Transmitting Musical Heritage

Meet the Team


Fay Hield is a lecturer in Music Management and Ethnomusicology at the University of Sheffield. Alongside her academic career, Fay records and performs folk music.  Her recent project, The Full English, took inspiration from a newly created online archive and produced new music, earning the project nominations for 2 categories at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and Fay a nomination for Folk Singer of the Year.


Kate directs the MA in Working with Communities course in the School of Education.  She also teaches on the online MA in New Literacies and the Ed D in Literacy and Language. Kate has conducted a number of studies looking at the relationship between stories and objects in homes. She conducted a study funded by the AHRC’s Diasporas Identities Migration research fund that explored home narratives and objects with a group of families of Pakistani heritage in Rotherham, called Ferham Families.  Kate uses ethnography in her work to focus on the voices of children and young people in home and community contexts. Her work draws on the New Literacy Studies and multimodality to understand communicative practices in homes and communities.  This theoretical knowledge and methodological approach has been applied to this study involving musicians


Richard Steadman Jones is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English; his field is the History of Ideas; and the main focus of his research is the way in which language has been – and is now – conceptualised in the context of cross-cultural encounters.

Sam Sweeney_Elly Lucas 2

Sam was born in Nottingham in 1989, and first picked up a fiddle in 1996. In recent years Sam has become one of the most sought after instrumentalists on the English folk scene. On leaving school in 2007, he joined eleven piece folk big band Bellowhead and has recorded three acclaimed albums with them. He also plays with Hannah James, Fay Hield & The Hurricane Party and Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings. In 2013, Sam was nominated as Best Musician in the BBC Folk Awards.



Singer and violinist, Nancy is co-winner (with James Fagan) of the BBC Folk Award for Best Duo 2011 and Best Album in the Spiral Earth Awards 2012. Her recent bands The Melrose Quartet and The Full English are both nominated for Best Group at the 2014 BBC Folk Awards. She currently focuses on songwriting and the fiddle traditions of England, with a particular affection for the Northumbrian repertoire. Nancy qualified in Music Therapy in 2006, has been a music workshop leader for over 20 years and is a tutor on the BMus in Folk and Traditional music at Newcastle University.


Tony has been chairperson of Arts on the Run: the Arts & Refugees Network for Yorks & Humberside since 2010, and is also regional Hub coordinator for Platforma, the national project that supports and develops arts by and about refugees. Tony is also a director of Konimusic a small specialist cultural enterprise operating within the contemporary World Music sector, with a focus on live music production and musician development. However, the essential ingredient that sustains him through all the hours of admin in these enterprises clearly comes from other sources… aka Tony ‘tk’ Koni, and onstage or in the studio, he is the bandleader & bassist for world music big-band Rafiki Jazz.



John works at the University of Sheffield as World Music Performer in Residence, specialising in North Indian Classical Music, teaching and performing on tabla and santoor. He also collaborates with Western Classical, West African, Jazz, Folk and Pop Musicians. He has worked with a diverse range of artists including Juldeh Camara (BBC World Music Award Winner), Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley. John is currently working with Indus, a dynamic and eclectic quartet who specialise in innovative arrangements and adaptations of traditional South Asian themes, and Rafiki Jazz, a Sheffield based 10-piece world music collective who play contemporary global dance music.


Dave joined the Transmitting Musical Heritage team as Project Officer after completing an MA Ethnomusicology at The University of Sheffield in 2012. His research interests concern social roles and dynamics within participatory music sessions and how creative activities can be utilised to meet social ideals. He has worked as a director and instrument tutor for The Creative Edge Project providing adult learning programmes focused around arts and creativity. He plays percussion and synthesiser for The Human Drum Machine Orchestra, a group who “act as all the singular parts of a drum machine, taking back the role which machines for so long have dictated as their own”.

  • Fay Hield
  • Kate Pahl
  • Richard Steadman-Jones
  • Sam Sweeney
  • Nancy Kerr
  • Ella Sprung
  • Tony Bowring
  • Josie Wexler
  • João Paulo Simões
  • John Ball
  • David Judge
  • Oli Sumerling