Our People
Our People
Our People
Our People
image of Chris Cronin
Chris Cronin Chairman, Board of Trustees

Chris can look back on over 30 years in the entertainment industry, mainly in the design, innovation and manufacture of large-scale stage touring sets for artists such as George Michael, Kylie Minogue, Take That and hundreds more.

Chris has a reputation as a market leader and is directly responsible for many of the modular rigging systems used in major venues around the world. He has won awards for his inventions, including the T2™ Truss, the only product on the market designed to protect technicians climbing or working at height.

He is CEO of the Total Solutions Group (TSG), which has offices in Birmingham and Singapore. TSG manages a suite of well-known industry brands including Total Fabrications™, the main manufacturing arm of the business, and Lightlock™, a first-generation motion damping device for moving lights, developed with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Current clients include Take That, Strictly Come Dancing, ELO, O2 Arena, Asian Games, Creamfields and many more.

image of David Barnard
David Barnard CEO BA (Hons), ARCM, PGCE, FRSA

David is managing director of Vivace Training & Consultancy Ltd and part-time Education Official for the Musicians’ Union. His clients have included Roland UK, Yamaha, Casio, Notion, I Like Music, Music for All and several music education hubs. He currently chairs the Music Industries’ Association (Education) Committee and is a sought-after teacher trainer.

David holds a first-class honours degree in music, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, a performer’s diploma from the Royal College of Music, and a Diploma in Management. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the Chartered Institute of Management.

David’s career has included a number of senior management posts in industry and education. He founded the Roland Music Academy network, and has worked as a conductor, music publisher, visiting lecturer in music education at Middlesex University, and specialist examiner for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

image of Rick Benton
Rick Benton Director – Industry and Partnerships BMus (Hons), LRSM, CertEd

Rick began his professional career at 17, becoming one of the youngest musical directors of a national theatre tour with Charles Vance’s rock adaptation of ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

In 2016 Rick joined legendary UK rock band, Magnum, reaching number 1 in the UK independent charts with their latest studio album and enjoying a successful near sell-out 50-date European tour with the band.

Rick was curriculum manager of Music, Acting and Dance at Walsall College, and worked on the development of the Roland Academies network in the UK, leading on the Academies Roadshow tours.

He has worked with Yamaha on the design and development of electric pianos, was owner of Pianoman Studios and Powerhouse rehearsal rooms, and has produced and arranged for numerous artists and shows in the UK and Europe.

Rick holds a first-class honours degree in music, a licentiate diploma in music teaching and a Certificate in Education.

image of Dr Jonathan Savage
Dr Jonathan Savage Director

Jonathan is Managing Director of UCan Play, a not-for-profit sales and consultancy company supporting music education across the United Kingdom. He is also a Reader in Education at Manchester Metropolitan University. Jonathan has chaired the Expert Subject Panel for Music for the Department for Education and also led the implementation of the previous two iterations of National Curriculum for Music across England as part of his consultancy role with the National Association for Music Education (now Music Mark).

Jonathan has worked as an education consultant for the Musicians’ Union, the BBC (including CBeebies and GCSE Bitesize), NYMAZ, the Greater Manchester Music Hub, Steinway & Sons, Roland UK and many other organisations.

He is a published author with Routledge, Sage and the Open University Press, having written 17 books, edited many others and also written extensively for academic journals all over the world.

He is a regular speaker on issues regarding music education and the arts on national radio, most recently appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row where he debated with Nick Gibb, the Schools Minister.

image of Dr Andrew Curran
Dr Andrew Curran Advisor

Andrew is a practising paediatric neurologist and neurobiologist consultant.

He spent three years in full time research following up children after brain injury and works extensively in this field as a consultant paediatric neurologist at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. He has also researched emotional literacy in classrooms and, more recently, explored the processing of reward in the human brain.

Andrew’s Little Book of Big Stuff about the Brain is recognised as one of the leading works on understanding brain-based learning and the importance of emotional literacy in our classrooms and in our lives; and Get Off the Sofa is aimed at anyone who wants to better understand their health.

Andrew was a main presenter on BBC3’s Make My Body Younger, and regularly presents the science section on Five Live Saturday Edition. He is also a gifted singer, song writer and writer of fiction.

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