Lecturer Public Health Dietetics, University of Plymouth. Freelance Creative Well-being consultant.
What do you do for PMZ?
I am utterly thrilled and privileged to have joined the team as the newest PMZ trustee. I am a long-standing supporter of this amazing charity and have engaged in some fundraising activities over the years. As a successful singer/performer and passionate advocate for social justice in my chosen field of Public Health Nutrition, I am really looking forward to working with this amazing bunch of inspiring creatives to support the next stage of the PMZ business plan. I have strong local and regional networks in education, third sector and well-being, so hope I can combine my passion for social justice, well-being and music, so that more lives can be improved.
Do you play any instruments?
I learned piano (to grade 3) and violin (mimicking a very distressed cat!) as a child. I play a little bit of basic guitar, and currently trying to learn ukulele. But my singing voice is my gift.
What musical instrument would best describe you as a person?
Hmm, I struggled with this one. I am opting for the rather diva-esque ‘One-Woman-Band’ which I think sums me up rather nicely. The instruments in this outfit would, no doubt, change with the season/cycle/mood, but would probably include: rhythmic foot drum, bells on my elbows, cymbals between my knees, sassy harmonica coupled with raspy flute (unless I can think of a way of blowing both simultaneously) and to fill the gaps, some scatting vocals (possibly with loop pedal to over-lay several narrative layers)?ostentatious and scary thought really!!
What has music done for you in your life?
If music be the food of love, play on?
Music brings me sanity in a rather insane world.
I am very privileged to have had music as part of my life since being in the womb, 8 months pregnant (with me) my mum performed Handel’s Messiah as lead soprano*, so I have a strong genetic musicality.
*My mum is a well-known professional soprano. See link http://www.samling.org.uk/leaders/patricia-macmahon/
I spent a lot of my youth exposed to classical music, au-paired during the Salzburg Mozart Festival, and performed in several amateur musical theatre shows. I have now managed in my own right, to become an established singer and performer. I led a 10-piece funky soul band (2010-16) The Cuckoo Collective, who entertained dancing crowds across Devon and Cornwall. I am now part of the Q-Dettes, a four-piece female group of vocal composers, working with arresting arrangement of familiar songs (musical director, PMZ’s own music leader, Bernie Artuso). I am also writing my own material with husband Neil, which is a very exciting new phase of my musical journey.
What’s the best bit about working at PMZ?
Music is one of the most connective and powerful gifts we have. In our too often harsh and cruel world, music can bring hope, build bridges, exert joy and peace. PMZ is tapping into this transformational power ? with such inspirational results. I am already in awe of the team at PMZ, their work is incredible. They bring highly skilled compassionate musical joy to many individuals and communities in need, which is unique in itself. But they also have the privilege of working within a very rare ‘family-team’ environment, which is supportive of both personal and organisational developments. It is an honour to be joining this team, and I am really looking forward to giving my time and sharing some special magical musical moments.
What’s the first record/CD you ever bought?
Tourists – ‘So good to be back home again’ and Blondie – ‘Heart of Glass’.