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Mentor profiles

Our established links to the music industry have generated a long and diverse list of contacts who are making active contributions across the world of music and performance. From traditional routes such as musical performance and theatre to event management and even the sciences they’re making an impact in a wide variety of music related fields.

The experience and knowledge of these experts feeds directly into nurturing the talents of our current students through the new ‘Music Mentors’ scheme. Through the initiative, we invite 12 professionals from the music industry to support students through networking, skills development and even music work placement opportunities.  The diversity of the professionals involved really showcases the quality and variety of musical influences you’ll be exposed to on our music courses.

Watch this space to find out more about how students get on, but for now take a look at their some of the highlights, successes and experiences of our ‘Music Mentors’:

Heidi Talbot - Folk-singer/songwriter

Heidi Talbot was born in Ireland, became a folk star in the USA as a member of the Irish American band Cherish the Ladies, and now lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. From her gossamer voice to the delicate re-working of traditional and contemporary material that has earned her rave reviews for her records and Live performances. Over the past ten years Heidi has performed all over North and South America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand performing in the finest Concert Halls and International Festivals. Heidi has been nominated for Folk singer of the year and Best Traditional Song by BBC Radio 2, Best Live Act by the Scottish Traditional Music Awards and Best Female Vocalist at The Irish Music Awards.

Learn more about her work

Heidi Talbot

John McCusker - Folk instrumentalist and songwriter

John has long been renowned for his skill at transcending musical boundaries. As a live and studio guest he has shared stages with Paul Weller, Paolo Nutini, Teenage Fanclub, Graham Coxon and Eddi Reader. Since 2008, he has been a member of Mark Knopfler’s band. An expanding portfolio as a producer features debut albums by Kris Drever and Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble. Film and TV work includes soundtracks for the movie Heartlands (2002) and 16 Years of Alcohol (2003), Billy Connolly’s World Tour of New Zealand (2004), and Jennifer Saunders BBC sitcom Jam and Jerusalem (2008). John was awarded the coveted BBC Radio 2 Musician of the Year in 2003 and also The Spirit of Scotland Award for music in 1999 and again in 2009. 2016 saw John receive the Good Tradition Award and perform with his band at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards at The Royal Albert Hall.

Learn more about his work

John McCusker

Jonathan Pool - Music therapist

Dr Pool works both as a music therapist and researcher, specialising in neurorehabilitation. He was awarded a PhD for his research in brief group music therapy to address cognitive functional gains and emotional needs of adult brain injury survivors in community rehabilitation. Jonathan spends the majority of his time working in paediatric neurorehabilitation. His clinical work includes developing interdisciplinary cognitive interventions for children and young people with acquired brain injury. As a researcher, he is dedicated to developing the knowledge base on the use of music and music therapy in assessment and intervention for people with acquired brain injury.

Learn more about his work

Jonathan Pool

Angus Havers - Media composer

Angus Havers is a London-based music composer with his own broadcast production studio. He is a former chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir School, where he learned his grounding in classical music. From here, he became a music scholar at Stowe School, performing the cello and piano in various orchestras, whilst being head of the choir as well as learning bass guitar with world-renowned jazz musician, Paul Westwood. He graduated with a Masters degree from the National Film and Television School in 2002 in Composing Music for Film and Television. His animation graduation film ‘Brand Spanking’ won the Royal Television Society Awards and was the only nomination for the student Oscars. Angus has frequently collaborated for TV commercials such as ToyotaNestle and the Royal Bank of Scotland, with feature film scores under his belt for CharmLepel, Fly Fishing (which won the best score at the California Independent Film Festival awards in 2003) and All the Children Are Sleeping.

Learn more about his work

Angus Havers

Bill Bruford - Rock and Jazz drummer/writer

Bill Bruford enjoyed a 41-year career as a musician and teacher before stepping back out of practice in 2009 to investigate aspects of creativity and performance psychology. Having acquired his doctorate from the University of Surrey in 2016, he is now an unaffiliated early-career scholar and published author. He has given lectures and seminars at multiple European and North American music institutions. Dr. Bruford was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the group ‘Yes’ in 2017”.

Learn more about his work

Bill Bruford

Khuljit Bhamra - Table-player/composer/MD/producer and arranger

Kuljit Bhamra MBE Hon DMus (born 1959) is a British composer, record producer and musician whose main instrument is the table. He is best known as one of the record producers who pioneered the British Bhangra sound and for his many collaborations with musicians from different genres and continents. His MBE was awarded in the Queen's Birthday Honour's List 2009 with the citation For services to Bhangra and British Asian Music. In July 2010 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the University of Exeter. 

Learn more about his work

Kuljit Bhamra2

Matt Holland - Sessions musician/vocalist/keyboard/trumpet 

Matt Holland has been performing all around the world for the Last 20 years with the likes of Van Morrison, Roger Daltrey, Lisa Stansfield, Wet Wet Wet, The Hoosiers & Burt Bacharach. He has also performed on Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing on Ice.

& The X-Factor Final with Robbie Williams. He toured extensively with Van Morrison from 1994 - 2006 performing over 1000 gigs and recording 8 albums & from 2003 – 2006 acted as his Musical director. Beside his own music being featured on Jazz FM, he has also recorded Grammy Award Winning Albums with singers as diverse as Ray Charles, Daniel Beddingfield & Roger Daltry.

Learn more about his work

Matt Holland

Mel Seabrook - Teacher in Charge of Music and PSHE Lead

Mel has always had an interest in teaching pedagogy.  This stemmed from teaching piano to small children as a part-time job as a teenager.  As part of her Music Degree at Brunel University she wrote a piano tutor book for young children that drew on teaching methods relating to Jolly Phonics (a multi-sensory teaching approach) and engaging parents in the learning process.  After graduating she completed her PGCE in Music Education and secured a Music Teacher job in a Secondary School.  She is now responsible for running the department, ensuring a successful delivery of Music across the whole school along with the running of extra-curricular activities.  

Learn more about her work

Mel Seabrook

Georgina Cooke - Flautist/composer/private tutor/flute specialist

Georgia Cooke (1994) is a British flautist and composer, living and working in London, UK. She specialises in contemporary classical and free improvisation performance. Her current projects include playing with Ensemble Entropy alongside Matt London, performing original works based on graphic scores and free improvisation; presenting lesser known contemporary works with flexible ensemble; Crosscontemporary Project; singing soulful jazz standards with her trio Bouffant; and premiering her own compositions.  When alone, she performs solo flute music, specialising in living composers. Georgia composes in a number of styles, from contemporary minimalism, to 21st century romanticism. Current projects include expanding the repertoire for flute choir, working closely with Trinity Laban flute choir.

Learn more about her work

Georgia Cooke

Tina Speed - Arts administrator/grants and programs manager/PRS for Music Foundation

In 2019 Tina joined the PRS Foundation from Arts Council England. She is responsible for managing PRS Foundation’s New Music Biennial, Beyond Borders, Composer’s Fund and Resonate programme as well as contributing to the management of the Open Fund for organisations and music creators. Tina has previously worked for London Sinfonietta, Society for the Promotion of New Music (which formed part of Sound and Music) and studied music at Brunel University.

Learn more about her work

Tina Speed

Tony Hanton - Programming coordinator at the Royal Albert Hall 

Toby graduated from Brunel in 2014 having worked on all kinds of events in various capacities whilst studying. This experience led him to his first professional job, as a technician in an arts and events venue in Shoreditch. He moved through a few different roles there, eventually becoming a producer, and started working with the director on building the venue's music programme. Toby spent a year building up his network and learning the ins and outs of putting on shows at that scale, then secured a role in the Programming team at the Royal Albert Hall. He’s since booked all sorts of shows, from Mariah Carey to the Queen's 92nd birthday party, and is currently helping put together the programme for the Hall's 150th anniversary in 2021.

Learn more about his work

Toby Hanton

Carly Bryant -  singer/ songwriter/ choir director   

Carly Bryant, is a professional singer songwriter and musician who in the last decade has performed extensively in the USA, South America, Australia and Europe. Highlights include Webster Hall in New York, Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and playing to a whopping 70 thousand people at the biggest rock festival in Brazil, 'Joao Rock'. Carly graduated from Brunel in 2004 and became a touring rock pianist/singer, releasing 6 original albums to date.

Learn more about her work 

carly bryant

 

Finnola D'Albert

Finn's journalistic career started with writing for Artrocker magazine before she even graduated studying Creative Music and Technology at Brunel. After university she continued her work as a musician and journalist, eventually moving into factual television development while starting her own music webzine, Raw Meat. She currently composes music for film with her writing partner Kerry Leatham, continues to act as Editor-in-Chief of Raw Meat and works in the content development department of Warner Music Group.

Learn more about her work 

Finnola D’Albert