Council and Committees

Hands holding different pieces of a jigsaw puzzle

Council and Committees

The RMA is governed by its Council. 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

Council members, elected by the membership, are Directors of the company and Trustees of the charity. The current Council members are listed below.

A number of others are invited to attend meetings of Council (but are not Directors/Trustees and therefore do not hold a vote). These are: the Chairs of key Committees; the Officers; the Student Representatives (see the relevant tabs); and the Editors of the Journal of the Royal Musical Association and the RMA Research Chronicle (see In addition all past Presidents of the Association are invited to attend.

Barbara Kelly
Simon McVeigh
Barbara Kelly, President
Valerie James,
Honorary Treasurer
Simon McVeigh, Immediate Past President
Catherine Tackley
Laudan Nooshin
Clair Rowden,
Vice President (to 2026)
Catherine Tackley,
Vice President (to 2025)
Laudan Nooshin,
Vice President (to 2024)
Elaine Kelly
Sarah Hibberd
Genevieve Arkle
Elaine Kelly,
Vice President (to 2023)
Sarah Hibberd,
Vice President (to 2022)
Genevieve Arkle,
Ordinary Member (to 2024)
Mark Berry
Sarah Collins
Berta Joncus
Mark Berry
Ordinary Member (to 2024)
Sarah Collins
Ordinary Member (to 2024)

Lee Cheng,
Co-opted Member (to 2024)

Steven Berryman Nicola Dibben Berta Joncus

Steven Berryman,
Co-opted Member (to 2024)

Nicola Dibben,
Ordinary Member (to 2023)
 Berta Joncus
Ordinary Member (to 2023)
Tim Summers
Manuella Blackburn
Tim Summers,
Ordinary Member (to 2023)
Manuella Blackburn,
Ordinary Member (to 2022)
Lois Fitch,
Ordinary Member (to 2022)
Katherine Hambridge,
Ordinary Member (to 2022)
Tom Attah,
Ordinary Member (to 2022)

Committee Chairs

Chair of Awards Committee: Sarah Hibberd (

Chair of Events Committee: Clair Rowden (

Chair of External Affairs Committee: Barbara Kelly (

Chair of Finance, Membership and Communications Committee: Elaine Kelly (

Chair of Publications Committee: Rebecca Herissone (

Chair of Search Committee:  Catherine Tackley (

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

Other Leadership Roles

Education: Catherine Tackley (

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Laudan Nooshin (


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

Amanda Babington Michael Byde Ellen Falconer
Susan Bagust photo
Susan Bagust Nuria Bonet Michelle Assay
  • Amanda Babington, 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 Barbara Vackova

Elsa Marshall,
Student Representative
(January 2021-January 2022)
Barbora Vacková,
Student Representative
(January 2021-January 2023)


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.