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Meet the team


Phil Castang

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.

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.

Communications Manager

Rebecca Campbell

Rebecca oversees Marketing and Communications at Music for Youth, with the aim of strengthening the MFY brand, reaching new audiences and building on our relationship with young people. She is a creative marketing professional with over 14 years’ experience across a variety of industries. She loves all kinds of music and is looking forward to attending live performances and festivals again soon!



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.  



Matt started his career at The Sage Music Centre, Gateshead. Following several years in Music Education, Matt moved to London working at the very highest level with music promoters and in songwriting. Matt has coordinated events at The Royal Albert Hall, Glastonbury Festival & Nottingham Royal Concert Hall. Following working with young musicians in the South London area, he wants to make sure that music is accessible no matter what background you are from.

Digital Content Executive

Abbie Strowbridge-Knight

Abbie works as part of the communications team, managing content for the website and for MFY's social media. She has a background in performing arts, training at the New York Film Academy and BASE dance studios, and many years' experience in marketing and communications. She also recently completed her CIM Level 4 qualification. 

Abbie is an active social media content creator on TikTok and Instagram, where she has a combined reach of 5.3 million and this continues to grow.

Office Manager

Lauren Favish

Lauren has worked at Music For Youth for 3 1/2 years as finance and office manager, overseeing all areas of finance and administration including: payroll , accounts payable and receivables.

Board of Trustees


Margaret Willis

Margaret joined Music for Youth as a Trustee in 2018 and was appointed Chair in January 2021. Margaret’s love of music and belief that all young people should have access to music led to her interest in Music for Youth. She passionately believes that creating a diverse and inclusive environment which enables young people to thrive is vital and the opportunity for young people to participate in music is often a life-changing experience. Margaret has over 40 years experience in financial services, domestically and internationally and is an independent non-executive director of a leading UK bank.



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.


Richard studied at the Royal College of Music in London, where he was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal and the Mendelssohn Scholarship, then in Italy, on a Leverhulme Award, with Hans Werner Henze. He was first Composer-in-Residence at Balliol College Oxford and later with the Brno Philharmonic. He completed his Doctorate at Bristol University, where he has also been Lecturer in Advanced Orchestration. His music, which includes three operas, two ballets and many works for orchestra, chorus and chamber ensembles, has been performed and broadcast all over the world and has been recorded on Sony Classical, Warner Classics, Decca, Signum and Nimbus labels. He has composed over 200 film and television scores.

Richard is a Trustee of Music For Youth, the Aberystwyth MusicFest and The Bach Choir, Chair of the English Music Festival, and is President of the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus. He is published by Novello and Nimbus Publishing.


Arfa is a music industry executive with 20+ years extensive marketing, strategic partnerships, and programming experience.
As a talent director and broadcaster, she has spearheaded many international platforms, including the launch and management of MTV’s first black music channel in the UK, MTV Base in 1999 and then commissioned to create MTV’s 100th channel, MTV Base Africa in 2004 leading all African content for the brand.

Arfa joined the Music for Youth board in 2020, is on the Mayor of London's Music and Culture board (a member of the music education and diversity & inclusion committee) the Chair and Director for Education Links, an alternative provision free school in Newham for children on the verge of exclusion from mainstream education, on the advisory board for The London Music Fund’s Amplify initiative supported by Youtube Music, in the voting academy for the BET Awards and BET Hip Hop Awards and has advised some of the leading UK institutions across the creative industry, public, private and third sectors. 


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.


Judith 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. 

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