Our story

Our founder Richard Pendlebury first started taking his guitar into Bristol prison in 1987 and was amazed at the difference learning and playing music together made to people’s life chances.

In 1997 our project was formalised and funds were raised to buy equipment and instruments for the work in Bristol prison. Groups started meeting regularly, led by Richard Pendlebury and Adam Kishtainy. The project slowly grew to include new prisons, starting with Shepton Mallet, and we were granted charitable status in the year 2000 to carry on our work. By the year 2005 we were in six prisons, and by 2013 we were in 13 prisons.

In 2018 - over 30 years after our first sessions in Bristol prison - Changing Tunes has skilled Musicians-in-Residence based in a growing network of prisons and community hubs across the UK. This growth has included the formal establishment of the Changing Tunes Midlands franchise (1173159).

Where we work

Click location points for more information about the prisons we work in.


David Jones (Chief Exec)

David has worked in the Voluntary sector for nearly 20 years delivering organisational development in fields including Community Development, Financial Exclusion and Early Years. David thrives on the development of new initiatives and delivering meaningful outcomes. His charismatic leadership is underpinned by a strong financial focus and a passion for social justice.

Whilst he dabbled with a range of instruments as a child, it was only later in life that friendly musicians allowed him to accompany them in banging a box. His outlets for performance include a worship band and a folk/80s cover band amongst others. At home David likes to school his 4 children in the joys of big tunes!

Gareth Hamer (Operations Manager)   Gareth left school at 16 to form a band and spent 7 years performing original material at venues across the UK and in Europe. As a session guitarist he has worked in both studio and live arenas including some TV appearances and large concerts in Europe. After spending one too many late nights leaping across a stage he has now retreated to the studio, where there are comfy chairs and cups of tea. Having joined as Musician in Residence in 2003, Gareth loves being a part of the ongoing development of Changing Tunes, and being around gifted people doing what they were made to do.

Gareth Hamer (Operations Manager)

Gareth joined Changing Tunes as Musician in Residence in 2003, and over the next ten years gained a deep understanding of our work, running sessions in Category B, C, and D prisons. As Ops Manager, he trains and supports our Musicians as they develop their own style of working, while keeping us rooted in our core identity.

He plays his beloved 70's Strat in a few bands now and then, and combines his geeky fascination for sound, with the thrill of developing bands, by producing records with and for other artists. This passion finds a home in Changing Tunes too, as he oversees a large volume of recordings both in prison and outside.

Fran Key (Senior Musician in Residence)

Fran graduated with a Music Degree from Bath Spa University in 2010, and with a Masters in Music Therapy in 2016. She has since been living, working and playing in Bristol as a support worker for adults with learning difficulties, and a recording and performing musician in her spare time. A songstress at heart, her voice is her instrument of choice, shortly followed by the guitar and piano. 


Simon Torrance (Senior Musician in Residence)

Simon developed a passion for music through constantly listening to it at a young age, and decided he had to learn to make it for himself. He started playing the drums as a teenager, became an accomplished drummer and played in numerous bands. Tiring of all the heavy lifting being a drummer involves he began learning the guitar which has since become his favourite instrument. He has subsequently played drums and guitar in worship bands as well as gigging locally, and has taught both instruments. He also plays a mean blues harp and dabbles with the banjo, bass guitar and the mandolin.


Andy Osborne (Musician in Residence, HMPs Guys Marsh & Erlestoke)

Andy is a guitar teacher, worship leader, and leather bag maker. He runs our sessions in Guys Marsh and Erlestoke, focusing on band rehearsals and individual tuition. He draws on a wealth of performance and tuition experience to get the best out of those in his groups, with a knack for demystifying complex techniques to make them accessible to all.


Clive Edwards (Musician-in-Residence, HMP Swansea)

Since 1995, Clive has been a freelance community musician facilitating music workshops all over Wales and beyond. He loves rhythm, whether running a drum circle, jamming with a guitar group or delighting in the sounds of a keyboard, he’s into the sweet simple grooves. Changing Tunes provides another opportunity for Clive to release his passion and that is to make music-making accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.



Scott Freeman (Musician-in-Residence, HMP Winchester)

Scott has been writing and performing music since the age of nine. He's released two albums independently and has toured extensively across the UK and Europe for many years.

Music has always been incredibly cathartic for Scott and through his Changing Tunes sessions, he hopes to encourage others to express themselves through music.

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David Fugler (Musician-in-Residence, HMPs Channings Wood & Exeter)

Dave began with piano lessons as a child and then taught himself to play guitar, bass and drums. He found his singing voice out of pure necessity while busking on the streets of Europe. On his return to the UK, he formed a band that went on to play at some of the UK's best music festivals and also took them to the London Indigo O2 to perform in the finals of a battle of the bands competition representing the South West as the regional winners. Dave is still writing and performing but now also putting every ounce of his energy into Changing Tunes and everything it stands for.


Anna Kissell (Musician-in-Residence, HMP Eastwood Park)

Anna began her life as a musician at the tender age of 6 with her first love, the violin. Her childhood was spent playing in orchestras and singing in choirs, until she picked up the guitar to accompany herself and sing in bands. Anna graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in Psychology in 2001 and has spent 15 years supporting people in the Criminal Justice System, working both clinically and academically in the fields of Forensic Mental Health and Substance Use. She brings the wealth of this experience together with her passion for music to Changing Tunes, leading sessions with women in HMP Eastwood Park.


Mike Griffiths (Musician-in-Residence, HMPs Ashfield & Leyhill)

Mike has grown up playing music of all styles and has a wealth of gigging experience on drum kit, stretching all around the UK and Europe. A recording and writing enthusiast with a particular passion for telecasters, Mike studied Commercial Music at Bath Spa University graduating with a 1st and the Songwriter of the Year award 2012. Now a prolific recording artist and podcaster, Mike is passionate about creating and sharing the joy of music both as an artist and a teacher with Changing Tunes.


David Lindsay (Musician-in-Residence, HMP Channings Wood)

David graduated from Dartington College of Arts in 2010 where he studied music performance, focusing on drum kit, percussion, guitar and vocals. It was here that he first started teaching music in prisons, later joining Changing Tunes.

He is passionate about the role music can play in supporting, enabling and encouraging prisoners & ex-prisoners to take control of their own lives. He is currently studying for his PhD investigating this process and how the dehumanising aspects of carcerality can be mitigated and managed through active participation with music. 


Stuart Heath (Musician-in-Residence, HMP Isle of Wight)

Stuart started playing in bands and learning to play music (bass guitar & guitar) from the age of 11, going on to study at Platform One College Of Music and the university of Chichester, graduating with a BA in Commercial Music. For years Stuart has been gigging around the UK and Europe, working in a professional recording studio, as a freelance musician, instrumental tutor, recording engineer and producer. He brings all of his experience from education and work, coupled with a calm, welcoming attitude to provide an enriching, relaxed and fun learning experience.

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David Cefai (Musician-in-Residence HMPs Brinsford & Featherstone - Changing Tunes Midlands)

David’s work in music has taken him across the world, to the USA, Aus, NZ, Europe and UK; performing and recording as solo artist, reggae band guitarist and afrobeat band leader. Music education has always run in parallel with his professional music career, taking many forms from peripatetic teaching to leading whole band/orchestra workshops on performance, composition and improvisation. Inspired by those he has played with and taught, David’s passion in music is for it to be available to people of all backgrounds and abilities, to allow music to be a source of positive motivation and self-expression.


Matt Newell (Musician-in-Residence, HMPs Hewell and HMP Stafford - Changing Tunes Midlands)

An aspiring musician, music teacher and music producer, Matt is driven by an absolute passion for music and the very real impact music can have in the world. As a writer, Matt’s focus is on trying to make a positive difference, a voice for those often unheard. In his teaching the same rings true. In addition to peripatetic music classes in singing, drumming, song writing and music theory, Matt has been heavily involved with community music projects. He has found that music can have an amazing impact on people’s lives and has seen some dramatic transformations. Changing Tunes Midlands is another huge opportunity for music to change people’s lives and one that he is extremely excited to get stuck into.


Deborah Rose (Musician-in-Residence, HMP Drake Hall - Changing Tunes Midlands)


Cameron Harper (Musician-in-Residence, St Mungos Bristol)


Mike Somorjay (Administrator)

Mike has worked for years in local government. His current role involves managing Changing Tunes' policies. Health and Safety, Data and HR functions.

When he’s not out on his bike, he is designing and planning an annual puppet show and ridding the world of Jaffa Cakes. Mike loves films, books, music and theatre. At the last time of counting he had four grandchildren.

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Amelie Taylor (Office Manager)

Amelie has worked for various charitable arts organisations in Bristol such as Bristol Music Trust (Colston Hall) and St George's Bristol, working in Events, Fundraising, Administration and Finance. Brought up in a musical family, she spent three years studying Music at Cardiff University, before crossing over the bridge to Bristol. She has a passion for a wide range of music, from Classical and Opera to Salsa and Rock and fully believes in the power of music to bring people together.

In her spare time she teaches Piano to children and adults and loves being outside exploring the countryside around Bristol. 

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Rea Mole (Fundraising Manager)

Rea has been a fundraiser and producer for over 10 years, working for exciting arts organisations with social missions. She feels honoured to be part of the Changing Tunes team!

Rea is also a performer and she brings her creativity and insight into the intrinsic value of the arts to her work at Changing Tunes.


Alison Edmonds (Office and Finance Volunteer)

Alison helps in the office looking after the books. She has worked in finance for over 40 years and loves playing with figures. She joined Changing Tunes to fill in a short term gap and has stayed ever since, impressed by the gifted musicians around her and the amazing work they do with our beneficiaries.


Our Trustees

Andrew (Chair of Trustees) has significant experience of the charitable sector gained outside of his working career. In addition to being a Finance Director of a specialist rehabilitation care group he is a keen football supporter and musician, playing the piano when time permits. He is married with two teenage children.

Jane is a music therapist, clinical supervisor and teacher with more than 20 years experience of working in many setting including a project in a women’s prison. Her clinical specialisms are in palliative and bereavement care and in the use of songwriting in therapy. She currently works freelance and is Associate Lecturer at the University of the West of England. She plays the flute in a Bristol orchestra, and also plays the piano, guitar and sings.

Michael is a Circuit Judge and has over 30 years experience in the criminal law in that capacity and formerly as a solicitor and barrister. Although long retired as a busker he is interested in all forms of live music. A large family keeps him fully occupied.

Richard is the Service Manager for a hostel for the homeless in Bristol. Prior to that he worked for the National Probation Service. He is married with two children. During his leisure time Richard plays guitar and exercises his creative muscles writing and recording music.

James is the Chief Executive for an NHS Trust running hospital and community services. James plays the trumpet in a street band, is a keen cyclist and is married with a young daughter, all of which keep him fully occupied.

David began working with Changing Tunes in 2004 in Guys Marsh, and has been an ambassador for several years. He graduated from the University of the West of England in 2013 after completing a PGCE course, and now works as a teacher with Serenity House (a community-based drug and alcohol addiction recovery centre in Bristol). David joined the Changing Tunes board of trustees in 2014.

Click here for the Changing Tunes Midlands franchise

Our Patrons

Richard Pendlebury MBE (Founder and Patron)

Suzy Dymond-White, Governor HMP Eastwood Park

Malcolm Archer, former Director of Music, St Paul’s Cathedral

The Right Revd Mike Hill

Stephen Kinsella OBE, Prison Patron

Professor Stephen Hoddell CBE, former Chair, Samaritans