Helen began formal piano lessons aged 9 and by her early teens knew that she wanted a career in music. She completed Grade 8 classical piano and Theory of music before picking up a saxophone and changing direction. After completing a two year performing arts BTEC at Barnsley College Helen studied Jazz, pop and contemporary music to degree level at Leeds College of Music. Her career has since focussed on education, performing and composing. She has toured throughout Europe as saxophonist with various jazz and pop groups and arranged music for a wide range of ensembles.
Helen is a music examiner with a specialist focus on Jazz, Pop and Musical Theatre. Her piano and woodwind music is included in ABRSM, LCM and TRINITY music exam syllabus and is a published composer (Spartan press, LCM and ABRSM publications). In 2012 Helen returned to Leeds College of Music to study for a Masters in composition and graduated with Distinction. She is currently in the final stages of a PhD in composition at the University of York under the supervision of Professor Roger Marsh.
Recent works include the inclusive children’s opera ‘The Magic paintbrush’ (written for professionals, young children and participants with complex needs) and was commissioned to write the music for the opera ‘Maria Medea’ (premiered in York theatre royal 2018). Helen continues to focus on writing large scale inclusive works for young people, including those with additional needs, and writing educational material for students and examination boards whilst running her own teaching practice and examining nationwide.