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PRESS RELEASE: Dr Jeremy Sleith named as new Chair of the Board of Trustees of Sing Up Foundation

The Sing Up Foundation is pleased to announce that Dr Jeremy Sleith has been appointed as the next Chair of the Board of Trustees. Dr Sleith brings extensive experience in the music education sector as Head of St Helen’s Music Service since 2008 and has been a Trustee of the Sing Up Foundation since 2020.

Dr Jeremy Sleith is the new Chair of the Board of Trustees of Sing Up Foundation
Dr Jeremy Sleith is the new Chair of the Board of Trustees of Sing Up Foundation

Dr Sleith also brings a particular interest in music and the arts for health and wellbeing with years of experience developing and advocating for programmes that support young people's engagement and attainment, in addition to promoting arts on prescription alongside colleagues in health and young people’s services in St Helen’s.

On his appointment, Dr Jeremy Sleith has said:

“I feel very fortunate to be taking over the role of Chair from David as he has laid the secure foundations for the work we have been developing. It has been great to be involved with the Sing Up Foundation as we bring together a broad range of resources and approaches to support young people at this most-needed time. Those involved in music-making and music education already know the power that music has to change lives. With the expert panels and other development work over the last year, it has been exciting to bring together workshop leaders, therapists and other health, community, and educational specialists to inform and support the work of the Foundation moving forward.”

Departing Chair of Trustees, David Sulkin OBE said:

“It was an honour and pleasure to serve as the chair the Sing Up Foundation for five years. There is much to be done in future concerning children, young people, health, well-being and the natural synergy of music and singing. I’m certain that Dr Sleith is the perfect person to lead the Foundation to the next level.”

Celi Barberia, Head of Sing Up Foundation said:

“We’re really excited that Dr Jeremy Sleith will be stepping into the role of Chair of our Board of Trustees. Following the work of the last year with the developments made possible by our Arts Council Cultural Recovery Funding and our work on the legacy of the British Council’s World Voice project, we have lots of new work launching in 2023. Jeremy’s leadership and experience will be invaluable in helping to shape the future of the Foundation.

We’d also like to take the opportunity to thank David Sulkin OBE for his support, advice and guidance over the first five years of the Foundation in helping to establish and create our charity. He’s been a part of the Sing Up family since the very beginning and always will be.”


Notes to editors

  1. Sing Up Foundation ( is the charitable arm of Sing Up. Sing Up has always been a champion of the wider benefits of singing – for education, social and health outcomes – and marked its 10th birthday in 2017 by launching the Sing Up Foundation, a charity with a commitment to a new charitable purpose supporting singing for health and wellbeing. 

  2. The Sing Up Foundation believes in harnessing the power of singing to improve people's mental health and wellbeing. With 50% of mental health problems established by the age of 14 and 75% by the age of 24, the Sing Up Foundation believes it's critical to focus on prevention by working with young people. The benefits of singing, especially in groups, are wide-ranging with extensive research supporting the physiological, social, psychological and behavioural benefits. The Sing Up Foundation produces, promotes and creates opportunities for children and young people to improve their mental health and wellbeing through singing.

  3. In addition to Dr Jeremy Sleith, the following health, education and music specialists sit on the Sing Up Foundation Board of Trustees –Michelle James (Sing Up CEO), Dr Andrew McWilliams (Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Researcher from University College London, Kings College Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital), Beth Millett (Sing Up Publishing Manager), Dr Motje Wolf (Senior Lecturer in Education (Music), De Montfort University)

  4. Sing Up ( is an award-winning organisation that began as a government funded programme to reinstate singing in primary schools in 2007. It was a very successful programme, reaching 98% of primary schools by 2012. Since 2012, when the funding stopped, the organisation has sustained itself entirely through earned income from schools’ membership subscriptions and the continued loyalty and investment from schools is a sign of the value they place on singing and on the work of Sing Up.

  5. Sing Up provides resources, training and guidance to support schools and believes that all children and young people have a right to good quality singing provision, to deepen their understanding of music and singing, raise attainment and develop lasting tools to express themselves with confidence and creativity. With over 15 years of experience at the forefront of music education, Sing Up’s specially arranged songs, teaching tools and support put singing at the heart of learning. 

  6. Dr Jeremy Sleith has worked as the Head of St Helens Council Music Service since its inception in 2008. Previously he held senior roles within Stockport and Suffolk Music Services and has much experience of instrumental and curriculum leadership and teaching over a 30+ year career. He gained a PhD in education research investigating how a service could create a Wider Opportunities programme that considered its participants as musicians and the class as a band or orchestra from the first lesson. He has also been instrumental in setting up a Music Education Hub Alliance across the Liverpool City Region and the Local Cultural Education Partnership for St Helens. Over the past few years, Jeremy has become passionate about the role that music and the arts can play in the lives of young people. He is an advocate for a broad and balanced school curriculum that supports the intellectual and emotional growth and understanding in all young people. More recently, he has become a keen advocate for the use of the arts as therapy and is currently developing a number of arts on prescription models to support young people's wellbeing.

  7. David Sulkin OBE has been the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Sing Up Foundation since 2017, helping to establish and create the Foundation. Throughout his career, David has played a leading role in arts education. Roles include, Director of the Royal Court Young People’s Theatre, Co-founder of the Baylis Programme at English National Opera, Director of Policy and Programmes at Youth Music, Chief Executive of Help Musicians UK and currently Director of Artist Development at the National Opera Studio, where he is leading on a special programme to increase access to training for the opera stage called Diverse Voices. He helped establish the International Festival of Young Playwrights in Australia and has worked extensively in the Czech Republic, directing plays and operas. He was Associate Director of Janáčkovy Hukvaldy - the Janáček Festival in the composer’s home village in Northern Moravia and is currently special advisor for learning and participation at the National Theatre of Prague. While at Youth Music, David led on the campaign to reintroduce singing in primary schools which led to the publication of the ground-breaking Singbook followed soon afterwards by the National Singing Programme which became Sing Up. David has worked a trustee for many organisations including, Chair of governors at Clerkenwell Parochial School, Chair of the Cripplegate Foundation, Chair of the North London Children’s Choir and trustee of the Association of Charitable Organisations and is delighted to be chair of the Sing Up Foundation. David was awarded an OBE in HM The Queen’s New Year’s Honours in 2014. His interests include motorcycling, sea-bathing, Russian language and culture and the history of early recording.

For further information, please contact Celi Barberia,

PRESS RELEASE Dr Jeremy Sleith new Sing Up Foundation Chair
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