Meet The Team

Jan Gould – Director of Music & Violin/Viola Teacher

Jan Gould studied viola at Trinity College of Music with Elizabeth Turnbull and Nicholas Roth, winning prizes both for solo performance and chamber music. She was a member of the Miklòs Quartet, and with them performed extensively in London and throughout the Provinces. Surgery brought her performing career to an abrupt end, and she then went on to train for ordination in the Church of England. She moved to Wales in 2004 and for most of that time has been priest in charge at the Church of the Resurrection, Ely, Cardiff. She set up the Making Music Changing Lives charity in 2009 out of the belief that music has the power to transform even the poorest communities, and is currently its musical director while still fulfilling her normal parish duties. In 2013 she was awarded the Community Foundation in Wales Philanthropy Award; in 2014 she and MMCL were the subject of a BBC Radio Wales programme which won a Jerusalem Trust Award for the best Easter programme in the UK; in 2015 she received a Point of Light Award from the Prime Minister and also appeared on the Independent on Sunday 100 Happy List for her transformational work in the community. In 2017 she was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community.

James Brookmyre – Producer & Clarinet Teacher

James Brookmyre graduated from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with first class honours and at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya. His teachers have included Ian Wilson,  Pedro Memelsdorff, Jane Booth, Pamela Thorby, Dame Thea King, Robert Ehrlich and Lorenzo Coppola.

He enjoys a freelance career as a performer, producer and pedagogue; performing across Europe, the USA, and the Middle East, recent performance highlights include playing as a principal with several leading ensembles in the UK and abroad including the Bremen Barockorchester, Welsh National Opera and the Flanders Recorder Quartet.

An enthusiastic educator, James holds teaching positions at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Cardiff University and in independent schools across London. He is Director of the Cardiff Recorder Club, teaches at the Moulin de Cajarc in South-West France every summer and recently gave workshops at the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath.

James has worked in a freelance capacity as a Producer and Curator for over eight years, working with organisations such as Ensemble DeNOTE, Lythe Chamber Music, Sunday at Six and Making Music, Changing Lives.

Elizabeth Williams – Chair of Trustees

Elizabeth Williams is from Sheffield.  She trained and worked as a lawyer and is currently an education union officer, but is also a professional pianist, specialising in accompaniment, chamber music and teaching.  Elizabeth completed her postgraduate musical studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, and previously studied with Benjamin Frith. 

Over the course of her varied career, Elizabeth has also achieved distinctions in an MA Arts Management and a Postgraduate Diploma in Employment Law.  She worked for five years at the Royal College of Music in London, supporting the students there in developing their careers. She has lived in London, Berlin and Norfolk, where she continued to perform and teach, in addition to working in the Law.  

Elizabeth now loves living in Cardiff and combines her union work with a busy musical career in addition to attempting to learn Welsh!  She cares passionately about giving children and young people the opportunity to participate in music-making, and is delighted to be the Chair of Making Music, Changing Lives.

Lesley Hatfield – Patron

Lesley Hatfield leads a varied and distinguished musical life, combining her role as Leader of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with chamber music, solo playing and teaching. Her wide ranging musical interests find her performing music from all eras and she has worked closely with many contemporary composers.

After graduating from Clare College, Cambridge, she studied at the Royal Academy of Music. During her early career, as a chamber musician and member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, she worked with Sandor Vegh and Nicholas Harnoncourt, both of whom had a lasting influence on her musical approach. She was co-Leader of the Northern Sinfonia and Leader of the Ulster Orchestra before taking up her current position.

Chamber music has always been an important part of Lesley’s musical life. She is a member of the highly acclaimed Gaudier Ensemble and is regularly invited to participate as a guest in a wide range of ensembles and chamber music festivals. She has been a regular invited performer at the International Musicians Seminar Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove since 1986.

She has appeared as guest Leader, soloist and director with many orchestras around the UK and in Europe, has recorded for Chandos and Naxos labels, and is regularly heard on BBC radio 3.

Lesley is much in demand as a teacher, and has a busy schedule of students at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She is actively involved as Patron of Making Music, Changing Lives. 

In 2008 she was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, and in June 2020 was awarded a fellowship to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in recognition of her contribution to music in Wales.

Teaching Staff

Charlotte Thomas – Flute

Originally from North Wales, Charlotte began playing the flute aged eight. She progressed through country and regional ensembles and went on to gain membership in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales and the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Wales.

Charlotte is a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama where she completed both her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Highlights of her time at RWCMD include winning the 2018 Ken Smith Flute Prize and reaching the final of the concerto competition in the same year.

Now enjoying a career as a freelance musician, Charlotte has performed with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the orchestra of the Welsh National Opera and in a variety of other professional engagements across the UK. Charlotte has appeared as a soloist in several different concerti and also performs in a Flute and Harp Duo.

Charlotte thoroughly enjoys teaching in a variety of settings from private tuition to peripatetic teaching and working in schools. She was inspired to work in this area as a result of the excellent teaching she has been fortunate to receive throughout her musical career coupled with a belief that everyone should have access to music education.

David Lewis – Violin/Viola

David is a graduate of the Royal College of Music. Following studies there he joined the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera. Since becoming freelance David has played with major British Orchestras and toured Japan and USA with the Academy of Ancient Music and other period instrument groups. He leads and directs the 18 Century Concert Orchestra, and in South Wales, Cambrensis Orchestra. At the Royal Shakespeare Company he has worked on Twelfth Night and Tempest. Film credits include ‘The Madness of King George’ and ‘Youth’.

David is a string coach for the London Schools Symphony Orchestra and has always been involved in teaching at all levels. He is in demand as a tutor and adjudicator.

Nancy Johnson – Violin / Viola

Helen Whitemore – Brass

In 2009, Helen gained a scholarship to study trumpet at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Whilst there, she studied with principal trumpet of Welsh National Opera, Dean Wright. She partook in masterclasses with Sergei Nakariakov, Phil Cobb, Niall Keatley, Andy Crowley, Mike Lovatt, Alistair Mackie, and Mnozil Brass. She was also lucky to be involved with various RWCMD/WNO side by side projects.

Since graduating from RWCMD in 2013 with First Class Honours, Helen has been working as a freelance trumpeter and teacher in South Wales.

Michael Dooley – Cello

Michael has wide ranging experience both as a Cellist and a teacher. He studied Cello at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with Sharon McKinley and Douglas Cummings and subsequently with Dewi Watkins. As a cellist he has wide ranging performing experience in several fields. Michael is an enthusiastic chamber musician and is a currently a member of the Arianne String Quartet who perform for both functions and recitals around South Wales. He has done freelance orchestral work and also performs with various baroque ensembles on baroque Cello. In 2014 he performed Haydn D Major Cello Concerto with Dinas Powys Orchestra. As a teacher he has wide experience of individual, group, and ensemble teaching and works both as a peripatetic in schools and as a private teacher.

Board Members




Regular Volunteers

  • Domini Lipman
  • Martin Alford