Vocal and instrumental tutors

See a list of our vocal and instrumental tutors. To contact our tutors, please email dmm@surrey.ac.uk.

Vocal and instrumental tutors

Alex was initially taught by his father and later he studied as an Exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music (RCM) with John McCaw, and with help from the Countess of Munster trust with Dame Thea King. He was second prize winner in the 1982 BBC Woodwind final of Young Musician of the Year. Whilst at the RCM he won several competitions including the Boosey & Hawkes National Competition and played as a soloist with many orchestras, including the Northern Sinfonia. He is the leader of the Thurston Clarinet Quartet, who have recorded several CDs for ASV.

He was principal clarinet for the City of Birmingham Touring Opera and the Carl Rosa Opera. Through his long association with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group he has broadcast for radio throughout Europe. In 2007 Alex was invited by the Associated Board to take part in recording the music for the 2008-2013 clarinet syllabus, and his CDs were sold at the back of the exam booklets.

Alex teaches at the University of Surrey and the Royal College of Music.

Caroline has been described as a violinist of 'poetic intensity' (Music and Musicians), 'rapt beauty and virtuosic distinction' (Gramophone) and 'a formidable soloist combining beauty of sound with infallible articulation' (La Nacion, Buenos Aires). As the violinist with the chamber ensembles Lontano, she has given recitals throughout the world and gave the Taiwanese premiere of Quartet for the End of Time.

As a period violinist she has appeared as guest leader with The English Concert, Florilegium, The Army of Generals and the Hanover Band, in addition to being principal violin of The Band of Instruments and the Martlet Ensemble in her home town of Oxford. Often to be heard on BBC Radio 3 and numerous other European radio stations, she also participated in the series “Women in Music” for Channel 4, and in a series about Beethoven for the BBC. Recent highlights have included Hummel’s arrangement of the Eroica symphony for piano quartet, with pianist David Owen Norris.

She has had the privilege of taking part in a great many premiere performances and of working with the foremost composers of our day. Her extensive discography ranges from 17th century Italian violin sonatas to numerous contemporary works, via such things as an alternative Four Seasons by Antonio Guido (Divine Art) and the first recordings of early 20th century piano trios for the British Music Society. She enjoys associations at King’s College, London and the universities of Oxford, Southampton and Surrey, and has worked with students all over Britain, including at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music, London. She works at the Paris Conservatoire, and teaches abroad in Italy, Taiwan, Argentina, Macedonia and MIT in Boston.

David sang as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral. He was awarded a choral scholarship to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he read music, following which he spent five years as a member of the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast.

Since moving to London, he has appeared as guest principal cello with the London Mozart Players, City of London Sinfonia, and Orchestra of St. John’s Smith Square, as well as performing extensively with the Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras. He has held the post of principal cello in the London production of Phantom of the Opera since 1998 and he is also currently Principal Cello of English Classical Players and principal cello of Southern Pro Musica.

In the field of chamber music, he is cellist and Artistic Director of Cirrus, a group drawn from top London performers. The group has recorded, toured and broadcasted extensively. As a member of Primavera, he has performed at the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room, and has appeared on a number of highly acclaimed CDs with both groups. Amongst his solo recording credits is a CD of the Brahms Double Concerto with Rolf Wilson, on violin, and Brian Wright conducting on the CRS label. In 2017 David recorded a CD of music from the Celtic Revival for cello and piano with pianist Peter Foggitt, alongside readings by his wife Sarah Hayhurst of the poetry and letters of W. B. Yeats, also on CRS.

As a teacher, David was Head of Strings at the Kent Music Academy from 1992-2010. Since 2000, he has taught cello at the University of Surrey. In addition he has taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and given masterclasses for the London Cello Society. From 2010-2017, he was Director of the annual Pro Corda cello course.

Alex graduated from Manchester University with a BA (Hons) in Music. He has a multi-faceted career as a pianist, composer, arranger and educator. As a jazz pianist, he has performed extensively at major venues such as the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar room, the Purcell room, Ronnie Scott’s, the 606 Club and Camden’s Roundhouse. A skilled arranger, Alex has worked with several top vocalists including Beth Hirsch (Air), Daisy Chute and Ana Silvera. In 2012 he collaborated with Ana Silvera on the ‘Oracles’ project for a sellout series of concerts at the Roundhouse in London. For this, he arranged Ana's songs for choir, small band and string quartet to much critical acclaim. 

More recently, he has also worked in London’s West End and in 2019 he was Associate Musical Director of the award nominated ‘A taste of honey,’ by Shelagh Delaney at London’s Trafalgar studios. ​His latest Original Jazz project, ‘Sonic Brew,’ has toured the UK and they performed a sell-out show at ‘The Love Supreme’ jazz festival in July 2019. The band has featured several high-profile jazz performers such as Ant Law, George Crowley, Thomas Gould, Kevin Glasgow and Dave O’Higgins.

For many years, he has specialised in jazz education, coaching individual students and ensembles as well as running short intensive courses. Alex worked as an ABRSM examiner for 15 years and he currently holds posts at the University of Surrey and Charterhouse School where his teaching areas include piano, composition and arranging. His teaching method has helped countless young pianists, arrangers and composers on their way, many of whom have gone on to have successful careers in music. 

Debbie studied flute at the Royal College of Music with both Graham Mayger and Edward Walker. Since leaving in 1976, she has pursued a varied freelance playing and teacher career. She is a member of the City of London Sinfonia and is a regular extra for several orchestras including the Royal Opera House.

During the 1980s she held the flute chair for the Phantom of the Opera and Sunset Boulevard. Debbie has taught at the University of Surrey since 2002. Prior to this appointment, she taught at Colchester Institute for six years and the Junior Department of the Guildhall School of Music for seven years. In 2015 Debbie qualified as a teacher of the Alexander Technique that not only helps students with postural problems but is greatly beneficial for performance anxiety.

Sarah's work as a trumpeter and saxophonist is diverse and wholly unique. Performances have included working with the Mercury award winning band, Elbow, Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto at the Southbank, London to the UK premiere of Stockhausen’s Abduction for saxophone and electronics.

Performing regularly on a range of instruments Sarah has appeared with Sting on his tour of Europe and DVD, On a Winters Night. She also opened singer Seal's Australian and European tours with a trumpet solo to audiences of 16,000. Past solo appearances include performing with the BBC Concert Orchestra with Christopher Warren-Green, concertos with RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Kwa Zulu Natal Philharmonic in South Africa with Eno Shao, and a performance of Ibert’s Saxophone Concertino with the UK’s critically acclaimed Aurora Orchestra.

Sarah won both the Royal Over-Seas League Competition Main Solo Award for Woodwind and Brass and the Making Music Award for Young Concert Artists in 2000. These accolades brought Sarah into the limelight, leading to broadcasts on BBC Radio 2, Classic FM and BBC Radio 3’s, 'In Tune'.

Maltese pianist, Maureen Galea, graduated with a BA (Hons) in Music and a PGCE from the University of Malta. After being awarded a scholarship by the Italian Government, she furthered her studies at the Conservatorio L. Cherubini in Florence, Italy. After obtaining an MMus with Distinction from the University of Surrey, she was awarded a PhD in Performance, her chosen area of research being performance and editing of music by Bohemian composers. During this time, she was under the guidance of renowned Czech specialist, Radoslav Kvapil.

Iona completed her MMus degree with Distinction, graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2008. Prior to that she completed her studies at the Royal College of Music. Since then, Iona has embarked on a busy freelance career throughout the UK.

Iona is currently based in London and performs regularly as an orchestral player and chamber musician, and combines this with her love of teaching. Using both bassoon and contrabassoon, she has travelled extensively throughout the world performing a wide variety of musical styles ranging from educational, classical to modern. Iona has enjoyed playing with many professional orchestras: BBC Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and English Chamber Orchestra.

Paul is responsible for laying down the low frequencies of Nik Kershaw’s band. In 1993, he was voted Best New Musician by the British Music Association and has since established himself as one of the UK's foremost studio bassists and active session musician.

Paul started his playing career comparatively late, having had no formal music training. He started playing bass in a gospel church at the age of 18 and shortly after this he went on to study music in the US and is now an honors graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston USA, and B.I.T, Musicians Institute of Technology in Los Angeles, California.

He received his first break in 1991, working with soul diva Lisa Stansfield and Gabrielle. Shortly after this, he went on to work with Chris Rea and played alongside Jools Holland as part of the Princes Trust Rock School. Later in the autumn of 1993, he started playing bass for Chris Norman, the former lead singer of Smokie. 1994 brought relocation to London to head up to the Academy of Contemporary Music’s bass school. Paul still found time in his busy schedule of full-time courses at the Academy to lecture live performance workshops and he is also a contributor for Guitar Techniques & Bass Guitar Magazine.

In 1997, Paul recorded a new studio album with Nik Kershaw and went on tour with him. Two year later, a second album with Kershaw followed. Since then, Paul has been touring and working as a music director and session musician with artists including:

  • 5Star
  • A1
  • Altered Image
  • Blazing Squad
  • BoneyM
  • Chris Norman
  • Chris Rea
  • Clarksville
  • Dane Bowers
  • Donny and Marie Osmond
  • Dside
  • Eban Brown
  • Enrique
  • Gabrielle
  • George McCrae
  • George Michael
  • Geri Halliwell
  • Jason Donovan
  • Liberty X
  • Lisa Stansfield
  • Mary J Blige
  • Midge Ure
  • Nik Kershaw
  • Odyssey
  • Paul Young
  • Phix
  • Rachel Stevens
  • Rose Royce
  • Simply Red
  • Sister Sledge
  • Sophie Ellis Bexter
  • T’Pau
  • Tavares
  • The DireStraits Experience
  • The Lighthouse Family
  • Toyah
  • Westlife.

Tom studied saxophone with Kyle Horch at the Royal College of Music, graduating with a first class Bachelor of Music degree in 2004. He then studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama on the Master of Music jazz course, graduating with merit in 2005.

As a freelance saxophonist, Tom has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the Aurora Orchestra and English Touring Opera. As a jazz musician, Tom has performed and recorded with John Taylor, the James Taylor Quartet and Mike Outram amongst others. 

Jedd Owen-Ellis Clark is a voice and singing specialist, practitioner, researcher, singer, writer and performer, teaching voice studies and practical vocal arts to actors, speakers and singers alike, at numerous conservatoire/university faculties and privately. He is a certified Fitzmaurice Voicework teacher, and gained a MA (Distinction) in Practice of Voice and Singing from Guildford School of Acting, unique in its holistic practical study of interdisciplinary voice and singing pedagogies; he was awarded the Faculty Award from GSA in the same year.  

Jedd has been actively involved throughout his life in many voice and singing styles, from poetry to prose, choral and sacred music to rock and pop, music theatre and classical styles, and folk and traditional song from around the world. He works with extreme voice styles, overtone singing and character voices among many styles. He has over 40 songs published, has recorded albums and toured with groups through Europe; he writes and records in his own studio. His last song recital encompassed 400 years of song in four languages, from baroque to 20th century, jazz standards, pop, rock and modern musical theatre.

Half way between academic skills and practical exploration, working across both artistic disciplines of speech and song, from primitive and physical voice release to improving technical skills and vocal performance development, he works with individuals’ voices to find a balance of strength and flexibility, breath flow and particularly presence; giving more openness to the voice and depth to performance.

As well as working with undergraduate and postgraduate students at Surrey, he teaches applied vocal anatomy, performer presence work, and voice-related subjects in other higher education (HE) institutions, including voice science, historical pedagogies in both speech and song, applied breath for speech/song, articulatory phonetics, vocal acoustics, accent work, voice and text, acting through song and vocal anatomy and physiology; and is developing a system of process, performance and presence as a developing path/tool for the performer, actor and singer. 

He has recently presented at international voice conferences on ‘Songs of Shakespeare’s time’, ‘Performance Anxiety’ and on the theme of ‘Fellowship Singing’, and the challenging question: “Why do we come together - to sing?”. He will be presenting at voice conferences in Australia and New Zealand in 2020. Using martial arts experience, a knowledge of body mechanics and reactive voice, he is currently working on a ‘Swords and Words’ workshops project to allow actors to interpret fight sequences seamlessly to include text. He also has a longer-term project of cataloguing, and re-interpreting Shakespeare’s songs, in research and performance. He presents workshops on ‘Performance Anxiety’, including presence and body:voice work, to enable performers to work ‘with’ the body’s reactive nature when ‘under pressure’.

He has previously taught extensively on the Vocal and Choral Studies BA at the University of Winchester, worked with Law students at Royal Holloway, and currently creates and delivers all of the voicework on BA Acting, BA Theatre and BA Acting for Film courses at the University of Chichester. He teaches voice and singing for the Musical Theatre BA course at the University of Portsmouth. He also teaches voice acting for CAPA International in London, with the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program. Alongside this, he works with a diverse range of voices, from swimming pool teachers to priests; and accent work for theatre, recently covering ‘The Weir’ by Conor McPherson at the Stables Theatre in Hastings.

At the University of Surrey, Jedd works with students taking Performance Studies (Voice) on various academic routes, from BMus, MMus, CMT and Tonmeister routes, and is also a visiting lecture at GSA.


Owen-Ellis Clark, Jedd (2019)  La educación de la voz:  Una nueva perspectiva in REVISTA EUFONIA - 081 (OCTUBRE 19) - Revisitar la educación musical en el mundo

Praxis / Research Interests

Vocal pedagogy, history and future in speaker, actor and singing training

Vocal physiology and performance terminology

Breath flow, management, awareness and somatic training across voice and singing styles

Presence in vocal performance: Psycho-physiological training and praxis toward performance

Developing reflective practice as an academic discipline for theatrical and performance training

How accents affect habits and habits affect accents

Undoing the exercise: Staying present with physiological voice work

The order of events: Physicalising and vocalising

The joy of communicating in the ‘same’ language; the physicality of words landing

Song in the time of Shakespeare

Affiliations and Memberships

British Voice Association

Incorporated Society of Musicians

Voice and Speech Trainers Association

Phonographic Performance Limited

Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society

Fitzmaurice Institute

Roy was educated at Dauntsey’s School, going on to study music at Goldsmith’s College, and singing under Alexander Oliver, William McAlpine and Rudolf Piernay at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After a career in teaching, Roy became a professional singer in 1998, joining the world famous choir of St Paul’s Cathedral the following year. In addition to the broadcasts, concerts, special events and daily services there, Roy sang with a number of Britain’s best chamber choirs and vocal ensembles, including the Clerks, the BBC Singers, Exaudi, Ex Cathedra, Tenebrae, the Gabrieli Consort and the King’s Consort.

More recently, he has been developing a career as a conductor. In addition to his own choirs Hart Voices (Fleet) and The Chantry Singers (Guildford), he is a regular guest conductor of a number of other groups including the Waverley Singers. He is also an occasional lecturer, editor, arranger and composer. His choral arrangements have been performed by the award-winning folk group Ninebarrow and also by the choir of the United States Navy Band, whilst his compositions have been performed by the choirs of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, Salisbury Cathedral School and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Roy has sung as a soloist with a number of UK-leading orchestras including the City of London Sinfonia, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the London Mozart Players. In addition to performances in London’s major concert venues, his work has taken him all over the country and throughout Europe as well as to Israel and the States. He has appeared on many recordings, film soundtracks and radio and television broadcasts, both at home and abroad.

After two years of training at the prestigious Purcell School of Music, Joe was awarded a scholarship at the Royal College of Music. Having graduated with first class honours, he continued his studies for a Masters in Performance, receiving a Distinction as an Ian Evans Lombe and Mary Dobson Scholar.

Joe has performed all over the UK and abroad in a huge array of musical contexts, ranging from work as a contemporary solo artist, to that of an orchestral, chamber, west end and session musician. He has appeared with numerous ensembles including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and London Sinfonietta, frequently featuring on national radio and television. More recently he has featured as guest principal percussion with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

Other collaborations include work with such internationally renowned musicians as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Stewart Copeland (The Police), Mark Ford, Daniella Ganeva, We Spoke Ensemble, Plus-Minus Ensemble and Nebojsa Zivkovic amongst many others.

From early on in her career Margaret has worked as a piano accompanist, playing for some of the first BBC Young Musician of the Year competitions. As a music student at Brasenose College (Oxford) she specialised in piano performance and as organ exhibitioner, directed the chapel choir and played for college services and concerts. She graduated with first class honours before postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music. She has pursued a varied career, teaching piano in numerous school and university music departments, and accompanying young musicians in competitions, auditions and recitals.

Frequently posted abroad with her husband's work in the Foreign Office, Margaret has taught in the british schools of Athens, Brussels and Bratislava. She has also performed with renowned soloists from Greece, Turkey and central Europe, giving recitals and masterclasses in the conservatoires and festival series of Ankara, Bratislava and Athens.  Abroad, she worked as musical director for many shows, pantomimes, cabarets and revues.

Margaret has recorded a number of CDs the earliest of which, with The Holywell Ensemble, was included in the BBC Music magazine's top 50 CDs of the year. She has premiered and recorded specially commissioned works, and with The Holywell Ensemble she has performed at major venues including London's South Bank and the Wigmore Hall. She has toured for the British Council and recorded for the ABRSM graded examinations.

After reading French and Italian at the University of Cambridge, where she sang as a choral scholar in Clare College Chapel Choir, Jennifer studied on an ENO Baylis course, before completing a postgraduate vocal diploma with distinction at Trinity College of Music.

Jennifer has performed with various vocal ensembles in the UK and abroad, including the BBC Singers, and she is a member of the professional choir of All Saints Margaret Street in London.

Jennifer was for many years a teacher in residence for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. She currently teaches singing to undergraduates and masters students on the performance course at the University of Surrey, is a visiting teacher of singing at Wellington College in Berkshire, and has a large number of private students. Jennifer has a particular interest in the Alexander Technique, which she has been studying for the past six years, and whose principles she integrates into her singing and teaching.

Paul Thomas is an experienced teacher and performer in many styles of guitar.

After initially taking up the electric guitar he studied classical guitar at the London College of Music and Trinity College of Music.

Paul was a founder member of the Tetra guitar quartet with whom he recorded and toured extensively. He has been a regular performer in London and the UK as both a blues/jazz guitarist and classical guitarist. Paul is currently recording and performing with the mezzo soprano Lita Manners and with his own blues band.

On graduating from the Royal Academy of Music, David worked with every orchestra in London and made recordings for numerous artists including Nigel Kennedy, Placido Domingo, Sir Cliff Richard and many others. West End work has included performing in shows such as My Fair LadyThe Sound of MusicMiss Saigon and many others. Film work has included appearing in the Mike Leigh film, Topsy Turvy, and playing on the soundtrack, recording for movies and television – one of his favourites was playing on Wallace and Gromit: a Matter of Loaf and Death. As well as a career as a freelance trombonist he has also been principal trombone at English National Opera.

David has travelled and performed in over 47 different countries and has had a concerto written for him. When not performing his time is taken up with teaching and coaching, specifically at the junior department of the Royal Academy of Music, University of Surrey, Charterhouse School, Trinity School in Croydon, Lancing College, Epsom College, Reigate Grammar School and working for The National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain, Thames Youth Orchestra and EYSM course.