Chris Fower, Director of Education, Warwick Music Group
During his career in music education Chris taught extensively in one-to-one and group lessons at all levels in both state and private schools and the Royal College of Music Junior Department. He has tutored on numerous county level courses and was Musical Director of Hertfordshire Youth Jazz Ensemble. Chris has enjoyed a variety of other music education roles including “Leader of Wider Opportunities” for Hertfordshire Music Service and “Leader for Instrumental Development” for Derbyshire City and County Music Partnership” alongside working extensively as a mentor and teacher trainer, most notably as part of the face to face team for Trinity Guildhall in their delivery of the Open University’s “KS2 Whole Class Instrumental Music” training program. Chris was a lead member of the team that originally created, manufactured and marketed pBone and has already delivered workshops, master classes and training all over the world for both pBone and pTrumpet. Chris is delighted to now be Director of Education for both the Warwick Music Group and the charity Brass for Africa.
Chris completed his undergraduate studies in jazz and contemporary music at Leeds College of Music and was a full-time, performance post-graduate at The Royal Academy of Music for two years as a member of the Advanced Course, during which time he was bass trombone with the European Community Youth Orchestra.
He has worked widely as a professional performer for over twenty-five years performing extensively in orchestras, big bands, music theatre and numerous diverse ensembles including Grimethorpe Colliery Band, The Creative Jazz Orchestra, Dame Shirley Bassey’s Orchestra and the Michael Nyman Band. Chris recently performed with the City of Leeds College of Music Alumni Heritage Big Band in a gala concert to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Colleges’ foundation.
Becca Pope, Education Consultant (UK)
Becca is the publishing manager at Warwick Music Publishing and also also an Education Ambassador for the company which involves me going into school and the community delivering projects and encouraging children and adults alike to join our pFamily.
She studied trombone at the Royal Northern College of Music and enjoyed playing professionally with various ensembles, most notably the award winning all-female trombone quartet Bones Apart. After finishing the Royal Northern College of Music, Becca taught for various music services around the North West incorporating teaching and playing. She was involved with the pilot of Wider Opportunities which made her decide to train as a classroom teacher. After teaching in Key Stage 2 (7-11 year olds) for 5 years I stopped teaching full time to have a family.
Becca adds, “I now have the best of both worlds teaching some of the time in school but also delivering varied education workshops for pBone, pTrumpet and pBuzz. It is wonderful to see the impact that our products can have on the musical education of young people and it makes me very proud to be a part of it.”
John Wood, Education Consultant (Asia)
John Wood was born in the UK and studied tuba in London at the Royal Academy of Music under Patrick Harrild of the London Symphony Orchestra and in Manchester at both the Royal Northern College of Music and Chetham’s School of Music.
John has performed with professional orchestra’s such as the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, China National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Manchester Hallé Orchestra, Britten-Pears Orchestra and ensembles including the London Philharmonic Orchestra Symphonic Brass Ensemble, Black Dyke Brass Band and brass quintet. He has also recorded for Sony Records and BBC Television & Radio and in Beijing is an active musician on the studio recording session scene (movie soundtracks, TV, Radio, and Pop artists). As a soloist, John has recently performed with the China Dunshan Symphonic Wind Orchestra where he was Principal Tuba for the 2010 – 2011 season. John is also the founder and Artistic Director of the City Brass Ensemble.
A highly committed educator, John’s work includes teaching at the Western Academy of Beijing, International School of Beijing, Beijing City International School and Dulwich College International School of Beijing. John has also coached the brass for the Beijing Youth Orchestra and has presented Tuba and brass chamber ensemble master classes at renowned institutions such as the China Conservatory of Music, Beijing. John plays a Denis Wick 2L tuba mouthpiece and in 2016 was delighted to become an education ambassador for Warwick Music Group having led pBone and pTrumpet circles at the Shanghai Children’s Art Theatre.
Keith Dye, Education Consultant (USA)
Keith G. Dye is the Interim Director of the Texas Tech School of Music and Associate Professor of Music Education. He holds the Doctor of Education in College Teaching of Music from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, a Master of Arts in Music Education from West Texas State University, Canyon, TX, and the Bachelor of Music Education from Morningside College, Sioux City, IA. Dr. Dye’s primary areas of research interest are music educator preparation and best practices and the effective use of desktop videoconferencing in delivery of music instruction. He has been published in leading journals and regularly presents nationally on these topics.
Dr. Dye is a member of the Texas Tech University Teaching Academy as well as a Service Learning Fellow. He was the recipient of the Texas Tech Alumni Association New Faculty Award in 2009.
In service to the music education community, Dr. Dye is President – Elect of the Texas Music Education Association (TMEA), the world’s largest music education organization with over 16,000 members. In this capacity he serves on the Executive Board of TMEA and contributes a monthly column to The Southwestern Musician. Locally, he is the creator and ongoing liaison for the Texas Tech/Lubbock ISD Fine Arts Alliance. This initiative seeks to maximize all fine arts activities and opportunities between the two entities for the mutual benefit of all students, faculty and community.
At Texas Tech University, Dr. Dye teaches undergraduate classes in Band Techniques of Instruction and Brass Instructional Methods. On the graduate level, Dr. Dye teaches the Band Director Workshops, Applications of Technology in Music Education, Psychology in Music, Instrumental Rehearsal Analysis, and Teaching Music in College. Formerly, Dr. Dye was Assistant Director of Bands working with all aspects of the athletic and concert band activities at TTU.
Dr. Dye serves as an instructional consultant to school districts across Texas and maintains activity as an adjudicator through the Texas Music Adjudicators’ Association. Formerly a public school band director, he has more than 35 years of successful experience with groups on all levels of instruction. Dr. Dye’s ensembles have earned numerous awards and a reputation for a consistently high level of musical excellence. He has presented clinics on instrumental music education techniques and strategies at state and national conventions and served as conductor of various regional and all-state ensembles. Most notably, the Texas Lutheran University Symphonic Winds was invited to perform a featured concert at the 2003 Texas Music Educators Association Convention, marking the first time a small Texas University was awarded that honor.
As a scholar, consultant, clinician, conductor, and adjudicator, Dr. Dye is in demand as a qualified music educator equally at ease with any age level.
Paul Hefner, Education Consultant (USA)
Trained in music education and performance, along with 11 years of college teaching experience, Paul Hefner brings the highest level of quality to performance and instruction. He also has completed his Master’s study in Business Administration. His extensive knowledge of classical and jazz literature is incorporated into his playing and instruction. Paul’s music work often includes judging Jr. High and High School solo and ensemble contests as well as band, orchestra, and jazz contests.
Paul is also trained in woodwind technique, helping beginning woodwind students, and community members wanting to pick up their instrument again. In addition, Paul taught music for 11 years as adjunct faculty at the College of Lake County. There he instructed low brass, concert band, and jazz band. Also, Paul has been a featured soloist with national groups including Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, Windjammers Unlimited in Florida, as well as local groups including FullScore Chamber Orchestra, and the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra. Paul’s students have successfully auditioned to become members of the CYSO (Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra) and have gained entry to well-regarded colleges studying music performance and education.
Paul is a member of the FullScore Chamber Orchestra where he is principal trombone. He is on the artistic advisory board for the music non-profit Young At Heart. His performance ensembles (Antioch Brass Ensembles), consists of a variety of groups performing at special events in the Illinois and Wisconsin areas.
Teaching at the Music Institute of Chicago, Paul is privileged to conduct the New Horizons Band, focusing on bringing the band to performance level with new repertoire for multiple concerts each season. In addition, he directs the Round Lake Community Band and is an active conductor for the College of Lake County summer musical orchestra. He free-lances often conducting various community bands and orchestras in the area.
Julie Fews, Education Consultant (Australia)
Julie has over 12 years’ experience in the UK as a Key Stage 1 and 2 Classroom Teacher and Assistant Principal as well as a BA (Hons) in Music and Business Management and a PGCE in Primary School Teaching. She has been playing in community brass bands since she was 7. Since then she has performed at all levels of brass banding, holding soloist positions with top section bands in both the UK and Australia.
In 2010, Julie relocated with her family to Sydney where she continued her work with music and education, establishing and conducting successful primary school ensembles, tutoring, adjudicating and producing concerts and contests. A particular passion is enabling group music performance to be inclusive of children of any ability or background. Julie has two primary school aged children – who are also excited about learning to play with pBuzz.
Helen Minshall, Education Consultant (UK)
Helen’s involvement in music began at the age of 12, when she started brass lessons at school in Ayrshire, Scotland. Helen was one of the first students to embark upon the “Graduate Diploma in Band Musicianship” course at Salford, at a time when it was very difficult for women to be accepted in the country’s finest bands.
Helen has a vast amount of experience both as a performer and teacher. Over the last 30 years she has held teaching posts throughout the North West of England; in Wigan, Bury, Salford, and in 1988-9 she spent a year in the Sultanate of Oman, as Low Brass Tutor to the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra. She has also worked as Bass Tutor with the National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain. After a successful 15 years as Head of Brass for Bolton Music Service, Helen is now pursuing a freelance career, and has set up a very successful music teaching company, Minshall Music LTD, working with her daughter and son in law, Samantha and Neil Raisbeck.
Helen’s many years of hard work with young people in brass bands were formally recognized in 2014 when she was presented with the Mortimer Medal for services to young people in the brass band movement, from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. This followed a number of previous awards; Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellowship, Family and Community Service Award, Soroptimist Woman in the Community Award and 25 Years Service to Brass Bands.
Helen and her husband Stephen started the highly successful Astley Youth Band in 1994, and currently there are 3 bands within the organization with over 100 members. In 2015 Helen was appointed to the position of Musical Director of Lancashire Youth Brass Band, which is going from strength to strength. Helen thoroughly enjoys working with all her bands, and helping players of all ages to achieve their best. Helen is very proud of her brass playing family, Stephen (baritone), Simon (bass trombone) and Samantha (tuba).
Plastic or Not? by Helen Minshall – The Trombonist Magazine, Summer 2017 [PDF]