Meet the Trustees

Mike Griffiths

At school, music, particularly singing, was Mike's favourite extra-curricular activity, although he also enjoyed the sciences and maths which he studied in years 12 and 13. At university, he studied chemistry and spent several post-graduate years carrying out chemical research. At the same time, he sang in a range of choirs experiencing large scale and chamber repertoire. Mike trained to teach and moved to a Head of Science post in Leicester in 1982. He and his partner sang for a period of time in The Leicester-Shire Chorale. Apart from a short break in Nottingham, Mike has been associated with Leicester-Shire Schools ever since 1982, having been a Headteacher in both a city and a county school. Mike has always wished to see young people experience a balanced curriculum, including the arts. Both his daughters were involved with 'Leicester-Shire Arts' and their current jobs involve music today.

Mike is passionate that all young people should have the chance to make music and is worried that music will become too expensive for many children to take part in as public funding for the arts and arts in education/schools reduces. Hence, his keen involvement in setting up and becoming a trustee of LMCT.

Paul Handford

I grew up in Leics attending Gartree and Beauchamp schools in Oadby then onto Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham where I studied Quantity Surveying. After gaining my degree I worked in London for two years before qualifying as ARICS. I spent the next three years in Lagos, Nigeria and the following five in Singapore before returning to Leicester where I bought into a scaffolding business.

30 years later I am now retired but spending my time getting involved in various building projects, mostly renovation, and helping to run my village hall as chairman and my Tennis Club as treasurer.

Our two children progressed through Leics Arts and our son met his now wife as a result so I feel indebted to the Service!

I share the goal that all children in Leicester/shire should have the opportunity to discover music making and those that show enough enthusiasm and ability should be supported as far as possible.

Leon Spence

After pursuing a career in revenues and benefits administration, changing family circumstances meant that Leon threw himself into the world of politics and community involvement.

Leon has been a councillor for six years including stints chairing the overview and scrutiny committee for children and families at County Hall and providing support and advice to cabinet members. Leon is also an experienced school governor sitting on the governing body of two schools including spending a number of years as a vice chairman of governors at a county secondary school.

In addition to his other commitments, Leon sits on the management committee / trustees of a number of charitable organisations including the Leicester-Shire Music and Cultural Trust.

Leon writes on the subject of politics for a number of high profile organisations including Huffington Post, i-news and The Catholic Universe.

Having played the church organ himself for many years Leon is convinced that music can change the lives of children in Leicestershire for the better; whether encouraging talented young musicians into the professional ranks or giving children from deprived backgrounds the chance to enjoy the discipline and opportunities learning an instrument can bring.

You can contact Leon by email at

Mike Staunton

Mike has lived in Leicestershire all his working life, teaching in both the city and county, eventually becoming a Headteacher in the primary sector. He has now retired and continues to support activities that develop young people.

He has always believed if young people are going to be well rounded and successful as adults their education should be more than the basic curriculum. Throughout his career he has been involved in promoting many extra curriculum activities which have helped to develop the physical, mental, academic and emotional well being of his pupils. These young people have grown immensely from the opportunities provided for them thereby enhancing their lives and encouraging lifelong learning as something pleasurable and enjoyable.

Mike believes music benefits us in many ways. It can improve visual and verbal skills; keep the brain healthy through exercise; strengthen the heart by singing; improve sleep quality, boost your immune system, increase happiness and wellbeing so help to reduce depression and anxiety.

The opportunity to be a Trustee of the Leicestershire Music and Cultural Trust has allowed him to continue supporting young people in a positive manner allowing them to learn, play and enjoy music.