EYSM Trustees

EYSM is a Registered Charity and EYSM trustees are involved in the administration of the course throughout the year. 

Marilyn Stewart

EYSM Chairman | Trustee

A musician who has attended every EYSM course until 2017, Marilyn has actively supported it throughout that time as an accompanist, health-care monitor and valued office support.

As Vice-Chairman and then Chairman, of The British & International Federation of Festivals, Marilyn strongly supported EYSM and encouraged festivals to offer bursary places on the course.

Over the years she has also supported EYSM personally by giving prizes to the six students who tutors agree have made particular progress during their week at EYSM.

Jenny Strongitharm-Cornell

Hon Treasurer | Trustee

Jenny lives in Southsea with her husband Matt and her daughter Francesca, who is a singer and viola player who has both attended EYSM and later joined its staff team during the week of the course.

Jenny taught English and Geography in Southampton before transferring to Primary Education, when she worked at primary schools in the Portsmouth area.

Liz Whitehead


Liz set up EYSM in 1993 when working as Chief Executive for The British & International Federation of Festivals; a job she held for 22 years. Prior to that, she worked in education.

Liz has sat on trustee boards, strategic and working groups across the arts and in the hospice movement. In consultancy work, she has worked with over 500 organisations on risk and safeguarding.

Across the performing arts, she has organised and produced concerts, fundraisers and major celebrations with up to 4,000 performers including four Royal events.  In theatre she has been Executive Director of both The Company Music Theatre and The National Youth Music Theatre.

Mary Sherwood


Mary Sherwood is a retired nurse who has been involved with EYSM for many years. All Mary’s children were students on the EYSM course over a  number of years and she very much hopes that her grandchildren will soon do the same.

In other musical activity, Mary has voluntarily organised and masterminded several youth tours for different orchestras and attended those courses as a pastoral volunteer. She is a trustee of several organisations at present, having recently retired as President of a Music Society.

Neill Oldham


Neill trained as a pianist and clarinettist at Bretton Hall College, University of Leeds, before post-graduate studies at Durham University.

He is the Award-winning Headteacher of Highfurlong School – a school for students who need educational support, often with the help of music. Highfurlong was voted ‘Happiest School of the Year’ in 2019.

Previously a Director of Music & Head of Expressive Arts in a North West Arts College for more than 10 years, then Director of Student Services at Blackpool Aspire Academy where he led the Pastoral Team, Neill has directed many instrumental ensembles and choirs and run foreign tours.

Elizabeth Dollins


Elizabeth studied Classics at Swansea, Oxford and Exeter and has a keen interest in all things musical. She is currently Head of Boarding at Truro High School for Girls, with overall pastoral responsibility for students aged 11-18.

Elizabeth has previously held pastoral and academic roles in both Junior and Sixth Form boarding houses at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, and spent two years teaching first-year undergraduates at the University of Exeter.

Having attended EYSM as a student for 8 years, she has been a member of house-staff for over 15 years.

Sheila Cox


Sheila has supported EYSM from its beginning and, throughout the year, sources much of the music used at EYSM.

As a violinist, Sheila has played in many local orchestras and she taught and ran a school string group which toured abroad with the Music Dept. With husband John, she ran the St Albans Music Festival for many years.

Sheila was Housecraft Advisor for the Electricity Board who moved into FE teaching similar subjects. Her daughter Jessica is a professional ‘cellist and son Simon works in special event lighting.

Jacqui Smith


Jacqui has been involved with EYSM for over 20 years, working in the on-course office and as a member of house-staff. All of her three children have played in the orchestras. As a Practice Nurse, Jacqui worked at two busy GP Surgeries specialising in diabetes care and immunisations. At EYSM, she is a member of EYSM support staff.

Jacqui’s past voluntary roles have included festival committee member, behind the scenes work at a youth pantomime group and assisting with the administration of an award-winning youth music theatre.

Louise Gibb


Louise is a consultant psychiatrist and group analyst, working in the NHS.

She has previously volunteered for Age UK, running a weekly reading group at a day centre.

Louise has four children, three of whom have enjoyed attending EYSM while the fourth is an avid fan of musical theatre. Louise is delighted to have the opportunity to support EYSM as a trustee.

Joanna MacDaniel


Nobody could have imagined that a flyer spotted on a visit to the UK would lead to MacDaniels being part of EYSM for over 20 years. Robin joined in 2000, followed by Susanna and Steph. Susanna became House-staff and Steph is now a well-established member of the Core Team. The next generation has moved up from Junior EYSM to become an enthusiastic member of the main course.

After years of unofficial support, Joanna is now pleased to be able to make a greater contribution. EYSM offers young musicians a wonderful all-round experience and helping it to continue will be a significant achievement. Joanna is an interpreter and translator, who has lived in the Netherlands since 1985. The MacDaniel children helped put the E into EYSM. Joanna has volunteered for a range of organisations.

Paul Hanson


Paul completed a Geography degree at the University of Nottingham, before post-graduate studies in Education at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Paul has worked at three comprehensive schools in Wigan, Bolton and has been Head of Geography at Bury Church of England High School since 2014.

Paul has led international field trips to California, Greece and Iceland and he is a regular subject mentor for Initial Teacher Training and Early Career Teaching. Paul has also worked for many years as a Team Leader for AQA GCSE Geography.

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