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Community Musicians

Music4U works with a wide variety of community musicians across the Humber region including the following:

Alan Jones

Alan Jones is a musician, producer and film-maker based in Hull, UK. He began his musical career in Britpop band Spacemaid, with whom he recorded and released one album and two singles, including 'Baby Come One', which became BBC Radio 1's Breakfast Show Single of the Week.

In 1999, he founded the music production company Big Hand Productions, with whom he ran numerous education projects for a variety of clients, including Hull City Council, The Firebird Trust, The Children's Fund and Music4U (the Humber Region Youth Music Action Zone). During this time, Alan also ran 'Star Search', a song-writing and performance programme, at Bransholme Space for Sports and Arts, alongside Matthew Hogg.

In 2005, Alan formed Nova Studios, a Hull-based recording facility, where he has worked with Dave Rotheray (Beautiful South) and Sam Brown, both as a producer and session musician. Nova Studios has also played an active role in promoting and supporting bands from the local music scene.

Alongside his work as a musician and producer, Alan has been active as a music educator and facilitator. He regularly delivers projects for Music4U, such as Access Rock and the high profile Youth Music Mentors programme, as well as working for Creative Partnerships in Hull. Alan offers projects that provide a successful combination of songwriting, playing, performance and recording. He has more recently become involved in media education and has developed a portfolio of work in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where he has been collaborating with young people to produce media resources designed to promote cultural awareness.

Alan is also a professional film-maker and has been commissioned to create short documentaries for Musicport Festival and numerous Youth Music projects, including the national Youth Music Mentors programme. He is currently working on a feature-length piece about a Sierra Leonean footballer.

For more information about Alan's work and to get in touch, please visit

 Dave Foulds

Dave Foulds has been involved in music his whole life. At the age of 19 he began his professional music career as a drummer and singer, touring and taking up residencies throughout the UK and Europe. Highlights of this time include a residency at the famous Manchester Ritz Club in the early 1980s and performing with country-rock group Mustang, which was rated in the top three best country bands in a national poll and won the Silk Cut Music Festival at Wembley Arena. In the 1980s, Dave also began to explore computer-based sequencing, synthesisers and recording and put this knowledge to use producing backing tracks for artists, as well as composing his own portfolio of work. He also developed his skills as a guitarist, bass-player and keyboard-player.

Dave has a long history of working in music education, and has a passion for encouraging young people to be creative and develop their musical, technical and 'life' skills. He was one of the first music practitioners to work in Lincolnshire with Jane Wells and Nikki-Kate Heyes on the project that developed into SoundLINCS. He also worked as a lecturer and Head of Performing Arts (Music) at Grimsby College for seven years, as well as delivering a range of freelance projects. Dave holds a Certificate of Education from Huddersfield University, City & Guilds 730 Stage 1 and 2 Teaching Awards from Grimsby College, and a Music Practitioners Award from Hull University, as well as many smaller awards including OCN Basic Counselling, Health and Safety, and Child Protection. Following an invitation from the Musicians' Union and several weeks of training at Northern College, Dave is also now a Musicians' Union Learning Advisor.

Dave currently works delivering 'rock school' and sound engineering workshops, projects and events to community groups, alongside running his own P.A. hire and sound engineering business. He has at his disposal two drum kits, one electronic pad system, guitars, keyboards and amplification, as well as digital recording devices and a professional sound system with lights. Dave is covered by public liability insurance and has a current enhanced CRB disclosure certificate.

Dave Foulds
tel 07540 396649

 Donna Smith

Donna Smith hails from Hull, where she became involved in singing and dancing from an early age. She spent many years performing in folk and rock bands and later combined her passion for music with her love of travel by busking across Spain and in Tel Aviv and working as a singer for Hilton Hotels in Dahab, Egypt.

Donna has expanded her musical experience by living and studying with various tribes, including the Bedouin, the Kalash, the Mandinka and a group of Tibetan monks. During her time with these groups, she learnt traditional drumming, singing and chanting, and collected local songs and stories. She has also undertaken more formal musical studies, including Guildhall Grade 6 Plectrum Guitar, ABRSM Grade 5 Theory, ABRSM Grade 5 Vocals, Djembefola qualifications, and a University Award in Community Music (Distinction). These studies have been sponsored by a Community Champions award. Donna currently studies with two teachers: Mandinka (in Gambia) and Susso (in Guinea Conakry). She also performs with a number of groups, including work as a vocalist and drummer for festival drumming band, Inta Africa.

Donna has been working as a community musician for the past eight years and, during that time, has been engaged to deliver work across the globe, from song-swap projects in Egypt and Gambia to the management of the Hull Mela in the UK. From 2008-2011 Donna was responsible for delivery of the high profile Youth Music Mentors programme with Music4U (the Humber Region Youth Music Action Zone). Recently, Donna has established and developed the Hull Rhythm Pixies (a group of young musicians and mentors creating world fusion music), delivered the Creativity Project for Music4U, and is currently in the process of setting up Hull's first Drum Circle. Donna has undertaken community music training with Arthur Hull, Sue Hollingworth, Phil Mullen, Em Whitfield, Jason Singh, Maggie Nicholls, Dr Mark Hughes and Professor Philip Renshaw. She is also a professional member of Music Leader, Sound Sense and the Musicians' Union.

Donna works with young people and adults of all levels and abilities and from all walks of life, including those with special needs and those in health settings. She offers workshops in the following areas:

-West African percussion
-Hip-hop and urban beats
-Guitar skills and technique
-Vocal development
-Body percussion
-Music technology
-Experimental music
-Early Years

Donna Smith
Tel       01482 562079
Mobile  07988 602399

 Gary Hammond

Gary Hammond is a musician and educator based in Hull. He has been a percussionist for as long as he can remember, starting out by tapping his knees and moving onto his chest and cheeks until he could afford to buy himself a pair of bongos! He owns over 600 musical instruments, over 400 of which are pieces of percussion from around the world. 

Gary developed his interest in education through involvement in a number of London-based dance education units, including London Contemporary Dance Theatre, English National Ballet and Ballet Rambert. During this period he worked alongside Jasmine Pasch, under whose guidance he developed his workshop skills and his experience of working with young people with special needs.

In 1995 Gary joined The Beautiful South, with whom he played percussion for 12 years, recording several albums and singles, touring internationally and making numerous TV appearances. Gary maintained his presence as an educator during his time with the band and continued to offer workshops alongside his career as a performer. Following his time with The Beautiful South, Gary maintained his connection with guitarist Dave Rotheray, working alongside him on several of his solo projects and tours. He also began a professional relationship with Creative Partnerships in Hull, with whom he worked full-time as a practitioner until the programme closed in 2011.

Gary is currently involved in a number of freelance music education projects across the Midlands and the North of England. He is an Artist Association Member of the Firebird Trust and has recently been working with this organisation to develop arts activities in areas with little or no provision. He has also begun developing musical opportunities for people with dementia in collaboration with musician Sam Pirt and NHS Humber, a project which expands on the training and placements that Gary undertook with French organisation Musique & Santé. In addition to his education work, Gary continues to perform and is a founder member of world/folk duo The Hut People.

Gary offers a range of educational workshops and is experienced in working with people of all ages in both formal and informal settings. He is experienced in using music to teach a wide variety of skills, including literacy and numeracy; a large amount of his current work in schools centres on using creative writing as a starting point for composing soundscapes. He also offers sessions that employ a more therapeutic use of music. For more information about Gary's work and to get in touch, visit  

Gary Hammond
Mobile 07721 502659

 Sam Dunkley

Sam Dunkley is a freelance community musician based in Yorkshire and working across the country.  Specialising in large scale singing projects, Sam has conducted 550 singers at the Royal Albert Hall in a performance of his own piece Digitalives, he has also conducted 750 primary school children in Symphony Hall, as well as leading secondary school 'whole school singing sessions' with more than 1,000 teenagers!  Sam has led singing projects as part of transition programmes and trained early years and primary school staff in using singing in their every day practice and to increase their confidence in music teaching.

Sam conducted the Beverley Early Music Festival Schools Chorus and was musical director of the Musical Play in a Week at the National Centre for Early Music this year.  He founded and directs Forgotten Voices community choir in Pocklington and the York based chamber choir Chorus Natus est.

Sam has run projects in various settings including prisons with the Irene Taylor Trust, groups of young people who have been classed as at risk of offending, with disabled people with the Orpheus Centre and Accessible Arts and Media as well as in countless schools, theatres and community centers.  He works for Music for Youth as a presenter and music mentor.

Sam trades as Performing Arts etc, running arts based projects in schools across the country focusing on music and musical theatre.  He has been commissioned to provide extended services and holiday provision by schools and is currently working with theatres to provide community arts as part of their programme.  He has an ongoing relationship with Woldgate College in Pocklington, where he is Community Music Coordinator.  He is also a board member and trustee of Sound Sense.

As a performer Sam has sung for Opera North in their special commission Songs at the Years End and for Wilson+Wilson theatre company in their acclaimed production Mulgrave for which he was also musical director, he sings and writes folk songs and has released an album.

As a composer Sam was commissioned by the BBC and Arts Council England to write a piece for Made in England, a celebration of St Georges day, he has also been commissioned by various schools to write individual songs and whole shows for their students to perform.

Sam Dunkley

Mobile  07977 982 986