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THE MiSST TEAM

Truda White MBE – Founder

Truda was Head Teacher at Highbury Grove School, and the driving force behind the development of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Programme that MiSST operates today. Over 12 pioneering years of Truda’s leadership, the school was transformed, earning an Ofsted “Outstanding” rating. By 2012 the school was able to give every student a classical instrument upon admission as well as weekly tuition. Truda has served as a school Head and Governor in primary and secondary schools for over 20 years.

Rachel Landon – CEO

Rachel, having worked for a number of years at Highbury Grove School and more recently The City of London Academy Highbury Grove, brings to MiSST considerable senior leadership experience. Rachel was the founding chair of the Highbury Grove School Foundation and raised significant sums of money to enhance the educational experience of the students. She has a BA and PGCE from Loughborough University and an MSC from CASS Business School in voluntary sector management. She is also Lead Governor for Safeguarding and Head of The Pastoral Committee at a London Primary School.

Bob Pepper OBE – Consultant

Robert has worked as a professional musician and educator for over 40 years, holding posts as Conductor, County Music Adviser and Associate Headteacher. He is an Honorary Fellow of Goldsmiths University of London and was made MBE in 2006. As well as working for MISST he is also Musical Director of the English Schools’ Orchestra and the English Young Artists’ Sinfonia. In addition, he is employed as Conductor and Adviser to Enfield Music Service and delivers courses to teachers and students for Teach First and Orchestras for All. In 2008 Robert visited Venezuela to study the highly acclaimed El Sistema programme.

Stephanie Bissell – Director of Music: Curriculum


Stephanie has been a music teacher at the founding MiSST school since 2014. Stephanie plays the clarinet and piano and was educated at Chethams’ School of Music in Manchester. Following this Stephanie was awarded a scholarship to at the Royal College of Music where she studied with Tim Lines, Michael Collins and Richard Hosford. During her four years at the Royal College of Music Stephanie played in a number of masterclasses with world renowned clarinettists such as Maximiliano Martín; a variety of ensembles under the baton of prolific conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy; studied in for five months as part of the Erasmus programme and won the clarinet prize in her third year. Upon graduating Stephanie was elected student president for a year and worked closely with the Director of the College Colin Lawson and President of the College Professor Lord Robert Winston. After leaving the Royal College of Music Stephanie enrolled on the Teach First program and was placed in the founding MiSST school, Highbury Grove. Stephanie completed the Teach First masters in Educational Leadership with UCL and IOE and applied leadership theories studied to her previous role as Head of House at City of London Academy Highbury Grove. Stephanie is principal clarinet of the London City Orchestra.

Jonathan Gibson – Director of MiSST: Excellence Programmes

Jonathan is an alumnus of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (MMus, cello) and the University of Manchester (MusB) and has been working as a professional musician and as a music educator since graduating from the UoM in 2014. Jonathan has and continues to work as a peripatetic teacher, orchestral section tutor and ensemble coach/conductor with Enfield Music Service, Ashmole Academy, the English Schools Orchestra and now, since 2017, with MiSST.

As a performer, Jonathan has been principal cellist of orchestras such as the Arch Sinfonia, the Asyla Ensemble, Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra, Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra, the London Graduate Orchestra and Surrey Opera Company and a member of Constella OperaBallet, the Melos Sinfonia and the Orion Orchestra. Previously he has been principal cellist of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra and the University of Manchester Symphony Orchestra and has performed under Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Neville Marriner and Sir Colin Davis. Jonathan is also in demand for recording and session work and regularly performs with his string quartet, the Vine Quartet. With a keen interest in curating and programming, Jonathan was Project Co-ordinator of the Arch Sinfonia, a London-based young professional chamber orchestra conducted by Chloé van Soeterstède, from 2015-2018 and is the Orchestral Manager for the London Contemporary Music Festival this year (2018). As Director of the MiSST Saturday Music School, Jonathan is also grateful for the conducting tuition he has received from teachers such as Peter Ash, Mark Heron and Tim Redmond.

Marta Gonçalves – Deputy Director of Music

Originally from Portugal, Marta is an experienced flute tutor and performer. Marta started teaching the flute at Highbury Grove School in 2006, where she still currently teaches, and since then has developed her teaching skills in several other schools around London. She actively supported the development of the MiSST programme from the very start at Highbury Grove School and feels very passionate about making music learning as accessible and inspiring as possible. Marta was very fortunate to see two of her former students at Highbury Grove School, further their musical education at University level, one reading Music at Oxford University and the other studying flute at the Royal College of Music.

As a performer, Marta holds a BMus (Hons) and a MMus (Distinction) from the Royal College of Music, where she studied modern flute with Jaime Martin and then went on to receive specialisedtuition on baroque and classical flutes with Rachel Brown. Since graduating, Marta performs regularly with all the major period instrument orchestras and ensembles such as, Academy of Ancient Music, Florilegium, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, English Touring Opera, London Handel Orchestra and Gabrieli Consort and Players. She has given masterclasses on baroque playing, participated in several broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and recorded under the label of Hyperion and Chandos, amongst others. Marta was also awarded the Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians in 2009.

Natalie Wild – Deputy Director of Music and Director of Research

Natalie has been playing the violin and piano from a very early age. She attended Rugby School on a full music scholarship where she received tuition on the violin from Alan Broadbent and Jill Thoday. She then went on to read music at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she led both the Royal Holloway Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Holloway Philharmonic Orchestra. As well as performing the Bruch Violin Concerto, she also played in numerous university chamber ensembles, gave regular recitals, and led the RHPO on its tour to Hungary. Natalie is co-leader of the Finchley Symphony Orchestra.

Since completing her PGCE in 2013 at the UCL Institute of Education, Natalie has built up extensive experience as a successful head of department, most recently as Director of Music at Central Foundation Boys’ School. While in this role, she created a school orchestra which grew from a small chamber ensemble, to a large-scale orchestra able to tackle challenging repertoire. Natalie’s belief in the power of orchestral music to promote social equality among young people led to the department at CFBS becoming a MiSST school in 2018.

Natalie also enjoys coaching the first violins at the MiSST Saturday Music School, and is excited to play a part in the development of the organisation in the coming months and years.

 

Emma Cunliffe – MiSST School Support – Northern England

Emma studied at Chetham’s School of Music and the University of Birmingham. She has a PGCE from Manchester Metropolitan University. Whilst still at university Emma decided her heart lay in music education and she started out as a secondary classroom music teacher, moving on to be Head of Department in a comprehensive school of 2000 students. From there she joined the BBC Philharmonic team and from then she has worked at The Bridgewater Hall, The University of Huddersfield, Chetham’s School of Music running learning and engagement programmes and as a consultant for a number of other organisations. Emma is seconded to MiSST from Chetham’s and very excited about working with them to develop the programme in the North of England.

Olivia Hemmings – Operations Officer and MiSST Voices Lead

Olivia studied BMus Vocal Studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Here, in addition to her study of the voice she worked in a number of music education institutions. She worked practically with children and young people with additional support needs and nursery age children, as well as completing a number of research projects on music and child development. She continues to perform and puts on regular concert with her peers from RCS whose aim is to showcase classical singing and opera to local communities across the country.

Cyan Koay- Head of MiSST Alumni Association

Cyan was a student at Highbury Grove School and learnt to play the flute through the school’s music programme – which later developed to become MiSST! She went on to study music at the University of Oxford and, inspired by her secondary school teachers, joined the Teach First Leadership Development Programme in 2015. During her first two years as a primary school teacher, Cyan taught at the New North Academy and collaborated with MiSST to establish and lead the music programme in Key Stage 2. She also spent a year teaching at a primary school in Madrid and came back to the UK in 2018, joining the MiSST team as the Executive Administrator. Cyan is currently at the Department for Education, working on the government strategy to improve teacher recruitment and retention in England. Still passionate about MiSST, she now volunteers to build the MiSST alumni community.

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