Bios for the AGM – February 2020

It’s that time of year again – AGM time! On Wednesday the following candidates will stand to be elected onto the committee for 2020/2021. Get to know them below!

The Annual General Meeting 2020 will take place on Wednesday 12th February in the JHR at 5:00 pm.


James Beadle

Hello everyone! Hopefully, most of you know who I am. If you think you’ve heard of me somewhere before you are correct – I was the one pestering you about paying membership. I’m James, I’m a 3rd year engineering student, and I play my clarinet in Wind Band, Swing Group, Orchestra, and Clarinet Choir. I’ve seen the President at work during my two years on the committee, both as Technician and Treasurer, but I have also taken time to chat with Henry, to make sure I know what becoming President would require of me. From these discussions, aside from the regular admin duties, there were two clear overarching skills required: to have a strong understanding about everything going on in the society at any point in time and to be able to take lead and overcome problems when they arise. Being a part of committee for two years now has almost engraved the ULMS calendar of concerts, rehearsals, socials, and events into my brain; being Treasurer especially has given me insight into not only when things should happen, but also how they happen. Addressing the second key skill now; during my time as Technician, I implemented a new equipment hiring system to try and set standards of how we hire equipment, which previously didn’t exist. When I first started as Technician, I had no intention of putting that system in place, yet I found a problem, worked out a solution, and adapted myself to implement it. Taking this approach further, during my time as Treasurer, I found the current financial record was highly error prone. This is where I implemented a new financial record using Google Apps Script. Again, I found a problem, worked out a solution, and adapted myself to implement it. Admittedly, both of these examples are very long term, whereas the President should be able to work a solution on the spot, but this is a skill which I have inherited from my course in engineering, where strict deadlines have pushed me to design what was previously flawed, fix what was previously broken, and lead forward what was previously divided on the spot. Aside from why I’m suited for the role, to be a good President I would need to be eager to take it on. I’m more than willing to put the time in to make it work well – I already invest much of my time into the society simply because I enjoy it and am passionate about its success from initial rehearsals to final performances. I have no idea what the role of President would throw at me, and neither does anyone else. Whether it be a problem that’s occurred a thousand times before, or a totally new issue I know that I have the skills, enthusiasm, and time management to find a solution, and take responsibility to make it happen.


Louise Frankland

Hi, for those of you who don’t know who I am, I am a second-year theoretical physics with maths student. I currently play in Wind band, and one of the conductors for swing groups, I’m in charge of Sax choir and part of clarinet choir, dance band and the Chicago pit band. As well as this I have been Social sec with Amaia for the past year, so hopefully most of you know who I am.

Being on committee for the past year has given me an insight into the work involved in making sure that ULMS runs smoothly on a day to day basis, I think this will be very helpful for the role of secretary. Over the last year as social sec there have been a number of logistical issues that we have had to deal with that the members of the society may or may not be aware of but have generally managed to deal with this which has given me the experience that will be invaluable for being secretary if you vote for me. I am looking forward to the opportunity to take a larger role in the organisation of the society, whilst I am not in every single ensemble, or every single small group, I think I have a relatively good idea of what is going on from being on committee for the past year which is important for the secretary to have.

Along with the role of secretary is likely to come the role of welfare officer, whilst this is not a position I would necessarily put myself forward for, I am happy for anyone in the society to come and talk to me or message me about any issues they have and I hope that I can also be trusted to deal with it the best way that I can.


Verity Bennett

Hello everyone, I’m Verity and I’m running for treasurer (again!) this year! 

For anyone that doesn’t know me, I, like most ULMS members, joined this society in my first week at university and genuinely couldn’t imagine being at Lancaster without it. Having been in the society for two and a half years (both on and off committee), I feel that I have a well-rounded perspective and understanding of how the society functions as a whole and would love to support it again this year as treasurer. 

Needless to say, James has done a fantastic job and I would love the opportunity to continue his work this year. As a self-proclaimed lover of any kind of spreadsheet, I know that I can take over this role smoothly and confidently. As an overview, my experiences in ULMS include being on committee as choir rep, conducting choir for over a year now and also running chamber choir. While I won’t try and pretend that I’m not a choir gal at heart, it goes without saying that I will give all ensembles (big and small) the same fair and unbiased treatment, aiming to support them as best I can in all their aspirations. 

Other relevant experience I have outside of ULMS includes my role as president of the Natural Sciences Society which I took over at the beginning of this academic year. This role has been challenging but very rewarding and has helped develop my communication skills extensively. Despite what you might think from the number of tequila shots I hand out in county bar, I’m a very money savvy person, and have had extensive experience with budgets since the age of 15; working at IKEA and co-running a small stage tech company. Having honed these skills over the past few years, I am confident that I am suited to keep the finances in order, which is of course the fundamental role of treasurer. In addition to this, I would also like to review the way in which the budgets for small groups are handled, so that they better reflect the needs of each group. To do this I would like to work closely with the next small groups reps to ensure any changes are mutually beneficial to all small ensembles and the society. 

To conclude, I am an approachable and hardworking individual and given my relevant experience and interests, I really do feel as though I have the right skill set to succeed in this role. I’ve always been an ambitious individual that has never shied away from difficulty and I know that I would work hard and persevere through any challenges this role may bring. I hope my decision to re-run this year highlights my passion and dedication to ULMS and I hope that you will vote for me on Wednesday! 

Amaia Imaz Blanco

Hello, my name is Amaia Imaz Blanco and I am running to be your treasurer this year. I’m a second year studying Astrophysics, that plays the violin in String Orchestra, Orchestra, and Dance Band. For the past year, I’ve had the honor of being your social secretary together with Louise. I am suited for the role of treasurer of ULMS for a variety of reasons, beginning with the fact that I do a very maths focused degree, hence I am good with numbers and am a competent user of Excel, something absolutely essential for a treasurer. Furthermore, being on the handball club Exec for 2019-2020, where the jobs are very much shared and we all handle various responsibilities, I have learnt how to work with LUSU in terms of money and how to budget for a society, something that will be very useful if you elect me as your treasurer. Furthermore, my experience being previously on ULMS committee is invaluable towards understanding the ins and outs of how the society works and what the responsibility of treasurer entails, meaning that I’m prepared for what’s to come and understand my responsibilities. There are also many reasons why I want to do this job, over the past year, ULMS has been a place where I feel at home and where I know I will enjoy myself, and I think a big part of it is due to being on committee and the close relations that I’ve been able to form because of it. Whilst, I overall have loved being social sec, I am in need of a different role as after a year of having to think of new socials, the society needs a fresh pair of brains to think of socials, and I think that after understanding the committee better, being treasurer is the role that suits me best. I think dealing with the finances of anything is really interesting but I think that I would especially enjoy it for ULMS as buying and maintaining music-related items is something that sparks my interest. Overall, I hope you consider me as your treasurer and have enough faith that I would do a good job to vote for me.

Big Band Representative

Toby Smith

I’m Toby, a first year in English Lit and Spanish who joined Ulms at the start of the year. While I haven’t been here very long I’ve made sure to try as many ensembles as possible and have been really enjoying all of the things Ulms offers. I’ll be running for big band rep, as this is the ensemble that I feel I have really enjoyed the most this term and have the most experience with. This especially true as I have been a big band rep and captain in my previous band for 2 years before I came to Lancaster. I’ve also had experience with conducting and with leading bands in the past and so hope this will help with my organisation of big band as well as helping with its structure and running. If elected I’d hope to be able to be someone who would improve big bands organisation as well as pushing it to achieve even more impressive musical feats. I’d also be interested in gaining players recommendations for pieces and branching into different styles of jazz. Overall, I’d hope to be a friendly face that anyone in big band could come to with a problem, and to make big band an even more welcoming and fun place than it already is.

Brass Band Representative

Ella Clarke and Lizzy Morritt (Running as a pair)

Hi, I’m Lizzy, a second year Biomedicine student and the current Brass Rep of ULMS. I play the cornet and trumpet in brass band, wind band and oompah group. The last year being on committee has been great and I’ve enjoyed being Brass band representative so much I am wanting to run again. The position has opened my eyes up to the organisation and commitment required to lead such an active ensemble and has made me appreciate all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of our fantastic society. From being the Brass representative for the last year I have learnt the best ways to manage the band and have been able to solely organise large events, such as taking the band to compete at unibrass in Bangor this year. Before university I came from Shepherd Group brass band in York and now at university participate in external brass bands on top of the university brass band. This extensive brass band background has helped me to fully understand the ways brass bands run and provides me with new ideas all the time of how I can improve the band. I believe me and Ella together as a pair would make a great team to help lead this great ensemble. With it both being our third year come September, having two people to for such a high demanding role (especially in the run up to Christmas and unibrass) would be beneficial not just to the band but to both of us. Hopefully, you will consider both of us as your new brass bands representatives for the next year of ULMS! I’m Ella and I’m a third year French and Linguistics student. I play cornet and trumpet, and during my first two years at Lancaster, I was a member of brass band, wind band, big band and oompah band. I’m currently on my year abroad in France, which puts me in the unusual position of running for brass band rep with a view of officially filling the role for only 6 months. I am running with Lizzy Morritt, who will effectively be the sole rep for the remainder of this academic year, but when I return to Lancaster in September, I will join her as a joint rep. I already have a full year’s experience in this role as I was a joint brass band rep for the 2018/19 committee, so I don’t believe I will be at any disadvantage coming back into the role halfway through the committee’s tenure. Having had a break from ULMS this year, I know I’ll be more than ready to jump back in, and as an organised and reliable person, along with Lizzy’s support, I think I would be able to successfully act as one of your brass band reps again in 2020/21.

Choir Representative

Emma Isaken

Hi, I’m Emma, I’m a first year-computer science student and I’m running for choir rep. In freshers I knew I was going to join ULMS (because what would life even be like without several hours of rehearsal a week?), but I was still nervous. From my first choir rehearsal I knew I’d be alright. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I want to be choir rep so that I can help keep that inclusive atmosphere, as well as keeping things running smoothly so we can keep having fun in rehearsals and putting on great performances. I’d love to work with the conductors, choir members, and the other ensembles to make our rehearsals, concerts, and this years tour as fabulous as possible. I have some experience running rehearsals and organising concerts, which will help me with all of the organisation aspects of the role, and I’ll do my best to continue George’s impressive streak of remembering to bring biscuits to rehearsal every week!

Orchestra Representative

Marsia Staikidi

Hello everyone, I am Marsia, a first year Management and Entrepreneurship student from Greece! I play drums and percussion as a member of the orchestra. I started playing the drums when I was very young, joined my school’s ensemble in middle school and about seven years ago I joined the Underground Youth Orchestra, one of the best youth orchestras in Greece. I still play along with them when I am back in Greece and we perform both nationally and internationally. This past summer we were the first Greek Orchestra to ever be invited to perform to the largest youth orchestra festival, the Young Euro Classic, which took place in Berlin. I joined that orchestra when I was just 11 and since then, from an ensemble of about 20 members, we now consist of almost 70 young musicians ages 10 to 24. Through the years that orchestra has become my family and I have learned to work well with musicians of all different ages, much older or much younger than me, many different levels, higher or lower than my own. I have learned to listen well to others, play along them and encourage them when stressed before important concerts. Since we started as a small ensemble, we have gone through all the different phases of different styles of music whether that was easy Greek songs, to cinema music, to Christmas music, to Greek and German composers writing original pieces for us, to Beethoven to Maler. Therefore, I have experience in all different types of music and would love to bring all these to the table. Researching upon the societies offered at Lancaster when making my uni decision last year was a vital reason for choosing to attend Lancaster as music was one of the things I was most afraid to leave behind when leaving Greece. For all these reasons I believe I will be a great fit as an orchestra rep and would love to engage with the orchestra at a deeper level, being an Orchestra Rep.

String Orchestra Representative

No nominations

Swing Group Representative

Katie Farr

Hello, I’m Katie. I’m a 2nd year English Literature & Creative Writing student. I play alto sax in Swing Group and Wind Band. As I am the current Swing Group Rep, I believe that I have proven over the past year that I’m up to the job. I’ve been reliable in rehearsals, concerts, and committee meetings, bought new folders, got new conductors, organised gigs and kept the membership up. In short, I already know what I’m doing!

Wind Band Representative

Rachel Appleton and Elisabeth Bancroft (Running as a pair)

Hi, we’re Rachel and Elisabeth and we’d love to be your wind band reps! We’re both first years studying Natural Sciences and Physics respectively and we share a desire to get more involved in the society we have both come to love, playing the flute in the wind band and the orchestra. Together we want to maintain and advance the excellent work of the current wind band representatives through new ideas and a fresh perspective. To improve the band, we would be willing to run sectionals to really get to the heart of the music we love to play, making sure the band is working together as well as possible. We would like to ensure we continue to play music the whole band can enjoy, as well as introduce new repertoire to explore other possible genres. Between us we have had experience organizing music, setting up rehearsals and concerts, and playing in many ensembles. Having both played from a young age, we have come to love music and all it entails and would love to provide similar experiences for others. ULMS does a fantastic job and we can all agree the university would not be the same without it.

Zoe Hopper and Cailtin Rees (Running as a pair)

Hi everyone!

We are Caitlin and Zoe, two first year Geography students who both play the flute in Wind band and Flute choir. We think we’d make great reps as we’re enthusiastic about ensuring Wind band continues to make great music as part of this welcoming, inclusive and well-run society that is ULMS.

We both have a lot of experience in music groups. Caitlin was Musical Director for her school production of Legally Blonde, helping her appreciate the complex role of the conductor and the importance of relying on other people. She was Deputy Head Girl, gaining leadership experience and in her element working in a team. Playing piano from age 4 and flute from 7, she’s had lots of experience in various choirs and bands over the years. Caitlin is a self-proclaimed expert in curating Spotify playlists, hoping this will be invaluable when making our repertoire accessible. She used to compere school concerts, so is comfortable with public speaking. Zoe was in her local Wind band for around 8 years and rarely missing a rehearsal, so she’s super dedicated. Through performing with them in concerts as first chair/soloist as well as competing in the national Music for Youth competition, she feels she has gained a good understanding of what it takes to run a band smoothly. Zoe is looking forward to touring with ULMS in the summer and being a part of wind band for many years to come!

We want to continue to make Wind band fun by taking requests for new pieces to play, and managing the difficulty level for each part to make them accessible and enjoyable for every musician, showcasing everyone’s talents. We’ve both absolutely loved being in ULMS for the last few months – we’ve really enjoyed playing in a range of concerts and getting to know the other members at socials. We get on really well so we know we’ll work well as a team and we’re both keen to become more involved in running this wonderful society!

Thank you!

Small Groups Representative

Nathan Wright

Hi, I’m Nathan Wright, and after a year on Committee as Technician, I am once again asking for your electoral support. I’m in my 3rd year now, studying Physics with Astrophysics and Cosmology, though like many of you I tend to forget that, as ULMS continues to consume my free time. I can generally be found playing in Brass Band or Wind Band, though I can also importantly be spotted in some small groups, having played in Sax Choir, Oompah, and Inglourious Brassterds at various points throughout the year. Though I’m only in two of ULMS’ seven major ensembles, I think I have hopefully become a familiar face, whether it’s through my attendance at socials or my incessant posting on the various unofficial ULMS Facebook pages.

I joined ULMS right at the start of my time at university, and I have enjoyed it ever since. The society has allowed me to have so many incredible opportunities, and has introduced me to dozens of fantastic people. Through being on Committee, I have greatly appreciated the chance to work for and give back to the society, in whatever capacity I can. For all these reasons and more, I am extremely keen to remain involved in the society, and to keep doing my part to try and help the society be the best it can.

The reason I want to run for Small Groups Representative in particular is that I have really enjoyed playing in some of the small groups within the society, particularly as they can offer such a different musical experience to the major ensembles. I have been heavily involved in Inglourious Brassterds, having written many of their arrangements, and equally was one of the more vocal Committee members regarding my desire to see a saxophone-based small group, which now exists in the form of Sax Choir. Given my involvement in small groups and the degree to which I have enjoyed it, I want to now help ensure that all the society’s small groups can continue to be successful and offer their own unique experiences, as well as continuing to support any potential new small groups.

I find that the way small groups are currently run is mostly very effective, but I would aim to be constantly monitoring this and exploring opportunities for improvement. As an example of such a potential change, a cap was recently introduced on the amount small groups pay to ULMS, such that small group members can keep more of the money they earn from larger gigs. Though I was obviously not Small Groups Rep at the time, I still backed it within my capacity as a Committee member. One potential idea I would like to explore if elected would be the creation of a form that members interested in joining a small group can fill out. Small group managers or those interested in forming a group could then look at this list to find potential players. I believe that if done correctly this could offer an alternative to the band forming workshop that took place earlier this academic year and bring new opportunities to members of the society who have exciting new ideas for small groups.

I think my experience as Technician would prove useful to me in this role, as I have an all-too-familiar knowledge of the equipment hire process for the society, something which small groups can need to use regularly. In addition, I already know many of the people running small groups at the moment through contacting them about equipment and can continue to work with them successfully in the role of Small Groups Rep.

Finally, with regard to Committee experience in general, I think I have over the last year offered consistent useful contributions to Committee. Those who have been on Committee with me can tell you I have not been afraid to defend ideas or suggestions that I think would benefit the society, even if they have not always been the popular idea at the time. I have also made an effort to take into account the ideas and opinions from society members who are not on Committee, and have tried to incorporate these views into the opinions I bring to meetings, and would hope that I can continue to successfully represent not just small groups but all members of the society who come forward with ideas or feedback. Thank you for reading my bio, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me however you would prefer best, otherwise I look forward to seeing you all at the AGM!

Publicity Officer

No nominations

Social Secretary

George Allin and Isha Robbie

Hello, we are George Allin, in 2nd year and taking Religious Studies, and Isha Robbie, in 1st year and studying Natural Sciences. We are both in Choir but are also members of a range of ensembles and small groups, such as string, wind, and big. This is something we feel is very important as social secretaries, as we aim to bring people from across all the ensembles together. Both of us have been members of ULMS from the start of our time at Lancaster, and are eager to continue taking an active role in the society we love. As a previous member of committee (George) and a fresher (Isha) we hope to bring a combination of both experience of the general runnings of committee along with the skills this has developed, and a fresh perspective to keep socials fun and interesting. Both of us have actively attended socials and found great fun in the variety they bring. We like to think that we are friendly, outgoing, and approachable people, and believe this makes us suited to the role as we can talk to anyone and make sure everyone has fun and feels included in the socials. ULMS provides a unique social experience for its members, with many traditions that have been passed down through the years. As social secs we would aim to maintain these traditions, such as barcrawls and Summer ball at The Borough alongside new ideas that can be enjoyed regardless of alcohol, such as a murder mystery night, or an ULMSlympics combining both musical and sporting events. With our love of ULMS, socials, and our organisational skills we think we would be perfect for this role. Thank you for reading our bio, we look forward to seeing you all at the AGM!

Project Teach Music Co-ordinator

No nominations


Tom Grainger

Hi everyone, I’m Tom Grainger, a 3rd year Particle Physics student running for the role of technician. I have been a member of ULMS for the entire duration of my degree and currently play in wind band and brass band as well as several small groups. I have spent the last year living with the current ULMS technician Nathan Wright and he has been a huge help in informing me of the various responsibilities of this role as well as the huge volume of equipment hire forms I would have to deal with. Despite technician playing a smaller role in the society than some other positions on committee (former technician James Beadle was famously told that ULMS didn’t need one) I believe that it is still a hugely important job and if elected I will make sure to continue the great work that both James and Nathan put into this role.