Derby Music Centre is a really friendly place where music and friendships both flourish. Without it some pupils struggle to find the motivation to continue through the difficult times on their instruments, or while doing GCSE’s and A Levels; with it they blossom and come to love music even more, through the support of playing in groups, creating amazing memories, achieving high quality music and being part of something really special.
Derby Music Centre welcomes new players throughout the year. If you would like to join, or come and have a look around, please contact us and Christine the coordinator will get back to you with information about coming to see what we do, or details about becoming a member.
where are we based?
The team of people who are at DMC are made up of Director of Music, Coordinator, Administrator and Conductors, supported by a dedicated group of trustees and parent helpers.
Musical Director and Designated Safeguarding Lead
Bex has enjoyed a musical career since leaving Manchester following her BMus Hons, PGCE specialising in String Teaching and PGDip. In at the deep end in Bermuda as the head of the Menuhin Strings Foundation, this was the beginning of the journey of whole class instrumental teaching, long before it was introduced in the UK. But it was her passion for playing and performing that took her to Glasgow, where she played with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet including world tours, CD recordings, weekly radio 3 recordings, BBC Proms, and Edinburgh Festival performances.
While living in Scotland, she also taught violin and viola at the RSAMD Junior School, BMus and BEd courses. Bex moved to Derby in 2006 taking on the role as Area Leader for Music Development with Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership including Director of Music at DMC where she conducted Senior Strings until she had her first baby in 2013. Throughout her career Bex has taught on many string courses, played as a freelance violinist and taught violin, piano and flute.
Conductor City of Derby Youth Orchestra and Senior Strings
Vicky’s musical life began shortly after her 6th birthday when she began violin lessons at primary school. As a pupil of the highly renowned ‘Suzuki Method’ (music teaching pedagogy … not motorbikes!) she was quickly catapulted in to the world of large-scale ‘play-togethers’, once even travelling to London to attend a national event with Dr Suzuki himself!
A very busy musical childhood filled with Music Centre orchestras, choirs, Music Festivals and tours, led Vicky to continue study further with a Music Degree at Cardiff University. After graduating she moved home to Birmingham to complete a PGCE in Secondary Music where shortly after she started her first teaching post in Derby, working with who else but the infamous Tom Jones at a secondary school in the city.
A few years later she moved on to take a post as Head of Music elsewhere in the city (now working alongside the equally infamous Christine Blackmore!), where she taught for a further 15 years until a sideways step in to instrumental teaching.
Throughout most of the years Vicky has lived and worked in Derby she has played with the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a few other local orchestras.
In 2014 she began conducting at DMC, taking her love of orchestral music in a new and exciting direction. With the support of the Derbyshire Music Hub and DMC she was fortunate to participate in a Music Educator’s Conducting Course at the RNCM in 2015-16, which was hugely beneficial.
A definite highlight of Vicky’s years at DMC was conducting CDYO at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham in the National Festival hosted by Music for Youth in 2017, but on a day to day level, every part of working at DMC is a great source of enjoyment to her. “It is a real honour be part of someone’s musical development and I look forward to seeing many more journeys”.
Back to Our Team...
Conductor City of Derby Youth Band (covering for Tom Jones), Junior Wind Band and Swing Band
As a teacher Alan has worked in many different schools, colleges and university faculties with a career which spans forty years as a performer, composer, conductor and teacher. As a player he has enjoyed travelling across America, Canada and the whole of Europe with brass bands, and also as conductor/teacher of swing bands, choirs and wind ensembles, being fortunate to play at many of Europe and America's iconic concert halls. For 12 years, Alan also enjoyed a playing career in the prestigious "International Staff Band" of the Salvation Army meeting many famous musicians. His early playing career was in theatre orchestras and travelling West End Shows, such as "Cats", “The Sound of Music” and recently in the theatre production of "Brassed Off!”
During his time as a music educator he was principle lecturer in music at Sunderland College, head of the music faculty at John Port School and also as Head of Music at Durham Moorside School. He has been part of the City of Derby / Osnabruck music Exchange for twenty years, forging links with many choirs and bands in Derby's twin City of Osnabruck.
Alan works now in many of Derby’s city and county primary and secondary schools as a brass teacher, whilst enjoying teaching and conducting at Derby Music Centre, creating the opportunities that will inspire future musicians to experience the things that he has been so fortunate to be part of.
Conductor of Intermediate Wind Band, Senior and Intermediate Clarinet Ensembles
Peter studied clarinet at Birmingham Conservatoire and then completed his studies at the Royal College of Music on the Postgraduate Performance Diploma course. Since then he has performed in a wide range of countries across the world.
Since 2002 Peter has been an ensemble director at both Derby and South Derbyshire Music Centres. Alongside working with Senior Wind Band, Intermediate Wind Band and the clarinet ensembles, he is an accredited teacher for Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership. He also teaches clarinet at Trent College and teaches and conducts at Birmingham Conservatoire Junior School.
Conductor of Junior Strings and String Club
John started playing the cello from an early age, and played in the Derbyshire City & County Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra before going on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and the Royal College of Music in London.
Since 2006 he has been an accredited teacher in Derbyshire and started working for DMC in 2009. John enjoys creating fun arrangements for his groups and the highlight of his year is the rush hour concert where all the players in his groups get the chance to perform a little solo in front of a friendly audience.
In his spare time John enjoys chamber music and plays with the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra.
Conductor of Intermediate Strings
Rachel has been conducting at Derby Music Centre for over 20 years! Prior to joining DMC she completed a BMus(Hons) at Huddersfield University followed by a PGCE specialising in string teaching at the Royal Northern College of Music. Rachel has conducted a variety of different ensembles along the way but is currently work with Intermediate Strings. You may also see her pop up compeering at some concerts as she is Area Leader for Music Development in Derby City, a role which she job shares with Rebecca Maiden. She spends the rest of her time teaching violin in small group, individual and whole class groups and being a mum to 3 kids who all come to Derby Music Centre.
Twice a year Rachel also enjoys tutoring the 2nd violins at CCYO (Derbyshire City & County Youth Orchestra) on their residential courses – hard work, but brilliant fun and very rewarding for all! She also enjoys playing, being a regular member with the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra as well as playing for other local groups.
Conductor of Senior and Intermediate Flute Ensembles
Emily Fox is fun, energetic and loves the flute! She has a first class honours degree in Music from the University of Nottingham, where she specialised in contemporary flute performance. Now, as a teacher, she works with Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership, as well as Nottingham High School, teaching a range of flute, clarinet and bassoon. She performs regularly with a variety of ensembles across Nottingham and Derbyshire, as well as giving solo recitals where she really loves to play new and exciting repertoire for flute.
Conductor Intermediate Brass Ensemble, Samba and Wind Club
Ben Henderson started his musical adventures at a young age, starting out with the violin. Piano lessons soon followed, however his desire to make noise was not satisfied and he decided to start playing the drums. At the age of ten, realising the error of his ways, Ben took up the trombone and progressed through the ranks of his local music centre and county level groups. After graduating from music college, Ben has performed internationally with orchestras, folk bands, rock groups and jazz ensembles.
Conductor of Voices
Voices is directed by Katie Wood who works as a Singing Teacher as part of the Singing Support Team for the Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership. She visits schools across the county delivering a variety of singing projects in primary schools. She is also a peripatetic teacher of singing and piano. Katie studied Music with Performance (BMus) at the University of Huddersfield.
Alongside her work at DMC, Katie is a regular performer at many care homes in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. She also sings with different opera groups in her spare time including the National G&S Society and Trent Opera.
Music Centre Coordinator
Christine is the DMC Co-ordinator and is involved in most aspects of organisation: communication, social media, concert and event preparation, finance, data collation, occasional photography, supporting conductors, and most importantly helping families and students whenever possible.
Christine studied at London University, M.A. Educ., taught for more years than she is willing to admit to and now loves her very different role at DMC.