About SCYM and our tutors

Saffron Centre for Young Musicians was established in 2015 and provides emerging musicians aged 4-18 in the East of England with a unique opportunity to play in an ensemble, participate in workshops and have individual tuition for instruments including woodwind, brass, strings, piano, guitars, percussion as well as singing. In addition to these practical lessons, students may opt for more academic subjects; composition, musical history, theory and aural perception. Ensembles on offer range from a full brass band, a symphony orchestra, choirs, jazz and wind ensembles and a variety of string ensembles. We also provide an early years music programme, including Kodaly method classes for children aged 4 and up. Each year SCYM students are offered places to read music at university or conservatoire, but not everyone specialises in music. We do all love it though!

Working within a wide curriculum, every student has an opportunity to develop their individual musicianship across the broadest possible spectrum. The Centre operates every Saturday in term-time for 30 Saturdays over the academic year, and is suitable for any young musician who is already able to sing or play an instrument. Places are offered on the basis of potential, taking into account the candidates age, musical education and experiences to date. Those with sufficient potential can be accepted at any stage of their musical development, and there is no minimum standard.

SCYM offers an enriching and focussed musical education from primary education right through to year 13. We are committed to offering excellence in achievement as well as wider opportunities.

The partnership that forms Saffron Centre for Young Musicians is formed of Saffron Hall, Essex Music Education Hub and Saffron Walden County High School. This leads to many first class and unique opportunities for performance, masterclasses and workshops as well as holiday courses. SCYM’s tutors are experienced and committed music educators and we are proud to say that we are strong and friendly community. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Head of Centre

Kate Llewellyn


Kate was appointed Head of Saffron Centre for Young Musicians at its inception in 2015, and with her team has developed the Centre into a thriving and successful music school.

Kate is a graduate of Royal Northern College of Music (Howard Snell), and a postgraduate of Guildhall School (Ray Simmons and John Miller) She was also a junior exhibitioner at Junior Guildhall (Andrew Mitchell).

As a trumpet player Kate played for the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonie der Nationem, as well as with Royal and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras and Welsh National Opera. As an educator Kate has taught for several years locally at both primary and secondary level and is a dedicated to giving every young person the highest quality of teaching possible. She currently teaches at SCYM and Saffron Walden County High School.

Kate is the founder of Saffron Walden Children’s Orchestra holiday courses. She also enjoyed a successful career in employee relations and talent development at the global publishing house Pearson Education, and works with Essex Music Services on their mentoring team.

Currently on the Teaching Musician programme at Trinity Laban, Kate is working towards an MA in Music Education.

Centre Administrator

Sophie Stafford



Amy Morrow

Clarinet, saxophone and theory

Amy graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2012 having studied clarinet with Joy Farrall, Andrew Webster and Nick Carpenter. Amy took part in various masterclasses with Andrew Marriner, Andreas Sunden and Eddie Daniels. During her time at Guildhall, Amy was awarded bursaries from the former MBF and Sir John Barbirolli Foundation.

Amy has performed in most London venues and varying European venues and has been lucky to perform with: Alfie Boe, Rod Stewart, Joss Stone, Cliff Richard, and Alesha Dixon.

Since graduating, as well as being a freelance clarinettist, Amy has developed as a woodwind teacher and coach in the Hertfordshire and Essex area. Amy is a peripatetic clarinet, saxophone and theory teacher at Hockerill Anglo-European College and SWCHS. At Hockerill, Amy also runs a clarinet club, saxophone ensemble and a theory class.

As a hobby, Amy plays the trumpet for the Central Band of the Royal British Legion where she has performed for most of the Royal Family and at many prestigious venues: including Wimbledon’s Centre Court each year for the finals.


Amy Klohr


Amy first came to Clare College from Yale in 1975 with a Mellon Fellowship in musicology to pursue early music performance practice. Her singing in the University led to further training on the Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music, where she also obtained her Teachers’ LRAM. She returned to Cambridge and has performed and taught there ever since, focussing on choral scholars in many Cambridge colleges, and as Head of Classical Voice at Anglia Ruskin University. Last year she added Saffron Centre for Young Musicians to her already established work in Saffron Walden and began teaching for Heritage School.

Amy is in demand for vocal workshops, as an adjudicator and opera producer. A Senior Member of Hughes Hall College, she directs its choir and helps oversee a thriving concert series. Amy teaches private pupils of all ages and abilities.

She has been active in Cambridge Summer Music for the past 10 years, serving both on its Board of Trustees and Executive Committee.

Her other professional work is as page turner for Kettles Yard, Saffron Hall, and Cambridge Festival concerts.

Mish Kelly

Choirs, violin and strings

Mish has had a varied musical career. She studied Music at York University and then a further degree at Surrey. Both colleges had a strong element of practical music making and composition. As teaching and directing choirs increased she became interested in how one hears music inwardly, trying various different methods to help choirs pitch, or extend the her own and her pupils compositional imagination.

This became centre stage when leading young choirs in Essex Music Service, Kent Music and then the Outreach department at Durham Cathedral. Children and their teachers across the North East took part in school projects termly, many staying on to create in-house choirs and yearly children’s opera. Through contact with the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS), she regularly visits Budapest, the home of Kodaly, to observe and learn from teachers there, and bring back similar ideas that would suit our own culture.

Throughout these ‘choral years’ she had continued to gain enormous pleasure from playing chamber music with friends. Currently she balances her love of violin playing and teaching, choral directing, Kodaly at Early Years and Primary, and is currently engaged in writing an opera for children, based on Yehudi Menuhin and Christopher Hope’s book ‘The King, the Cat and the Fiddle, which she hopes to stage with live young violinists and singers in a year or two.

Malachi Siner Cheverst


Malachi is a first study cellist and second study pianist from Colchester. He studied at the Colchester Institute before going on to complete his undergraduate with Naomi Butterworth and Gabrielle Baldocci at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

He performs regularly in groups such as the Royal Orchestral Society, Colchester Symphony Orchestra and the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra. As well as specialising in classical music, Malachi is also highly prolific in the Folk and Popular Music arenas with a large proportion of time being spent working with local and national bands. He has performed with groups at the Hammersmith Apollo, supported the Fratellis and Rudimental at Brownstock Music Festival and performed at numerous London venues. Malachi also ran folk music nights in Greenwich and headed a youth jazz band in Colchester for three years.

Karen Semken

Classical guitar

Karen Semken grew up near Colchester in Essex and began her musical life studying guitar with Melvyn Willin and playing in the Guitar Youth Orchestra. She studied music at Anglia Ruskin University, specialising in classical guitar with Chris Kilvington, graduating with a BA Hons in music.

On graduation she took a CT ABRSM course and has spent the last 20 years living and working in the Saffron Walden area. She has experience of many types of performing including solo work, playing in duo with other guitarists and the flute in the duo Andante.

She now has a private guitar teaching practice and also works in a number of local schools. She is a highly experienced tutor with proven results at all levels from beginners to grade 8 and beyond. She has a particular interest in working with guitar ensembles and smaller groups of students.

Living in Saffron Walden with her husband and daughters she enjoys going to concerts and country walks.

Daniella Ganeva


Born in Bulgaria and now resident in the UK, is considered to be a pioneer of solo percussion and one of the finest marimba artists of our time. Her solo and collaborative work has earned her a great deal of respect and critical acclaim from audiences and musicians worldwide.

‘I would recommend Ganeva for atmosphere, delicacy and what one might call an ‘ambient’ musical experience….’  The Gramophone

Daniella has performed at major festivals and concert halls around the world as a soloist and with leading chamber and symphony orchestras.  The broad spectrum of her interests places her equally at ease with classical or contemporary music, music theatre, multimedia projects and dance.  A passionate advocate of new music for percussion, Daniella has worked closely with composers such as David Horne, Piers Hellawell, Rihards Dubra, Evelyn Ficarra and Julio ‘Escrivan in developing and promoting exciting new repertoire. She is a founder of Framed Resonance, a duo with percussionist Paolo Cimmino that weaves a blend of contemporary music, eastern rhythms and folklore. Other recent collaborations have included performances and recordings with flautist Henrik Svitzer and cellist/baritone Matthew Sharp.

A Fellow of HEA and a dedicated educator, Daniella regularly visits universities and colleges across Europe and the Americas to present her inspirational master classes. She is the professor of marimba studies at the Royal College of Music, for whom in 2009 she developed the first Postgraduate Advanced Solo Marimba Studies Programme available in London. She regularly appears as a jury member on the panels of international percussion competitions and is the past President of The Percussive Arts Society Chapter for the UK and Ireland.

Daniella has recorded for Signum, Cala, GMN records and her recordings are considered by many to include some of the finest performances of the repertoire yet available. Her latest album ‘Mystic Rose’ includes works especially written for her by Latvian composer Rihards Dubra. It presents a depth of sonority, laced with surprising choral and medieval undertones not usually associated with percussion. Daniella’s unmistakable combination of warm, subtle marimba tones and dazzling virtuosity have now become a trademark that continues to inspire and enthral audiences worldwide.

Alastair Chilvers

Accompanist, Piano and Director of the Symphony Orchestra.

Alastair Chilvers currently holds the Lucille Graham Conductor/Repetiteur Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music, where he received a MA (with Distinction) in Piano Accompaniment studying with Michael Dussek. Last year he was selected to participate in the prestigious Solti Accademia Peretti Masterclasses for Repetiteurs in Venice where he studied with Maestro Bonynge. He recently acted as Assistant Conductor for West Green House Opera’s 2016 production of La Traviata, working alongside Oliver Gooch.

At the Royal Academy of Music, Alastair was selected to join the highly prestigious Song Circle and won several awards for his achievement. Previously, he read Music at Queens’ College, Cambridge where he was Assistant Conductor for Cambridge University Music Society (CUMS) from 2012 to 2014 and President of St. Margaret’s Society of Queens’ College in 2012 to 2013. He was awarded the University Instrumental Award for Chamber Music in 2011 and 2012. He conducted numerous performances at West Road with CUMS Concert Orchestra and Wind Orchestra (CUWO) and also conducted Mozart’s Magic Flute with Cambridge Youth Opera in 2013.

Lewis Braham

Double bass

Born in Suffolk, Lewis Braham began playing the bass at the age of fifteen.

He is a graduate from the Royal College of Music in London and studied with Tony Hougham, the Principal Double Bass of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Lewis has performed in concerts with the English National Ballet Philharmonic, London Concert Orchestra, Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra, Wilderness Orchestra, Kaleidoscope Orchestra, Aurelian Symphony Orchestra, Backing Musician on the X Factor, Commonwealth Cantata and the London International Chamber Orchestra.

He has also performed in many prestigious venues across London and the UK including the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, London Coliseum, Barbican Centre, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Cadogan Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Latitude Festival, Wilderness Festival, Stonefree Festival at the 02 Arena Maida Vale Studios, Fountain Studios Wembley, Snape Maltings and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Lewis is an experienced session player, he has played in recording sessions at Abbey Road Studios, Angel Studios and Metropolis Studios. He has recorded for the ABRSM, Rick Wakeman, Joanna Forest and Omar Pendrini. Whilst studying he was also in demand within the Royal College of Music, recording new works by its student composers.

He has worked with many internationally renowned conductors and musicians such as Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Jurowski, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Roger Norrington, Edward Gardner, Nicola Benedetti, Jennifer Pike, Emma Johnson, Michael Collins, Milos Karadaglic, Deep Purple, Rick Wakeman, Laura Mvula, Joanna Forest, Omar Pendrini, Liane Carroll and Will Young. Lewis has also performed in masterclasses with distinguished double bassists Joel Quarrinton, Enrico Fagone, Gabriele Ragghianti, Dan Styffe, Paul Ellison and Donovan Stokes.

Lewis was selected to record the Double Bass backing tracks for the ABRSM’s new Initial Double Bass Exam Pack for 2020 – 2023 which was is designed to help beginners measure their progress and celebrate their achievements.

In 2015 Lewis premiered ‘Leaving St Kilda’ a piece composed for him by renowned bassist David Heyes. Leaving St Kilda depicts the last few days and the evacuation of the island St. Kilda in the 1930’s after centuries of inhabitation.

As well as performing Lewis holds many teaching posts around the country including; Visiting Teacher of Double Bass at the following Schools: The Stephen Perse Foundation in Cambridge, St John’s College School in Cambridge, Brentwood Senior and Prep Schools. Lewis tutors Double Bass for Saffron Centre for Young Musicians, Instrumental Teacher for Thurrock Music Services and he also teaches privately.

As well as teaching, Lewis tutors on orchestral courses including the NLMS Music Summer School and the Musicale Summer Course in Cambridge where he co-directed the main orchestra and conducted the string orchestra in 2018.

Lewis is a budding conductor, having studied under Peter Stark and Natalia Luis-Bassa. He conducts various orchestras and string orchestras including Thurrock Youth Orchestra, Thurrock Youth Training Orchestra, Thurrock Beginner Strings, SCYM Intermediate Strings and SCYM Junior Strings.

Lucy Haggerwood-Bullen


Lucy is a freelance violinist and teacher who recently graduated with a Master of Arts from Trinity Laban Conservatoire, studying with Walter Reiter. She previously attended the University of Birmingham where she achieved a BMus (Hons) degree specialising in performance. She started learning the violin aged 6 and was lucky to have wonderful teachers from both Essex Music Service and The Guildhall School of Music junior department who have inspired her to go into teaching. As well as SCYM, Lucy now teaches for Essex Music Service, various primary schools and privately.

As a performer Lucy has performed with many different ensembles in major concert halls such as Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, the Barbican and Symphony Hall Birmingham. As a soloist she has performed with the University of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham and Trinity Chamber Orchestras. Whilst training she spent most of her time playing in ensembles and has been lucky enough to take part in projects alongside musicians from top Orchestras such as the CBSO, Philharmonic and BBC Symphony and Concert Orchestras. Lucy most enjoys playing in chamber ensembles and is a member of a string quartet and violin duet who perform regularly at events and concerts.

James Free

General musicianship & saxophone

James studied BA (Hons) Music in Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge and PTLLS teacher training also in Cambridge.

Since the mid-1980’s,James has performed extensively for a wide variety of entertainment agencies, artists and ensembles at festivals, theatres, clubs, hotels, holiday resorts, corporate functions, military bases and cruise lines through out UK, Europe and United States. Artists include Tom Robinson and venues include Glastonbury Festival.

With 20 years experience in teaching music, in the United States and with Essex Music Services, James specialises in saxophone, whole class music, concert preparation, clarinet, flute and guitar.

Ben Landymore

Music production

Ben Landymore is a passionate and exceptionally talented music producer, composer, recording engineer,trombonist and DJ. By incorporating his classical training and adventurous roots, he utilises the sounds of modern day life and nature with electronic production techniques to accentuate his unique creation of ambience. Proficient with the use of Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, Ableton Live 9, no software is a barrier to Ben’s creativity or speed of workflow. Boasting a discography of varying styles such as house, ambient, trip hop, new soul, hip hop, RnB, drum and bass, classical and electronic cinematic music, Ben has been invited to record with Aleksey Igudesman in Vienna, Austria and of course Lucy Landymore (sister). His most recent work has caught the attention of Universal Music Group, Inspected Records, UK Grime artist ‘KOJO Funds’ and Parker Ighile (Nicki Minaj, PDiddy, G-Eazy, Grace). With atmosphere playing an important role, his work has featured in the national tour of ‘Morecambe’ for which he was in charge of recording, mixing, editing, production and mastering; in Arts Council projects such as ‘Dancing in the Dales’ and most recently in ‘Embers’ a short horror film.

Ben has an impressive history of work in sound engineering, having assisted in the recording of the Holland Opera performing Puccini’s Madam Butterfly, with the installation of recording equipment in St John’s College, Cambridge, recording orchestras including the LPO, edited Dvorak Cello Concerto and installing a sound system in Truro Cathedral. Ben is also no stranger to operating a Yamaha M7 sound desk for the theatre production of Assassins at the ADC Theatre, Cambridge. Other duties included patching all the radio microphones and mixing the levels of the band and singers whilst following the script. Furthermore, he has operated the front of house sound for live function bands and the 78RPM Big Band, including extensive experience in location recording with About Sound ltd, Kettles Yard Cambridge and Codagan Hall London).

Adding to Ben Landymore’s exceptional versatility, he is also a classically trained trombonist. He studied at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, performing several times to thousands at the Royal Albert Hall, Ronnie Scotts and at the 606 Jazz Club. Regularly being invited to play for City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra (CCSO) and Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra tours, Ben’s affability and ease of adapting to new environments makes him an invaluable member of any ensemble. In addition to his classical training he has proven his talents in brass ensembles such as Junior Prime Brass, Jazz and function bands including 78RPM big band, Superstition function band and countless theatre and cabaret pit bands.


Leon Haxby

Composition & general musicianship

Leon Haxby (b. 1993) is a Composer, Bassoonist, DJ and teacher based in Cambridge. Leon has always been fascinated with the effect of quotation and re-contextualisation in music, and is now pursuing this field of study both in composition and through his groundbreaking research topic “Music’s Uncanny Valley”.

Leon began composition lessons with Darren Bloom at Forest School in London and was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, followed by a place at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam where he has just completed his Masters in Composition. In the past, he has studied under Richard Ayres, Wim Henderickx, Richard Causton, Edwin Roxburgh, Ed Bennett, Joe Cutler and Howard Skempton. He has also taken masterclasses from Rebecca Saunders, Mario Garuti, Anna Korsun and Colin Matthews.
Leon was the winner of the Orchestre Nouvelle Generation Composers Competition 2016/17, and the Birmingham Conservatoire Orchestral Composition Prize 2015. Distinguished ensembles and performers of his works include the DoelenKwartet, HERMESensemble, Syzygy Quartet, Ossian Ensemble, Noszferatu, Decibel, David Le Page, Patrick Johnson, Sara Minelli, Rowland Sutherland and Colin Alexander. His compositions have been featured at world-famous festivals including the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam and TROMP Percussion Festival, and at venues such as Kings Place and Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, as well as various venues throughout Europe, North America and Africa.

In addition to classical composition, Leon immerses himself in a diverse range of musical styles. He composes advert soundtracks on a regular basis for clients such as GHD, Manolo Blahnik, Lanvin, Japanese Vogue, Mariana Jungman (London Fashion Week), Nowness.com and Cent Magazine. He has composed a number of film scores, including for award-winning short films ‘Wanted’ by Graeme Montgomery, and ‘Genesis’ by Beatrix Haxby.

As a bassoonist, Leon studied with Adam Mackenzie (New London Chamber Ensemble) and John Orford (London Sinfonietta) and has composed new repertoire for bassoon including a bassoon quartet and a number of concert studies. He is also an active DJ, playing eclectic sets from UK Bass to Jungle. He studied with international artists including Kasey Riot and Noah Priddle at the London Sound Academy and has performed in venues such as SET, Dalston alongside artists including Chiminyo and D’vo.

Emma Cooper

Composition, general musicianship and flute

Brought up in Kent Emma was provided with an exceptional music education through the Kent Music School, singing in the East Kent Girls’ Choir then later the Kent Youth Choir and Kent Youth Chamber Choir covering much of the significant sacred choral repertoire as well as secular pieces and with tours to the Alps and Venice being especially memorable.

Moving to Huddersfield Emma completed a BMus (Hons) specialising in Composition with Michael Clarke, Flute with Alan Lockwood of the BBC Philharmonic and Voice with Patricia Hamilton. Awarded with the University Composition Prize, Emma went on to study for an MA in Composition and was a finalist in the first BBC Young Composer Award with her work “Goliath’s Defeat” being performed by the London Sinfonietta. This lead to a period of commissions, publications and performances in Canterbury Cathedral, Manchester, Huddersfield.

Emma began singing with the New English Orchestra and Singers in 1995 – 2004 performing concerts and vigils in churches and Cathedrals across the country, on Radio, Television and recordings, often as a soprano soloist and also conducting her own work performed by the choir. Following qualifying as a Secondary Music teacher at Homerton College Cambridge, Emma was awarded the Charles Fox Prize for her final written academic piece, the first music PGCE student ever to do so.

For the past 20 years she has taken an enormous interest in how children learn music learning when to adapt music teaching and rehearsing to suit different learning styles and different musical strengths. She has worked as Head of Music in both state Secondary School, and as Head of Music and Performing Arts at an Independent Prep School, gaining enormous experience teaching children aged 3 to 19 from all types of backgrounds.

Emma is an inclusive and ambitious teacher firmly believing that everyone is a musician. For the past year she has returned to running her own private woodwind and composition teaching practice in Cambridgeshire schools and from home, and has begun composing once again in earnest!

Matthew Ryan

Piano and Accompanist

Matthew was raised in Yorkshire, and began piano and violin lessons from an early age.  He studied music at Newcastle University, followed by solo piano studies at the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki), and postgraduate study at the Royal Academy of Music (London). During his time at RAM, Matthew was a member of the Academy’s prestigious song circle.  He has accompanied many masterclasses including those with Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Felicity Lott, and Allan Clayton.

He performs frequently as a collaborative pianist, predominantly with singers and string players, and has performed in major concert venues across the U.K. and Europe.

He is a much sought after teacher, and alongside his work at SCYM, Matthew teaches at King’s College School in Cambridge, Dulwich College, and Highgate School.

Alison Baillie 

General Musicianship and flute

I regard Musicianship as an essential foundation for all students as they develop musically. This training combines the practical elements of music making with theoretical understanding. I enjoy teaching a mixture of composition, improvisation, aural skills, historical knowledge, analytical skills, creativity and theory in a small group context.  Central to this teaching is a sense of belonging and team work with an increase in confident, articulate musical thinking.

I currently teach the flute at SWCHS, Hills Road Sixth Form College and Saffron Centre for Young Musicians. I teach beginner piano in a local Primary School. I am a member of the Supporting Studies tutor team (General Musicianship) at Saffron Centre for Young Musicians and I am a tutor for Saffron Walden Children’s Orchestra. I also have a private teaching practice. I have worked in music education for 20 years with a strong emphasis on teaching the flute. I enjoy working with pupils of all standards and ages and, when appropriate, I prepare pupils for ABRSM, Trinity and MTB exams grades 1 to 8. In my teaching, I am committed to developing technique through clearly planned, thoughtful lessons where pupils are encouraged to expand their creative thinking.

I have a degree in music, a teaching diploma on the flute and a classroom teaching qualification. I recently studied as a postgraduate at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama where I was able to explore the complexities of how music is taught, learnt and performed. I have regular lessons with a professional solo player and these lessons are essential in my growth as a flautist, feeding and nourishing my own teaching. I remain committed to furthering my musical curiosity and I have attended recent workshops exploring rhythm with The Beat Goes On (Stomp style rhythm), the use of Music Therapy in education (inclusive use of music for self-expression) and a Posture course for flautists.

I lead an Outreach programme for Saffron Centre for Young Musicians where music is promoted in Primary schools. I have also run fun workshops in performance and composition for Primary schools and have worked with Academy pupils at SWCHS with a focus on delivering workshops for Primary pupils.

Music is central to my life. I believe everyone is musical and that communicating through music is part of being human. My role – and privilege – as a teacher is to help my pupils do this to the best of their ability.

Graham Instrall


Graham has been playing drums and percussion since he was at school and now keeps himself busy as a professional freelance musician. He has performed across Europe and America with many different orchestras and choirs, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus, Chamber Orchestra of London and the English Pops Orchestra and with rock bands such as Electric Music and Boo Hooray. Graham has recorded for numerous artists and ensembles, including the RPO (Tring), Billy Mackenzie (Nude), Daniella Ganeva (Cala, GMN & Signum), David Le Page, Cantate Youth Choir, Hertfordshire Chorus (Meridien), Philip Sheppard (Bluesnow), Electric Music, David Bowie, The Supremes and Songs from a Random House (Sargasso). He is also a composer, writing music for BBCTV and for a variety of other groups and artists and is the resident teacher of percussion at the Hockerill Anglo-European College in Bishop’s Stortford. Graham is currently assistant music director of the internationally acclaimed youth choir, Cantate.  Along with Nick Shaw and Charlie Penn, he led them to win two gold medals at the World Choir Games in Riga, 2014.

Gareth Lumbers

Saxophone, clarinet and theory

Gareth graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2007 having studied with Martin Hathaway, Jean Toussaint, Ben Castle, Gary Keller,  Malcolm Miles, Christian Forshaw and is a freelance Saxophonist/Flautist based in Essex/Herts. 

Gareth devotes a large amount of his time performing, recording and continues to tour throughout Europe with artist Myles Sanko of which he plays Saxophone and Flute for.

As the long term established sax and flute chair for acclaimed breakout soul sensation Myles Sanko, Gareth is regularly on the continent playing venues such as Luxembourg Philharmonie Hall, Salle De Pleyel, Paris, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, London’s Coliseum, Blue Note Milano, Marciac Jazz Festival, Nice Jazz Festival, Cologne Philharmonie Hall, Casa De Musica Porto, Duc De Lombard Paris, New Morning Paris.

More recently Gareth has played with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, performed in Moscow and appeared on both ‘The Voice’,  ‘Michael Macintyre’s Big Show’ and WDR Germany. Other artists Gareth has played with include touring/recording with Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, BaselBerg German Film Orchestra and Nick Heyward/Haircut 100.

Gareth runs a small private teaching practice from his home studio and records for artists such as electro pop band ‘Years and Years’ and television. 

 Gareth continues to pass on his creative flair and musical expertise through his committed teaching.  A committed teacher, he has inspired young music enthusiasts since joining the faculties at Uppingham, Oakham, and Tonbridge Schools leading and organising workshops alongside visiting international artists such as L.A Trumpet player Willie Murillo, and himself giving guest workshops and masterclasses for Saffron Hall Academy and Moreton Hall School. 

This past year, Gareth has begun teaching students at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities helping them further their studies in Jazz and Improvisation, and become Woodwind Tutor at Hockerill European College in Bishops Stortford.

Felicity Hamilton

Voice and choirs

Felicity Hamilton is a lyric soprano and singing teacher based in Essex. She began her career gaining a place in the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain in 1999, and later becoming a member of their chamber choir, Laudibus. From 16, Felicity attended Birmingham Conservatoire Junior School, where she studied with Coral Gould and won the Frank Richards Memorial Prize for solo voice. Felicity then studied at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with a first in her Final Singing Recital. She represented the Academy in her second year for the Junior Kathleen Ferrier Award.

Felicity has sung in concerts around the country and abroad, under conductors including Sir Charles Mackerras, as Frog in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Royal Academy Opera, and Sir Colin Davis in Bach’s St Matthew Passion. Felicity has a special relationship with composer Christopher Meux who has written a number of pieces of music for her. Felicity premiered his cycle of Thomas Hardy songs both in Germany and in Nottingham, and in May 2009 she was delighted to create the lead role in his new operetta Mai 1849 in Prüm, Germany.

Felicity greatly enjoys her work as a singing teacher and conductor at Saffron Centre for Young Musicians, St Edmund’s Collage Ware, and Magna Carta Primary Academy, and is in demand as a teacher in other spheres. She is on the musical staff of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and the Ulster Youth Choirs and is a Deputy teacher at The Royal College of Music Junior School. Felicity is very proud that many of her students have gained places in the National Youth Choirs, Conservatoires, postgraduate musical theatre courses and as music scholars at Oxbridge Universaties.

Michael Iskas

Violin, viola and strings

Michael is an experienced and enthusiastic violin, viola and chamber music teacher and performer. He teaches at Saffron Centre for Young Musicians, Essex Music Hub and Greenwich Music School. He also coaches chamber music in the Primary and Academy courses of ProCorda in Suffolk. One of his main values is the duty to make music accessible to everyone and as a teacher he feels that we should pass to the next generations the knowledge which has been offered to us by the previous generations.

He performs as an orchestral musician with a number of orchestras such as City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, English National Ballet, et al. He also performs regularly with various chamber music ensembles. Michael is also an Eastern-Mediterranean folk violin performer/improviser, playing and recording for more than two decades with many authentic local musicians in Greece and various bands in the multicultural music scene of London.

He is co-founder of Diphonon Duo (Viola&Accordion) along with the Spanish accordionist Iñigo Mikeleiz, appearing in many venues in the UK and abroad such as Wigmore Hall, St Martin in the Fields, Bristol Beacon etc. A number of compositions have been commissioned for the duo and recently they released their first CD which showcases this new music. One of the most valuable aspects of their musical activity, involves music within the community. They are partner musicians of Wigmore Hall Learning Department, Live Music Now and Concordia Foundation.

Michael has studied violin performance and education (BMus) in Greece (UoM) and in Vienna (MDW). After his BMus, he studied viola performance at the Royal Academy of Music with James Sleigh getting his Master of Arts and later at Trinity Laban with Roger Chase obtaining his PGAD. He also completed the LRAM diploma for violin and viola teaching at the Royal Academy of Music.

Among other important musicians, he has participated in masterclasses with Lawrence Power, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Garth Knox, Hartmut Rohde, Paul Silverthorne, Annette Isserlis and Richard Ireland.

He has been Scholar of the Royal Academy of Music, Athena Scholarship, Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the State Scholarships Foundation of Greece.


All staff at SCYM are DBS checked (enhanced) and undergo safeguarding training biannually, inline with government guidance. We also follow Safer Recruitment guidelines when appointing staff. We take very seriously the welfare of our students on a Saturday and follow Essex Music Services Safeguarding Policy and Procedures. Please see ‘Policies’ for this in detail, as well as the Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 guidance.

All parties are responsible in maintaining the safety of young people. Should any concerns arise they should be reported immediately to the Centre  staff either in person, or via the following email addresses:

Kate.Llewellyn@essex.gov.uk Kate Llewellyn, Designated Safeguarding Lead for Saffron Centre for Young Musicians

Sophie.Stafford@essex.gov.uk Sophie Stafford Deputy Safeguarding Lead for Saffron Centre for Young Musicians

John.Hutchings@essex.gov.uk John Hutchings, Designated Safeguarding Lead for Essex Music Service

Peter.Lovell@essex.gov.uk Peter Lovell, Deputy Safeguarding Lead for Essex Music Service

All Pastoral staff are trained in first aid, and if there are any individual medical needs we should know about to provide care for any attending young person, please inform us of this at the point of enrolment.

Safeguarding and Conduct Policy part 1 2022.23