Meet our team
Our small and agile team bring a wealth of experience from a number of different areas. All of our team are excellent communicators, allowing them to work fluidly across the campaign and build relationships with the music and dementia sectors.
Headed by our Trustees – Neil, Nicky, Mel and Raj – the team all work to deliver our goal of making music freely accessible, and an integral part of care, for people living with dementia.
You can find out more about our individual team members through their bios below.
I am absolutely delighted that we now have the Music for Dementia project off the ground. When my wife and I set up the Foundation in 2014, using music to help people with difficulties was a key corner stone for us. To see it come to fruition is hugely rewarding. There are so many people (not just people with dementia) for whom music can make a material difference to their lives. I am thrilled and proud that we are doing our part.
My interest in music started in my teens, when I played for various bands in Sheffield. Many of the groups we were with did fantastic things. Def Leppard, Human League, Heaven 17 to name a few. Unfortunately, at the time, needs must and a career in banking beckoned. My resolve was that when I retired, I would go back to music to plug the unfilled gap!
My playlist is below:
Jack Johnson, Better Together.
Recommended by my daughter as the perfect wedding song, and isn’t it just? We were very happy to walk down the aisle to this being sang and played by a couple of our artists on acoustic guitar and harmonica. It’s also one of the few songs in my badly played personal repertoire.
Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven.
A ‘must have’ on any guitarist’s list. Always an aspiration for someone learning guitar to master it. I never did master the solo though.
Arctic Monkeys, Mardy Bum.
I’m not sure whether my wife uses these words at me or I use them at her. Anyway, we’ve always thought of it as our song.
Joint fourth place: Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody/ Green Day, Jesus of Suburbia. I love the way these two songs incorporate entirely different changes in mood, tempo and bring it altogether into an epic musical piece.
So – this is my personal list and probably only meaningful to me – that’s the beauty of music – infinitely bespokable and it never stops changing.
I first saw the power of music in my teens, when my granddad developed dementia. He had been a Church of Scotland minister and even when he forgot how to speak, he could somehow find words again to old hymns and Scottish folk tunes. The last time I saw him we sang together, looking out of the window.
It's why years later I took a job as CEO with a music and dementia charity, and it was there I first encountered the Music for Dementia campaign. The Utley Foundation backed our small charity and helped us go from strength to strength. I was invited to join its Music for Dementia Commission and then the Musical Care Taskforce.
I have loved being part of the amazing movement of people and organisations that work tirelessly and creatively to bring the power of music to all those living dementia. It is wonderful to be involved again as MD of the Utley Foundation.
My playlist is below:
My brother, sister and I would record the charts on a Sunday then listen during the week, performing this and other classics, dancing on our beds.
Reminds me of good friends and adventures studying in Sicily.
A song for my husband. It played all the time when we were working in the Caribbean and the words mean a lot.
I love how organised Bach is. I put these on my headphones when I am working in a busy office and they help me concentrate.
I like the way the guitar sounds like seagulls.
Reminds me of my children, growling the words and looking cool.
Contact: [email protected]
My first encounter with music therapy was with a group of adults living with dementia. Watching how the music therapist supported the group to make contact with each other, communicate, and be in the moment, was transformative. It inspired me to train as a music therapist. As a life-long musician, I am incredibly passionate about the role of the arts in enhancing and enriching lives. Being able to work on Music for Dementia programme is a privilege and I’m looking forward to working with you on making music a reality for everyone living with dementia.
Outlined below is my playlist – This list could go on and on…there are thousands more…
I would do anything for love – Meatloaf
This will always remind me of my husband, and our unique rendition of it at our wedding this year. Meatloaf would have been proud!
Rite of Spring – Stravinsky
This piece still blows me away every time I play or listen to it. A work of genius. There aren’t many other pieces that can put the fear into you as a bassoon player quite like this one.
Paris Concert – Keith Jarrett
Words don’t really do this piece justice. It moves me every time I listen to it.
Son of Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield
One that will always remind me of my mum. We had a long-standing joke about this song that still makes me smile and think of her every time I hear the opening bars.
Moving on up – Primal Scream
Whenever I hear this, it makes my think of my husband. Reminds me we can kick back and relax. Life is good.
Wynton Marsalis – Sunflower
Makes me want to dance every time I hear it.
I Believe in Miracles – Mark Capanni
A long time favourite. Makes me sing along every time.
The Touré-Raichel Collective – Azawade
The First Touch – Marcin Wasilweski Trio
All kinds of beautiful.
Sonatine for bassoon – Tansman
The hours spent practising this…never made it sound like this though!
Julio Iglesias – La Mer
Makes me think of my dad dancing with my mum every time.
Nightmares on Wax – night’s introlude
Music college memories…
Contact – [email protected]
It is such a pleasure to be working for this fantastic campaign. I can’t think of any job I would rather be doing than helping to enrich the lives of people living with dementia through music. I have seen first-hand how dementia reduces people’s ability to communicate; the connection that music creates is invaluable and unmatched. We simply must keep it going.
Below, I’ve shared my personal playlist of music significant to me.
I can’t remember when I wasn’t a Springsteen fan and this one always gets me singing along
Takes me back to school days and learning the piano
There’s something very comforting about favourite hymns learned as a child
Upbeat with great lyrics and even better memories
Driving along with the top down on a summer’s day. Love a saxophone!
Early twenties – boyfriends and breakups
When I thought I was a bit of a rebel!
This feels like the anthem of my youth
Contact: [email protected]
I’m so excited to be a part of this project and help support this fantastic work. My Grandmother has Alzheimer’s and playing music to her, and with her, has really helped my family to come to terms with the diagnosis and the future. I’m hopeful that she’ll continue to have music as part of her care, and that it will make a real impact on her quality of life.
As the youngest member of the team, my playlist is a real mixture of current and classic- see what you think!
Earth, Wind and Fire- September
This is my boyfriend’s favourite song and I have so many memories of him dancing to it round our house
Johnny Cash- Folsom Prison Blues
My dad used to play this to my and my brother in the car, it’s one of his all time favourites
Wiley- Wearing My Rolex
The anthem of the summer I turned 18
Fabolous (feat. Tamia)- Into You
Mine and my brother’s only mutual musical love- many happy memories singing this in his car
Lou Bega- Mambo Number 5
The only song my grandad would dance around the living room with me to