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Meet the team

Julia Munn, Head of THAMES (Interim)

Julia Munn’s career in music has combined professional performance activities as a clarinettist and saxophonist with work in music education.

She played for several contemporary music groups, touring extensively in the UK, Europe and China and recording for BBC Radio 3 and television. She has played various onstage musical roles for dance and theatre, including several seasons at the Royal National Theatre.

Julia started teaching clarinet for the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA), working in schools across London and leading on special projects to develop group instrumental teaching. She has also been a visiting lecturer at the Institute of Education. She first began working in Tower Hamlets in 1993.

Jak Berry, Instrumental Manager and Inclusion Lead

Jak is a Manager of Instrumental and Vocal Music at THAMES. As well as working with schools to develop their curriculum and instrumental offer to pupils, Jak leads the borough’s Saturday Music Centre and Youth Orchestra programmes. Jak studied flute at Trinity College of Music before working at THAMES and has a broad range of musical interests having performed concertos with orchestras (Ibert’s Flute Concerto, Honegger’s Concerto da Camera) to live BBC Radio 1 sessions at Maida Vale.

Outside of his work with THAMES, Jak is also a trustee of LEAN (Lewisham Education Arts Network), a membership organisation and charity that champions arts education in Lewisham fostering high quality creative opportunities for children and young people.

Jesse Bescoby, Instrumental Manager

Jesse studied oboe and composition at Trinity College of Music and since graduating has worked in a variety of roles within the music industry and has performed with a diverse range of ensembles and orchestras, regularly touring the world and performing in venues across Europe, Japan, South Korea and the USA.

Jesse is an experienced music educator and believes passionately in the value of an imaginative and creative musical education. He has taught oboe, bassoon and recorder for over 15 years across London and joined THAMES as a tutor in 2013. He is driven to engage young people with music in inventive and meaningful ways and draws on his knowledge and enthusiasm for a wide range of styles of music.

Iain Wilson, Instrumental Manager and Designated Safeguarding Lead

Iain’s role with THAMES involves working directly with staff and schools to shape their music curriculum offer and the delivery of instrumental/vocal provision. In addition he leads the borough’s Wednesday Music Centre and junior strings programme. Before joining THAMES, Iain studied violin at Trinity College of Music and went on to attain a PCGE in Music Education working as a secondary music teacher and subject leader in Waltham Forest. Iain has a wide range of musical interests and experience, having recorded and performed with various artists and ensembles at notable events such as Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party and Iceland Airwaves festivals, London Fashion Week, Maida Vale Studios, the Roundhouse and Royal Albert Hall.

Alison Porter, Projects Manager (Music)

Alison is a creative producer and project manager working across the cultural and education sectors with expertise in creative producing, partnership and project development, strategic planning and funding. Alison has worked with arts charities, music education hubs, festivals, music ensembles and producing companies.

At THAMES, Alison manages partnerships with a diverse range of music organisations, oversees music projects in schools, leads on the singing strategy and works closely on delivering the inclusion strategy. Alongside working for THAMES, Alison has a busy freelance career and has worked for organisations including Sound Connections, English Heritage, Make Music Day UK and Second Movement.

Becca Linton, Projects Manager (Cross Arts)

Becca’s career in arts education spans over 20 years and includes extensive experience in a variety of organisations including FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her work at THAMES, Becca is a freelance creative producer and has managed and delivered projects for the Wellcome Collection, Manchester International Festival, BBC Worldwide and Music for Youth.

Hayley McGregor, THAMES Office Manager

Hayley has worked at THAMES since 2008, providing finance, budget and admin support to the Management team and Tutors. Hayley now works part time, sharing her Office Manager role with Frances Cherry.

Frances Cherry, THAMES Office Manager

Frances enjoys working to support a service that offers creative opportunities for young people, she also works for the Parent and Family Support Service in Tower Hamlets (PFSS).

Marie Xenophontos, THAMES Business Support Officer

Marie is the first point of contact for queries from schools, tutors and general public. She provides vital admin support to the THAMES Management team and Tutor panel, most notably having lead responsibility for payroll and cover teaching. Marie is a key member of the Business Support team, working closely with Frances and Hayley.