The Musical Museum's Trustees make up our board of Directors, and have a broad spectrum of backgrounds and experience. Our Trustees volunteer to apply their skills, experience and contacts to help us achieve our charitable objectives, grow the museum's visitors, reach new audiences, and build a sustainable future for our collections.
The Museum is always looking for new Trustees; if you have relevant experience and would like to apply to join our board, please click here to find our more. Our current Trustees are:
Chris Barber – Chairman & Director of Music
Chris Barber, MBA, BSc, MCIPD, ARCM is a consultant specialising in organisational design and change management. Chris provides advice to public and private sector companies to help them meet challenges imposed by changes in the business environment. He has worked both in the UK and overseas, holding senior roles in a variety of large organisations.
Chris joined the Museum 10 years ago as the Museum’s resident organist; he is a trained concert artist having studied piano at the Royal College of Music and organ at Cambridge. He has played at many theatre organ venues in the UK and the USA, as well as being regularly featured on BBC Radio 2’s The Organist Entertains. Chris has played on cruise ships, worked as a session musician and was a regular pianist with the Ron Goodwin Orchestra for many years.
In addition to his role leading our Board of Directors, Chris oversees the musical life of the Museum, and the curation of our exhibits relating to the Cinema Organ. Chris also produces (and plays in) many of the Museum’s concerts. When not at his desk or the console of The Mighty Wurlitzer, Chris likes to pursue his passion for motorcycling. His other main interests are in the restoration of his own Mighty Wurlitzer theatre organ, and the preservation of the Burrell Scenic Road Locomotive “Dragon.”
Steve Barrett-White – Operations & Commercial Development Director
Steve Barrett-White first worked in the record industry in a number of roles, followed by Acorn Computers working on the BBC Micro, then Commodore Computers to introduce the Amiga in the UK. After a spell at Philips and SPC, he entered the A/V market, working for distributors and dealers. He joined the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as their only A/V technician 16 years ago, and retired as their Audio Visual Manager in October 2019, where he was responsible for A/V at RIBA’s London HQ and their offices around the country.
Steve is much in demand as a presenter/lecturer in microphone techniques and sound in general. He has an extensive library of microphones and sound equipment, and records and produces recordings for radio and for orchestras, cinema organists, choirs and jazz bands across the UK and Europe.
Mark Blackwell – Finance Director
Mark Blackwell, ACMA, is a professional accountant and responsible for the financial well-being of the Museum. Having worked his way up through industry and qualifying in 1992, Mark worked in the IT and Leasing industries, attaining the role of European Finance Director of a large US corporate. Following the sale of this company and, having helped a couple of friends with the finances of their own business, he decided to set up his own consultancy, supporting local businesses and people with their accounting and self-assessments. Approximately 30% of his firm's clients are small to medium sized charities, where he not only assists with their statutory requirements and day-to-day finances but also grant applications and governance.
Although he is a busy professional, music has always played a very important part in Mark’s life. He started as resident organist at Twickenham United Reform Church at the age of 14 and has played in various churches ever since, as well as running numerous choirs, including a peripatetic choir that provides choral support to cathedrals when the resident choir is away. Mark has also played piano and electronic keyboard for many stage shows, and was Musical Director for the Spelthorne Gang Show (with over 100 young people) for 10 years.
Marcus Harbourne – Health & Safety Executive & HR Director
Marcus first visited the museum in 2016, and like many before him, was captivated by the sights and sounds he experienced there. Marcus joined the Museum as a tour guide, and latterly became a trustee. His working life has been spent in the licensed retail industry, including being a manager for Forte Hotels for 5 years, with Courage Brewing as an area manager responsible for some 28 public houses, and Morland Brewery in 1983 as a Business Development Manager for 15 large catering outlets. In 1998, Marcus set up his own consultancy - Harborne Innpact Services, providing training on all aspects of hospitality, catering, licensing law, premises licencing and heath and safety best practice - all skills which have been of enormous practical help to the Musical Museum in recent years.
Marcus still runs his company, and covers some 25,000 miles a year in the delivery of various contracts. He is an active member of his local church and a long-standing governor of an independent school in High Wycombe as well as President of the school's PTA.
Simon Hill – IT / Technical Director & Vice-Chairman
Simon Hill, MRI MBCS CITP has been with the Museum since 2015, and oversees our technical and IT infrastructure. Simon is currently Head of Insight for Domestic & General Plc., and has had a varied and successful business career; including Vice-President at a global outsourcing company, Director of Insight & Decision Science at Sky, and senior roles at Dell, MasterCard, Bupa, Camelot, Vodafone and Cable & Wireless.
Simon brings with him a lifelong appreciation of music - and pipe organs in particular - which stems from his early years as a Cathedral Chorister. In addition to his extensive technical knowledge as a Chartered IT Professional, he also has experience in stagecraft, which began with his first job as a stage electrician at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth and continues through his hobbies as a pyrotechnician and lighting designer. He is also responsible for the technical design of the Museum's spectacular series of Christmas and Summer concerts, our online presence and digital broadcasting capability.
Michael Ryder, M.Phil, FCA has a long and happy association with the Musical Museum that goes back to the late 1960’s, when he came upon it thanks to his mother’s Woman’s Guild coach visit, when he was obliged to fill an empty seat! He was fascinated by how the instruments worked. As a student with limited means, he persuaded people to give him lifts to Brentford so he could help take tickets on the door, sell items in the shop, and do whatever needed doing, eventually becoming a tour guide. He has been key to much of the Museum's history, playing a central role in creating the building the Museum now occupies, and serving as the Museum's Chairman for many years;he currently supports Mike Wood in overseeing the Museum's archives and the conservation and exhibition of our collections.
Professionally, Michael is a Chartered Accountant; after qualifying, he taught accounting and business in higher education, designing and creating new degree courses, as well as his own research and teaching commitments; he then became an HMI (education inspector), and finally became the Chief Officer of a large grant-giving charity in the London Borough of Richmond until his retirement.
Michael J Wood – Conservation & Exhibitions Director
Mike’s association with the Museum began in 2006, when as a volunteer, he spent many hours with the team dismantling and subsequently moving the collection to the new building - and then rebuilding, repairing and displaying the collection in the various galleries. Mike read Mathematics at the University of St Andrew’s followed by post graduate studies. He joined IBM and was responsible for sales and marketing to a variety of large companies, and post-retirement became chair of "Carer's Support Spelthorne", a charity that offered independent services and practical help to local care givers. Mike is an accomplished musician and accompanist to local choirs and choral societies (occasionally taking charge of the baton). He is currently organist at St. Nicholas Church in Shepperton, and for the past 24 years Mike has been the principal accompanist for the highly-regarded Weybridge Male Voice Choir, and can also be heard at the console of the Museum's Wurlitzer playing for tours, films and events.