Magdalen College, Oxford
Artistic Director of the William Byrd Festival, Portland Oregon
When my grandfather noticed what he perceived in me as an enthusiasm for music at a young age, he urged my parents to buy a piano for the house and I have never looked back. I was fortunate that somebody spotted my potential and that I had access to an instrument and to teaching in order to fulfil that potential.
At every stage of my life, many people have supported my music-making in a variety of different ways and I have been enormously privileged to learn with and perform with superb musicians who have spurred me on to ever greater heights. I am deeply conscious that not everyone enjoys such good fortune, and, mindful of the joy and fulfilment that music can bring, I am delighted to have the chance to play a part in bringing music education to a wider community in Zambia, a country I have been lucky enough to visit. I hope that others will join me as we seek to build facilities and provide teaching for as many people as possible through the work of the Muze Trust.
The Tallis Scholars
Co-Director of Music,
Merton College, Oxford
Unfortunately, I grew up with little music in my family. Perhaps as a result of this, I wanted to make the most of the music lessons on offer at my school, which led me to concentrate on the oboe and the keyboard.
I didn't have a good singing voice and so had no vocal training. However, the voice has always been my favourite instrument, and it was this love which encouraged me to set up a performing ensemble which employs only singers. This ensemble became known as The Tallis Scholars and sings music written for voices alone. I still do not sing – members of the group try and stop me if I try to sing with them! - but I have been very lucky that my interest in singing has lead to a career which concentrates only on that; something I never dreamt would happen.
I would now like to encourage all those who are talented for music but have none of it at home, and develop their interest. I think the Muze Trust is an excellent way of making sure that happens in Zambia. I am thrilled at this initiative, and thrilled to support it.
I look forward to hearing those whom the Trust supports develop on whichever their chosen instrument may be, or advance their singing voice as I never did. There is nothing more joyful.
Prof. Rebecca Fitzgerald
Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge
Senior Research Leader at Medical Council Cancer Unit, Cambridge
Born into a clergy household, I grew up surrounded by church music. This, along with piano and clarinet lessons paid for by my parents whilst I was still at primary school, meant I had access to music from a very young age. When I arrived at Cambridge to read Medicine I realised that all the nagging to do music practice, even before breakfast (!) was worthwhile because it opened up all sorts of opportunities to enjoy making music with others. I made lasting friendships, and met my husband Shaun, through the camaraderie of rehearsals and concert successes.
Now that we have four sons, we have prioritised ensuring they have similar musical opportunities, not least as we have seen how music can build their confidence and lead to friendships. As a family we have immense fun with our own eclectic "band" with over eight instruments between us (strictly for private listening!) and we enjoy playing and listening to each other perform in a wide variety of musical genres. It is hard for us to imagine life without music.
This is what leads me to support the vision of The Muze Trust. My hope is that the Trust will help other children and adults have musical opportunities that will also endure throughout their lives.
Emma Pauncefort, Ph.D
Learning Science Practitioner, Dilectae Ltd.
Co-Director, CRD Records Ltd.
I was very fortunate to grow up in a house filled with music; whether it be due to recordings playing in the background, my brother playing the piano, or my father singing as he moved around the house. My parents' enthusiasm for music meant that I was taken along to the local Church to sing in the parish choir at the age of 6. When I started school, I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to undertake violin, piano and singing lessons.
I now cannot imagine a life without music. My closest friendships have been founded on a shared passion for music and I have been deeply moved by moments when music has allowed me to communicate across linguistic barriers.
I have a long-standing research interest in how travellers cross cultural divides, often through activities such as theatre going and music, and in how individuals understand those others with whom they came into contact. I am fascinated by the growing learning sciences domain and what we know about how we learn. These interests, alongside my involvement with a leading UK record label, underpins my commitment to The Muze Trust, a charity which recognises the value of music in enriching lives and creating connections across borders.
Director of Music, Pembroke College, Cambridge
Music has played a huge part in my life from an early age. I was lucky to have an extremely supportive family who encouraged me to try out a whole range of different instruments, meaning I worked through piano, violin, viola, clarinet, and flute before finally settling on organ and harp. Finding the right musical instrument can so often involve luck, depending on the intersection of the perfect instrument with the perfect teacher. I am forever grateful for being offered the resources to explore a whole range of musical channels, without which I wouldn't be working at Cambridge today.
Whilst I was studying at Oxford, I had the amazing opportunity to go to Zambia on one of the Muze Trust Summer Programmes. I fell in love with the country instantly, and was determined to go back. When I arrived in Cambridge, I was thinking about where to take the Choir on tour, and Zambia seemed like the obvious choice. Watching 24 other people experience such an incredible country for the first time was deeply moving. It was amazing to be able to share our understanding of notation and music theory with musicians there, but we also found that we learnt just as much as we taught, and came back with our heads full of new Zambian music. I'm excited to work with the Muze Trust to further develop links between England and Zambia, and open up its incredible culture to as many people as possible.