Penny founded Preludes in 2009 with Charlie Groves in two Bristol schools. Since then the project has grown and grown, and now provides thousands of children across Bristol and Bath with a high quality music education.
Penny plays violin, recorder and piano and has been involved in community music and education for most of her musical life. Prior to Preludes she ran Hum and Drum sessions for children from six months to twelve years old, and has performed in care homes across Bristol. Throughout her career Penny has given countless young people an incredible start in music and continues to inspire and enrich the lives of many today.
Charlie is our second longest serving music leader on the Preludes team, having worked with us for 12 years!
As well as being a fantastic songwriter and arranger of music he is an amazing guitarist, pianist and violinist.
A lot of the pieces our students play in orchestra have been arranged or composed by Charlie, we’re so lucky to have him with us!
Charlotte Dunling is a clarinettist with a passion for sharing music with people from all walks of life. She has worked for Preludes for the past four years as a clarinet teacher and classroom teacher and loves every moment. Alongside this she works for Wiltshire Rural Music who aim to bring music to rural communities and has previously worked for Singing for the Brain. Charlotte has recently taken on more of an organisational role within Preludes and is looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this wonderful organisation.
Liz has recently begun work as a freelance musician, after completing an MA (Distinction) in Medieval Musicology at the University of Bristol.
Working primarily as a piano and vocal teacher for young children, Liz began teaching piano with Preludes in November 2021. Liz works as an accompanist for various organisations, including St George’s Cosmos Children’s Choir, and for Voices for Life’s upcoming project ‘Stardust’ with the Bristol Ensemble. Liz also interns at Bristol Pre-Conservatoire, who work to coach 14-18 year olds into chamber music performance. She works as a soprano, singing regularly with the Fitzhardinge Consort, and other churches around Bristol.
Oli is a professional drummer who has been playing the kit for 18 years. He has toured Europe with multiple bands, with Japan coming up next year, and played some of the UKs stickiest stages. He has been teaching for the past 7 years, getting young people through their grades, and teaching long term drummers better technique and masterclasses. Oli plays with My Octopus Mind, Ogives Big Band, Lawi Anywar and has a function band called The Small Things, all of which keep him very busy working alongside Bristols finest educators!
Ellen is a community musician with a passion for inclusivity and accessibility. Primarily a French Horn player, she enjoys teaching brass, piano and anything in between! Ellen recently graduated with a masters from Oxford University where she studied music alongside working in community music settings.
As well as Preludes, Ellen works with Soundabout, the National Open Youth Orchestra, Bristol Beacon and Evolve Music.
After a career in the TV industry, Jo came back to music and have been teaching violin and piano privately for 15 years.
She has been working with Preludes since 2015 and teaches whole class lessons and string groups. She loves being part of a team, and it’s a mutually satisfying arrangement as she says she gets as much out of it as the children do!
Helen Pidoux graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire as a classically trained violinist. She has worked for Preludes for two years as a string and keyboard tutor. Alongside her work with Preludes, Helen is an orchestral tutor and violin teacher for Bristol Plays Music. Her latest project involves playing reminiscent songs in care homes for people with dementia.
Emma is a clarinettist and passionate community musician who recently graduated with a Masters from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She joined the Preludes team in 2017 as a clarinet tutor and classroom teacher and feels hugely privileged to give so many inspiring young people access to music.
Alongside her work with Preludes Emma also works for Arts Active, Cardiff’s vibrant community arts hub, facilitating exploratory music sessions for people with additional needs through Soundworks and an ever-expanding Open Orchestra.
Daniel Elston is a professional drummer with a degree from the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. Starting with Preludes as a drum tutor in 2016, he became a classroom teacher the following year. With a commitment to providing music tuition to the community, he enjoys working with like-minded people in the Preludes team to deliver this. As well as Preludes, Daniel performs regularly with different acts in the UK and around Europe.
Luke is professional musician, performer, DJ & tutor who discovered his passion for music at a young age. Since graduating from the British Institute of Modern Music (BIMM), Luke has focused his talents towards teaching whilst still remaining a highly active musician.
Luke is a multi-instrumentalist with a wealth of experience on the stage having performed solo, as a duet, part of a choir & with numerous bands, spanning multiple genres and styles.
Luke joined the Preludes team in 2016 as both a piano and classroom tutor. A class with Luke is always fun, high energy and inspiring. His goal is to always make sure that students are getting the most out of his lessons regardless of ability and strongly believes that personal development through music is essential to every child.
Born and raised in Bristol, Kat attended Cotham School before studying musical theatre at the prestigious Guildford School of Acting. Since graduating, Kat has gone on to perform as an actor, musician and dancer in various mediums across the country, including the Original West End cast of Once: The Musical, the Original West End cast of Mrs Henderson Presents, the West End revival of Brief Encounter and the No.1 UK tour of Cabaret. She now delivers whole class and string lessons with Preludes.
She has appeared in various commercials, films and television shows including BBC’s Eastenders, Salvation Has No Name (short film), Deliveroo (Commercial) and I Hear You Calling (music video).
Kat is also a songwriter and is currently writing music for a brand new Netflix soundtrack.
Sara has worked for preludes for 4 years. She studied music at Plymouth University and plays the piano, guitar and flute.
Alongside her Preludes work she teaches piano and guitar to young people with additional needs and works with the National Open Youth Orchestra.
She believes in making music inclusive and accessible to all young people and working with Preludes allows her to do this.
After helping out with a concert in 2016 Ian left his job as a science teacher to start working with Preludes.
He now works in schools across Bristol, delivering piano, trumpet and whole class lessons, as well as choirs.
He can play a tune on most instruments but is happiest at the piano!