Maxine Birch (Chair of Trustees)
Maxine initially trained as an Occupational Therapist in Oxford and worked in both mental health and orthopedic services. Over the last 20 years she has been involved with the education of health and social care practitioners and currently Maxine works as a Senior Lecturer for The Open University. Her interest in research methods and health and well-being, informs her enthusiasm for promoting community singing groups as an activity that meets a wide range of health and social needs. Maxine has found participating in such community singing groups particularly helpful for her own health problems.
Paul Lewis (Treasurer)
After taking a music degree, Paul went into corporate publishing, working for Macmillan, Penguin and Heinemann. While with Heinemann he spent five years as managing director of their Australian school publishing operation before returning to the UK to set up Reed Elsevier’s educational electronic publishing division. After leaving publishing Paul completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Music and Health, at UWE in Bristol, and has volunteered in various roles relating to adult mental health. A keen singer, Paul is currently a member of Oxford Pro Musica Singers and is passionate about the health benefits of singing. Paul has three adult sons and five grandchildren.
John Pearce (Trustee)
John has lived and worked in Oxfordshire for many years, working as a practitioner and manager in mental health services. He is currently enjoying a spell commissioning services for the County Council Social and Community services where he is in frequent contact with older people and their families, often concerning caring matters and dementia. How arts in general and singing in particular can contribute to wellbeing has been a personal passion and professional interest for many years.
Paul Cann (Trustee)
Paul Cann joined Age Concern (now Age UK) Oxfordshire as its Chief Executive in April 2009. Age UK Oxfordshire works at grassroots level to help older people and their families live in comfort, with support and enjoying opportunities to live life to the full. Paul read English Literature at King’s College Cambridge, also holding a Choral Scholarship. After teaching for five years, he joined the Civil Service where he held a range of postings at the Cabinet Office, including working as a Private Secretary to successive Cabinet Ministers, including the Minister for the Arts. A subsequent spell in the private sector included working for ‘The Independent’ newspaper. He joined the charity world in 1992 as Director of the British Dyslexia Association and subsequently of the National Autistic Society. He was a Trustee of the disability charity Contact a Family for five years, a charity which supports carers and people with special needs or disabilities. In 2008 Paul was awarded the medal of the British Geriatrics Society for an outstanding contribution to the well-being of older people.
Peter Hunt (Trustee)
Peter had a thirty six year career in music education before retiring in 2015 and is now a community
musician. After a music degree at Dartington College of Arts and teaching in London for seven years he
returned to Oxfordshire. His last secondary school post was Head of Performing Arts at Chipping Norton
School where he helped it gain Performing Arts Status for the community, reflecting his belief that the
arts are fundamental for a holistic education. Peter is a keen singer and started conducting and training
choirs as a student, forming a youth choir in Oxford and eventually becoming Head of Voice for
Berkshire Maestros, the leading provider of music education for young people. He played a significant
role as Deputy Head, co-developing Pantomimus, a pioneering music programme for the under fives.
In 2001 Peter created Voiceworks – a singing handbook – published by Oxford University Press – which
has gained a national reputation. As series editor, and an accomplished choral leader, he regularly
delivers training for conductors and teachers across the UK and has presented at conferences in Europe,
USA and Canada. In 2016 he started an adult Singing for Wellbeing group through the NHS Social
Prescribing Scheme. His ambition is for Sound Resource to support more opportunities for communities
to sing, and to promote the campaign for the arts as an essential part of health and wellbeing provision
in the UK.
Hannah Cervenka (Secretary)
An arts administrator and project manager with more than 30 years experience, Hannah has recently
worked in local government arts development. Prior to this she ran an arts and disability charity
covering Oxfordshire and Berkshire and before that worked in both social and healthcare services with
people with learning disabilities. She has a background in music and education and is still involved in
running community music sessions, but in a voluntary capacity. She is now a self-employed arts project
manager. For many years she was on the board of Oxford’s community arts agency Fusion Arts,
including a spell as Chair for 4 years. Hannah really enjoys singing with Chipping Norton Choral Society,
having been in the choir for more than 20 years, so understands first-hand the power that music and
singing has in developing and maintaining our wellbeing.