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Meet the team


Phil Castang MBE

Phil has over 25 years experience leading highly successful music, arts and education projects. Originally training as a sound engineer, Phil spent much of the late 80s behind a mixing desk working with artists such as Adam Ant and Maxi Priest. He went on to produce numerous recordings including the album ‘Utopia’ for Peter Gabriel’s ‘Real World’ Records. Phil is currently Chair of the Music Education Council and has been on the Department for Education advisory panel helping to write a revised National Plan for Music Education.

Development Director

Kate Peden

Kate has extensive leadership, fundraising and consultancy experience spanning the arts, culture and commercial sectors. She has led fundraising teams at the National Trust and Oxford Playhouse; undertaken consultancy for flagship arts organisations and government departments; and initiated various education and participation programmes both locally and nationally.  Kate has a background in the performing arts, having attended Mountview Theatre School and working as an actor for over ten years. She has held a number of Trusteeships and is currently a Trustee of the Cheltenham Trust.

Director of Programmes

Kate Gardner

Kate has over 15 years experience in the arts sector, designing and delivering large scale projects to the highest level. Stating out at the Milton Keynes City Orchestra, Kate quickly progressed in the music education sector working at the London Symphony Orchestra in their Discovery team and then joining Music for Youth in 2014. Kate is a proactive person motivated by working with people, developing long term relationships, and getting results and is deeply passionate about the arts and creating life changing opportunities for young people.



Winnie is a music industry and education programme producer who works across the arts (TV, Film, Music & Performing Arts). She develops initiatives, events and partnerships that supports the arts infrastructure. In addition to programming, her expertise lies in implementing processes, research, evaluation and grants that support key strategic priorities. As Project Manager at MFY she is responsible for developing and leading the youth engagement programme within the informal sector and ensuring the delivery of multiple pathways of diverse young people into MFY events and opportunities.  

Programme Coordinator

Louise Coates

Louise is the Programme Coordinator for Music for Youth. Louise has worked in arts education since 2001. She is a Dance Performance (BA Hon's) and Business Management graduate and gained Qualified Teacher Status in 2005.
A former Head of Performing Arts, Louise has also worked for arts organisations such as Sadlers Wells Theatre and Haringey Music Service. as well as lead projects for Arts Council and Royal Opera House Bridge.
Louise is a passionate advocate of creating access and opportunity to high quality arts experiences for all young people.

Programme Assistant

Ethan McInerney

Ethan is the Programme Assistant at MFY, working to deliver their programme of events throughout the year. He has a background as a performer/composer, graduating from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in 2022. He has a lot of experience as a professional trumpeter, playing in gigs spanning the classical, soundtrack, jazz, commercial and contemporary genres – some highlights include performing at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and currently touring with the London Film Music Orchestra. Ethan is also passionate about providing opportunities for young people to perform live music!

Senior Marketing Officer

Abbie Strowbridge-Knight

Abbie works as part of the communications team, managing all digital content, such as the website, email marketing and social media. She also assists in traditional marketing promotion for our events. Abbie has a background in performing arts, and many years' experience in marketing and communications. She has also completed her CIM Level 4 qualification and is currently completing the CIM Level 6.

Board of Trustees


John Dixon

John joined the board of trustees over ten years ago serving as Chair for 6 years. John was Assistant General Secretary of the NUT (Now the NEU) who remain major sponsors of Music for Youth. Before then John was a secondary school head of music and conducted a local youth orchestra. Throughout his career, and post-retirement, John has worked within the education sector and currently serves as a chair of Governors on a local school and on a diocesan board of education in addition to his continuing role as a trustee of Music for Youth. He continues personal active music engagement as an organist and composes for and leads a music group. John is passionate about promoting and providing opportunities for young people to be able to participate in live music performances and receive appropriate mentoring to aid their development. During his time as a trustee, he has worked with other trustees and the team to continue exploring ways to further broaden diversity of music genres and access at all levels to Music for Youth events from our local festivals to the major festivals and proms.

Vice Chair


Liz has been a trustee of Music for Youth since 2020. She is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, and advises the charity on a range of areas including marketing and communications and organisational development. She is the Director of Communications and Marketing for the UK's national academy for the humanities and social sciences, the British Academy, and has held leadership roles in a range of organisations in Higher Education and public bodies including Goldsmiths, University of London, the Electoral Commission and the Learning Trust. She is a member of the British Library Advisory Board and a trustee of Bridging Arts and a regular oboist at the London Repertoire Orchestra. Liz is passionate about ensuring all young people have access to high-quality performance opportunities, having benefitted herself from those offered by the Leicestershire Music Service.

Collin Hills

Collin is a creative industry professional with over 15 years of experience. He currently serves as the Head of Creative Development at Be United, a charity dedicated to promoting the arts and culture of the Black and African-Caribbean community in Scotland. He is responsible for overseeing the organisation's creative arts strategy and direction and utilises his expertise to design and deliver innovative programs that provide a deeper level of support to Scotland’s Black creatives.

He is an advocate for young creatives and dedicates his time and energy to their support and advancement. As a filmmaker, musician and writer, he has used his talents to inspire and empower others throughout his career and he has helped to create more vibrant artistic communities, ensuring that the voices of young creatives are heard and celebrated.

Lottie L'Amour

Lottie joined Music for Youth's board of trustees in 2023 and brings with her a wealth of marketing, youth culture and social media experience. Lottie's love for music started at a very young age when she was gifted a keyboard. Since then she's used music as therapy, helping her to navigate key moments in her life through the power of music. She's a keen writer and social media expert, and her experiences have brought her to her current role as Marketing Manager for TikTok. Here, Lottie has had the opportunity to work on The BRIT Awards and has helped to jump start the professional music careers of artists like Cat Burns and Abby Roberts. Lottie also won Diversity and Inclusion Champion of the Year at the European Diversity Awards in 2021 for her work as president and co-founder of TikTok Pride. Lottie joined Music for Youth because she is very passionate about giving the next generation access to the joy of music and giving a platform to young music artists.

Jon Pelluet

Jon joined the Board of Music For Youth in March 2023, inspired by the vision and impact of the organisation’s work. He has been a senior fundraiser in the charity and arts sectors for nearly 20 years, and is Director of Development at The BRIT School, the world-famous free arts school in Croydon. Prior to that, Jon has been in senior leadership positions at Speech and Language UKRevitalise, and FareShare, and was Trustee of arts organisations Drake Music and Stanley Arts.  


Judi is a board member of Music For Youth and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant with 40 years’ experience in financial management of small and medium-size businesses. Having attended several MFY Proms and the National Festival, she was impressed with the work of the Charity and the quality of events produced enabling children and young adults to perform to audiences in world-class venues. When an opportunity arose to help the Charity with financial management support, she was glad to be able to use her expertise and become involved.


Samantha is a board member for Music for Youth, chair of the programming sub-committee and advises the board on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion including representation, youth voice and ensuring EDI is embedded in all the work Music for Youth does. A musician herself (Viola, Violin & Piano) she also brings 20 years of experience and knowledge of the Music education sector from her time as a senior leader of a Music Education Hub. As founder and CEO of SLS 360, she cares passionately about ensuring all children and young people have the opportunity to succeed, where diversity is respected and celebrated, and see themselves represented in the sector. Joining the Music for Youth board allows her to be part of a charity that is working to ensure this is a reality. 


Simon joined Music for Youth in 2020 and brings fundraising and business development expertise. Simon originally trained as a musician, studying trombone and conducting and has shared the stage with artists like Sir Roger Norrington, Allan Vizzutti, Randy Brecker, and Bill Watrous. As a fundraiser, Simon led teams achieving multi-million pound targets across different sectors. He now works in CSR. He also finds time to serve as Music Director for Richmond Music Trust, leveraging 22 years of teaching and performing experience. He supports Music for Youth because he believes all young people should have the opportunity to perform music, no matter their background, instrument, or favourite genre.

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