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.

Phil Iley

Phil has lived in Leicestershire all his life and after studying biology at university chose to join Leicestershire Police as a police officer. After 30 years in uniform and then a further ten as the PCSO and Volunteer programme manager he finally retired but has continued his involvement with the voluntary sector.

Married and with two teenage sons, Phil has seen first-hand the benefit and opportunities that music can give to young people. His eldest son is an accomplished musician playing percussion with the LSMS Wind Orchestra as well as playing piano and baritone sax for personal enjoyment

Such has been the impact of his son's involvement in music, Phil passionately believes that the opportunity to be involved in music and the arts should be available to all school children regardless of their background.

Having served as a Trustee and Vice Chair of an East Midlands Adoption Agency and as Chair of a Leicester based music charity, he joined the LMCT Board in the summer of 2018 in the hope of contributing to the development of music across the area for all young people.

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.

Asha Bishop

Asha was the Director of Music at a School in Essex for ten years, recently moving back to Leicester to become the Director of Music and Head of Performing Arts at English Martyrs' Catholic School. She has led a choir of 200 students and run Music Tours to France, Italy, and Hungary. Currently Asha leads the Education Improvement Plan for Music across Leicester and works with the Princes Teaching Institute.

A Violinist, from a young age, Asha grew up in Leicester and benefited hugely from the Music provision provided by Leicestershire Arts. Following this, she went on to study Music at the Birmingham Conservatoire gaining a Performance Degree on the Violin and Piano.

Asha was inspired to learn an instrument at a young age; provision that was offered free of charge. She believes that Music provision is a right for all young people, regardless of their background. Music should be a universal offer that sparks a love of Music for life.

Annie Bannister

Annie has been involved in music all her life, belonging to choirs and choral societies, both at school and since. Annie studied Cultural Studies at University and now works as a freelance Access and Inclusion Consultant for theatres and Arts Centres, specializing in advising on and running Relaxed Performances that enable children and adults with additional sensory needs to enjoy the magic of theatre.

Annie is also very involved in the SEND world in Leicestershire, where she has lived for twenty-three years, and is currently Co-Chair of the Leicestershire Special Needs Transitions Group as well as being a past Chair of both Leicestershire Parent Carer Forum and East Midlands Regional Parent Carer Forum.

Annie has two adult sons, one of whom has complex additional needs. Both her sons love music, the younger one having played a range of instruments all his life and continuing to do so now he is at University and her eldest one having been an enthusiastic member of Leicestershire enSENble group, where children and young people with the most complex special needs were encouraged to sing, play and compose music together, creating minor miracles every week.

Music is for everyone, no matter their level of ability or disability, wealth or poverty. Music matters and music shouldn't discriminate.