Our Personalised Health Budget Team
Pete Churchill has been the Artistic Director of the Musical Connections project since 2004 and has a wealth of experience delivering high quality creative work with vulnerable participants. Pete recently led monthly Musical Connections Hub activity based at Northcroft Hospital, Erdington. He studied piano & double bass as a junior at the Royal College of Music before undertaking a music degree at Oxford University as an organ scholar. In the mid 1990s, after a few years in church music, he became a community musician. He is a highly experienced workshop facilitator, multi-instrumentalist and composer with a huge amount of skill & knowledge. For the last 7 years he has been Musical Director of Birmingham’s Choir With No Name whose members come from the homeless sector and currently leads 3 prison choirs with Choirs Beating Time. He enjoys a wide variety of musical styles/genres, gives classical organ/piano recitals and plays bass &/or accordion in The Strangest Feeling, The Destroyers and The Bonfire Radicals. He is comfortable in contemporary genres, using technology & is Mental Health First Aid trained.
Steve Ison is a vocalist, singer-songwriter and recording artist with over 16 years of experience of facilitating creative music projects with vulnerable adults, having worked on the Musical Connections project as Music Support Worker for this duration. Steve is a prolific songwriter and has been performing in bands since he was 16. He has produced two of his own successful albums whilst also supporting the formation and progression of many successful bands involving mental health service users, including the bands ADHD, Cosmic Soul, The Devilators and The Paul Lawrence Experience. He’s the lead singer and guitarist for The Strangest Feeling, a band formed 5 years ago and featuring 4 of the Musical Connections artists. They have released their own album and also host their own annual micro-festival in Birmingham called ‘Music On The Roof’, which has become a big success. Steve’s has also self-released his 3rd solo album, ‘Love In A Strange World’. Steve is trained in Mental Health First Aid.
Paul Carroll has 16 years of experience of facilitating creative music projects with vulnerable adults and young people, having worked on the Musical Connections project with vulnerable adults for many years and also being a lead artist on our Wavelength and Plugin projects for young people with mental health conditions. Paul has also led monthly Musical Connections Hub activity based at Creative Support, Yardley. He has worked with Spectra (performance project for people with learning disabilities) on 3 theatre productions at the MAC and with Options for Life, Sandwell with a learning disabled group of adults. As a freelance music leader, he has worked with many other organisations in the West Midlands in secure mental health units and in the disability arts sector, and is also well-known for his skills in using music technology and software to support accessible music making. Paul is a skilled drummer and also plays guitar, keyboard and sings. Paul is a Bronze/Silver Arts Award Advisor and has been trained in Mental Health First Aid and completed a 2 day core training on Understanding the Needs of Young People on the Autism Spectrum.
Nicola McAteer learned the cello through Sandwell Youth Music before completing a music degree at Leeds College of Music and a research Masters in Community Music at the University of Edinburgh. She now divides her time between performing as a cellist and working as a community musician. She has many years of experience of facilitating creative music projects with vulnerable adults and young people, having worked on the Musical Connections project for vulnerable adults for 5 years and having also led monthly Musical Connections Hub activity based in Orsborn House, Handsworth. She also has significant experience of music facilitation for organisations in Edinburgh & Wales, particularly working with people with learning difficulties. She is involved in Mothership's pilot befriending project for newly arrived mothers and also assisted on Quench Arts’ Musical Wonderland early years project. Nicola has undertaken several visits to work for the Sri Aurobindo Society Music Program in Pondicherry, India on a music therapy basis, working with children with special needs & in palliative care. Nicola plays the harp and cello, leads Emerald Strings in Birmingham & plays cello for The Strangest Feeling band. She is Mental Health First Aid trained.
James Stanley was originally trained through Sound It Out’s New Horizons programme and, since then, has progressed to be a freelance musician in high demand, working with Mac Makes Music, The Hive, Base Studios, Makes Some Noise and SongLab on participatory music projects with young people in challenging circumstances. James is a multi-instrumentalist, avid songwriter and also highly
skilled in music technology and software, regularly writing for film and media. He is currently a lead artist on Quench Arts’ Wavelength and Plugin projects for young people with mental health conditions. James has also led monthly Musical Connections activity based in the Lyndon Clinic, Solihull for vulnerable adults. James is a Bronze/Silver/Gold Arts Award Advisor and has been trained in Mental Health First Aid and also completed 2 day core training on Understanding the Needs of Young People on the Autism Spectrum.
Sarah Wilson is a musician, audio artist, singer and songwriter specialising in digital and electronic media. She is based in Wales but travels to Birmingham weekly as a music facilitator. Sarah runs music making as well as multimedia workshops, working with organisations such as Town Hall Symphony Hall, The Ikon, LACES, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham and Sandwell Mental Health Trust, as well as Quench Arts. She is currently a lead artist on Quench Arts’ Wavelength project for young people with mental health conditions and has also led monthly Musical Connections activity based in Longbridge CMHT. Sarah has a wealth of experience in supporting music-making and production in medium, secure and acute mental health units. Sarah is a Bronze/Silver/Gold Arts Award Advisor and has has been trained in Mental Health First Aid. Through her work with other organisations, Sarah has a wealth of experience of working with people on the autistic spectrum and has undertaken training in this area.