Our Staff

JO TOWLER

Chief Executive

Jo has been working in the arts for over 20 years. Before joining Music in the Round in 2018, she was Executive Director of Candoco Dance Company, the UK’s leading company of disabled and non-disabled dancers, and Executive Director of Protein Dance. Jo has also worked at the London Mozart Players, Philharmonia Orchestra and the Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition. Native to Yorkshire and a music graduate of Edinburgh University, Jo completed a post-graduate diploma at the Royal College of Music, London, and can still be seen playing her horn in various ensembles across the UK and beyond.

EDWARD MACKAY

Head of Programmes

Edward has led the community engagement work of the Royal Opera House and run a touring live and digital festival of orchestral music by the Philharmonia Orchestra. He has worked in community arts and education settings including for a creative writing mentoring organisation and produced music, arts education projects and festivals as well as touring dance, music and theatrical work across the UK. He has been a trustee of The Poetry Society, a homelessness relief charity and a youthwork development programme and currently sits on the board of Create Sheffield. He joined Music in the Round in 2021.

TOM MCKINNEY

Programme Manager, Sheffield

Tom joined Music in the Round in 2015 and works with us alongside his career as a broadcaster on BBC Radio 3, currently presenting the station’s most popular programme Essential Classics. Tom grew up in Stoke-on-Trent and studied classical guitar with Craig Ogden at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he now also lectures. Tom also curates the new music series at Kettle’s Yard Art Gallery in Cambridge and is a member of the Artistic Sub-Committee at NMC Recordings.

ELLEN SARGEN

Events and Participation Coordinator

Outside of Music in the Round, Ellen is a composer who writes predominantly for small chamber groups and soloists. She is studying for a PhD at the Royal Northern College of Music creating a portfolio of compositions through long-term collaboration with performers. Ellen has a passion for community music-making and directs the all-abilities ensemble CoMA Manchester (Contemporary Music for All), where she also plays her flute. She joined Music in the Round in 2021.

JANE WHITEHEAD

Finance Manager

Jane has been Music in the Round’s Finance Manager since 2015. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the arts working for touring companies and venues, including seven years as General Manager of Vincent Dance Theatre and freelance roles since 2010 for Yorkshire-based companies including Gary Clarke Company and Balbir Singh Dance Company. She is also Finance Manager for Sheffield’s Site Gallery. 

JENNY DAVIES

Marketing & Communications Manager

Jenny has been Music in the Round’s Marketing Manager since 2014. A proud Sheffielder and ardent advocate of the city, Jenny is also passionate about growing audiences for arts and culture. She began her career in arts marketing over 20 years ago as Marketing Assistant for Sheffield Theatres and has subsequently worked in the Marketing and Communications teams at Imperial War Museum North, Sheffield Museums and Manchester City Galleries. 

VERITY HENDERSON

Development Manager

Verity worked in theatre for ten years before coming to Music in the Round in 2020, moving around the UK to work for organisations including Hull Truck Theatre, The Dukes Lancaster and the Royal Shakespeare Company. In her spare time she enjoys singing and writing. Verity is currently on maternity leave.

VACANT

Marketing & Communications Officer

Music in the Round is seeking a Marketing & Communications Officer to work closely with the Marketing & Communications
Manager to grow and diversify our audiences, improve income generation and promote the organisation and
its activity to stakeholders across the country.

Find out more

VACANT

Programme Manager, National

Music in the Round is seeking a Programme Manager, National, who is passionate about what we do, and will join us at an exciting time as we focus on fully integrating all our strands of activity with venues around the country. We are looking to appoint someone who can develop excellent relationships with a wide range of venues, organisations, supporters and musicians.

Find out more

OUR TRUSTEES

Jenny Dibden Stevens (Chair) is an experienced Civil Servant currently working as Director of Funding Delivery in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. She is also Head of the Government Social Research Service. Jenny volunteers with Music in the Round at events, and enjoys playing her cornet in a local brass band. 

 

Prof Jane Ginsborg (Vice-Chair) is Associate Director of Research at the Royal Northern College of Music. She is a musician as well as a psychologist, and read music at the University of York and studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Following a successful career as a singer, she entered academia and has held numerous posts on editorial and research boards.   

 

Sughra Begum DL is Programme Director of The ESL Academy, Joint Chair of the Cohesion Advisory Group in Sheffield, and Chair of the Tassibee organisation, a charity for isolated Asian women in Rotherham. She brings a wealth of experience having worked for over 35 years in Further Education and led Voluntary and Community Organisations in various leadership roles. 

 

Jan Bonar CPFA is Head of Finance at Southbank Sinfonia @ St John’s Smith Square, and played a key strategic role in the merger of the two music charities, having been Finance Director of Southbank Sinfonia for several years. Chair of our Finance & Fundraising Committee, she also works as a charity finance consultant, and enjoys singing when work and family allow the time. 

 

Ellen Gallagher is a solicitor-advocate and a Senior Associate at Hamlins LLP, with extensive experience of representing high-profile clients in the media and entertainment industries. Prior to qualification, Ellen worked for many years in the music sector; she trained as a classical violinist and other roles have included Head of Music Administration for English National Opera and as part of the team at Opera North. 

 

Christopher Glynn is an acclaimed pianist and accompanist and has been Artistic Director of Ryedale Festival since 2010. He is also a Professor at the Royal College of Music, London. His work with Music in the Round includes numerous performances and a collaboration with our Singer-in-Residence Roderick Williams, on our inspirational Schubert in Schools project in 2018/19.  

 

Prof Pat Kendall-Taylor is Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She has held Trustee positions with charitable organisations including the Snowdrop Project and was Founder of the Endocrine Research Fund. Pat is also an accomplished musician: she won a piano scholarship to the Royal College of Music, and is an active member of various music groups in Sheffield as a pianist and a bassoonist 

 

Cara McAleese is an experienced producer and project manager specialising in arts & health and community arts work. She currently works as Arts and Health Project Manager with Doncaster Community Arts and as a freelance Creative Producer with South Yorkshire Housing Association. Previously she has worked at The Albany in Deptford, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Opera House. 

 

Dr Sarah Price is a lecturer in Music Industries at the University of Liverpool. Sarah’s research focuses on qualitative investigation of audience experience, audience behaviour, patterns of attendance and the value of engagement in the arts as part of the Sheffield Performing Arts Research Centre. Her previous studies and PhD included research of Music in the Round’s audiences. 

 

Mark Sutherland is an experienced Government Project Delivery Professional, having worked for the Department for Work and Pensions for nearly 20 years, and is currently a Civil Servant in the Cabinet Office. He has a passion for classical music and opera, is a trustee for Buxton International Festival, and has previously been Vice Chair of Classical Sheffield.  

 

Chloe Wennersten is a Policy Manager in the Department of Health and Social Care. Prior to this she was Artist & Project Manager for Intermusica Artists’ Management and Head of Concerts & Planning for the Academy of Ancient Music. Other previous roles include concerts, festival and artist management at the London Handel Festival, IMG Artists and Ars Eloquentiae.