The Team

Ann-Elise Smoot

Ann-Elise has been Director of Oundle for Organists since 2014. A sought-after performer with a wide-ranging repertoire, education and encouraging the next generations of musicians has always been a major focus of her career. 

Yvette Murphy

Yvette is a London-based conductor, organist, and mezzo-soprano. As Choral Director for the Diocese of Westminster, Yvette is working to reinvigorate music education in Catholic primary schools, establishing regional choirs across the diocese. She is Musical Director for Genesis Chorale, a non-auditioned choral society based in Surrey, and Assistant Musical Director and Administrator for Children’s Voices of Enfield.

Yvette is also engaged in regular freelance work as a singer and accompanist across London. A recent graduate of the University of Cambridge, Yvette read for a degree in Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion, and held the Organ Scholarship at Selwyn College. During her time at Cambridge, Yvette was President of the prestigious Cambridge University Opera Society, Publicity and Fundraising Officer for Sing Inside, Cambridge (a charity bringing singing workshops into prisons), and Evensong Officer for the Minerva Festival (promoting the work of marginalised gender composers in choral music). Before arriving in Cambridge, Yvette held the Organ Scholarship at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, and was organist at the Parish Church of St Mary and St Nicholas, Leatherhead.

As a young organist, she attended a number of Creative Oundle for Organists Summer Schools, and went on COfO Abroad (Leipzig). Having benefitted so significantly from these courses, both musically and socially, Yvette is delighted to be taking on the role of Courses Manager, helping to bring these wonderful and enriching opportunities to even more young organists. 

Our Trustees

Andrea Wood

Andrea, Chair, has been a Trustee since 2019 and is also Chair of Service Six, a local children’s charity and a magistrate. Her background is in Financial Services and Academic Publishing, largely on the Customer Services and Operations side. She is a keen fan of Creative Oundle’s various activities, having been involved as a volunteer and attendee for some years. 

Christopher Baczkowski

Graduating from Homerton College, Cambridge in 2019, where he read History, Chris works in London for a start-up Expert Network called proSapient. Outside this, his life remains firmly musical: he was Organ Scholar and Acting Assistant Conductor to the Charter Choir at Homerton, and President of the College Music Society. Having also played the violin and piano from a young age, I’m now keen to immerse myself in the musical life of London. Chris has been a student on two Oundle for Organists’ Summer Schools and was the first time he had ever met other “young” organists like himself. It was also one of the first occasions where he met leading professional organists. It remains a very fond memory, and the experience is something that he is vey keen to give back to now. 

Anne Burnett

Anne lives on and runs a farm a few miles from Oundle. She was High Sheriff of Northamptonshire and is a patron, chair and trustee of a number of charities. As owners of Oundle restaurant, the Tap and Kitchen and the Nene Valley Brewery, her particular concern with Culture Oundle is the ongoing success of the Food Festival with a strong emphasis on food from the county of Northamptonshire. 

Jerry Hutton

Jerry is originally from West Yorkshire and first came to the area when he left school to join British Sugar in Peterborough. He has lived in the Oundle area with his wife Clare since 1990.  A chartered engineer, he worked in a variety of technical and commercial roles for British Sugar, Associated British Foods and Nestlé before retiring in 2017.  Jerry is an Oundle town councillor, a director of the Maserati Club and became a trustee in 2022.

Max Schurer

Max is an historian and Oundle resident who has worked in the University sector undertaking various roles over the past 40 years at Cambridge, Essex and most recently, Leicester, where he is probably best known for his work on the discovery of Richard III. 

Quentin Thomas

Quentin was born into a family of professional musicians. Head Chorister at Westminster Abbey, to Oxford University with an organ scholarship, and further scholarships to Guildhall School and National Film School. Musical experiences have taken him far and wide as a composer, pianist, accompanist, organist, and conductor, from the European Youth Orchestra to Dusseldorf Opera House, via festivals and recordings. He adores education work and outreach projects, working with schools, amateur musicians and professionals alike. Having taught at the Menuhin School, he became Director of Music at Haileybury from 2005 before coming to Oundle School in 2013.  

Honorary Patrons 

  • Ronald Corp OBE
  • The Countess Howe
  • Maxwell Hutchinson 
  • Thomas Trotter 
  • Dame Gillian Weir DBE