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 2017 - 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 Midlands region of Changing Tunes, appointing a new director and musicians in residence, with a view to expanding our work in the Midlands region.

Where we work

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

 
 
 
 
Lizzie Bond (Chief Executive) Lizzie has worked in fundraising and charity management for over seven years across a variety of causes. These include fundraising at Headway - the brain injury association, consulting for a variety of charities at Fruitful:Fundraising and running the Arts Council's Catalyst Scheme at Swindon Dance. Originally hailing from the Cotswolds, Lizzie spent 12 years in Nottingham, where she completed her degree and Masters in Classics and Ancient Visual Culture. As a musician herself, Lizzie got involved in singing with the charity opera chorus Magdala, where she trained as a Lyric Mezzo-Soprano for 8 years. 

Lizzie Bond (Chief Executive)

Lizzie has worked in fundraising and charity management for over seven years across a variety of causes. These include fundraising at Headway - the brain injury association, consulting for a variety of charities at Fruitful:Fundraising and running the Arts Council's Catalyst Scheme at Swindon Dance. Originally hailing from the Cotswolds, Lizzie spent 12 years in Nottingham, where she completed her degree and Masters in Classics and Ancient Visual Culture. As a musician herself, Lizzie got involved in singing with the charity opera chorus Magdala, where she trained as a Lyric Mezzo-Soprano for 8 years. 

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 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.

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 playing 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 is also plays a mean blues harp as well as dabbling in playing the banjo, bass guitar and the mandolin.

Rob Davies (Musician in Residence, Bristol) Rob is a gigging musician who has gained lots of his experience through playing and recording in many bands. His love of drumming has moved on to other instruments over the years, including guitar and piano. After studying music technology in 1996 he gained a passion for recording and music production, and he loves to spend time composing and creating his own music. He is excited to be part of the Changing Tunes team and to see the difference music can make to people's lives.

Rob Davies (Musician in Residence, HMP Bristol)

Rob is a gigging musician who has gained lots of his experience through playing and recording in many bands. His love of drumming has moved on to other instruments over the years, including guitar and piano. After studying music technology in 1996 he gained a passion for recording and music production, and he loves to spend time composing and creating his own music. He is excited to be part of the Changing Tunes team and to see the difference music can make to people's lives.

Steve Parker (Musician in Residence, Isle of Wight) Steve has been a professional musician and composer for more than twenty years, making contemporary opera in the Baltics, playing production shows in the Caribbean, conducting theatre on the South Bank and playing for Australian avant-garde cabaret. Recent work includes the Temptations and Four Tops arena tour, the Three Degrees, the touring show 'Barok' and space-jazz-balkan-hiphop ensemble 'Mimika' as well as directing an Anglican choir.

Steve Parker (Musician in Residence, HMPs Isle of Wight)

Steve has been a professional musician and composer for more than twenty years, making contemporary opera in the Baltics, playing production shows in the Caribbean, conducting theatre on the South Bank and playing for Australian avant-garde cabaret. Recent work includes the Temptations and Four Tops arena tour, the Three Degrees, the touring show 'Barok' and space-jazz-balkan-hiphop ensemble 'Mimika' as well as directing an Anglican choir.

 
Andy Osborne (Musician in Residence, Guys Marsh and 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.

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.

Mike Griffiths (Musician-in-Residence, HMP Ashfield)

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.

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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.

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

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.

Luke Boulton (Fundraising Manager) Luke has worked in numerous marketing and fundraising roles for different size charities. Returning home to his native Bristol, he began working for Changing Tunes in 2015.

Luke Boulton (Fundraising Manager)

Luke has worked in numerous marketing and fundraising roles for different size charities. Returning home to his native Bristol, he began working for Changing Tunes in 2015.

Sheryl Hutchins (Office & Finance Manager) 

Sheryl oversees the financial, office and HR operations of Changing Tunes. She is the central point of contact for internal and external communications. Outside of work, she enjoys making furniture, cooking curries and cycling adventures.

 
Mike Somorjay (Franchise Coordinator) Mike has worked for years in local government. His current role involves establishing the legal documentation, standard working practices, brand protection and conditions of service for Changing Tunes franchises. He also helps out on our administration. When he’s not out on his bike or doing his puppetry or stocking up on jaffa cakes, he doubles up as a computer contractor for some multinational. Mike loves films, books, music, theatre and what-have-you. At the last time of counting he had four grandchildren.

Mike Somorjay (Franchise Coordinator)

Mike has worked for years in local government. His current role involves establishing the legal documentation, standard working practices, brand protection and conditions of service for Changing Tunes franchises. He also helps out on our administration. When he’s not out on his bike or doing his puppetry or stocking up on jaffa cakes, he doubles up as a computer contractor for some multinational. Mike loves films, books, music, theatre and what-have-you. At the last time of counting he had four grandchildren.

 

Catherine Grose (Fundraising & Administrative Assistant)

Catherine joined Changing Tunes as an office volunteer, and since proving herself invaluable to the office, is now in a permanent role. She is excited to have started her career in the charity sector and looks forward to contributing to the work of Changing Tunes and eating all our snacks. In her spare time she makes masks and festival installations under the name GOLD IBEX, cooks chilli, and cycles around Bristol on her noble steed Claude. 

 

Midlands staff

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Robin Pitt (Director, Changing Tunes Midlands)

Robin has worked in arts, music, education and events management for over 15 years, since graduating from Goldsmiths College, University of London. While working at Goldsmiths he was the co-founder of several award winning widening access to Higher Education projects, including serving prisoners and ex-offenders. 

His working career has seen him hold positions as a senior manager at Imperial College London and most recently as project manager at the Cheltenham Literature and Science Festivals. Robin is passionate about music and absolutely values the important role that music can play in the lives of prisoners, ex-offenders and the lives of their families. As the new Director for Midlands region he is committed to forming strong partnerships to spread the work of Changing Tunes to these communities.

Tim Hitchins (Musician-in-Residence, West Midlands)

Tim developed a passion for music from an early age (was brought up in a very musical family) concentrating on playing the drums, cello, bass and keys. He has been blessed to be able to gig with many top artists in the pop and gospel scene and still regularly gigs all over the country. Tim spends his spare time in the studio recording and producing music alongside with video production, web design and graphics. Tim loves to see the effect that music can have on helping people to develop, enjoy life and have a hope for the future. 

Ross McQueen (Musician-in-Residence, West Midlands)

Ross developed a passion and flare for music from the age of 13. Since leaving school at 16, he has performed live music in a variety of bands across the Midlands and the UK for the last 10 years. Having picked up a bass guitar as his first instrument, Ross has since gone on to be competent on guitar and drums. He currently leads the music and worship for his local church and also gigs for function bands on an ad-hoc basis. Ross thoroughly enjoys seeing how music can impact lives and bring people together.

 

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.

Glenn is a former soldier and police officer. He is currently a support Worker with Emmaus Bristol. He is married with a daughter at university. He has a passion for football and supports Bristol City.

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.

Emma is ordained in the Church of England and has been a curate in Sheffield, a chaplain at Lee Abbey Devon, Chaplain to the Bishop of Bristol and a tutor in Practical and Pastoral Theology at Trinity College. She is now Principal of the College. Her husband, Mat, serves as vicar of nearby church, St Mary Magdalene, Stoke Bishop. They have two children; one at school and one at university.


Our Patrons

Richard Pendlebury MBE (Founder and Patron)

Sir Simon Rattle OM CBE, principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Sir Tim Rice, internationally acclaimed lyricist and author

Suzy Dymond-White, Governor HMP Eastwood Park

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

The Right Revd Mike Hill, Bishop of Bristol

Stephen Kinsella OBE, Prison Patron

Professor Stephen Hoddell CBE, former Chair, Samaritans