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National Early Music Association office-holders

President Peter Holman
Chairman Francis Knights
Deputy Chairman John Briggs
Secretary Richard Bethell
Treasurer Mark Windisch
Hon Administrator John Bence

Individual & Corporate Members' Representatives to the Council of NEMA:
Keith Bennett (past Editor of the Early Music Yearbook)
David Fletcher (Webmaster and database administrator)
Peter Holman (past Chairman and ex officio Editorial Board member of Early Music Performer)
Margaret Jackson-Roberts
Dan Tidhar
Dr. Andrew Woolley (ex officio Editor of Early Music Performer )

Jeremy Burbidge (ex officio Publisher of Early Music Performer)
Ruxbury Publications, Scout Bottom Farm, Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge HX7 5JS

John Briggs is a freelance polymath. He is essentially an amateur, with pretensions to musicology. His house is filling up with string instruments which he can't quite play. He sees his role on the NEMA Council as representing the informed listener and consumer of Early Music, rather than the active practitioner. After some months acting in the role he was elected Deputy Chairman of Nema in November 2003.

John Bence , after 31 years teaching in Secondary Schools and making and selling early musical instruments in his spare time, is now working as a free-lance teacher of harpsichord, organ and recorder. For 25 years he has led the semi-professional early music group "The Longslade Consort", and he is Festival Director of the Leicester Early music Festival.

John Bence has been Director of Music at St. Mary de Castro Church, Leicester for the past 45 years. He has a passion for food and "John's Page" on the Leicester Early Music Festival web site has a monthly recipe, usually of his own devising. He has written for The Times Educational Supplement, British Journal of Music Education and the Musical Opinion.
He is Hon. Administrator of NEMA and a member of NEMA Council .

Keith Bennett was the editor of the Early Music Yearbook until 2012. He conducts the Paragon Singers of Bath, one of the south-west's leading chamber choirs, specialising particularly in early music and contemporary music. He has also performed widely as an accompanist, continuo player and singer

Richard Bethell Richard Bethell started the recorder after hearing Carl Dolmetsch's recording of Handel's A minor recorder sonata. He later took up the harpsichord, crumhorn and great bass shawm, earning a meagre living from music for 2 years in the early 70s. Now retired following a career in business, he enjoys (sedately) Domenico Scarlatti's wonderful treasure trove on his Malcolm Rose harpsichord. He organised Nema's Conference Singing 1500-1900: style, technique, knowledge, assumption, experiment, which was held in July 2009, in cooperation with the Music Department, University of York . As NEMA secretary, he helped prepare the successful follow-up conference "Vocal Sound and Style 1450-1650" in conjunction with BREMF, held in Brighton on 20/21 October 2018. He is now in the process of organising a second conference Vocal Sound and Style 1650-1830. His book Vocal Traditions in Conflict. Descent from Sweet, Clear, Pure and Affecting Italian Singing to Grand Uproar was published in August 2019.

Jeremy Burbidge , after lecturing in higher education, took early retirement to run a small publishing firm with Ruth, my wife, specialising in beekeeping and music. As well as acting as publisher to NEMA we publish The Recorder Magazine and The Beekeepers Quarterly

David Fletcher is Chairman of the Thames Valley Early Music Forum which he helped set up in 1988. He is an enthusiastic cornettist, curtal and recorder player and singer who makes music several times a week with groups in London, Oxford, Bracknell and his home town of High Wycombe.

David is the member of the Nema Council who, as a computer programmer by profession, takes responsibility for the data-processing and the scripting on the web site.

Peter Holman studied at King's College, London with Thurston Dart, and founded the pioneering early music group Ars Nova while a student. He is now director of The Parley of Instruments and the choir Psalmody, musical director of Opera Restor'd and musical director of Leeds Baroque Orchestra. He is a leading figure in the musical life of the Essex-Suffolk borders, directing Essex Baroque orchestra and the annual Suffolk Villages Festival.

Peter has taught at many conservatories, universities, and summer schools in Britain, Europe and the USA, and is Emeritus Professor of Musicology at Leeds University. He is a distinguished academic who believes in putting his research into practice.

He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3, and is much in demand as a lecturer at learned conferences.

He spends much of his time in writing and research, and has special interests in the early history of the violin family, in instrumental ensemble music of the Renaissance and Baroque, and in English music from about 1550 to 1850. He is the author of the prize-winning book Four and Twenty Fiddlers: The Violin at the English Court 1540-1690 (Oxford, 1993), a much-praised study of Purcell's music (Oxford, 1994), and a book in the Cambridge Music Handbook series on Dowland's Lachrimae (Cambridge, 1999). Peter was Chairman of Nema until November 2003, and will continue to attend Council meetings as a member of the editorial board of Early Music Performer .

Francis Knights studied at Royal Holloway College, Magdalen College, Oxford and Nottingham University. He has held positions at the Royal Northern College of Music, Green College, Oxford, Somerville College, Oxford, the BBC, the British Library and King's College, London, and edited a number of music journals. Since 2009 he has been Fellow, Tutor and Director of Studies in Music at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. web page

Margaret Jackson-Roberts has been a singer since childhood, mainly in tenor voice for the past 30+ years, and has sung as such with a number of auditioned choirs. She is a member of the Thames Valley Early Music Forum and sings as a bass with Vivaldi's Women. After undertaking doctoral studies on the medieval muniments at Worcester cathedral she remains interested in medieval monasticism and Latin church music from the middle ages onwards, was elected a Fellow of the Academy of St Cecilia in 2014, and has a hitherto unfulfilled ambition to play an instrument (preferably the french horn) to a reasonable standard. Her career was mainly spent in the civil service, including a secondment to the House of Commons Library, but she now works as an independent historical researcher.

Dan Tidhar was first introduced to the harpsichord at the Jerusalem Early Music Workshop, where he was taught by John Toll and Ketil Haugsand and has later been regularly employed as tutor and accompanist. At university, Dan studied harpsichord with Mitzi Meyerson in Berlin and Ketil Haugsand in Cologne. In parallel to completing his PhD in digital musicology (TU-Berlin, computerscience department), he also completed a Masters in harpsichord performance at the UdK-Berlin. Dan performs regularly as a soloist as well continuo player with various ensembles, such as The King’s Consort, Retrospect Ensemble, the Amphion Consort, L'Avventura London, the Berliner Cembalo Ensemble and others. Dan is often seen on stage by Cambridge early music audiences as a player and/or tuner of historical keyboard instruments. In recent years, he has held various research fellowships and published on harpsichord tuning and temperament, mainly in the context of recording analysis.

Mark Windisch stumbled in to recorders by accident when a friend lent him a bass and a tutor in 1958. After attending evening classes in consort playing under John Beckett's tutelage he felt that he had learnt a little. In 1980 after attending a recorder course which had an "early music" section he saw some weird and wonderful windcaps and was hooked.

Then followed 15 years with Bernard Thomas in The Southwark Waits at Morley College, graduating to sordunes and curtals. Following an appeal from NEMA, Mark became Treasurer and for several years nobly took on the position of Chairman to add to his burgeoning portfolio of voluntary activities.

Dr. Andrew Woolley   studied at the University of Leeds, and in 2008 completed a Ph.D. on late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century English keyboard music, supervised by Peter Holman. He has held research and lecturing positions at universities in the UK and is currently working on a project to catalogue late seventeenth and early eighteenth-century music manuscripts in Portugal. He is a keen performer as harpsichordist and pianist and posts details of his published research on an page. Andrew took over the editorship of Early Music Performer in 2009.


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