Our Team

These are the people, partners and groups currently engaged with helping to develop various strands of work aimed at creating world class music in Kirklees.

Core Team

I am thrilled to be working on Kirklees Year of Music. I grew up in Leeds and West Yorkshire and the region is very close to my heart. I’ve always wanted to give something back to the region which gave me so many of my early opportunities.

William Galinsky

Artistic Programmer

Year of Music 2023 is an incredible opportunity to shine a light on Kirklees’ past, present and future music makers, creators, learners and lovers. For all our communities. It is the catalyst to inspire, celebrate and ignite music participation within every corner of the district

Lisa Roberts

Project Officer
The opportunity to showcase some of the fantastic people and places we have to offer here in Kirklees, is incredibly exciting. Personally, I’m proud to be playing a part in delivering such an interesting and ambitious project in my hometown.

Kane Rattray

Project Co-ordinator

Mandeep Samra is passionate about shining a light on the richness and diversity of Huddersfield’s musical heritage to capture its unique sound history

Mandeep Samra

YoM TownSounds Heritage Lead

I’m delighted to be part of the Year of Music 2023 team. I bring 20 years’ experience working in the music sector, with a particular interest in promoting the many benefits of making music, as well as championing musical inclusion for those facing barriers to participation.

Heidi Johnson

YoM Health and Wellbeing Producer

I have spent over of thirty years working in the business sector of the Music Industry. For twenty-one of those years, I also taught future musicians and music technology students about the music business.

I’m currently working as Music Business consultant, trainer and mentor. I have my own business, Industry Unplugged and I also work with Bassment Studios on their training program – Bassment Unplugged.

Sarah Hutton

YoM Industry Co-Ordinator

Tom is the Evaluation Lead, bringing together evidence to demonstrate the social and economic impact of Kirklees’ Year of Music 2023. With extensive industry experience, he was part of the team that helped deliver the evaluation of the transformative, year-long UK City of Culture programme in Hull. Tom continues to provide support to clients across the heritage, arts, education and healthcare sectors in developing innovative research programmes and effective evaluation frameworks that bring insight and value to their work.

Tom Brennan

YoM Evaluator

Kirklees Council’s Creative Development Team, with colleagues across the Council, provide additional support to the initiative, team and Board.

Music Partnership Board

The Year of Music is an opportunity for some joy and creativity for all ages and from all walks of life- I would encourage everyone to get involved and be a part of something truly amazing

Hilary Thompson

Chair Third Sector Leaders

Music provides the soundtrack to our lives, it is vital that young people are at the heart of this project and is why I am looking forward to supporting a young person to take a leadership role within Year Of Music.

Sophie Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO, Conscious Youth
As Plato once said , “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” I am excited and looking forward to the Year of Music 2023 in Kirklees and see all the communities of Kirklees and beyond in benefitting from this initiative. It is an opportunity for local businesses and people of Kirklees to harmonise under a diverse rhythm and dance like they have never done before. Exciting times ahead!

Qaisar Mahmood

CEO, Radio Sangam and CEO Communities Together

I believe the Year of Music 2023 will have a really positive, lasting legacy in the area, providing the people of Kirklees with a means to express themselves with music at a time when it has never been more needed.

Matthew Bell

Managing Director of The Turntable Coffee & Vinyl

I am passionate about music and the positive impact it can have on our community. I am delighted to be able to support Kirklees Year of Music 2023 and excited about being a member of the Music Partnership Board. Working toward a collaborative event such as this will bring together all that is good about music in Kirklees and will celebrate the strands of our music-making, not only in 2023 but beyond. 

Steven Roberts

Conductor, Adjudicator, Educator Secondary School, VCS Music Community and Chair of The British and International Federation of Festivals.

It is important to recognise the role music plays on our health and wellbeing, across all ages in all communities. Music has always been an important part of my life and I have personal experience of this. As the Board member and advocate for this agenda, I am excited to see what we can do together for Year of Music and beyond.

David Birkenhead

Medical Director, Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
Year of Music is about Kirklees, is about our communities and is about who we are and what we do. I am proud to be championing this initiative to celebrate our musical heritage and how we look to the future

Cllr Will Simpson

Portfolio Lead for Culture & Greener Kirklees

The School of Arts and Humanities are proud to be a supporter of the YoM which will be an opportunity to fully celebrate the great musical traditions that are an integral part of the heritage of Huddersfield, while making sure that they these are built upon and developed well into the 21st century

Nic Clear

Dean Arts & Humanities, University of Huddersfield

International Partners and Advisors

Every area has its own personality, style and feeling. I am happy to support the YOM, shining a light on the Kirklees district’s deep and broad musical identity.

Michael Blair

Musician, producer, and creativity coach, Member Advisory Board SXSW

I founded the I’ll Fly Away Foundation to honor my grandfather, Albert E Brumley, because he taught me to use songwriting to overcome my dyslexia so I could learn. I found it to be an outlet as well and a bridge builder. Now my aim is to help others to use songwriting to overcome any obstacle they may have.
The I’ll Fly Away Foundation’s primary focus is children. Our mission is to improve children’s lives through music.

Betsy Brumley

Chairwoman, I’ll Fly Away Foundation

The Stax Music Academy is a premier afterschool and summer music institute that provides industry-centric music education combined with creative youth development programming. It is the only music institute in the world that focuses on the rich legacy of Stax Records, the Memphis Sound and how the evolution of that music can translate into the original music students are creating today.

Pat Mitchell Worley

Executive Director of Stax Music Academy

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Emily Havens

Executive Director of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi

Get involved

Year of Music will need the collaboration and commitment of many people and organisations. If you would like to get involved submit your details. We look forward to making it happen together!

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Leeds 2023 Year of Culture

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