Meet the Team

Karen Brock MBE, Head of THAMES

Karen Brock MBE has worked extensively in schools and Local Authorities as a teacher, County Adviser, OfSTED Inspector, School Improvement Adviser as well as having been seconded to the QCA to support the development of the National Curriculum for Music. She has published several Schemes of Work and has also been Vice Chair of the UK Music Education Council (MEC) and Chair of the GLA Music Education Group. She was awarded an MBE for Services to Education in the New Year Honours List 2017.



Julia Munn, Instrumental Manager

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

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.  



Alison Porter, Projects Manager (Music Education)

Alison is a creative producer & 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 and coordinates the singing strategy. Alongside working for THAMES, Alison has a busy freelance career and is currently working for Sound Connections, English Heritage and Make Music Day UK. She is also a singer and currently sings with London-based vocal collective SOUND.