Speakers and presenters
John Cameron (UK)
John Cameron is Associate Director of Music and Head of Keyboard at St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh, UK.
Born in 1970, John’s early musical studies centred on the violin and viola. Having been offered a scholarship to enter the Royal Northern College of Music, he continued studying viola with Simon Rowland-Jones and Nicholas Logie. He was then offered the chance to work in Denmark as an accompanist and coach and also as conductor for the Nordvestjyske Sinfonie Orkester.
John returned to the UK in 1996 to study piano accompaniment at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he won a Sir Henry Richardson Award in his first year. He was awarded a GSMD bursary and scholarship and a Geoffrey Parsons Memorial Award to continue at the Guildhall for a second year in which he won the school’s Schubert and the Armourers and Brasiers Accompaniment Prize in 1998 and 1999.
London highlights have included giving the opening concert at the Covent Garden Festival ‘99, recitals at the Wigmore Hall in September 2000 with Sally Matthews, and at St. John’s Smith Square. John was the winner of the Megan Foster Accompanists Prize 1999 and has performed on BBC Radio Three, BBC4, Radio Scotland and S4C.
Among others, he has worked with singers Sarah Walker, Gweneth-Ann Jeffers, The Dunedin Consort, Mark Stone, Stefan Loges, Sophie Karthauser and Matthew Brook.
Since joining the staff at St Mary’s Music School he has been active as a recitalist, accompanying both string players and wind players in concert and masterclasses as well as teaching piano and chamber music. He has worked with Mr McFall’s Chamber, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Edinburgh Festival Chorus, and has acted as repetiteur for Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Phillipe Herreweghe, Donald Runnicles, Sir Roger Norrington and Robin Ticciati at the Edinburgh International Festival.
Andy Gleadhill (UK)
A musician, educator, author, composer, ethnomusicologist and teacher trainer, Andy Gleadhill has over thirty five years experience as a professional musician and educationalist.
As a performing musician Andy has played with leading recording artists and orchestras in the world for film and television. As an ethnomusicologist, he has travelled widely around the world especially in Africa, South America, South East Asia and India, playing and learning about music of other cultures.
Andy has had many papers and articles published on World Music and musiceducation topics and has published books on African Drumming, Indonesian Gamelan, Brazilian Samba, the Music of India, Caribbean Steel Pans, and Composing with World Music. He wrote the chapter on Music for Popular Culture, Pedagogy and Teacher Education in Education (Routledge 2014).
Andy has worked at every level of music education from Early Years settings to post-graduate teaching at conservatoires and universities around the world. He is anAssociate Lecturer at Bath Spa University in the UK where he has taught on the specialist Secondary Music PGCE course for over 15 years.
He is also a Visiting Professor at the Malaysian Music Teacher Training College.
George Hess (Malaysia)
George Hess is an award-winning educator, guitarist, composer and author.
An award-winning teacher, he has taught music technology, jazz and theory at leading universities for over 25 years and has presented clinics and workshops throughout the world.
The author of Creating Music with Notion (Hal Leonard, 2015), he is a regular contributor to School Band and Orchestra and MUSIC:ED magazines.
Hess has produced over 100 tutorial videos on music software and his videos are featured on Groove 3 and the MuseScore website.
Dr Hess is currently professor of music at Sunway University in Malaysia.
Ramlan Mohd Imam (Malaysia)
Ramlan Mohd Imam is the Dean of Music Faculty, National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage, ASWARA.
He is also the founder of Performing Arts Heritage of Malaysia(WARISMA) devoted exclusively to the Malay traditional performing arts. He was appointed as the Head of Music Department at the National Academy of Arts(ASK) from 1995–2007.
In 2007, Ramlan launched his first community music school and in year 2013, he was appointed as the Dean of Music Faculty until present.
As a musician, he has made appearances in festivals such as the North Sea Jazz Festivals, ASEAN Song Festival, ABU song festivals, Commonwealth Song Festival, and numerous international concerts, seminars, workshops on all five continents.
Ramlan has contributed his music compositions to National Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, ASEAN Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Broadcasting Orchestra, Radio and Television Malaysia Orchestra, City Hall Orchestra(DBKL) and Gustavus Adolphus Symphony Orchestra.
For many years, Ramlan has contributed articles to the International Journal of Art, Cultures and Heritage(iJACH) and symposium such as the Institute of Music International Symposium and Science of Art and Creative Industry.
Mark Kesel (UK)
Mark Kesel is Chief Examiner at the Music Teachers’ Board (MTB Exams). His appointment to this role follows a career spanning more than 35 years as a trumpet player and teacher in the UK where he has appeared as performer or lecturer at universities, concert halls, on BBC television and radio and at Festivals.
Mark was inspired to pursue a career in music by his first teacher Jimmy Norden and continued his studies with Sidney Ellison at the Royal Academy of Music.
After obtaining a degree in music from the University of Reading, Mark was appointed their trumpet teacher. He conducted a series of performances of the rarely staged opera by Stanford called The Travelling Companion, was principal trumpet with the touring opera company Opera East for twelve years and has worked extensively as a freelance trumpet player and guest soloist.
Mark founded Chaconne Brass in 1984 and was the driving force behind the group in its early years. He was responsible for devising their popular family and educational programme ‘Oh Good Chips for Tea!’ which has been performed to tens of thousands of children in Britain and abroad.
Mark has directed two lottery funded educational projects in his home town of Reading and has composed and arranged several works for brass, a number of which are recorded.
Helen MacGregor (UK)
Helen MacGregor is an award-winning music education author and teacher, with a passion for and many years’ experience of teaching music in schools.
She has regularly presented workshops at regional and national music conferences and particularly enjoys working with adults of all musical backgrounds and abilities.
After completing her Honours degree at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, Helen taught music in Inner London schools. While her own children were small she ran weekly classes for babies, and young children and their parents and carers. One group continued from the age of 1 to 8 years of age! This experience stimulated a special interest in child development and in music education during the Early Years.
Helen then had the opportunity to combine teaching in school with teacher-training in Southwark, and contributing to national Degree and MA level music education courses, including those at Trinity College of Music and Homerton College, Cambridge. For five years she designed and ran a one year part-time Access to Music course for adults, (ages ranging from 21 to 63!) with many students choosing to continue on to complete University degrees. She was an education consultant for the London Philharmonic Orchestra for ten years: training players; writing education materials; and providing in-service training for their schools’ concert series and outreach projects.
Awards include: Primary Music Magazine Listening resource of 2019 for her Listening to Music series; the Marsh Award for Community Education in Opera, Music and Ballet 2011, for her work with the Royal Opera House on the ‘Voices of the Future’ project; a BAFTA for her contribution to the development of Grid Club’s Music Studio.
Salehhuddin Md Salleh (Malaysia)
Salehhuddin Md Salleh is the Director of Policy and Research Division, National Department for Culture and Arts (JKKN), Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia.
He has been in this creative industry for past 30 years. Started as a professional Jazz musician and educator, he then transformed himself into an Arts Administrator and has worked for the government since 1992.
Salehhuddin has been very much involved in artistic development of Arts and Culture in Malaysia. His biggest contribution was to restructure the National Symphony Orchestra back in 1993 and strategically plan their artistic development programme. He was also part of the creative team for the opening and closing of the 16th Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in1998.
On the international scene, he has been actively involved in the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (ASEAN-COCI) since 1993 and was a founding member of Asia Pacific Orchestra Association Tokyo in 1997. He was seconded to the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra and Ballet in 1997, attached to Nantre Theatre Paris in 2000 and was a founding member of International Federation of Arts Council and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) Asian’s Chapter 2003 in Singapore.
Salehhuddin was awarded the Cultural Award Scheme by the Australian Government in 2001 and a recipient of the Malaysian Government scholarship to further his study on Festival Producing and Management in Edinburgh, UK in 2004-2005.
He was appointed as one of the International Programme Advisory Committee for the 8th World Summit on Arts and Culture which took place in March 2019, hosted by Malaysia and co-organised by the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA).
Salehhuddin is also an Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) expert and currently, is working on ICH video documentary project under the auspices of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Centre of Asia Pacific (ICHCAP), Korea.
Kenneth Taylor (UK)
Dr Kenneth Taylor took up his appointment as Headteacher of St Mary’s Music School in April 2013.
Educated at Dulwich College and the University of Edinburgh, Dr Taylor has a strong academic background in university science research and education. Having completed a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry he worked as Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Manchester and as a Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.
From 1997 he taught Chemistry and Physics in three Edinburgh Schools before moving to Peebles High School as Head of Science and then Biggar High School as Depute Headteacher. Throughout that time he was a strong advocate of ‘Thinking Science’ a programme of thirty lessons which aim to develop thinking skills through science education – something he continues to teach at St Mary’s Music School. Dr Taylor is a keen musician, playing the viola, piano and organ and, in his previous schools, ran choirs and accompanied pupils in concerts and music examinations. Dr Taylor runs and plays in a small orchestra which performs each year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and at other venues around Scotland.