Our Board of Directors

Our directors are all members of Sound Sense, elected on to the board during annual elections and occasionally co-opted for their specific skills and experiences. Board members are actively involved in many aspects of our organisation, including developing policy and partnerships, advocacy at national and international forums, making sure we are financially sound and steering the activities of our staff.

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!)
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
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
Mark Bick
I am a community musician and trainer. After a music degree and teacher training, I worked with unemployed young people, and then was involved in starting Community Music Wales. I moved back to Gloucestershire and started what has now become The Music Works. I also worked in the West Midlands developing and leading training courses, including the Quench Arts New Horizons course, which has been running for nearly 20 years. I have gone through burnout, gone back to direct teaching rather than management and taken time out for childcare. The core of my work experience has been with young people who struggle with various barriers, including those excluded from school, who are looked after or have disabilities. I still play and gig, but not as often as I would like, and I love learning new instruments.
Carol Bowden
As a community musician, my passion is in working with diverse and at-risk communities, creating a welcoming and pedagogical space. I believe that music can be transformative, support health and wellbeing, build communities and support family relationships through trauma and recovery. As well as being open to my own learning and development through reflective practice and peer support, I have devised and delivered training for musicians and other professionals and believe that everyone's musicality can be nurtured. I have worked with Sage Gateshead, Local Authorities, Family Support Services and Music Hubs, to deliver inclusive opportunities for music-making for all ages and abilities. I specialise in early years and SEND and run Treble Time, my own business in music-making sessions for babies to under-fives and their grownups. I am committed to sharing my experience and knowledge as a facilitator and performer and helping to develop this wonderful Sound Sense community, believing that communication, teamwork and advocacy are at the heart of community music engagement and participatory music.
Sarah Fisher
I'm a freelance community musician in Gateshead, currently working with Drake Music, NE Music Hubs co-running the Inclusion Matters project, and am an avid performer too. As well as being a skilled practitioner, I studied BA Community Music at Sage Gateshead and an MA in community music at York St John University (ICCM) having developed a keen interest in research. As a musician with cerebral palsy, working with online platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about multiple challenges to my practice and experience of participants. I bring this knowledge to the Sound Sense board, as well as eagerness to change, challenge perceptions, and further opportunities for those from marginalised groups.
Kimberley Harper
Kimberley Harper
I am a community musician from East Lothian, Scotland. After graduating with a BMus (Hons) Community Music degree from the University of Aberdeen in 2022, I have been developing my knowledge of community music, from building strong relationships through community development youth work to assisting on community music projects with Scottish Chamber Orchestra. I am interested in learning new ways of using music to connect with everyone and am motivated to explore, develop and promote the world of community music.
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
Ashleigh Lowes
Ashleigh (she/her) is a community musician and vocalist from Sunderland. Currently studying a Masters in The Teaching Musician at Trinity Laban Conservatoire to further her skills and knowledge around the work she already delivers and is so passionate about. Ashleigh has extensive experience of participatory arts and working with various groups, settings and ages around the North of England. She is a project musician and the Gender Equality Programme Leader at Sage Gateshead. She aims to maintain an inclusive environment and believes that social change can be supported with the help of the arts sector. Showing how inclusivity is a term that signifies every individual can achieve and participate, no matter the barriers.
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.
Jessica Pitt
Fascinated by young children’s interest in and natural enjoyment of sound and music play, I am an early childhood music practitioner, trainer, lecturer, education consultant and researcher. I work as lecturer in music education at the Royal College of Music and I am interested in music research that has direct application to practice. I bring experiences of directorship of an early years arts company (Magic Acorns) and trusteeship of national charity MERYC England (Music Educators and Researchers of Young Children). I am motivated by a desire to make a difference for Sound Sense and its members; bringing a listening mind, heart, and the passion to support and develop Sound Sense in the coming years.
Holly Radford-James
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.

Our Staff Team

Clare Adams

General Manager

Claire Francis

Communications Manager

Basma Sbihi

Membership Coordinator