.

Hayley Hignell (Flute/Recorder and Theory)

Hayley began playing the flute at the age of 10 years and through her enthusiastic and charismatic teacher developed a passion for music. The saxophone and piano followed which allowed for involvement in Youth Symphony, Wind and Jazz Orchestras. As Lead Alto in the latter this allowed Hayley to be involved in Music for Youth culminating in performances at the Royal Festival Hall and the Albert Hall. Hayley has been lucky enough to play alongside some Jazz greats such as Ronnie Scott, Tommy Whittle, Ronnie Ross, Don Lusher and Kathy Stobart. Hayley also plays Saxophone and Flute in a Funk/Soul ensemble writing and performing their own music.

Following a music degree and Post Graduate Diploma in Performance, Hayley has dedicated herself to teaching (and her two adorable children!) It was through a dedicated and passionate music teacher that Hayley nurtured her love for music, which is why teaching is now her passion.

As well as teaching at Jasspa, Hayley is involved with whole class music teaching in Primary Schools in Greenwich and is the Flute Teacher at Gordon Primary School and Eltham College Junior & Senior Schools.

Hayley has taught at Jasspa since 1997.

Jim Howard (Brass)

Jim works as a jazz musician, film composer and educator. He studied Jazz at the Guildhall School of Music and Film Composition at the National Film & Television School.

As a musician Jim has performed with various groups around Europe, including playing with Django Bates, Yann Tiersen, Billy Martin, Billy Jenkins, Randy Brecker, Julian Arguelles, The London Jazz Orchestra, and The Happy End. He currently plays with his own groups Moonscape, and Forever Between.

As a film composer Jim has had his work broadcast worldwide, as well as BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Arte. He has a long-standing working relationship with Mischief Films, an Austrian Production Company making documentaries.

As an experienced educator, Jim has taught brass in many schools and colleges, and has directed ensembles of all sizes from orchestras and big bands, to brass ensembles and jazz groups. He has run workshops and taught on summer schools, at Jasspa, the Essex Youth Jazz Orchestra, and the Guildhall School of Music. Jim has run the Big Band at Jasspa since he began teaching there. It now continues as the Chameleon Community Jazz Band.

Jim has taught brass at JASSPA since 2000.

Leslie Jones (Clarinet/Saxophone)

Leslie (FRSA) was born in Wales. He studied with Frank Kelleher at the Royal Welsh College of Music, Cardiff and with Keith Puddy at Trinity College of Music, London before going on to study privately with Jack Brymer.

Leslie is now a freelance musician based in London. In the field of education, he has taught Clarinet and Saxophone at the Croydon Schools’ Centre for Wind Players, Kent Music School, Bromley Youth Music Trust, BRIT School, Old Palace School of John Whitgift, St Dunstan’s College and the City of London School for Girls.

In 2000 he organised the BBC Proms Millennium Youth Day at the Royal Albert Hall. For many years he was a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Leslie has taught at JASSPA since 1993.

Kim Reilly (Flute/Recorder)

Kim is a freelance flautist and qualified music teacher. She studied at the Purcell School, Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Trinity College of Music and The University of Sussex.

Kim holds the position of Principal flautist with the Docklands Sinfonia and has played with them since their formation in 2009. Recent engagements include recording sessions at Angel and Air studios, performances and collaborations at the Cadogan Hall, The Barbican, Royal Albert Hall and a UK tour with the band Hawkwind.

Kim has a busy schedule. On top of performing and working for JASSPA she teaches for Bromley Youth Music Service, Greenwich and Lambeth boroughs and works part time in a specialist flute shop. Kim has taught at JASSPA since 2011.

Steve Foley (Guitar)

Steve has enjoyed teaching guitar at Jasspa since its inception in 1993. He teaches all styles - classical, Spanish, acoustic folk and on electric guitar - blues, jazz, rock, pop song accompaniment and bass guitar.

All ages of pupil are welcome. Young pupils (under 10 years) are encouraged to start on a nylon strung guitar so they can develop a correct playing technique based mainly, although not exclusively, on classical/Spanish guitar. Older pupils (teenagers) may want this approach or they may want to go straight to rock/pop playing, maybe on electric guitar.

Steve teaches classical grades if desired but is equally happy to teach pupils who are happy practising and developing their technique. Learning the guitar should be fun and not a chore!

When not teaching Steve also works in the field of creative and commercial music. Recent gigs include Tate Britain, the Peruvian Embassy, The National Portrait Gallery and the Post Bar in Tottenham (Salsa night)

Dave Jones (Guitar)

Dave has been a professional guitarist and guitar tutor for nearly thirty years and has an LLCM Teaching Diploma from the London College of Music. He is also a Senior Specialist Examiner with both the RGT and LCM exam boards for electric, acoustic, classical and bass guitar.

Dave plays and teaches all styles of guitar and has a wide and varied experience of playing in bands with different styles and genres of music, including Gypsy Jazz.

During his career he has spent six years playing the part of Buddy Holly in a touring theatre show in the UK and abroad and, as such, made many TV and radio appearances.He has also performed with Marty Wilde, Joe Brown, Freddie and the Dreamers, Dr Feelgood, The Searchers and Dexy's Midnight Runners. As part of the Buddy Holly band, he had the privilege of playing for Sir Cliff Richard at his 50th birthday celebrations at the NEC in Birmingham and for Michael Ball’s birthday celebrations at his home.

Dave’s teaching experience ranges from children to adults both in one to one tuition and group situations. He currently teaches in public and private schools and colleges as well as giving private tuition.

Dave has taught at JASSPA since 2004.

Sophie Haynes (Cello)

Cello has always been at the centre of Sophie's life, taking her around Britain and Europe with various performance opportunities. From her base in London, Sophie negotiates a diverse schedule of solo recitals, chamber music, orchestral playing, historical performance and teaching.

Sophie's love of chamber music has led her to performances in major festivals and venues both in England and abroad, having participated in concert tours of France, Italy, Denmark, Turkey and Germany both as a soloist and with various ensembles. Recent highlights include performing Brahms’ Clarinet Trio op. 114 in the Chapelle Saint-Barthélemy Christian Dior, performances at St George’s Bristol with the Cadran Trio and a dramatised performance of Bach and Shakespeare Upstairs @ Ronnie Scott’s.

Sophie studied both her undergraduate and master’s degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama during which time she was awarded the Wolfson Award and the Waddell Prize for exceptional performance. Alongside playing and her teaching at JASSPA, Sophie has a small class of private students, teaches at Clapham Manor School and works as a cover tutor at the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department.

Sophie has taught at JASSPA since 2019.

Matt Sear (Guitar)

Matthew is a London born musician, noted for compositions and performances that draw from a variety of musical styles. His compositions have been informed by an array of topics, ranging from 20th century North American life, to his most recent interest - social media conflict.

Matthew gave his London debut (as both performer and composer) at St Paul's Church, Covent Garden (in 2006) and has since performed as a guitarist/composer at venues including St John Smith’s Square, St James’ Piccadilly, Oxford University and St Martin In The Field's. International performances that have taken him to France, Spain, Sweden and North America.

An enthusiastic and committed music educator, Matthew and has taught as an instrumental teacher in various schools and colleges. He has worked with hugely diverse pupils from special needs students to music scholars and adult beginners. Being not from musical parents himself, he is particularly committed to building confidence and skills in pupils who may not feel they fit the typical mould.

Matthew is also a proud performer for the charity ‘music in hospitals’ and combines his work as a teacher, with performing and also writing new music for other artists. He is currently a post graduate composition student at Trinity Laban Conservatoire.

Matthew has taught at JASSPA since 2017.

Richard Sizer (Violin; Jazz Piano and Composition)

Richard started the violin at the age of 6 inspired by the musical ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. Piano and trombone followed later and aged 11 he joined the Royal College of Music JD where he won the composition prize and led the Symphony Orchestra. He also led Bedfordshire County Youth Orchestra and Opera before completing a Science degree at City University specialising in electronic music and acoustics. Since then he has worked with recording studios, film projects and taught violin, piano and composition.

Richard was Director of Music at Cumnor House School for 20 years, during which time there were many combined projects with groups such as the Royal Opera House and the BBC singers. In 2018 he launched ‘Saturn Strings’ - a shop front for composers to provide fun compositions for young string orchestras. In the same year he joined Langley School for Girls, teaching GCSE and A level music alongside initiating an instrumental programme for Year 7’s. In 2019 he completed a PG Cert. (string teaching) and in addition to various teaching jobs is currently conducting for Bromley Youth Music Trust and South London Youth Orchestra.

Richard taught at Jasspa in the early 2000’s, returning in 2019.

Balint Szekely (Violin)

Balint first began playing the violin at the age of six. Aged fifteen he joined the Purcell School as a scholar to study with Béla Dékány, former leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Aged seventeen Balint was awarded the prestigious Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Scholarship from the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Grigory Zhislin and graduated with BMus, First Class and Postgraduate Diploma, Distinction. During this time Balint also won numerous competitions and prizes including the Sir Arthur Bliss Prize, Leonard Hirsch Prize, Ian Stoutzker violin competition and the Sándor Végh Award.

Since his international début at the age of 14, playing Mendelssohn’s violin concerto in Düsseldorf’s Tonhalle, Balint has performed concertos ranging from Mozart to Bartók with orchestras across Europe and the USA. He has received critical acclaim and many awards for his technique and musical integrity, consistently delivering a unique quality of performance, bringing a wide spectrum of colours and sounds to all periods and styles of music from Tartini to Bartók.

Balint currently teaches violin at Eaton House Belgravia, Wetherby Kensington, Portland Place School, Kingston Grammar School as well as running his own Violin Studio. He has given many masterclasses successfully prepares students for music scholarships and competitions.

Balint has taught at Jasspa since 2004.

Michelle Taylor-Cohen (Violin)

Originally from Nottingham, Michelle is a violinist, arranger and composer now based in North London. She has over 20 years’ experience of instrumental teaching. Michelle teaches violin and viola to a diverse range of age groups and abilities and is a passionate advocate for youth music. In addition to individual teaching, she has coached many chamber groups and youth orchestras (including SLYO at JASSPA).

As an arranger, she is best known for working with Estilo String Quartet, who have released two CDs of her work, Marriage in an Orange Grove and Alternative Tracks. Several of her arrangements have reached the Top 10 in the iTunes classical chart, most memorably Fairytale of New York, which was number 1 in December 2016.

As a freelance musician, in addition to working as an orchestral and session musician, she has developed music education projects in order to enable young musicians to play along with professional players. Her specially-adapted arrangements of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition have been used by BBC Concert Orchestra, Telemark Orchestra and the Cohen Ensemble. Michelle has recently been commissioned to arrange viola duets for Peter Mallinson and Matthias Wiesner (BBC Symphony Orchestra) and fully-scored orchestral arrangements for Street Orchestra.

She has taught at JASSPA since 2015.

Paula Wyatt (Violin)

Paula studied violin at the Centre for Young Musicians, at the Royal College of Music and the National Centre for Orchestral Studies. She was awarded the ABRSM’s Silver Medal for her Grade 7 Violin exam. As a member of the New London Orchestra she has recorded for Hyperion Records, made broadcasts for the BBC and Classic FM, appeared at the Proms and in Matthew Bourne’s award winning Swan Lake. She has played with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia and English National Ballet and a Wagner Opera series at Saffron Hall. She performs in orchestral concerts, opera, ballet, shows, and chamber music recitals.

Paula divides her time between freelance orchestral playing, teaching and chamber music. She teaches at JASSPA, Westminster School, Croydon High School & Sydenham High School as well as privately. She is a member of several string quartets and also plays Viola and Baroque Violin.

As leader of the Dulwich Symphony Orchestra and the Blackheath Halls Orchestra she aims to support orchestral players, encouraging their love of music and developing their orchestral skills. When she performs she uses her maiden name of Paula Tysall. Paula has taught at JASSPA since 2018.

Carollyn Eden (Voice and Piano)

Carollyn is a singer, pianist and composer and has taught singing and piano for more than twenty years including teaching singing and piano at the Brit School.

Carollyn trained at Guildhall and has a very flexible teaching approach, varying her style of teaching to suit each student. She is happy to teach students either with music notation, from chord symbols, or by ear. A singer-songwriter and composer, she also teaches song writing, composition and music theory as well as piano and singing.

Her own music career has been very varied. As a singer, actress and pianist she has performed in a diverse cross section of music both in the UK and abroad, from early music to experimental projects, including performances at the Handel House Museum, Sapporo Concert Hall Japan, London’s Waterloo Tunnels Theatre Space, the Brighton Festival, the Institute for Contemporary Arts ( ICA ) and Westminster Cathedral.

As a composer and arranger she has supplied music for various BBC radio programmes including composing music for the Radio 3 series, ‘ Music of the Spheres” and music for videos by the European Space Agency.

Amanda Forbes (Voice)

Soprano Amanda Forbes studied opera at London’s Royal Academy of Music and National Opera Studio.

Career highlights include creating the roles of Leni and Fräulein Bürstner in the World Premiere of Philip Glass’s opera The Trial based on Franz Kafka’s novel, and performing the role of the Duchess in the UK premiere of Salvatore Sciarrino’s The Killing Flower for Music Theatre Wales at ROH Linbury studio. She performed the world premiere of a one woman opera composed for her voice by Tom Green, based on poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s set of poems ‘The World’s Wife’ at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff to critical acclaim.

Amanda worked for several years with Glyndebourne Opera Education, leading workshops for primary and secondary schools. She also led a series of Opera Workshops at the New Wimbledon theatre which she designed to introduce the genre to adults in a fun an interactive way.

Her teaching focuses mainly on classical and music theatre, and includes jazz, country and pop. Amanda has been teaching at Jasspa since 2012, and also teaches voice at Glendower Preparatory school in South Kensington.

Amelya Goldy-Plesence (Voice)

Amelya is a teacher, performer and PhD researcher in the Guildhall School of Music & Drama Vocal Department.

She began teaching in 2003 as an associate teacher for Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, Greenwich Theatre and Epsom College. Amelya previously worked as a Trinity-Guildhall examiner, a Stage-Coach Theatre Arts inspector and as an associate teacher for Royal Holloway and Goldsmiths, both universities of London. A graduate of Trinity College of Music, Amelya has an MA in Music from Goldsmiths, a PGCE from the Institute of Education UCL whilst teaching GCSE at the Brit School.

Amelya began training as a vocal scholar at Chetham’s School of Music, after studying under the guidance of Sir Peter Pears who in 1986 offered Amelya the role of Emmie in Britten’s ‘Albert Herring’ at Snape Maltings. Her early career included solo performances for the BBC Radio 3, touring with Opera North and as a Park Lane Group Young Concert Artist. Professionally Amelya specialises in contemporary-classical repertoire collaborating with composers including Louis Andreissen, Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Dai Fujikura. She has performed under the direction of Sir Peter Hall at the National Theatre, the opening of the Hellenic Festival Epidaurus and at the Royal Opera House.

Amelya has taught at JASSPA since 2011.

Pamela Hay (Voice)

Polish-American soprano Pamela has been a concert soloist with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio 3), BBC Concert Orchestra (on BBC Radio 2′s Friday Night is Music Night), and Hallé Orchestra. She has given solo recitals in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Salzburg, Belgium, Costa Rica, Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

Pamela has sung over 35 roles in opera including Mimi La Bohème (2011 Olivier Award-winning production, Soho Theatre plus national tour), Ellen Lakmé (Opera Holland Park), Juliette Roméo et Juliette (Royal Albert Hall), title role Fairy Queen (Royal Albert Hall), Gretel Hansel and Gretel, Euridice Orfeo ed Euridice (English Pocket Opera), Nedda Pagliacci (King’s Head Theatre), Donna Elvira Don Giovanni (British Youth Opera), Title role La voix humaine (Baltimore), Title role Merry Widow (Kentish Opera), Yum-Yum The Mikado (national tour, Opera Della Luna).

In theatre Pamela has played principal roles at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and Chichester Festival Theatre. Pamela has featured in an online ad for phone network Orange, and in Guy Ritchie’s film Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows. Pamela has taught at JASSPA since 2013.

Beth Littlewood (Voice)

Beth studied ‘cello and piano at Guildhall’s Junior Academy and then singing for her degree course at the Guildhall. Whilst there she sang with the Guildhall Jazz Singers and formed a five piece a cappella cabaret girl group. Beth also studied community theatre for two years at Goldsmiths University.

Leaving Guildhall Beth sang and played in the band Jim Jiminee and had residencies singing French cafe and jazz repertoire. She continued her classical lessons and performed with many opera companies including Opera Holland Park, British Youth Opera and Leitmotif Opera.

A postgraduate course in acting at Guildford School of Acting led to work in film and television. She performed with Ralf Ralf at the Royal Court, “The Ladies” at Oval house and “Joseph Andrews” at the Young Vic. Beth composed a musical for TIE based on the “The Selfish Giant” and toured it as MD. She has also been a Music Director of many school productions.

Teaching has always been an important part of Beth’s working life. She has worked as a visiting tutor at Bretton Hall, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and LSMT. She also worked in New York. Work in secondary schools and Music Centres include the BRIT School since 1993, Francis Holland (Chelsea), Pimlico Special Music and JASSPA since 2012 and most recently Jags.

Beverly Sizer (Director of Jasspa and Choir)

Beverly started her music education as a Junior Exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music, studying flute, piano and harpsichord. Growing up she was heavily involved with Bedfordshire Youth Music, performing as principal flute with Bedfordshire County Youth Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and Opera Group.

Following a change in direction from performing to academic music she studied at university. During this time, she started Thames Chamber Orchestra with conductor Philip Hesketh where she played flute and managed the orchestra including a tour to France.

On graduation Beverly was appointed Head of Music at St Edwards Preparatory School, Reading where she started a Saturday Music School and also kept a large teaching practice of flute and piano to pupils aged 6-18. She also gained experience of GCSE and A level teaching along with music scholarship preparation. This combined experience cemented a passion for teaching and the delivery of excellent quality performing arts within schools.

Beverly joined JAGS as Head of Music for James Allen’s Preparatory School in 1993 where she ran choirs for fun and competition! After starting Jasspa she went on to run Jasspa Youth theatre (putting on large scale musical productions) and in 2010 collaborated with Leigh O’Hara and Richard Sizer to start South London Youth Orchestra.