Amy Chalmers — 2022 Director & Strings / Vocals
Amy Chalmers is a violinist, vocalist and pianist based near Liverpool. As a freelance musician, she is an arranger, composer, session musician and musical director. She is also involved in music education as a violin teacher and a classroom music teacher.
Amy gained a BA Hons in Music at Leeds University in 2000, and since then has gone on to be involved in many different musical projects. She is one half of original folk/acoustic duo “Two Black Sheep”, who have had national radio play on BBC Radio 6. She had been on two UK tours with the Essence of Ireland stage show, and performed at numerous music festivals across the country. She has worked with The Christians and China Crisis, and recently played on a single organised by Radio 2’s Bob Harris, featuring artists such as Mark Knopfler and Rick Wakeman.
Amy enjoys working across a variety of genres, playing as part of an 11-piece hip hop show, “The Incredible 11”, playing in classical string quartet “Echo Strings”, and arranging and performing music for award-winning Americana singer/songwriter Robert Vincent. She has also appeared on television, playing violin on the recent docudrama about Hillsborough, “Anne”, and she regularly works with world-renowned composer Keith Hopwood recording music for various children’s TV shows.
Amy is passionate about encouraging young people to pursue their musical ambitions, working with both primary and secondary pupils on the Wirral. She is very much looking forward to working with the tutors and campers on the GBMC in her first year as director of camp.
Steve Askew — Guitars
Steve has had a long love affair with the music industry. Guitarist with 80’s group Kajagoogoo, he co-wrote the global hit ‘Too Shy’, which was No. 1 in 10 different countries and became a top 5 single in the US. Since then, Steve has been signed to 6 major record labels throughout his career and is still constantly touring, writing and performing music for live and TV performances. He recently performed at the Nano Mugen Festival at the Yokohama Stadium and had a No. 3 hit in the Japanese charts.
Steve now has his own music production studios, Reddot Music, where he records, produces and teaches many types of popular music from record label artists to school students covering GCSE to A levels.
Matt Lammin — Vocals
Matt is our lead vocal coach and has vast experience as both a teacher and performer. He is a member of ‘Sense of Sound’ and has performed backing vocals for Ringo Starr, Seal, Bon Jovi and Damon Albarn. He has made several TV appearances with Sense of Sound, most notably on BBC’s ‘Last Choir Standing’ and Gareth Malone’s ‘The Choir’.
As a choir leader in his own right, Matt took a Wirral-based choir to X Factor boot camp in 2008, has his arrangements performed all over the world and will be visiting America extensively next year to work with various school choirs in Pennsylvania.
Matt studied Music and Popular Music at the University of Liverpool, went on to do a Masters degree in Music Performance (Pop Vocals & Piano) at the University of Salford and recently completed his PGCE.
Nick Byrne — Strings
Nick currently works as a freelance cellist and plays regularly with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic and BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
He also performs as a session player and is Principal Cello of the Liverpool Session Orchestra and Welsh Session Orchestras, having recorded and performed with many well-known artists, such as Corinne Bailey Rae, Andrea Bocelli, Nicola Benedetti, The Saturdays, Bryn Terfel, Michael Ball, Marti Pellow (Wet Wet Wet), Katherine Jenkins, Hayley Westenra, Rhydian (X Factor), Russell Watson and John Lord (Deep Purple) to name but a few. Nick often records for BBC TV and Radio broadcasts, including the last three series of ‘Dr Who’.
Nick is the cellist of the Liverpool String Quartet, which was founded in 2010. Despite being a relatively new group, the LSQ has performed concerts worldwide to critical acclaim. The LSQ have also appeared extensively on TV and radio programs around Europe, including a live performance at Catalunya Música radio station, BBC Radio Merseyside and National Television of Catalunya TV3.
Jess Harvey — Songwriting
Jess has been leading vocals and song-writing sessions as part of the GBMC team for four years. Having recently graduated, she is working as a performer, singing coach, musical director and piano teacher in and around Liverpool’s cutting-edge music scene. As a singer-songwriter, Jess’ song was selected as BBC Introducing’s Track of the Week and featured on Tom Robinson’s BBC Radio 6 mixtape. With a distinction in Grade 8 classical piano, she has also accompanied, led and arranged for various school choirs. Having created the University of Liverpool’s Pop and Show Choir in 2017 and recently started tutoring with a local theatre company, Jess hopes to continue to work with musicians of all ages, genres and abilities in the future.
Steve Smith — Brass
Steve is one of our key brass tutors, boasting a vast wealth of experience from 20 years of brass playing, most notably with Wellington Brass Band. He specializes in the euphonium but also plays Bb and Eb bass, tenor horn and baritone. Steve has reached the National Brass Band Championships with Wellington, where they were third section champions in 2008. They also perform regularly throughout the year, notably at Ludlow Arts Festival and Ironbridge Brass Festival.
In 2013 Steve co-founded Vorsprung Deutsch Oompah, a group of musicians on various traditional German instruments performing popular German tunes with an outfit to match!
Over the last 15 years Steve has volunteered for projects looking after first aid, supporting brass sections and most importantly ensuring everyone is having fun! Outside of music he works for an established charity in the care sector, where he leads the care team in providing support to individuals as well as assessing/quality assuring QCF diplomas in health and social care.
Fred Claridge — Percussion
Fred graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BMus (Hons) in 2012, studying Drum Kit with Malcolm Garrett at Birmingham Conservatoire. Since graduating, Fred has toured across the world as well as recording in some of the country’s top studios with artists such as Billy Bragg, Luke Concannon (Nizlopi), Mick Jones (The Clash) & Blair Dunlop. As a workshop facilitator, Fred has worked with companies such as All In Good Time & Inspire Works, with whom he recently led two Guinness World Records for The World’s Largest Drum Lesson & World’s Largest Samba Band at the Royal Albert Hall. He looks forward to GBMC each year, working with the percussionists as well as running Rock & Pop and Songwriting workshops.