Our Board of Directors

Our board of directors are all members of Sound Sense, elected on to the board by other members. Each member is elected for a three-year period, with one third of board stepping down each year, allowing us to keep a yearly board election.

We currently have 12 dedicated board members, actively involved in the many aspects of the organisation. Our board control the overall policy of the organisation, makes sure it is financially sound and steers the activities of its staff.

Siggy Patchitt
Siggy spent his early career as a community musician in the South West, working in schools and youth settings using Music-Based Mentoring and Social Pedagogy to help young people from diverse backgrounds develop a lifelong love of music. He took a desk job in 2010 as a member of the Colston Hall Education team, which was later to merge with the local Music Service to form Bristol Plays Music, the Hub Lead organisation for Bristol. Since 2015, he has been leading on 'A New Ambition for Inclusive Excellence' a three year, Youth Music funded mission to make musically inclusive practice something that is built-in to the way hubs work, not bolted on. Siggy currently spends most of his time preparing the groundwork for the opening of the National Centre for Inclusive Excellence in September 2018. He has a Cockapoo called Gandhi, loves olives and Rush, almost joined the army once, was a ski instructor in another life and has just got into sewing!
Jess Abrams
Jess is a musician and music practitioner. Her work is largely with young people who are hard to reach, young offenders and young people in care and/or supported by social work. As well as facilitating workshops, Jess is the director of the Edinburgh Youth Music Forum, working with music practitioners to explore, develop and share practice, She also lectures in Community Music and Music Education at Edinburgh College. She has an MSc in Music in the Community from the University of Edinburgh but was a practitioner long before she held the degree! Jess is from New York but has lived in lovely Edinburgh for 20 years. She is a vocalist playing gigs whenever she can (never enough gigs!) to feed her heart and soul (rarely does it feed her wallet!)
Joe Crofton
Having worked in community music for over 20 years, I am very committed to the power music can play in building communities, its healing qualities and the strength it has to empower people. My background is in participatory music activity, engaging challenged young children in music to bring about change in their life. I have worked in a variety of places, such as prisons, community centres, schools and music studios. I recently finished a course with School for Social Entrepreneurs, SSE & Arts Council England Building Resilience Programme, an arts council funded course lasting a year. I am one of five co-directors at Leicester based participatory arts charity called Soft Touch Arts. I am also a community governor at Ellesmere Academy, which is an SEND school in Leicester, one of the largest of its kind in the UK
Rebecca Denniff
As a community musician, and founder/director of Flash Company Arts, I spend my days working with people of all ages, delivering and facilitating inclusive music making and empowering other aspiring community musicians to do the same. I lead community choirs on a weekly basis, deliver training sessions for a variety of organisations, and sit on the NYMAZ Early Years Network steering group. Community music is my passion, I believe that music enhances lives and over the years I have seen relationships forged and communities brought together in astonishing and lovely ways. I previously served on the Sound Sense Board and hope to be re-elected to continue to support this amazing organisation and advocate the power of community music
Sarah Fisher
I'm a percussionist and pianist based in Gateshead. I graduated from the BA Community Music degree at Sage Gateshead in 2015. I now work as a trainee Associate Musician for Drake Music and a project musiscian at Sage Gatehead. I am also a freelance musician working on various projects around the UK. I also have a disability - cerebral palsy. This affects my left side and speech. Due to my CP I have adapted and found ways to deliver sessions and perform without my disability having an impact on me or the participant's progress. I believe that having an understanding of being disabled and working professionally helps gain insight into different approaches to practice which may benefit others
Xenia Horne
As an organisation Sound Sense has an invaluable body of knowledge and experience and a generosity of spirit which is unique and plays an essential role in supporting colleagues, many of whom are working in solo. Advocacy is key, looking outwards to collaborate and form new partnerships alongside supporting music at the heart of communities. Recently I've been making music with refugees, young people at risk of exclusion, inter-generational projects in care homes and free gigs in care homes, libraries and hospitals. I am delighted to have been elected back on to the board for a second time and I am looking forward to sharing my experience, to sustain and develop the workforce at this crucial time
Tim Palmer
I am head of Music Education at Trinity Laban Conservatoire where I lead programmes that blend educational & participatory approaches to create a versatile workforce for varied professional contexts. I have a particular interest in using research to help develop practitioners across all sectors. My professional history is as an orchestral and a community musician: Music Director of Sound Futures YMAZ, and Musician in Residence at both Ironbridge Gorge Museum and the National Maritime Museum, amongst much work in orchestral outreach & learning. I previously served on the Board of Trinity Laban, and of the Madcap Arts Trust.
Marina Perryman
As an experienced, active, freelance community musician, I have insight into many community music contexts. I lead music in healthcare through Wishing Well for children and people with dementia. I lead community choirs for groups supporting singing for health research through the Sydney de Haan centre. For AudioActive and Rhithmix I work with young people in diverse challenging circumstances and those with special educational needs and disabilities. I led Music Leader training at CM for three years. With an enquiring mind and endless passion about music as a force for positive change, I am committed to supporting collaborative development of the field.
Holly Radford
Holly is Producer at MAC, Makes Music, a Youth Music Fund C programme aiming to strategically influence musical inclusion, based at the Midlands Arts Centre. Holly grew up as a family carer and consequently developed a passion for inclusion within the arts, especially music. Holly has experience of managing music making programmes with a broad variety of adults and young children. Holly is a passionate advocate for creative inclusive music making opportunities that are person-centred and brings a range of experiences to the Sound Sense board.
Shannon Stevenson
Shannon Stevenson is a classical violinist/Scottish fiddler and a recent graduate of the BMus (Hons) Community Music degree at the University of Aberdeen. Whilst there, she began her learning as an active music practitioner by running a music project in primary schools based on prior research and observation. Additionally, Shannon was a support musician at Big Noise Torry, enabling her to gain invaluable experience and further her confidence in the field. She is currently a freelance musician working with Scottish Opera. By joining the Sound Sense board, Shannon hopes to contribute to the development of the Community Music field.
Salman Toheed
Salman Toheed is currently studying Popular Music at Goldsmiths. He has collaborated with other musicians, worked with different performers and composed music for media students. Over the past few years he has gained experience of working in the recording studio, producing his own songs as well as producing for others. As a Youth Ambassador for Music in Norwich, Salman helps young musicians to find themselves as a musician by helping them find places to perform, build their confidence and help them write their own songs. Salman makes music to inspire others to be themselves and has an interest in Music Therapy.
Ceri Tippetts
I am a practitioner, lecturer, drummer and dyslexic based in Cardiff. I have been working in and developing my understanding of community music practice for over a decade. I lecture in workshop leadership at RWCMD, and realised early on that the practice that I teach and demonstrate must be of excellent quality for all participants; pupils and students. At the centre of all my teaching is the intention to aid my students develop their own authentic leadership practice, based on their musicianship, through learning experiences and reflective practice. As a practitioner I have delivered projects across Wales and I spent the last year studying with the National Centre for Inclusive Excellence in Bristol. As a trustee I wish to promote and develop the opportunities to engage in practice development and the training Sound Sense provides, to ensure the next generation of leaders are equipped to deal with a changing sector. In addition I would like to provide a Welsh perspective to the organisation

Sound Sense Team

Åsa Malmsten

Åsa is director of Sound Sense. Passionate about community music, she feels truly honoured to be representing so many amazing professionals working in the field!

Åsa worked as producer for Welsh National Opera for nearly 10 years. During this time she worked extensively in community music, commissioning brand new work for young audiences, working in schools as well as hard to reach communities, early years music settings, elder and dementia care and at risk youth groups.As a freelance project manager Åsa has delivered projects in SEND settings as well as formal and informal music education. She is also an experienced coach and mentor.

A passionate believer in the power of community music, Åsa advocates for the impact of music, to break down barriers, connect divided and disparate groups, in health care, music education and vulnerable people in hard to reach communities.

Åsa lives in Cardiff with her two cats. She is a keen gardener and lover of the great outdoors.

Clare Adams
Members' Coordinator

Clare works part-time for Sound Sense looking after everything do with our membership scheme: if you've got a query on insurance, DBS checks, subscription payments, Find a Musician or any other aspect of membership then please get in touch.

When not at her Sound Sense desk Clare is a professional bassoonist and versatile music educator, working with people of all ages to develop their music-making skills and enjoyment. It's difficult to say what she does that doesn't involve music (it's everywhere isn't it?) but she loves the great outdoors, exploring on either two feet or two wheels.

Come and join us
Membership of Sound Sense offers some brilliant benefits, which are all about supporting you in your work.