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OMF appoints new Programmes Manager, Programmes and Finance Coordinator and Guitar teacher

After a fiercely competitive recruitment round in January and over 120 applications across three roles, we are thrilled to announce the appointment of Sam Parry as OMF Programmes Manager; Tamsin Sandford Smith as OMF Programmes and Finance Coordinator; and Ryan Buxton as OMF Guitar Teacher.



The past 18 months have seen many changes at the OMF, including the appointment of Sarah Ampil as Programmes and Finance Administrator in November 2022 and Anna Kerr as Development Director in January 2023. As the charity goes from strength to strength and works towards its goal of providing free weekly instrumental lessons to 250 children by 2026 (as part of our 'Forging Musical Futures Strategy 2023-26'), we are delighted to welcome Sam, Tamsin and Ryan to the OMF team and are excited for them to share their talents with our community.



Sam Parry - Programmes Manager

Bio

Sam is a musician and teacher based in Manchester. He grew up in and around Bradford, Yorkshire on a diet of musical theatre, punk rock, and big bands. A first study pianist, he came to the University of Manchester to read music in 2005, and completed a PGCE in Secondary Music in 2013. As a teacher, Sam has worked as a peripatetic music teacher with Wigan Music service and a youth worker at Wigan Youth Zone, working across the borough to bring hundreds of primary school pupils together. An avid performer, most weekends Sam can be found performing around Manchester and the North West, an is also an active songwriter and spoken word artist. Outside of work, Sam enjoys climbing, Dungeons & Dragons, and hanging out with his son, Reuben.


Why are you excited to join the OMF?

I am excited to join the OMF because, as someone who received financial help to learn the piano and clarinet while in school, I understand the importance of organisations like this one. Music is universal in all but affordability sometimes and the OMF is doing a wonderful thing to rectify this for the people who really need it most. I am also looking forward to making a difference with Jo and the team, some of whom I have been friends with for a number of years. It feels like I’m becoming part of a family and that’s alright by me :) 


What is your earliest musical memory

My earliest musical memory was my first named part in a musical: Knife Grinder 1 in Oliver! at Glusburn Youth Theatre. I wanted to play Oliver but I couldn’t stop smiling in the audition when I was singing ‘Where Is Love’ and then burst into tears when I couldn’t remember my lines. Nothing really changed throughout my music theatre career to be honest - I enjoyed singing too much and couldn’t ever remember my lines!




Tamsin Sandford Smith - Programmes and Finance Coordinator

Bio

Tamsin is a classical soprano and music teacher currently studying for an MMus in performance at the RNCM. She originally comes from St Albans, where she learned piano from her mum and got drawn into pursuing music thanks to some excellent teachers at Beaumont School. In 2021 she graduated with a Music BA from The Queens College Oxford, where she was also a choral scholar. After leaving university, Tamsin trained with the TeachFirst programme, and worked as a secondary school music teacher in the London Borough of Hackney. She moved to Manchester in 2023 to pursue postgraduate studies at the RNCM and has now joined OMF as the Programmes and Finances Coordinator!


Why are you excited to join the OMF?


I am excited to join OMF because I can’t wait to be part of a new musical community in Manchester! Music is one of the best ways to connect with people, and the links between the OMF team and teachers, students, and parents seem very special. I am really looking forward to becoming part of the family.

 

What is your earliest musical memory?

 

When I was very young, I was always very upset about having to go in the car. According to my parents, they quickly worked out that the only way to stop me crying during long journeys was to sing to me non-stop! So my earliest musical memory is probably ‘Wheels on the Bus’ sung on repeat.




Ryan Buxton - Guitar Teacher

Bio

My Dad is a guitarist and when I was a kid I was around guitars quite a lot. I have always been pretty fascinated with how strings work and the way chords and melodies can be made on a guitar. When I was younger I played guitar just for fun really and enjoyed playing songs by my favourite songwriters. Then I got serious about it after leaving school and started really focusing on my ability and my knowledge so I put myself through some grades for music theory and guitar playing. Then when I was about 24 I ran a jam night with some friends and that taught me a huge amount about improvising and playing live. We played a lot of funk and soul and a few jazz songs. While I was doing this I also played in an acoustic duo and we played weddings and corporate events. Together we learnt hundreds of songs and played even more shows. I have also just finished my Masters in composing at Salford University and am really excited to see how that changes my music in the future. I love music, I love guitars and I love sharing that with my students and helping people find the joy of music.

 

Why are you excited to join the OMF?

I am really excited to join OMF because I believe in the way that they do things. Everything looks really fun to get involved with and like there is a real emphasis on the students enjoyment of music which is my priority too. I think that music is something everyone should have access to and Olympias go out of their way to make that happen. 

 

What is your earliest musical memory?

I have two really clear memories of being around music when I was younger. The first is playing my toy guitar with my dad and my grandad on stage when I was about four. We ‘played’ ‘On Blueberry Hill’ by Fats Domino and celebrated my grandad’s fiftieth. There’s a photo somewhere! The other memory I have is of when I had a few of my friends at my house when I was about seven and we stole one of my dads guitars and amps and then made a drum kit of out chocolate boxes and pillows and plates and basically just made a huge racket. I think it was the best band I’ve ever been in. 


To find out more about our award-winning team, visit www.olympiasmusicfoundation.com/meet-the-team

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