Summer 2022 Conference: Faculty

Conference presenters and panellists are listed alphabetically

Nick Duncombe

Nick Duncombe

Nick is currently Lead Professional, vocal – in charge of the vocal strategy for all Hampshire Schools. She qualified as a teacher with a four-year BEd specialising in music in 1998. She spent five years as a primary class teacher before moving full time to Hampshire Music Service. Nick started teaching class music, vocal ensembles and some woodwind teaching, but she has been teaching singing exclusively for over ten years now.

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Nick now leads the team of vocal teachers, organises training and yearly performance reviews, plans and leads large-scale vocal events, vocal festivals, liaises and works with other agencies including the BBC Singers and children’s 10 piece proms and Music Mark.

Nick also still teaches small group and individual singing lessons for around 120 students a week, runs the Hampshire County Junior Choir, The Hampshire Teachers Choir and another workplace choir for colleagues at the county council.

Emily Foulkes

Emily Foulkes

Emily has worked in music for well-being and music education for over 20 years, from national level at Youth Music, managing grant funding and networks to working as a practitioner. Since 2008, Emily has lived in Cornwall where she is the Director of Music for Good, a charity providing and supporting music for well-being in a range of settings. 

Read more about Emily Foulkes

After receiving a bursary to complete MA studies, Emily gained a Distinction in her MA in Voice Pedagogy with a specialism in Singing for Health and Well-being. Her research and specialist work has led to winning commissions from the NHS and being awarded funding. She works with the NHS in Cornwall and is working strategically with Social Prescribing to deliver a Singing Clinic programme (targeting Mental Health, Chronic Pain, Covid Recovery and Respiratory Health). Her research into Online Mindfulness and Singing for people with Anxiety and/or Depression is published in the International Journal for Community Music. Emily is a Trauma and Mental Health Practitioner and Trainer (with Trauma Informed Schools UK) and is working with the Sing Up Foundation to further develop and roll out training for Singing Practitioners. Emily has presented her research at numerous conferences, and has trained more than 100 singing practitioners in Trauma and Mental Health informed practice. She set up the Singing for Health Network in 2021 with the vision to bridge research and practice and support the singing for health movement. The aspiration is to bring together researchers, practitioners, healthcare professionals and to provide a useful platform for sharing and supporting the field. Emily is a Senior Lecturer with the Voice Study Centre leading on the development of the Singing for Health pathway within the Voice Pedagogy MA.

Leontine Hass

Leontine Hass

Leontine Hass is an internationally renowned Vocal & Performance coach. She works with singers in commercial recorded music including pop, rock, jazz, soul and R&B. She also works with performers in the world of musical theatre and opera. Her large international client list includes chart recording artists, as well as West End leads and swings, opera singers with technical challenges and singing teachers. 

Read more about Leontine Hass

Leontine has served as vocal consultant to many major West End shows. Leontine also enjoys teaching young aspiring singers and people who consider themselves to be ‘tone-deaf’. As a vocal coach, Leontine loves to find solutions to vocal challenges. She enjoys working with people who are passionate about their craft. She is a rigorous teacher with empathy and a sense of humour. Her teaching draws on a balance of science based knowledge, years of experience, an in-depth knowledge of how voices work, and a passion for music and the craft of the performer. She is a highly intuitive and compassionate teacher who can get a performer through a vocal crisis, as well as a confidence crisis. Leontine lectures internationally on singing, voice and performance to both singers, and singing teachers. She has taught at leading Music & Drama Schools in the UK and abroad. She rehabilitates voices after surgery, or as surgery prevention, working closely with laryngologists and voice clinics.

Leontine has acted as vocal consultant to various music managements and production companies including ITV and the BBC. TV shows include several series of ‘The Voice’(BBC/ITV), ‘Surprise, Surprise (ITV), The Michael McIntyre Show and the Netflix Series ‘Sing On!’. She was featured as mentor/vocal coach in The Gareth Malone show, ‘The Naked Choir’ for BBC2. Leontine is a regular contributor to numerous performing arts journals. She is a contributor and advisor to international book publications including ‘The Singer’s Complete Guide to Vocal Health’ (Oxford Uni. Press), and ‘The Ultimate Guide to Singing’.

Leontine has coached many hit A Capella groups including members of The Swingle Singers, Collabro, The Magnets and The Sons of Pitches. Having originally trained as a classical singer (BA, Melb. Uni, BMus. Kings College London, Dip. Royal Academy of Music), Leontine has performed as a singer and actress in concert, theatre and TV. Leontine also works in the corporate sector with CEO’s and clients in the business sector, working on their ‘performance craft’ and coaching for confidence and success. Leontine is the CEO/Founding Principal of Associated Studios Performing Arts Academy London and Associated Studios Australia. Associated Studios is one of Britain’s leading Performing Arts Academies. Patrons include Sir Tim Rice, Jeremy Irons, Jeremy Herrin, Timothy West, Rosalinde Plowright OBE, Danielle Tarento and Alastair Lindsey-Renton.

Nicki Kennedy

Nicki Kennedy

Nicki Kennedy has enjoyed an extremely varied career as a singer. She graduated with a first class degree in Hispanic and Latin-American Studies, and then went on to train at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire and the Royal College of Music. As a soloist she performed and recorded as soloist with many of the leading ensembles in the baroque and classical field.

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These include the Musiciens du Louvre, Netherlands Bach Society, the Parlement de Musique, the Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestre des Champs–Elysées, Modo Antiquo and the choir of King’s College, Cambridge.

As a session musician Nicki enjoyed singing on the soundtracks of many films of the last decade and a little more with London Voices and Metro Voices and can be heard on the soundtracks of Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Hobbit and many, many others. During the pandemic, Nicki founded the Aureole Music Charity, providing music in care settings in Jersey, where she is now based. As a respected teacher Nicki has taught and given masterclasses in Spain, France and the Czech Republic and is a regular vocal teacher and consultant for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, and for the Rodolfus Foundation.

She has been Head of Singing in two UK schools and has taught Choral Scholars at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. She is training with Vocal Health Education to qualify as a Vocal Rehabilitation Specialist, deepening her understanding not only of advanced anatomy and spheres such as manual therapy, but also of such areas as counselling skills and running an inclusive music studio.

Anita Morrison

Anita Morrison

An Alumna of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and National Opera Studio, Anita Morrison’s performing career spanned opera, oratorio and lieder. She is particularly known for her teaching of trebles and taught the choristers of Westminster Cathedral for nearly 30 years (from 1990-2019).

Read more about Anita Morrison

Anita was awarded an Honorary ARSCM in 2017 in recognition of her outstanding work in this area following the publication of ‘The Chorister and the Racing Car – A Guide to High Performance Singing’, a vocal health guide for choristers.

She currently teaches the choristers at St. George’s Windsor Castle, St. John’s College Cambridge, London Oratory Schola Cantorum and Cardinal Vaughan Schola Cantorum. She also teaches the choral scholars of Selwyn College Cambridge, is a vocal coach to The London Symphony Chorus and has a busy private teaching practice.

Mary King

Mary King

Mary King’s career has encompassed a wide range of roles, including that of performer, teacher, coach, broadcaster and writer. A popular and highly experienced mezzo soprano, Mary has worked with leading conductors and numerous orchestras across the world and has made a particular feature of the contemporary classical repertoire.

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Mary has had a long involvement with outreach and teaching, working with all the major companies in the UK as well as running training programmes both at home and abroad. During Mary’s long association with English National Opera, she devised and ran a highly successful performance skills course, ‘The Knack’, for eleven years, and between 2004 and 2006 she was also an Artistic Associate for the company.

Between 2007 and 2013 she created and led Southbank Centre’s Voicelab, and from 2013 to 2018 she taught regularly at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth. Currently she teaches at the Royal Academy of Music on the Musical Theatre course and the Arts Educational School.

Mary is currently Vocal Talent Consultant at Glyndebourne, works privately as a vocal coach for a number of West End shows and offers 1-1 vocal teaching for professional singers.

Ian Massa-Harris

Ian Massa-Harris

Ian has appeared at London Coliseum, Cadogan Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Opera Holland Park, The Round House, Royal Albert Hall, The Lyric Theatre, The Bloomsbury, The Apollo Theatre (Shaftsbury Avenue), The Warehouse, Il Duomo (Florence), Rome (various venues), Arcola Theatre, and many more.

Read more about Ian Massa-Harris

Companies he has worked with include: ENO, Opera Holland Park, Opera Rara, Opera North, London Musical Theatre Orchestra, BBC, Opera Alegria, Unexpected Opera, Midsummer Opera, Telltale Opera, Opera Alegria, Open Door Opera, Fulham Opera, Teatro Real Madrid to name but a few.

Recent roles include: Piangi (Phantom), Pirelli (Sweeney), Blind (Die Fledermaus), 1st Knight (Comte Ory), Basilio (Marriage of Figaro), Torquemada (L’heure Espagnol), Giudice (Ballo in Maschera), Flora’s Servant (Traviata), Un Signore (Zazá), 1st Philistine (Samson), Dormont (La Scala Di Seta), Prune Seller (Boheme), Nick (Fanciulla Del West), Spoletta (Tosca), Venditore (I gioelli della Madonna) Witch (Hansel and Gretel), Sorceress (Dido and Anaeas), Mime (Das Rheingold), Mime (Siegfried), Gherardo (Gianni Schicchi) and Trojan (Idomeneo).

He runs a prolific teaching practice working with Musical Theatre and Pop Music professionals. Recently he joined the teaching staff Chichester University Conservatoire as Associate Lecturer & Vocal Tutor working with Musical Theatre singers on their various degree programmes. He is also part of the teaching staff at Brunel University of London, working with singers on BA Music Degree, BA Drama (with Musical Theatre) and Music Award singers. He has worked with brands to include Amazon Music UK, The Musicians Union, Pride in London, Pride in Music to mention but a few.

Ian is currently undertaking a new MA in Vocal Pedagogy (University of Wales – Trinity St. David) and will be specialising in working with Trans adult voices in Musical Theatre and CCM.


Jono McNeil

Jono McNeil

Jono McNeil has provided vocal coaching for professional singers, contemporary artists and singers in a range of influential positions within the entertainment industry for over 20 years. As head of vocals and a senior lecturer at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) for 10 years, he designed content for the degree vocal curriculum in popular music and now continues to work as an external examiner for other academic institutions such as the Leeds Conservatoire.

Read more about Jono McNeil

Jono works as a vocal coach across a variety of TV shows including The Voice Kids, The Voice UK, Little Mix The Search, The Masked Singer, Wedding Day Winners and Change Your Tune, and coaches touring acts such as JLS, New Rules and July Jones to name a few.

An artist and singer in his own right, Jono has also performed with Michael Buble, Paloma Faith, Josh Groban, Nelly, Jamie Cullum, Lemar, George Ezra and Jocelyn Brown, with also several original albums available on streaming platforms. He combines his experience on stage and in the recording studio with a deep understanding of vocal function, to provide effective and inspirational coaching experiences and to fuel his continuing studies in Artist Practitioner Research. Jono is passionate about the possibilities of popular music at the highest level and actively engaged with a dynamic and forward-thinking community to see innovation and excellence realised.

Melanie Mehta

Melanie Mehta

Melanie Mehta is a specialist SLT (Voice Disorders) and spoken voice tutor. Melanie qualified as a Speech & Language Therapist (SLT) in 1997. She has worked in the field of voice disorders for Hospitals including the Royal National Throat Nose & Ear Hospital & Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation Trust. 

Read more about Melanie Mehta

Following completion of an MA in Voice Studies at Central School of Speech & Drama (2003) Melanie has worked as both SLT & spoken voice teacher at drama schools and in the West End but primarily, for 17 and a half years, at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA) where she was Joint Head of Department for two years. She was a tutor for the Voice Care Network and other teams delivering voice care sessions to trainee teachers, teachers and lecturers, and has been working with UK Teaching Unions delivering Voice Care/Use sessions to their members. Additionally, she works with people on speech clarity, regularly delivering voice care and training to both Respeakers (Subtitlers) and Audio Describers and has been involved in projects relating to voice in deafness and voice in circus. She has presented at International & National conferences (PEVOC, Choice for Voice, AOTOS), is past chair of the London Voice Special Interest Group and a former member of the Education Working Party for the British Voice Association.

Matthew Mills

Matthew Mills

Matthew (he, him) is a cis man. He has over 25 years’ experience as a vocal practitioner and pedagogue, originally training as an actor and musician at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is a Lead Consultant Speech and Language Therapist in Voice and Communication and Head of the Speech and Language Therapist Service at the Tavistock and Portman Adult Gender Clinic, London, where has worked since 2009. 

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Matthew is also the External Examiner for the MA/MFA in Voice Studies at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and current President of the British Association of Gender Identity Specialists (BAGIS). He is co-author of The Voice Book for Trans and Non-Binary People, and Voice and Communication with Trans and Non-Binary People: Sharing the Clinical Space, with two further texts due out in 2023.

Shivani Rattan

Shivani Rattan

Shivani Rattan is a London-based choral conductor, mezzo-soprano, vocal teacher & social media co-ordinator. She was a Choral Scholar at Royal Holloway where she studied Music, specialising in performance. Shivani wrote her dissertation on the lack of diversity in the classical music industry, and has since conversed with many musical organisations in their goals to better represent the diverse society in which we live.

Read more about Shivani Rattan

Currently, Shivani is the Choral Co-ordinator for Brent Music Service, a vocal teacher at Jersey Academy of Music, Social Media manager for Dr. Vanita Rattan (skincare for skin of colour), Sing for Pleasure (communications), and The National Children's Choir of Great Britain where she is also an assistant conductor, and is part of the Singing Schools Programme with Tenebrae. Shivani has recently completed her year with The National Youth Choir of Great Britain as a Fellow and is looking forward to working with both AOTOS and NYCGB in the near future.

Duncan Rock

Duncan Rock

Duncan Rock (MMus, Masters in Human Nutrition) has an active international career as an operatic baritone. He has performed roles at theatres all over the world including: The Metropolitan Opera, The Royal Opera, Teatro Real, Glyndebourne, English National Opera and many others. He concurrently works as a Nutritionist and is a member of the Royal Society for Public Health. He owns and operates a bespoke nutrition consultation practice ( and works specifically on nutrition and physical health for singers and voice actors at the Voice Care Centre, London.

Graham Ross

Graham Ross

Graham Ross has established an exceptional reputation as a sought-after conductor and composer of a very broad range of repertoire. His performances around the world and his extensive discography have earned consistently high international praise, including a Diapason d’Or, Le Choix de France Musique, and a Gramophone Award nomination.

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Regular guest conducting engagements have included Australian Chamber Orchestra, Aalborg Symfoniorkester, Aurora Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Singers, DR VokalEnsemblet (Danish National Vocal Ensemble), European Union Baroque Orchestra, London Mozart Players, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra, and Salomon Orchestra. He is co-founder and Principal Conductor of The Dmitri Ensemble and, since 2010, Fellow and Director of Music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he conducts the internationally-renowned Choir.

In recent seasons his work has taken him to Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, across Europe, and in more than twenty US states. At the age of 25 he made his BBC Proms and Glyndebourne debuts, with other opera work taking him to Jerusalem, London, Aldeburgh and Provence. A passionate believer in the unveiling of both unjustly neglected and newly-written works, he has conducted and recorded world premières of a wide spectrum of composers, including James MacMillan, Judith Bingham, Giles Swayne, Vaughan Williams, Imogen Holst, Lydia Kakabadse, Nico Muhly, Jocelyn Pook, Brett Dean and Matthew Martin. Since 2011 he has recorded exclusively for Harmonia Mundi,
including an acclaimed nine-album series of music for the church year, and composer-specific albums of Shostakovich, Imogen Holst, Arvo Pärt, and Benjamin Britten.

As a composer commissions have included BBC Concert Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, National Youth Choir of Great Britain, O Duo, Park Lane Group, The Prince Consort, Solstice Quartet and the Wigmore Hall. As an animateur and through outreach work he has conducted projects in Tower Hamlets, Wigmore Hall, English National Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and overseas in Nigeria, Palestine, across Europe and the USA. He has served as Artistic Director of Fringe in the Fen, a music and arts festival in Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, and is Director of Singers Abroad, running annual courses for singers of all ages.

He studied music at Clare College, Cambridge and conducting at the Royal College of Music, London. He held a conducting scholarship with the London Symphony Chorus, has served as assistant conductor for Sir Roger Norrington, Vladimir Jurowski and Diego Masson, and acted as Chorus Master for Sir Colin Davis, Sir Mark Elder, Ivor Bolton, Edward Gardner, Richard Tognetti and Lars Ulrik Mortensen.

Richard Stokes

Richard Stokes, Professor of Lieder at the Royal Academy of Music, is a regular juror at international Song Competitions. For the operatic stage he has translated Wozzeck and La voix humaine (Opera North), and Parsifal, Lulu, L’Amour de loin and Jakob Lenz (ENO). 

Read more about Richard Stokes

Richard's books include The Spanish Song Companion, J.S. Bach – The Complete Cantatas (Scarecrow Press), A French Song Companion (with Graham Johnson) (OUP), The Book of Lieder (Faber), a translation of Jules Renard’s complete Histoires Naturelles in a dual-language edition (Alma Classics) and The Penguin Book of English Song – Seven Centuries of Poetry from Chaucer to Auden, now available in paperback. With Alfred Brendel he collaborated on the latter’s Collected Poems: Playing the Human Game (Phaidon). His translations of Kafka’s Metamorphosis and The Trial have been published by Hesperus Press, and Alma Books published his translation (with Hannah Stokes) of Kafka’s Letter to his Father. His translation of Helmut Deutsch’s Memoirs of an Accompanist appeared in the autumn of 2020 (Kahn & Averill) and in the autumn of 2021 Faber published The Complete Songs of Hugo Wolf. Life, Letters, Lieder. Richard Stokes was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2012.

Simon Toyne

Simon Toyne

Simon Toyne is Executive Director of Music of the David Ross Education Trust, where he is responsible for the development of a music programme for over 13,000 children across 34 state primary and secondary schools in the East Midlands, including establishing the award-winning Singing Schools programme for primary schools.

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From 1991-2015, Simon was Director of the Tiffin Boys’ Choir, working with some of the world's leading conductors in concert, on the opera stage, and in recordings, as well as Director of Music at Kingston Parish Church. He is a Director of the Rodolfus Foundation Choral Courses every summer. He was a member of the Government’s Expert Panel for developing a model music curriculum, and was the most recent President of the Music Teachers Association (2019-21). His chapter on curriculum music in the recent book What Should Schools Teach? was published in January 2021 and is available as an open access pdf from UCL Press. He is currently serving on the Expert Panel to oversee the new National Plan for Music Education.

Sophie Thurston

Sophie Thurston

Sophie started her transition 12 years ago, coming out to a small number of friends and family, until she started to transition medically and more fully two years later. She has had great support in both her social and work life and has really been able to find herself in this time. Her increased confidence has translated very well in her ability to interact with people and to push on despite some of the difficulties that trans people face in today's Britain.

Read more about Sophie Thurston

Sophie's voice has always been a source of some anxiety and, whereas she has always pushed it more into the feminine range, it wasn't until she attended vocal training supplied as part of her attendance at the Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic that she really understood what was possible and what she could do. The techniques and exercises were eye (or ear!) opening and both the solo and group sessions that she attended greatly increased her understanding. The group she was with were referenced, along with others, in a book written by two of the vocal coaches in her course designed to assist in the teaching of new vocal coaches.

Currently her voice is not exactly where she wants it but she has confidence that she will find it and it will become second nature.

Faye Wheeler

Faye Wheeler

Faye has recently graduated from Mountview studying an MA in Musical Theatre. Whilst training she played Secretary in Flora the Red Menace, Violet in 9 to 5 and Paulette in Legally Blonde. Since then her credits include; Grads at Cadogan Hall, Tinkerbell the musical (workshop), Pride at the Palace Theatre, Out Stage Us (Hope Mill Theatre) and Zelda in Harry Popper’s and the Terf child (two box productions).

Roderick Williams

Roderick Williams OBE

Roderick Williams is one of the most sought after baritones of his generation and performs a wide repertoire from baroque to contemporary music in the opera house, on the concert platform and in recital. He enjoys relationships with all the major UK opera houses and has sung world premieres of operas by, among others, David Sawer, Sally Beamish, Michel van der Aa, Robert Saxton and Alexander Knaifel.

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Roderick performs regularly with all the BBC orchestras, and many other ensembles including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Philharmonia, London Sinfonietta, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé, Britten Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. His many festival appearances include the BBC Proms (including the Last Night in 2014), Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Bath, Aldeburgh and Melbourne Festivals.

He is also an accomplished recital artist who can be heard at venues and festivals including Wigmore Hall where he recently performed all three Schubert cyles in one season, Kings Place, LSO St Luke’s, the Perth Concert Hall, Oxford Lieder Festival, London Song Festival, Beethovenhaus, Snape Maltings, Edinburgh Festival, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Concertgebouw and the Musikverein, Vienna. He appears regularly on Radio 3 both as a performer and a presenter.

His numerous recordings include Vaughan Williams, Berkeley and Britten operas for Chandos and an extensive repertoire of English song with pianist Iain Burnside for Naxos. Most recently he has recorded the three Schubert cycles for Chandos and a disc of French song with Roger Vignoles for Champs Hill.

Roderick Williams is also a composer and has had works premiered at the Wigmore and Barbican Halls, the Purcell Room, with the Rias Kammerchor and live on national radio.

He was Artistic Director of Leeds Lieder + in April 2016 and he is currently 'singer-in-residence' for Music in the Round in Sheffield, presenting concerts and leading on dynamic and innovative learning and participation projects that introduce amateur singers, young and old, to performing classical song repertoire. He is Artist in Residence for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra from 2020/21 for two seasons. He was awarded an OBE for services to music in June 2017.

Jenevora Williams

Dr Jenevora Williams

Jenevora Williams is a leading exponent in the field of vocal health and singing teaching. After a successful career in Opera, Jenevora turned her attention to investigating healthy and efficient vocal function. The combination of academic study and practical experience has resulted in a unique perception for understanding the human voice. 

Read more about Jenevora Williams

Jenevora was the first singing teacher to be awarded a PhD in voice science in the UK, and won the 2010 BVA Van Lawrence Prize for her outstanding contribution to voice research. Her book, Teaching Singing to Children and Young Adults, has been enormously popular with singing teachers throughout the world. She is well-known for her imaginative and rigorous international training courses for singing teachers and voice professionals. She now runs Vocal Health Education and Evolving Voice. As a teacher of singing, she works with professional singers of all ages in both voice rehabilitation and career mentoring.

Susan Yarnall Monks Cambridge 2022

Dr Susan Yarnall Monks

Past Chair of AOTOS 2004-2006, President of European Voice Teachers Association (EVTA 2017-2024). soprano, vocal tutor & lecturer, University of Chichester, research interests in perception of singing voice and timbre (PhD University of Sheffield 2007). Presenter at international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.