Teachers


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Caitlin Barnett

Musical Theatre, Drama and Dance Leader

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Caitlin is our Performing Arts Leader. After graduating from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in 2010, Caitlin went on to work as a dancer with eight years of professional performance experience. Commercial credits include Honda ‘Beautiful Precision’ campaign, Liverpool One Christmas campaign, Years and Years ‘Meteorite’ music video, VEVO, Vodafone, ITV and BBC Switch. Other credits include Secret Cinema, Future Cinema, Protein Dance - In(Visible) Dancing, and Rhiannon Faith Dance Theatre.

Caitlin has over ten years of teaching experience working with children as young as three years old through to seniors. She teaches across a range of dance styles including street-dance, jazz, tap, contemporary and musical theatre.

As well as working with aspiring dancers, Caitlin also works with theatre students at Epsom College; assisting with physical theatre and choreography for their devised work, as well as choreographing their co-curricular productions.

She is also a visiting choreographer at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

Alongside her teaching, Caitlin creates her own work with her company who have performed at Ignition Community Dance Festival (Elevate bursary winner), Resolutions, Move It, Laban, and Spontaneous Combustion Festival.

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Claire Parry

Choir Leader

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Claire is our Choir Superstars leader! Alongside her History degree at Oxford, Claire was a member of Oxford University Music Society, singing and playing her violin with many different ensembles, including OUO and was also a member of Oxford University Drama Society. Following her degree, she trained in Physical Theatre at Jacques Lecoq in Paris, during which time she also became a member of Choeurs et Orchestres des Grandes Écoles as well as singing in an a capella trio as part of the Musiciens du Metro scheme. Since moving to London she has developed her work in arts education and theatre, including performing and directing for The Three Inch Fools, leading outreach singing workshops with the London Bach Choir, as well as developing her one-woman show, Intolerable Side Effects.

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David Mabbott

Piano, Guitar and Saxophone teacher

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Uilleac Whelan

Violin and Piano Teacher
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David studied Music (BMus) at Newcastle University, where he graduated with First-Class Honours. He has been teaching for over ten years, with experience of all age groups, and he greatly enjoys helping children find and develop their passion in music. David is a multi-instrumentalist, with current performance projects including the band KYOTI. As a Musical Director David has worked on youth, amateur and professional productions across the country. He has been Artistic Leader for Music at Angel Shed Theatre, an inclusive theatre company, since September 2014, delivering workshops and writing shows with age groups from 5 through to 16.

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London-born Uilleac Pimenides Whelan began his musical life playing violin at his local primary school, but it was on discovery of the viola that he found his musical voice. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, Uilleac studied with Hélène Clement of the Doric Quartet, and he was winner of the Academy’s viola prize. He also completed studies with Roger Benedict at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Currently freelancing in the UK, Uilleac has a busy chamber music schedule including invitations to festivals in Britain and abroad. In orchestras he worked with conductors including Gustavo Dudamel, Oliver Knussen and Marin Alsop. His repertoire for the viola as a solo instrument is large and he’s recently played in masterclasses with Lawrence Power, Antoine Tamestit and Kim Kashkashian.

Beyond his regular viola playing activities, he enjoys making imaginative string arrangements and also plays the bass guitar and piano. Another growing interest is in performing the traditional modal Makam music of Turkey.

In his teaching of piano, violin and viola, Uilleac is enthusiastic about the importance of a holistic musical education for his students. Lessons approach music making from all angles and regularly include singing using Solfège. He is well versed in Kodaly and Dalcroze methods, and is currently a candidate for the Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music teaching diploma.

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Sheldon Agwu

Guitar and Drums Teacher

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Chris Ford

Brass Teacher & Hampden Gurney School Coordinator

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Sheldon Agwu is a Musician, Composer, and Guitarist from London, England.

He was first exposed to music by his Father and would accompany him to church every Sunday, which gave him his first insight into how music can connect and affect other people. By age 12 he picked up the Guitar and started to take it seriously, being heavily influenced by the great Blues players of the '60s & '70s, such as; Jimi Hendrix, BB King, and Albert Collins. He also has been influenced by a diverse selection of musical genres and has developed a strong affinity for all styles of music ranging from Jazz/ Hip-Hop, Soul, Rock/Fusion and Pop.

He studied music at City and Islington college and from 2008-2010. This was where he learned the skills necessary to succeed as a Professional Musician, subjects such as Music Business, Performance, Theory and Production was essential in giving him the tools that are needed in the ever-changing industry.

After college, he studied and worked under the direct tutelage of Scott McGill, (Senior Lecturer in Jazz Guitar and an Ensemble Director at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia) where he developed an even deeper love for Jazz Harmony and Composition.

Through this experience, he has also had the privilege of being Musical Director for numerous tribute shows in London. Performing at venues such as Jazz Café, and XOYO paying homage to Philadephia based band The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, and East London Grime outfit Ruff Sqwad.

He is currently spending his time Teaching and working in a variety of different artists such as Jordan Rakei, Ego Ella May, Ruby Wood, and Nathan Britton. Having been playing/working with Ninja Tune artist Jordan Rakei, for the past three years and he has been fortunate enough to support artists such as Nao, Bonobo, Jamie Woon, and Hiatus Kaiyote, as well as being a part of Headline tours in North America, Asia, Europe, and the UK. He graduated in 2016 with a Bachelors Degree in Education at Southbank University.

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Chris is a versatile freelance trombonist, based in London who graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2017, having previously studied at Chetham's School of Music and the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music. Chris regularly performs with a number of orchestras, big bands, chamber groups, pop groups, on shows and more; performing everything from Gabrielli and Monteverdi to Michael Jackson and Chic. Particularly highlights include performing with The Steve Waterman Big Band and The Hallé Orchestra.

Alongside a busy playing career, Chris is the Music Practice Supervisor and a low brass tutor at Harrow School as well as a brass teacher for Surrey Arts and The Arts Revolution.

As a musician, Chris is passionate about educating the next generation, equipping them with an understanding and appreciation of music so that it may enrich their lives for years to come.

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Nino Russell

Piano Teacher & Wendell Park School Coordinator

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Auguste Janonyte

Violin and Piano teacher

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Nino Russell is a British composer, multimedia artist and producer. He is currently undertaking doctoral studies in composition at the Royal College of Music under the supervision of Alison Kay, supported by the Kit and John Gander Award. His research arises out of modular sonorities and structures within his most recent works attributed to the 88 constellations.

Immersed in ethereal and haunting soundscapes, which often explore acoustic manipulation through the use of electronics, his diverse portfolio includes music for concert spaces, film and television. In 2018, Nino was awarded the Theodore Holland Composition Prize for his first opera Reign for voices, orchestra and electronics. The Seeds and the Sky for soprano and piano received its world premiere at the Leeds Lieder Festival 2018 who commissioned the work and its newly written text by poet David Coldwell.

Works for film include HEX (2017), an independent feature that received critical acclaim for its original score that was recorded with the Arcus Quartet. His music has been broadcast on Amazon Prime Video and ITV.

Under his eponymous label, a debut EP and LP respectively will be released in 2019 featuring singer/songwriter Dorothea Bartók.

Nino has taught piano, music theory and composition both in schools and privately across London for over 6 years.

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Lithuanian violinist Auguste Emilija Janonyte is a winner of the prestigious Young Musician 2011 International Contest for Pianists, Violinists and Cellists in Tallin, Estonia. At the age of 7 Auguste was presented with a Queen Morta’s Prize for musical achievements. Since September 2016 Auguste is studying as an ABRSM Scholar at the Royal College of Music in London with Professor Jan Repko.

She’s played solo with orchestras in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia and United Kingdom, in prestigious concert halls as Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society (Vilnius, Lithuania), the Academic Glinka Capella in St. Petersburg (Russia) and Liverpool Capstone Theatre (England).

In November 2017 Auguste joined Sparks Learning and Participation programme at the Royal College of Music where she frequently takes part in projects for children’s education such as 'Convo 2019' and works as a mentor with various Tri-Borough Music Hub’s ensembles in Hammersmith.

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Leoni Seville

Musical Theatre, Drama and Dance Teacher

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Stephanie Frankland

Saxophone, Clarinet and Flute teacher

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Leoni Seville is the Musical Theatre, Dance and Drama teacher at Hampden Gurney. She am a qualified professional actor having studied my Bachelors in Drama, and Masters in Professional Acting at Drama School ‘The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts.’ She have appeared in various short films and recently starred in Hurricane Theatre’s production of Peter Pan. Leoni also have qualifications in singing and dancing, having previously taught dance and singing workshops to children and adults.

Leaoni has been teaching ever since graduating from my undergraduate degree at Loughborough University. She has taught Drama at a secondary school in Surrey and once moving to London, and been been teaching performing arts for various companies in schools and venues across London.

Alongside my teaching, Leoni has her own company set up with fellow actors creating educational theatre that have performed at Edinburgh Fringe, and soon to be across London and the surrounding areas.

Leoni has a passion to support young actors, singers and dancers. She is keen to find hidden talents and also let children discover how the arts can truly inspire and create transferable skills that will be utilised throughout life.

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Stephanie Frankland is currently studying the saxophone, flute and clarinet with Martin Robertson and Andy Panayi in her third year at the Royal College of Music.

Stephanie plays tenor saxophone with the Aesthesia Saxophone Quartet, regularly coached by Kyle Horch. The quartet have attended the Nordic Saxophone Festival in 2017 and played as part of the Aegean Arts Festival in Crete in 2018. The quartet have taken part in concerts including at St James Church Piccadilly and Cadogan Hall. They also won the June Emerson Launchpad Prize in 2017 and 2018. Steph enjoys playing in shows, having played with the National Youth Musical Theatre’s new commission Billy the Kid in summer 2017 and A Little Princess in 2018. In the past year she has performed in the band for productions of Sweeney Todd, Hot Mikado, Cats, Anything Goes and West Side Story to name a few. Steph gets the chance to perform regularly while at the Royal College of Music, performing a premiere of a work for tenor saxophone, and performing with the RCM Big Band each term.