The Trailblazer Music Leaders are:
Matt is a trained sound engineer and music composer, with experience of working in some exciting London recording studios and producing music for film and television. Matt’s career has taken many turns, including spells in retail, electronic engineering, IT and graphic design. A passion for music has been a consistent theme that lead to Matt gaining qualifications in sound engineering and music production. After introducing young people to music technology in schools across London, Matt discovered the value of engaging and inspiring children and young people through positive and creative opportunities. On returning to his home town of Southampton, Matt co-founded SoCo Music Project with Jon after identifying a need for co-ordinated music activities that produced positive social outcomes in the city. Matt has a keen interest in music performance and production, as well as a passion for promoting the cultural offer of the city.
Chris wrote his first song aged 7. It was called Diplodocus Fever! He joined his first band at 17, did a music degree and played drums all over the UK, Europe and USA. Chris played punk, indie, jazz, hip-hop, funk..anything that excited him. He’s written music for SKY, ITN, EMI, CH5 and some theatre and dance companies. He also works as a performance poet – somewhere between poetry, stand-up and storytelling. He rusn a touring show called Tongue Fu – fusing poetry, hip-hop and some amazing musicians. Chris has been lucky enough to perform on BBC Radio 1, Radio 4, XFM, Sky Arts and he regularly performs around the UK. He balances all this exciting work with teaching and running workshops in music, writing and performance. It’s a passion of his. He’s worked in schools, hospices, with youth orchestras, young offenders, little children, old adults and everyone in between. Chris believes music lifts us, helps us express whatever we’re feeling. It can be very powerful. He is constantly blown away by the music, passion and creativity of everyone at WRS – the members and the tutors. He loves working here. Its one of the best jobs ever.
Jon has a wealth of music experience, as well as a background in acoustic technology and audio engineering. Jons’ professional career started in the field of Earthquake monitoring, telemetry and recording equipment but has always had parallels with music and acoustics. A stint at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton for some 20 years followed, Jon developed a keen interest in the science of sound, as well as maintaining a passion for music production and performance. Since developing SoCo Music Project with Matt, Jon has been involved in all aspects of the running and development of a dynamic and expanding arts organisation. As well as the strategic planning and delivery of music activities, Jon has maintained his interest in acoustic engineering by designing and overseeing the build of several recording and radio studio projects.
Chris has been tutoring with Rock School since its first days back in 2004. His first instrument was the guitar but he also play drums and bass. He has played in various bands and been involved with many different young-people oriented music projects in the area. He really enjoys working with young people to help them develop their ideas and creativity. He also works as project coordinator for Winnall Rock School.
Louis graduated from Solent University with a degree in Popular Music and Record Production. A keen performer, producer and songwriter, Louis works in many genres, from pop and folk, to drum & bass. After joining SoCo through the Solent University Graduate Intern scheme, Louis has become a skilled music practitioner introducing people of all ages and abilities to the world of music.
Jimmy is a guitarist, songwriter, guitar teacher and Music Performance tutor from Southampton. He has been listening to Metal and Hard Rock from an early age and when he was 15, he got my first guitar and formed a band straight away! Jimmy studied Music Performance at college and continues to study guitar and the music industry to this day. Over the many years he has been playing, he has played everything from Pop Rock to Death Metal in bands that have toured the UK, played in Holland and Mexico, as well as winning awards such as BT Digital Best Unsigned Band and appearing in magazines (Metal Hammer, Fireworks). Jimmy currently teaches guitar/music performance, plays in metal band – THE DEAD ACRES and is writing material for his own solo project.
Mark has been working with SoCo for 2 years as the Adult Learning Officer, developing and delivering an exciting programme of work for adults across the city. These programmes include workshops in music production, songwriting and performance. Mark is a keen flautist and saxophonist with a 1st class honours degree in music from Kingston University.