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Meet our trustees

Our team of trustees oversee the governance of Sound Connections and guide us on our mission to achieve our charitable objectives. As well as having volunteer trustees who serve a minimum term of three years we also appoint two young trustees, age 18-25 years, from Wired4Music, our youth network of musically minded young Londoners, who serve for a 12 month period. Trustees meet on a quarterly basis to discuss all aspects of the organisation, including strategy, finances and staffing. In addition they support specific projects on an occasional basis, such as the development of the marketing strategy and website. They will also often been seen at Sound Connections events or representing the organisations at partner events.

If you would be interested in finding out more on how to become a trustee then please email philip@sound-connections.org.uk

Norton York

Norton York

Chair of Trustees

Norton York is founder and chairman of RSL Awards, the world’s specialist contemporary performing arts examination board. He started out as a trombone player performing in bands while studying  music at Sussex University and latterly as a session player with artists including Billy Ocean, Paul Jones, Ruby Turner and Edwin Starr. His work in education started in his mid-twenties when he founded Europe’s first pop music summer school, Brighton Rock in 1988, prompting attention from the UK’s media to its mix of performing, production and business education which has been a hallmark of Norton’s courses ever since. Norton moved onto write and edit Oxford University Press’ first book on the music business ‘ The Rock File’  and created a ground breaking set of pop music courses at West London Institute of Higher Education. This led to the founding of RSL Awards, first through its Rockschool graded music exams, and subsequently to launching the Commerical Music department of the University of Westminster in 1992.

Since then, many of Norton’s students and RSL alumni have succeeded and include leading figures in the music industry such as Luke McGrellis (Universal)  and Sam Winwood (Kobalt), and artists as diverse as Ed Sheeran and Jess Glynn, bands including Reef, The Feeling and Rudimental, Mercury nominated jazz saxophonist Denys Baptise, gospel star Muyiwa Olarewaju, as well as producers and songwriters including Fraser T Smith, Matt Prime, and Paavo and Jono of Above & Beyond.

Norton is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

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Esther Bokuma Lenda

Esther Bokuma Lenda

Esther Bokuma Lenda, is a London born Neo-Soul, RnB and Jazz influenced artist who has been compared to the likes of SZA and Solange by NME. Supported by Help Musicians UK, the MOBO Awards and the Roundhouse, the young singer has had features on platforms such as Beats1, COLORS Berlin, AfroPunk and Sofar Sounds. She has been involved in Wired4Music since 2017, co-producing and hosting ‘Rising Futures’ 2018, an annual Wired4Music and Roundhouse collaborative event for young musicians. She has also chaired and spoken on panels including Sound Connections’ recent Inclusive Practice in Action conference. She has a background in teaching and qualified as a French Teacher (University of Kent BA and Kingston University PGCE) before moving into artist development and course management, developing young artists at Urban Development from 2018 to 2019. She is currently studying for her Masters in Music Business Management at the University of Westminster.

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Gemma Knox

Gemma Knox

Gemma Knox is an experienced marketing & business professional with over 14 years of brand and communication experience across Europe. Gemma has worked in both large networks and small independent companies in the creative industries in London and Amsterdam.

Gemma is Managing Director, Northern Europe for Virtue, a full service creative agency born from VICE, the fastest growing youth media and entertainment company. Gemma is responsible for leading and growing the business within the UK, the Nordics and Europe.

In her previous role at Sunshine, Gemma spearheaded Sunshine’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction partnership, orchestrating a string of retail, media and talent partnerships. Outside of work, Gemma is a trustee for the charity Sound Connections and an active mentor at Bloom, a professional network for women in communications. She is also in the process of launching a jigsaw business.

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John Leahy

John Leahy

John Leahy is an experienced music industry executive who has worked for some of the UK’s biggest record labels, including Polydor and EMI, as well as one of the country’s leading independent companies, Domino Records. John is an experienced marketeer, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, who has worked with some of the biggest domestic and international recording artists of the last 15 years. Successful campaigns John has been involved in include artists as diverse as Lady Gaga, Eminem, Robbie Williams, Franz Ferdinand and the Arctic Monkeys. John’s consultancy, Instrumental, was established in 2010 and works with music clients including Noel Gallagher, The Coral and Primal Scream as well as photographers, designers and technology companies. Additionally John has worked as a lecturer teaching music industry studies for clients including ICMP and the University of Hertfordshire.

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Max Mizzi

Max Mizzi

Max Mizzi works in Financial Services Strategy, currently as a Technology Strategy Manager at Accenture, and previously as a Vice President in Technology Strategy and Innovation at Deutsche Bank. He has experience in developing business and technology strategy, delivering industry research and managing technology projects. He joined the Arts and Business ‘Young Professional on Arts Boards’ scheme in 2012, and has since been applying his professional experience to working with charities in the Arts sector. He has always been passionate about music, with broad interests across genres and disciplines, from his own endeavours as a saxophonist to involvement in the live music scene in London. Max also holds a degree in Computer Science from King’s College London.

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Nick Rampley

Nick Rampley

Nick Rampley, after studying music at the University of Oxford has followed a career in education management which has included over ten years as Director of Finance and Administration at the Purcell School. He has been Vice Principal of Morley College since March 2009. Nick has a MBA degree from Imperial College of Science and Technology and the Institute of Accountants Diploma in Charity Finance and is a trustee of the Open College network London Region. He continues his musical interests as principal bassoon of the Kensington Symphony Orchestra (where he is also a trustee), as the bass guitarist in a soul covers band and as an occasional writer of programme notes. He is also a trustee of Nonclassical.

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Paul Bell

Paul Bell

Paul Bell has worked across the arts and charity sector for over ten years gaining experience of live music, youth engagement programmes and charity governance. Following University, Paul co-founded a music merchandise company and cited his time on the youth engagement programme Young Enterprise for giving him the confidence to do this. After five successful years a desire to become engaged in youth music led Paul into the charity sector. This developed into charity governance roles and Paul is currently the Company Secretary at Alzheimer’s Society.

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Sasha Mattock

Sasha Mattock

Sasha currently works in advocacy for special educational needs and disability in a variety of settings and has a background in psychology. She works for Islington Special Education Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Service as a community engagement and Young People’s worker. As well as this Sasha works as a freelance dance artist for Corali Dance Company and Share and has just completed her mentee role working as a musician at the Royal Brompton and Harefields hospital. Sasha is also part of the young artists collective at Siobhan Davies Dance.

Music was a big part of Sasha’s life, growing up in the north of England and playing percussion in many different brass bands. Her practice is currently exploring how to bring together psychology, music and movement together to enhance wellbeing.

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