Meet the Team

Our Team

Rob Guest


Rob has worked with creative organisations throughout his career. Based in the North East of England, he has a background in music venues and events management. He has also taken key roles with Durham’s Brass Festival and Middlesbrough Music Live, and is currently an associate of Create North, Music Director of Sedgefield Lyric Singers & Sedgefield Lyrics Youth Choir and a member of the Making Music Board. 

Paul Gudgin


Paul has over 30 years’ experience in the management of festivals and events including the Aldeburgh Festival, Bury St Edmunds Festival, City of London Festival, Durham International Brass Festival and eight years as Director of the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Following his role at the Edinburgh Fringe, he established his own consultancy working on a wide range of festivals and events worldwide. 

Alison Reeves

Activity Coordinator, Scotland

Alison started supporting Make Music Day activity in 2017 while in her role as Manager in Scotland for Making Music. She’s worked in participative and community arts for 25 years, from the Highlands to Ayrshire, developing an expertise in inclusion. She plays fiddle for ceilidh dancing. 

Venus McDonnell

Activity Coordinator, Northern Ireland

Venus has been a DJ for 20 years with a background in radio production. She has helped organise various community music projects, workshops and festivals in Northern Ireland for 15 years, bringing people together through music, art and fun.

Our Board

Barbara Eifler – Chair

Barbara, the Chief Executive of Making Music, the UK association for leisure-time music groups, has helped co-ordinate Make Music Day in the UK since 2017.

Her enthusiasm for this international celebration of music naturally includes playing second cornet every year on 21 June, with the Crystal Palace Progress Band.

Katy Spicer

Katy has been the Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) since 2008. Prior to this she was General Manager for Rambert Dance Company and Co-Chief Executive at Arc Dance Company and Chester Gateway Theatre. Katy has served on a number of charity arts boards and is currently a trustee of Music Network UK, and a member Sage Gateshead Folk Advisory Committee and ICOMOS Intangible Heritage Committee.

Stephen Tierney

Stephen leads Reel Youth Media, an Edinburgh-based project for young people aged between 12 – 19 years old which aims to develop technical and creative skills whilst supporting young musicians, performers and youth music service providers to create innovative digital media content.

Darren Ferguson

Darren is a community activist, educator, disruptor, father, musician, producer and, on occasion, a poet. He has been involved with community work in Northten Ireland and internationally for over 30 years. He is committed to enabling people to reach their full potential to create a peaceful and equal society. Very passionate about sharing, accessing and protecting music & arts in all its diverse forms and enabling equity. He founded Beyond Skin as a response to the rise in sectarianism and racism. His other hats include trustee/volunteer for Migrant Minority Ethnic Council, Cre8 Theatre and International Coordination For Afghan Musicians. 

Barney Jameson

A veteran business journalist, editor, publisher and marketer, Barney Jameson founded The Inside Story in 2016. A proud dad to Robert and Alice, he is a recovering singer-songwriter turned trustee of Local & Live Music, a UK-based grassroots local music charity. He is CMO of pro AV cross-rental platform Second Warehouse, co-founder of Security on Screen BV and co-director of the Security Industry Group. 


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