Man giving a speech on a stage with spotlights, whilst another man takes notes

Council and Committees

The RMA is governed by its Council, which is elected by the membership. Council members are Directors of the company and Trustees of the charity, and oversee its governance. Much of the day-to-day running of the RMA is organised through sub-committees of the Council.

Council consists of a President, five Vice Presidents, the immediate past President, the Honorary Treasurer, and between seven and ten Ordinary Members. Council members are appointed for a three-year term, except for the Honorary Treasurer who is elected annually. Any member of the RMA can be nominated to stand for election as an Ordinary Member of Council. Elections are held annually with the results announced at the Annual General Meeting each September.

Council Members

Simon McVeigh, President
Valerie James,
Honorary Treasurer
Mark Everist, Immediate Past President
(2012-2014 and 2015-2017)
Barbara Kelly
Barbara Kelly,
President Elect
Laudan Nooshin,
Vice President (to 2024)
Elaine Kelly,
Vice President (to 2023)
Sarah Hibberd,
Vice President (to 2022)
Pauline Fairclough,
Vice President (to 2021)
Warwick Edwards,
Vice President (to 2020)
Manuella Blackburn,
Ordinary Member (to 2022)
Lois Fitch,
Ordinary Member (to 2022)
Katherine Hambridge, Ordinary Member (to 2022)
Photograph of Camden Reeves
Camden Reeves
Ordinary Member (to 2022)
Rebecca Herissone,
Ordinary Member (to 2021)
Annika Forkert,
Ordinary Member (to 2021)
Matthew Sergeant,
Ordinary Member (to 2021)
Chris Collins,
Ordinary Member (to 2020)
Natasha Loges,
Ordinary Member (to 2020)
Deborah Mawer,
Ordinary Member (to 2020)

Committee Chairs

Chair of Awards Committee: Elaine Kelly (

Chair of Events Committee: Natasha Loges (

Chair of External Affairs Committee: Simon McVeigh (

Chair of Finance, Membership and Communications Committee: Sarah Hibberd (

Chair of Publications Committee: Rebecca Herissone (

Chair of Search Committee:  Pauline Fairclough (

Full membership of Committees is given on the sub-committees of the Council page.

Other Leadership Roles

Education: Deborah Mawer (

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Laudan Nooshin (


There are six Officers who provide support to Council in delivering the work of the Association:

Jeffrey Dean Michael Byde Ellen Falconer
Susan Bagust photo
Susan Bagust Nuria Bonet Michelle Assay
  • Jeffrey Dean, Executive Officer – Deals with membership payments and subscriptions, takes minutes at RMA meetings and keeps the Association’s rules and regulations up to date.
  • Michael Byde, Digital Technologies Officer – Maintains the RMA website and the online renewal and subscriptions system, edits news items and web features, and supports associated administrative procedures.
  • Ellen Falconer, Communications Officer – Supports the RMA’s publicity and communications strategy, manages the RMA social media accounts, and edits the monthly E-Bulletin.
  • Susan Bagust, Student Liaison Officer – Works closely with students who wish to organise RMA-supported study days to develop ideas and plan events.
  • Nuria Bonet, Research Training Officer – Works with research students and early-career researchers in Music to coordinate research training activities provided by the RMA and to establish collaborative working with other providers of research training.
  • Michelle Assay, Flagship Conferences Coordinator – Liaises with and supports partner hosts for the RMA Annual Conference and the RMA/BFE Research Students Conference.

Student Representatives

Photograph of Ashley Westmacott

Patrick Huang,
Student Representative
(January 2019-January 2021)
Ashley Westmacott,
Student Representative
(January 2020-January 2022)


The constitution of the Royal Musical Association is governed by three documents:

  • Memorandum of Association: The Memorandum establishes the status of the Association as a charity and as a limited liability company, and sets the charitable objects.
  • Articles of Association: The Articles establish the constitutional framework for the Association, in particular the rights and powers of trustees and members to make decisions (including to establish the rules) through general meetings (including the AGM) and meetings of trustees. The Articles also explain how trustees are appointed.
  • Rules: The Rules explain the details of membership and of the governance structures through which decisions are made, including the terms of reference for Council and its subcommittees.

The Memorandum and Articles have legal force and may only be amended with the agreement of the Charity Commission. The Articles allow the Association to make Rules for its own governance, and these can be amended by Council or the membership.