Stephanie Pitts is a Professor in the Department of Music, University of Sheffield, and director of the Sheffield Performer and Audience Research Centre (SPARC). She has research interests in musical participation, arts audiences, and lifelong learning, and is the author of books including Chances and Choices: Exploring the Impact of Music Education (OUP, 2012), Music and Mind in Everyday Life (Clarke, Dibben & Pitts, OUP, 2010), and a co-edited volume on audience experience, Coughing and Clapping (Burland & Pitts, Ashgate, 2014). Her recent AHRC-funded project working with arts sector partners across four UK cities led to a new book, Understanding Audience Engagement in the Contemporary Arts (Pitts & Price, Routledge, 2021), and a downloadable handbook for arts practitioners: http://www.sparc.dept.shef.ac.uk/research/uaca/handbook/.
Karen Burland is Professor of Applied Music Psychology in the School of Music, University of Leeds. She is University Academic Lead for Surfacing Skills and Student Futures and Faculty Lead for Employability, Opportunity and Ambition (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures). She researches musical identities and their role in musical participation in a variety of contexts. She is investigating the ways in which musicians create and support their work in music, and researching the role of music for wellbeing. She has recently been Academic in Residence at Opera North, working on an ethnographic study of the organisation, looking particularly at aspects of artistry, community, and identity. Her book Coughing and Clapping: Investigating Audience Experience, edited with Stephanie Pitts, was published in December 2014.
Tom Spurgin is the Director of Learning and Engagement at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), where he oversees all work related to participation, talent development, and community engagement. Prior to this, he was the Audience Development Manager at the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. With funding from AHRC, awarded via the White Rose College of Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH), Tom is undertaking a part-time Collaborative Doctoral Award with University of Sheffield, University of Leeds, and Manchester Collective. The study aims to analyse Manchester Collective’s alternative methods of audience development and offer a road map to a more relevant, sustainable, and socially engaged classical music sector in the UK.