Established in 1970, The Centre for Young Musicians has provided musical training of the highest quality for thousands of students in Greater London for over 40 years.
In 2013, the decision was taken to roll out the highly successful CYM model to other parts of the country, particularly to rural areas. Following on from the success of Hestercombe and Norwich CYM, the Saffron Centre for Young Musicians, based at Saffron Walden County High School, which houses the superb Saffron Hall with its internationally acclaimed acoustics, opened in October 2015.
The Saffron Centre for Young Musicians provides emerging musicians aged 5-18 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 as well as singing. In addition to these practical lessons, students may opt for more academic subjects; composition, musical history, theory and aural perception will all be on offer.
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 from 9.30 am to 12.30 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’
CYM has been a division of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama since 2009, and plays a part in the Guildhall Young Artists progression routes, from primary education right through to graduate and post-graduate studies in music. It is committed to offering excellence in achievement as well as wider opportunities.
Clarinet and Saxophone
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.
Clare Finnimore – Britten Sinfonia, visiting professor
Clare grew up in Letchworth, North Hertfordshire, where after hearing a professional string quartet perform live at her primary school she was inspired to begin studying the violin with the quartet’s leader, Anne Macnachten. As a result, and thanks to an amazing County Music Service, Clare’s early musical life was one immersed in chamber music playing. She then went on to study with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where she was awarded the Birdie Warshaw Prize for Unaccompanied Bach and the School Viola Prize.
While still a student she co-founded and was principal viola in the Guildhall String Ensemble, coached by David Takeno. The group, who were international prize-winners, toured worldwide for the next 20 years, making their Carnegie Hall Debut in 1991. They appeared on Blue Peter and Omnibus, made numerous recordings for RCA Red Seal and broadcast frequently on BBC Radio 3.
As soloist, Clare has performed at the Aldeburgh, Brighton and Malvern festivals, at the Wigmore Hall and throughout the USA. She recently stepped up as soloist at a few hours’ notice to perform Flos Campi by Vaughan Williams with Britten Sinfonia and Britten Sinfonia Voices at Milton Court, Barbican, London. The concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
‘ Ulysses Awakes’ by John Woolrich was written for and premiered by Clare and the Guildhall String Ensemble. She has performed it many times, most recently with Britten Sinfonia as part of Woolrich’s 60th Birthday celebrations.
As well as playing Principal Viola in Britten Sinfonia for the last 12 years, Clare has a regular chamber group – Britten Oboe Quartet – with oboist Nicholas Daniel, violinist Jacqueline Shave and cellist Caroline Dearnley, which performs regularly at Festivals around the UK. She has also played as guest with the Aronovitz Ensemble and the Nash Ensemble.
As a session musician Clare is proud to be one of about 90 musicians on the soundtracks to films such as Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Hobbit and James Bond ‘Skyfall’. She has played live with Sting, Bjork, Kylie Minogue, Florence and the Machine and also Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri.
Clare is deputy professor at Trinity College of Music and has mentored and adjudicated the performance prize at the Royal Academy of Music. She is also regularly involved with the Britten Sinfonia Creative Learning dept. and Britten Sinfonia Academy.
By the age of twenty, Australian pianist Lesley Young had made many radio and television broadcasts, performed at the Sydney Opera House and appeared as soloist with leading Australian orchestras.
After winning the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s prestigious concerto competition in 1975, she undertook postgraduate performance studies at the RNCM and subsequently a Master’s degree at the Royal College of Music. She studied with Max Olding, Ryszard Bakst, Benjamin Kaplan and Yonty Solomon, and in masterclasses with Vlado Perlemuter, Jorge Bolet, Ronald Smith, Sergei Dorensky and John Lill, amongst others.
Since her critically acclaimed Wigmore Hall debut in 1977, Lesley has established a reputation as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and Australia, playing with major orchestras and performers, and commissioning and premiering a number of new works. Her performances have been praised for the beauty and range of their tone colour, and for their penetrating musical insight.
Her repertoire is wide-ranging, but she is perhaps best known for her interpretations of large-scale Romantic piano music. Lesley has a passion for chamber music in all its forms, and in recent years she has collaborated with the Bingham String Quartet in performances of piano quintets by Schumann, Brahms and Dvorak.
Lesley’s busy teaching schedule has included work with gifted children, master classes and workshops for both students and teachers, and in Australia, the establishment of the Piano Department at James Cook University. She is much in demand as an adjudicator and has tutored on a number of piano courses, both in England and abroad. She was Head of Keyboard Studies at Colchester Institute Faculty of Creative Arts from 1995 to 2015 where she also led the Music Masters programme, further reflecting her strong commitment to the education and specialist needs of young musicians.
James studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Whilst at Guildhall, he had the opportunity to perform alongside a number of renowned musicians including Dame Cleo Lane, The Dankworth’s, Julien Siegel, Jazz at Lincoln Centre, Liane Carroll, Mike and Kate Westbrook. His tutors have included Noel Langley, Percy Pursglove, Robbie Robson, Anne McAneny and Matt Roberts.
As a performer, James has toured the UK, Europe, America and Asia playing at a number of prestigious venues including O2 Arena, O2 Academies,The Barbican, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, Bridgewater Hall , Cadogan Hall, Fairfield Hall, Hard Rock Cafe, Leeds Town Hall, The Spice of Life, Vortex Jazz Club and Wembley Stadium. He has made appearances on BBC 1, BBC 4 and ITV alongside performing at major UK Festivals including Glastonbury, Boomtown and Bestival to name a few.
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.
Choirs, kodaly and violin
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.
Flute, wind ensembles and Kodaly
Emma grew up in Saffron Walden and began learning the flute at primary school. She attended the junior department at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music where she also passed her ATCL diploma in performance with distinction. Emma then went to study music, MusB (Hons), at the University of Manchester focussing her study on performance under the tutelage of Linda Verrier. She spent much of her time playing the flute and piccolo with orchestras and ensembles as well as studying conducting. Emma has taken part in masterclasses with inspirational flautists such as Ian Clarke, Paul Edmund-Davies and Anna Noakes.
Emma is currently developing as a flute tutor in the Essex area, teaching one-to-one lessons and working with young people in ensembles.
Guy Llewellyn is a French Horn player and is a member of The British Paraorchestra, Army of Generals and the Charles Hazlewood All-Star-Collective. Recent appearances with these groups have included Glastonbury Festival (2016) and broadcasts on BBC television and radio. In 2016, Guy also appeared in the Channel 4 ‘Superhuman’s’ advert, promoting the 2016 Paralympic Games.
Beyond performing, Guy is also is also an experienced teacher of both the horn and brass ensembles. As a horn teacher, he has coached students from beginner level, some of whom have gone on to study at Conservatoires. He has also been a key contributor to the formation of Prime Brass’ development group ‘Junior Prime Brass’ and continues to assist with coaching sessions for that group. With Prime Brass, Guy has also tutored horns on their highly successful one-day brass ensemble workshops. Outside of the world of music, Guy has been active in changing attitudes towards people with disabilities, working with organisations such as the Spinal Injuries Association, SCOPE and Channel 4. He has also worked with young people in schools on extended curriculum days, to explore and change views of disability.
Martyn studied trumpet at the University of Wales, Cardiff with Andy Cuff and later at the Royal College of Music with Paul Archibald, Andy Crowley and Mike Lovatt. His West End and UK / European touring show experience is extensive and includes Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (principal), Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, the Rat Pack: Live from Las Vegas, Mary Poppins, Oliver! Sweet Charity and Phantom of the Opera. Additionally, he has played as principal trumpet with the National Concert Orchestra of Great Britain, the Glenn Miller Orchestra UK and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and has even performed on Top of the Pops and music videos.
A qualified classroom music teacher, Martyn currently teaches brass in several local village colleges, primary and independent schools. He formed and directed the Herefordshire Youth Jazz Orchestra, conducted the Hammersmith & Fulham Youth Orchestra and is currently forming the City of Cambridge Brass Band Youth Academy for advanced young brass players in the Cambridge area.
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.
Still living near to Saffron Walden with her husband and daughters she is fully involved in village life and enjoys going to concerts and country walks.
Dan Forshaw is an award-winning saxophonist, educator and composer who studied in both New York and London. He has been performing as a professional musician since the age of 16 and has just released his 13th album called ‘Jazz Vespers’. Dan is a charismatic teacher who seeks to inspire students to find their own creative voice, particularly in improvisation, which Dan teaches to our jazz ensemble at SCYM. Dan currently teaches saxophone at Cambridge University and has an innovative website, Cambridge Saxophone.com where students from all over the world are able to study with him – including one student in Antartica! He has a busy performing & recording schedule with his own jazz trio and an eclectic mix of ensembles from Rock Bands to cathedral choirs!.
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.
Accompanist and piano
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.
Head of Centre
Kate Nott is a trumpet player and teacher. She started learning the trumpet at primary school and from the age of eleven she attended the junior department at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Kate went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, under the tutelage of Howard Snell. After completing her studies, she returned to the Guildhall as a post-graduate specialising in orchestral performance. As a trumpeter Kate has performed with leading orchestras including both the Royal Philharmonic and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras.
Kate now teaches brass in local schools including Saffron Walden County High School.
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.
Since beginning his studies at the RCM, Lewis has performed in many prestigious venues across London and the UK, including Nutcracker with the English National Ballet at London Coliseum, Last Night of the Christmas Proms with the London Concert Orchestra at the Barbican Centre, London Concert Orchestra at Symphony Hall Birmingham, the X Factor ‘Disco Week’ Live Show at Fountain Studios Wembley, Stonefree Festival at the 02 Arena, and many concerts at Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Cadogan Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Maida Vale Studios, 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, and is 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, Deep Purple, Rick Wakeman and Milos Karadaglic. Lewis has also performed in masterclasses with distinguished bassists Joel Quarrinton, Enrico Fagone, Gabriele Ragghianti, Dan Styffe, Paul Ellison and Donovan Stokes.
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.
Lewis is the Lower Strings Tutor for the Suffolk Youth Orchestra, where he held the position of principal Bass before he moved to London. He has toured extensively around Europe with the Suffolk Youth Orchestra, performing in many venues in across Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland, Czech Republic and Poland.
Lewis is an Instrumental Teacher for Thurrock Music Services, Visiting Teacher of Double Bass (Maternity Cover) at Haileybury, Visiting Teacher of Double Bass at South Lee School in Bury St Edmunds, Peripatetic Lower Strings Teacher at St John’s School in Billericay, Double Bass Professor for the Arts Academy and also teaches privately.
Lewis is a budding conductor, having studied under Peter Stark and Natalia Luis-Bassa. He also partakes in participatory music education, which involves organising musical workshops for children and adults.
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.
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 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.
All staff at SCYM are DBS checked (enhanced) and undergo safeguarding training regularly. We also follow Safer Recruitment guidelines when appointing staff. We take very seriously the welfare of our students on a Saturday and will follow the Guildhall School Safeguarding Policy and Procedures if required. Please see ‘Policies’ for this in detail, as well as Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018.
When concerns or allegations involve members of staff the Head of Centre will be informed immediately. SCYM will then follow the Essex Local Authority procedures for managing allegations against staff. In the event of an allegation against the Head of Centre the Head of Safeguarding will be informed who will seek the advice of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
Kate Nott is the Designated Safeguarding Lead, and Sophie Stafford is the Deputy Safeguarding Lead. Pastoral staff are trained in first aid, should it be required.