World Heart Beat

Jack Petchey Awards

Jack Petchey blue banner

The Jack Petchey Foundation is a young, progressive grant making Trust based in Ilford Essex. The award includes money to be spent on equipment and instruments, workshops and masterclasses, or going to concerts and shows.

Charlotte Holmes

15 years old, June 2021

Charlotte always brings positivity and smiles to our academy. She has performed in Kensington Palace and has played Cuban music with the 51st State Band in our Latin music festival, ‘Congrego!’. She is also an integral part of our Orchestra, performing in our Nine Elms Sessions music video. She also volunteers to help and support the younger flute players. She is a great help and lovely to have around in the academy.

Callum Langford

18 years old, May 2021

Callum is a wonderful and confident pianist, playing anywhere and everywhere. He has participated in many of our music programmes at World Heart Beat; playing piano with the 51st State Band in our Latin music festival, ‘Congrego’!, taking part in our piano festivals, local vaccine centres and he was also part of our ‘For the Struggle’ concert which highlighted the need for global awareness of racial injustice and discrimination. He is a delight to have at the academy. 

Afsaneh Afdjei 

14 years old, May 2021

Afsaneh is a wonderful pianist who plays the piano with great beauty! This talented young musician performed her Grade 8 Performance Exam at Coach House Pianos (Kings Road) and was awarded a distinction. She has also performed in our online Christmas concert and Piano festivals, showcasing her great talent. 

Arturs Maskalans

14 years old, April 2021

Arturs has been learning with us since he was 7 years old and embraces and embodies the real spirit of World Heart Beat. He is joyful and creative and throws his heart and soul and much appreciated enthusiasm into music. Now Grade 5 in violin and piano, Arturs comes to our Monday Jazz sessions, Tuesday Orchestra, Wednesday Celtic Fiddle and Gypsy violin ensembles, and finally Thursday Jazz Roots and our Cuban Music Band. With these groups Arturs has played as the academy at Speakers House, Kensington Palace, Skinners Hall, Mansion House and Ronnie Scott’s, as well as events for the London Festival of Architecture, piano festivals, Music for Liberia concerts to raise funds for children in Liberia, and in our lockdown videos. 

Kai Goodchild

14 years old, March 2021

Kai has made wonderful progress on the flute. He attends the 51st State Band and always comes with a great attitude, a lovely nature, friendliness and wisdom. He has performed in two lockdown videos offering hope and love to the community and he mixes well with musicians and people of all ages and backgrounds. 

Oliver D’Souza

16 years old, March 2021

Oliver has an incredible range and creates great harmonies with his fellow singers. He has shown these skills when performing in our lockdown music videos as well as our online Christmas concert. Whilst giving us wonderful vocals, he has additionally developed his interest and skills behind the camera helping our camera crew and recording team. He brings great energy to the academy and is a delight for the teachers and staff to have around. 

Lola Groves

14 years old, January 2021

Lola Groves is consistent in her progress on the flute, and being part of the community as shown in her participation in two lockdown music videos. She has played with the 51st State Band for over seven years and is a valued and appreciated musician; she provides inspiration and comradeship for her fellow flute players. 

Jacob Baima

18 years old, January 2021

A keen pianist, Jacob has developed his skills during his lessons and joining our Monday Jazz sessions. He has taken part in many of our projects, including our lockdown music videos and online concerts. He has shown great dedication to his music, and is a kind-hearted, helpful student to the teachers, staff and other students.

Grace Gwynne

15 years old, October 2020

Grace is a multi-talented musician and well-rounded student. She plays the keyboard, piano, trumpet and also composes her own songs. She has contributed greatly by participating in our New Orleans ensemble, 51st State Band performances, our online social sessions throughout lockdown and our online Piano Festival, where she won an award for her musical talent. She engages with various styles and genres of music, from classical and jazz, to New Orleans and music from Africa, shown in her participation in the Music for Liberia concert. She shows great enthusiasm towards learning, and is a fantastic role model to other students.

Emily Laredo

14 years old, October 2020

Emily has been a dedicated student to the academy for many years. She is a very talented pianist and keyboard player, and has made amazing progress. She has been mastering learning by ear to play an array of music. She is a consistent member of our gig training bands, adding great talent to her group. She has built firm friendships with students of all ages, and supports the teachers within the sessions. She has been building on her performance skills, and will be performing in our online Christmas Concerts this year. She is a joy to have at the academy. 

Ashleigh Townsend-Edgeworth

13 years old, September 2020

Ashleigh is an incredibly dedicated student and wonderful musician. Ashleigh joined the academy through her school and has thrived. She has shown real commitment to the academy by turning up every week for both Monday vocal lessons and Friday guitar lessons. She has challenged herself to join one of our gig training groups and has flourished – now she is one of our lead vocalists. As well as caring for her four younger siblings, Ashleigh continues to show intrigue in music and practices when possible. Driving her is one of her ambitions to be a musician when she is older, showing her love and dedication to music. She is kind–hearted, helpful to the students and teachers, and a lovely musician to have at the academy. 

Sean Williams

20 years old, September 2020

Sean has shown great progression in his music education. He has expanded and developed his jazz repertoire greatly by consistently attending our Monday Jazz sessions, and has also been chosen to be part of our ZEDRA Jazz Programme. Sean has taken part in a number of our events including our two lockdown videos and performing a great solo for the ZEDRA Jazz Programme. He clearly shows his talent and dedication to music, even in recent uncertain and difficult times. His positive attitude and talent inspires other students to take up the trombone and join our jazz sessions.

Shayini Kugathas

20 years old, June 2020

Shayini brings a wonderful energy, passion, talent, leadership and friendship  to us all at World Heart Beat. Shayini is an extremely creative, talented and beautiful song writer and producer. She organised a concert featuring Bollywood film music over the past 50 years, directing a large and talented ensemble of wonderful young musicians. The children were all from different cultural and musical backgrounds and they raised money at the concert to help children learn music at Linden lodge, a school for children with sensory impairment.

She was part of our recent Stevie Wonder ‘Another Star’ Lockdown video project, finishing the project with a stunning solo. Shayini is self-giving, and everyone at World Heart Beat loves to have her around.

Toku Ogwang

14 years old, May 2020

Toku is an exceptional and dedicated musician. He comes for hours to participate in all our Jazz groups, as well as both of our 51st State Bands, and always challenges himself to dig deeper and developing his technique and talent as a young musician. Toku plays the Saxophone but also took up the trombone to inspire 5 of his friends also to play trombone and because of Toku we have some seriously good and fantastic young trombone players. Toku was chosen to be part of ZEDRA’s Jazz Talent Development Programme and he has risen to the occasion practising a couple of hours at least everyday and working hard. Toku is always ready to participate in our projects and during this Covid time, he has also performed in three of our lockdown music projects, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Another Star’, involving over one hundred of our students, and the ZEDRA Jazz videos ‘We’ll Be Together Again’. He is always keen to get involved in our performances and ensembles and we are excited to see how Toku develops his musicianship.

Larry Stacey

14 years old, May 2020

Larry is a wonderful musician, who has shown great dedication to music and to the Academy. He has performed in our 51st State Band concerts at Putney Arts Theatre, and is a valued member of our New Orleans band. In this past year Larry played lead trumpet at the grand opening of Wandsworth Arts Fringe Festival. He shows an incredibly positive attitude and always wants to challenge himself to play better. During this recent Covid times, Larry was one of the first to provide a good recording for our lockdown video ‘Another Star’.

Madeleine Pheasant

15 years old, April 2020

Madeleine is a wonderful young person and always brings joy, love of playing and enthusiasm to her music. Playing the flute in the 51st State Band, she brings her beautiful character to the band and works to develop her musical ability. She plays piano and is participates in our piano party most recently performing in our online piano festival during the Covid Period.  In this past year Madeleine has performed solo flute in our Salon Recital, and with 7 other of her fellow flautists at Kensington Palace.  She showed her enthusiasm and being part of a team by taking part in our Stevie Wonder ‘Another Star’ Lockdown video project, performing alongside her peers and our musical community.

Elea Cassagne

18 years old, March 2020

Elea is a joy to have at the academy. She brightens up our Saturdays, helps out at our open Gazebo instrumental days where children and young people in our community get to try instruments. She is a lovely guitarist and shows a real engagement through balancing her musical and her academic achievements. Whilst she plans to go to university, she promises to return to assist World Heart Beat in future projects, showing her enthusiasm and devotion to us.

Phoebe Bucknall

15 years old, March 2020

Phoebe is a valuable and dedicated member of the 51st State Band. She contributes greatly to our flute section, adding musical energy, strength and talent. She is extremely reliable, performing well in our theatre concerts and we always enjoy Phoebe being with us.

Andrea Depasquale-Rodrigues

13 years old, January 2020

Andrea is a wonderful, young clarinet and saxophone player.  Andrea is quietly dedicated and reliable. We love having Andrea in 51st State Band, New Orleans bands and attending the’ heartbeat’ jazz programme as well.  Andrea is getting better and better and she inspires us all with her approach to learning,  hard work and her love of jazz and how she developing her skills with her study of it.  She brings a positive attitude and we are excited at how she develops in the coming few years.

Candela Martinez-Higueras

17 years old, January 2020

Candela is a very talented singer. She is wonderful in our gig training programme, providing new ideas of songs and repertoire for everyone and she is absolutely part of the great vibe and community. Performing at our Friday gig training has allowed her to perform in the wider community for different events and projects and everyone enjoys her. She is a great friend to her fellow students and is supportive and hardworking and always a pleasure to have with us.

Oliver Pryor

15 years old, June 2019

Oliver is an extremely talented singer, who not only studies vocals at the Academy but also is part of our young World Heart Beat gig training band on Friday evenings. We really value Oliver and the time he puts into helping the younger musicians and he helps by volunteering to coach the younger singers in the pop band also. As Oliver loves the live music and band work we do at the Academy, he decided to spend his Jack Petchey award money on amp, lead and other backline repairs. He also spent a small amount of it on jack and XLR lead wall hooks, to help keep the leads organised for Monday and Friday night band/jazz classes.

Neekaiya being presented her award by Kamilla Arku



Neekaiya Mark

14 years old, May 2019


Neekaiya is a dedicated and talented pianistat the academy who has recently gained a place as the prestigious Brit School. She has contributed to many events at the Academy including our bi-annual piano parties and the Music for Liberia project which includes donating: children’s books, stationary, flip flops and recorders to young people in an orphanage and arts centre in Liberia. Neekaiya decided to spend her Jack Petchey award money on tuning three pianos at the Academy and the refreshments at our piano party!

James Wade Sired

17 years old, March 2019

James is an exceptional talent, has an unbelievable work ethic and is a captivating and charismatic young jazz musician. He comes every week after school, travelling a fair distance to the academy, inspires and mentors 7 younger trombone players (12 and 13 year old) who are turning into wonderful trombone players as well. After mentoring, he will play for hours after. Nothing will stop him from playing, wherever there is music he is there. James has recently had some outstanding achievements, including performing at the infamous Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in Soho, and the 606 club. He really is a trombone player to watch!

Kareena Naik

17 years old, February 2019

Kareena encompasses the spirit of World Heart Beat. She is a talented violinist, who is an adaptable player, learning in both the gypsy and the classical genres. She comes to our orchestra on Tuesdays, where she is a mentor to the younger players and the gypsy ensemble class on Wednesdays. Kareena has performed in many outstanding venues, including at Kensington Palace! Not only does she make an excellent sound and has made great progress, she is always willing to give up her time to support the academy. She often volunteers and is willing to share her talent by teaching younger students.

Sian Kelly

Leader Award, November 2018

Sian is amazing. She literally inspires and supports all the young students at World Heart Beat with their musical and creative endeavours and embraces with total enthusiasm and dynamism all genres of creativity music and performance whether it be contemporary music, jazz, singing, photography or film making, PR, radio or developing interview skills. She leads young teenagers with forming and playing in bands. Sian has the ability to relate to all the students, jump into any situation and help out and is admired and loved by everyone. Sian is an excellent singer songwriter with a very bright future. She has just finished writing the songs for her first album and so, as well as working with us at World Heart Beat Music Academy, this next year Sian will also be recording her first album.

Arnaldo Cogorno

18 years old, November 2018

Arnaldo is a pianist and studies piano with professor Michael Csanyi- Wills. Arnaldo is currently practising around 4 hours or more a day and is preparing to audition for a music place in one of our conservatoires of music. This young musician also volunteers twice week at the Academy and accompanies other of our young musicians that are preparing for local music competitions, exams, GCSE performances and their grades and as well he is our heartbeat orchestra music librarian taking care of all the arrangements and music that Michael Csanyi Wills the conductor arranges especially.

 Arnaldo offered a concert at World Heart Beat Music Academy on Sunday 18th of November, where he performed a programme of Bethoven, Chopin, Debussy and Prokofiev.

Ruben Emson

14 years old, November 2018

Ruben, one of our trumpet players plays with great sound and never misses the Jazz classes that we hold on Monday nights at heartbeat where he comes for a few hours to learn with Byron Wallen, Trevor Watkis and Tony Kofi.  Ruben learns solos and is striving to become a great trumpet player. I even have a recent photo of Ruben with the Great Wynton Marsalis together.

Rasida Gerald

18 years old, May 2018

Rasida has been involved with the Academy for many years now and is incredibly talented vocalist, songwriter and pianist. She is always joyful and always bring energy and warmth to the Academy, and puts her entire heart and soul into rehearsals and performances. Rasida is inspiring to be around, and her passion seems to spread to those around her.


Tomas Dickinson

16 years old, May 2018

Tomas has been playing Piano at World Heart Beat for 4 years now and has consistently been improving. Tomas is playing like a true pianist, and always takes part in our semi-annual piano parties. Even during his GCSE exams, a period which many people use as an excuse to put music on hold, Tomas continued with his studies and performances, showing his true passion and dedication to music. Tomas has put his money towards tuning all of our pianos, and fixing one of the ones that is broken! He has also put some money towards buying ABRSM Grade books from grade 1-5.

Ella Vyas

13 years old, February 2018

Ella is an extraordinary flautist who has been at the Academy for many years. She has been developing her teaching skills by giving up her time every Wednesday to teach young flute players-which can be challenging at times! In addition, she has just completed her Bronze Silver Arts Award, and has recently started violin lessons, so Ella is looking to expand her talents further. We are lucky to have such a supportive and hard working musician with us. Ella is spending the money on two lovely new violins for World Heart Beat.        

Miranda Gallacher

14 years old: March 2018

Miranda is a dedicated musician, who encompasses what WHB is all about. As a talented female drummer, she defies social stereotypes and is an inspiration to many, especially since recently all male bands take up around 90% of festival line ups. She is constantly involved in Academy life, taking part in our Friday night band sessions which has really improved her confidence. On top of that, she has attended some of our New Orleans Second Line gigs, which have been really successful. Miranda would like to put the money towards a new gig PA system, including a mixing desk with amps and speakers. 

Leader Award 2017

Kamilla Arku

One of our invaluable piano teachers, Kamilla encourages our young pianists to aspire to achieve the greatest they can and does not just teach the basics of piano, but also incorporates this with educating students on famous piano composers, which really helps students to become inspired. An extremely talented pianist, Kamilla recently performed in the renowned ‘Pianists of the World’ Series at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and has performed in prestigious programmes such as the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme and the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, and has been awarded scholarships and prizes internationally. Kamilla performs frequently as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician, in the UK and abroad.  Kamilla, whose father is Liberian is committed to volunteer efforts, and since 2008 has organised concerts in aid of the Liberian Education Trust, which raises money for education in Liberia. She has also had the honour of performing for the President of Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Inaya Salam

12 years old: November 2017

Inaya is an integral part of the World Heart Beat community; attending the academy multiple days a week as part of theGypsy Violin group and our new Orchestra. In addition to this she has been studying classical violin, in which she has just completed her Grade 3 and has started studying for her grade 4. Inaya is building up a large musical repertoire; she plays as part of a band, and is also promising to be a confident soloist. She has also completed her bronze arts award and hopes to start her silver award soon.


Ola Fils

13 years old, November 2017

Ola is at the academy almost every day working on her silver arts awards and helping out as well. She has already built her website and is working on filming and recording a typical week atWorld Heart Beat Music Academy. Ola explores the behind the scenes of the creative industry while she is working us, for example with photography, design, journalism and filming. She is a great help to the academy and is always supporting us in as many ways she can. Ola is planning on spending the money on new instruments and music for the academy. 

Jesse Boulting, 15 years old: July 2017

Jesse came to the Academy with £50 pocket money he had saved up for piano lessons. Before long he was getting involved in all of our projects including our jazz band, 51st State Band, film composition classes, songwriting classes, Pop Keyboard sessions, and our Radio Show. With an entrepreneurial spirit, he already has his own website where he blogs about jazz music and goes to concerts to interview musicians. He is close to releasing his first EP, and is now also completing a Silver Arts Award. He has so many plans and ideas, there are just not enough hours in the day to fulfil them!

In tune with his musical interests, Jesse decided to put his reward money towards a new keyboard, and new recording software.

Lalou Laredo, 15 years old: May 2017

Lalou has been chosen for this award because she is always cheerful and polite, and always offers to help around the Academy. In addition she is a fantastic musician who learns incredibly quickly. Not only is she passionate about the music, but she takes an interest in her fellow musicians and is a joy to work with and teach. Lalou has been attending our Friday evening guitar classes, helping with reception and administration at the Academy, and she also helped to host and teach workshops at our recent open day. Lalou co-hosted our radio show live on Wandsworth Radio and played a short performance.

She has chosen to use the Jack Petchey award money to contribute towards new guitar and keyboard equipment, and supply new Grade 5 theory books for class. 

Elizabeth Thatcher, 15 years old: March 2017

Elizabeth is a great musician with a real interest in the guitar – she is even a left handed player! She is adaptable to a range of genres and open to learn all different kinds of music with commitment and genuine joy. She is always ready to lend a helping hand around the Academy with setting up for concerts, and she also helped lead guitar workshops at our recent open day. Elizabeth also has been on our radio show to host a fantastic radio show about guitarists, and played a song live.

Antonia Parham, 15 years old: February 2017

Antonia has been coming to our Songwriting classes, guitar classes and is a flexible, focused musician who is clearly passionate about music. She supported one of our other students as she was completing her Gold Arts Award by helping to host a guitar party, and recently helped at our open day. She learned how to play the Viola Caipira with Almir Pessoa during our Spirit of Brazil project and performed in the Brazilian Guitar concert. Antonia also co-hosted our radio show on Wandsworth Radio where the guitarists performed live.

Leader Award 2016: Scipio Mosley

Jaidon Farodoye-Regis, 13 years old: October 2016

Jaidon has been chosen for this award because he is a talented drummer who is currently working towards grade 7 aged just 13. His wholelife revolves around music and he spends morethan 15 hours a week at the Academy. He plays drums and saxophone in the 51st State Band, attends our vocal group, jazz ensembles, songwriting workshops and Brazilian music workshops. He is highly communicative, enthusiastic and passionate, which also makes him an excellent radio presenter, a supportive member of any team and an excellent student mentor for younger musicians. We have just invited Jaidon to take part in drum masterclasses with the Great Mark Mondesir who has been described as the ‘most astonishing drummer on the planet’ by Drummerworld.

George Gero, 13 years old: October 2016

George moved to England when he was 11 and took up the saxophone on his arrival. He also joined the 51st State Band a few weeks after and didn’t waste any time performing on stage with

 the 100 piece band at Putney Arts Theatre. George has already completed both grade 1 and grade 3 on Saxophone attaining distinction in both grades. George mixes well with all his fellow musicians and is happy to throw himself into any piece and style of music.



Pauline Tossou, 13 years old: June 2016

Pauline is an excellent flute player and a very cheerful member of the Academy; she is a pleasure to be around. She is very dedicated and perseveres. She comes along to all of our special projects and recently she has played classical flute music at the Skinner’s Hall and Kensington Palace.

Pauline wanted to spend her Jack Petchey Achievement award money on helping us to buy classical flute ensemble sheet music and Georgian-themed costumes for the Skinner’s Hall and Kensington Palace events. This is a big help as the Kensington Palace performance has become an annual booking for the Academy.



Omar Ambass, 17 years old: May 2016

omarOmar started learning saxophone at World Heart Beat last year. He stays for hours in our Monday night jazz programme, playing and improving his skills. The teachers have been very impressed with his progress and dedication to practicing. He mixes well with others and is a pleasure to play with.

Omar has been helping us to organise our instrument cupboard and noticed that some of our saxophones needed some TLC – he decided to spend his Jack Petchey Achievement Award money on repairs for some of the World Heart Beat equipment.

Isabel Marangos, 13 years old: April 2016


Isabel plays Guitar, Piano, Sings and is a very exciting songwriter. She attends vocal groups, jazz ensembles, songwriting workshops , production classes and spends almost 15 hours a week at World Heart Beat. She is also a talented radio presenter and her show gained the highest ratings on Wandsworth radio for the whole year, including their launch show!

Isabel has been working very hard on recording her own original music recently, she decided to spend her Jack Petchey achievement award money on some equipment for the World Heart Beat recording studio, as well as paying for a songwriting workshop for the Academy students.

Jordan Hadfield, 18 years old: March 2016


Jordan is a multi-talented musician who can pick things up very quickly. He plays drums, bass guitar, guitar, piano, percussion instruments and all to a very good standard. Recently, he has performed in the Emirates stadium, Chelsea Theatre, for Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce and in a Funk concert. He is always willing to help out around the Academy by teaching younger students or setting up for concerts.

As Jordan is one of our most dedicated drummers, he did a lot of research to find the best-sounding set of cymbals and used his Jack Petchey achievement award money to contribute towards these new cymbals for World Heart Beat concerts.

Leader Award 2015: Tony Kofi

IMG_4070Tony is absolutely brilliant with all of the students. He is so engaged, and cares so much about their progress. He will invest extra time in mentoring them, sharing information about great musicians to listen to. He is an inspiration in his own life as well as being one of the top Jazz players internationally. He performs with the students and recently supported all of the students in his own extra time at our fundraising concert at 606 Jazz Club.

Jerin Hossain, 13 years old: November 2015

IMG_5879Jerin is one of our most enthusiastic young violin players. She is always cheerful in lessons and spreads joy to everyone. She is so dedicated to her instrument that she has lessons 3 times a week to learn Gypsy, Celtic and Classical music! She has performed in many of our concerts, most recently playing with a small Gypsy band at our 51st State Band concert in Putney Arts Theatre.

Jerin will put her money towards buying spare violin strings and shoulder rests for the academy.

Carla Flores, 17 years old: September 2015

IMG_5594Carla has been given this award because of her immense inspiration to our young violin players. She has been invaluable, helping the Celtic Fiddle teacher every week by mentoring the younger students and helping them to improve their technique. Carla also gets involved in all of our projects, and has been learning Brazilian music, Jazz and Songwriting.

Carla will put her money towards buying a set of drum microphones for the academy’s new recording studio.

Ines Tossou, 15 years old: June 2015

jack petchey achievement award winner ines tossouInes took part in all of our events as part of the Brazilian music programme and will be performing in an upcoming event at Kensington Palace. She is always cheerful in rehearsals and always gives her best.

Ines is putting her money towards a wide angle lens to take pictures of the Academy’s performances.

Jaideep Grewall, 14 years old: May 2015

jack petchey achievement award winner jaideep grewallJaideep has been coming to the Academy every week for over 3 years. He has really improved his bass playing recently and the teacher always speaks highly of his engagemet. He always gets fully involved in projects and helping teach younger students. His dedication is a real inspiration to everybody.

Jaideep is putting his money towards buying a microphone and cables for the bass amp.

Arianne Tan, 13 years old: March 2015

ArrianeArriane threw her heart and soul into the Brazilian music project and performed in all of the Brazilian concerts; Speakers House (Houses of Parliament), Wimbledon (Tennis), Brazilian Embassy and both of the concerts at the academy. She is an inspiration to all other musicians with her cheerfulness, tenacity and her excellent playing. She mixes well with musicians of all ages an we all enjoy Arriane’s musicianship and humanity.

Arriane has decided to spend her awards money on buying two stage lights that adds an extra magic to the performances.

Lucas Clahar, 14 years old: February 2015


Lucas has been awarded this for his great attitude and approach towards music. He performed Brazilian music at the Speakers House concert, both for the main programmed concert and for the reception. He has recently started to learn the bass and is exceptionally talented. He also mentors the younger students at the academy and is  a great role model and a wonderful young musician.

Lucas has chosen to put his award towards an upright bass for the academy.

Here is the Brazilian Concert at the Speakers House: You can see Lucas as one the first saxophonists playing in the reception.

Leader Award 2014: Michael Csanyi Wills

Michael has been inspiring the kids to write the idents for Wandsworth radio, teaching them how to write music and linking it to the commercial world. Supporting them while they take their exams, accompanying them on the piano. Also for their GCSEs, A levels and for performances. So supportive all the musical endeavours of the young people, has a great sense of humour and is fun to work with.




Milda Paulauskaite, 15: October 2014

Milda-with-Daisy-ChuteMilda was chosen because of her amazing enthusiasm and keenness. She learns the guitar, sings and writes songs. Needless to say, she is very dedicated to her art and is always at the academy learning and mixing well and inspiring her peers. She is really a joy to have here.

Milda has bought vocal microphones for the Academy. We purchased 2 SM58’s which are excellent pro vocal mics.

Yannis Hannachi, 16: October 2014

Yannis-recieving-Jack-Petchey-from-Michael-Csanyi-Wills-.JPG-2Yannis has been incredible in his progress and commitment to music. He almost ‘lives’ at the academy and from scratch in just a few months he can now play the piano to a good level. We reckon that Yannis would be ready to take the grade 8 piano in 2 years. He is also a composer and spends hours and hours at the Academy every week writing and working on his original pieces.

Yannis would like to buy a Spectrasonic Omnisphere -(production and composition software) which will benefit composition and production at the academy.

Dieu Merci, 18yrs: June 2014

Dieu-MerciDieu takes on challenging songs and performs them with his own style. He is always ready to go outside his own comfort zone to develop his musicianship and skills. He has a professional approach and works incredibly hard in rehearsals. Recent performances include Sugarman by Rodriguez in our Nelson Mandela concert, Trouble Trouble by Lemontagne and They Won’t Go by Stevie Wonder in our Martin Luther King concert.

Dieu contributed his money towards buying professional recording equipment for the Academy.


Isaac Duribe, 18yrs: April 2014

Isaac-DuribeIsaac has shown everybody at the Academy how learning music can transform your life. Isaac has contributed immensely to our performances at World Heart Beat by doing the sound. He also writes music and has inspired our electronic music faculty. He is now going to Birmingham University to study audio engineering.

Isaac spent his money on buying an industry-standard Komplete instruments and effects package for our digital studio.

George Casci, 13yrs: March 2014

George-CasciGeorge was chosen to win this award because of his progress on the clarinet. He has been practising a lot and as a result was selected as an instrumental soloist in our recent NY East Village concert, playing alongside guest artists from New York.

George has spent his award money on buying a saxophone for the Academy.

2017 Update: George is now an amazing saxophone player and you can find out more about him from this video: 


 Ezekiel Ajie, 18yrs: February 2014

Ezekiel AjieEzekiel started playing the bass from scratch just over a year ago and has made unbelievable progress. He has a great groove and feel. His passion and dedication is first class. He was our bass player in both the Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela tribute concerts held this year.

He put his money towards buying the Academy a Focusrite Saffire Pro recording machine.

Leader Award 2013: Daisy Chute

Ava Joseph, 12yrs: October 2013

DSC_4913Ava was chosen to receive the award because of her unbelievable commitment to music. On Mondays it’s Jazz, On Tuesdays she helps out with the young vocalists and then is in our Stardust Jazz Improvising choir. On Thursdays she stays for all 3 of our 51st State band sessions, helping teach the very young musicians in the 50 and a Half State Band and then plays percussion in the main bands. On Friday she is in the Reggae school and on Saturdays she attends the renowned Julian Joseph Jazz Academy. She spends well over 30 hours per week at World Heart Beat practising music and also on top of this helped to plan our recent Friends night.

Ava is going to put her money towards a songwriting course for the academy.

This is Ava now aged 13, performing at the Half Moon in Putney with Pepe Barcellos.

Sian Kelly, 17yrs: September 2013

sian-kellySian is major life energy at the academy. She is a superb and inspired singer and songwriter and her love of music is infectious. She is always on hand to help out with classes, reception and anything else that needs doing, including the planning of our recent Friends night. Sian is fantastic in every way and also so lovely to have around.

Sian is also going to put her money towards a songwriting course for the academy.

Charlie Collins Walters: Summer 2013

Charlie-with-Brina15-year-old Charlie Collins Walters, whose father has Jamaican heritage, was presented with his award by Brina, and has decided to spend the £200 he received to buy new microphones for the academy. Artistic director Sahana Gero said, “The academy is like a second home for Charlie, his love for and participation in music has brought confidence and focus that few other things can. He was so proud and happy and we were too!”

Olaf Wein: Summer 2013

Olaf-with-Johnny-ClarkeThe Great Johnny Clarke presented an award to Year 8 student Olaf Wein who has dedicated lots of time to developing his musical abilities. Olaf has spent his £200 on buying a new Bass guitar for the Academy. Both students received copies of Brina‘s latest album, and a Jack Petchey Foundation certificate to recognise their achievements.

Kieran Williams: Spring 2013

Kieron-WilliamsKieran won his award because of his commitment to the vocal classes at the academy. He come every week and always gives his all. Kieran just loves to sing. Kieran chose to spend his award money on microphones for performances at the academy.

Liam Tyndale: Spring 2013

liam-TyndaleLiam has shown massive improvements in his bass playing since coming to reggae school and his concentration, focus and dedication is first class. Liam spends a lot of time practising. Liam spent his award money on buying pizza for everybody after a Reggae School Concert.

Ella Joseph: Autumn 2012

Our first award winner is Ella Joseph who didn’t get the chance to learn an instrument when she was a young child and now at the age of 15, through our work and the Reggae School, Ella has started the guitar and not put it down since. She is a real inspiration. Award presented to Ella by Levi Roots at the Academy’s concert 22 November 2012.


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