Careers in the Arts Additional Resources >

This resource is designed to introduce young people to careers in The Arts. BCMG have created a series of short careers videos which demonstrate the range of jobs behind the scenes within an arts organisation, in particular, a music ensemble. Teacher guidance on how to use the videos is also included. 

Activity Panel


Birmingham Contemporary Music Group is an arts organisation based in the West Midlands committed to engaging audiences and participants with contemporary classical music, through concerts, creative workshops for young people, online resources, and other events.

BCMG have created a series of short careers videos (2-7 mins) which demonstrate the range of jobs behind the scenes within an arts organisation. They show that there are different levels of jobs, from entry level roles to directors, and that staff can come from a different range of backgrounds and experiences.

These videos were filmed in December 2022 and are a snapshot of the staff members who worked for BCMG at the time. Some of these staff members have since moved on and, as time goes by, we will add new videos and update where previous staff members have moved on to.


The short videos on the following pages can be used in multiple ways, On the next page are some suggestions as to how they might be used within a classroom context. 

Exploring Arts Careers in the Classroom

Introductory Task

Here are some preliminary questions to ask your students:

  1. When you think of working in the arts, what jobs come to mind?
  2. What skills and qualifications do you think you need to work in the arts?
  3. Find and explore the websites of five Arts Organisations near to where you live. What kinds of roles do you see? 

Group Task:

Ask the students, working in small groups, to explore the resource, watch some of the videos and find out the answers to the following questions:

  1. What are the different areas/roles you could work in behind the scenes in a music ensemble/group? Compare these with the list you made beforehand. Did you miss any out? Are there some that BCMG doesn’t have? Why might this be?
  2. Was there anything that surprised you about people’s routes into their jobs?
  3. What do BCMG staff find rewarding about working in The Arts?

Individual Reflection:

Thinking about what you have learnt about careers in the arts, have a go at answering the following questions:

  • Which role appeals to you and why?
  • What skills, qualifications and experience are needed for this role?
  • How might you develop your skills and experience with a view to working in this role in the future?
  • What is the average salary for this type of role? What are options for career progression and promotion?
  • What further/higher education subjects might support this job?

Further Resources & Information about careers:

CLICK HERE for a downloadable activities worksheet.

Artistic Director

Stephan Meier

As Artistic Director and CEO, Stephan is responsible for the running of the charity and to set the artistic and strategic direction of the organisation. He is responsible for choosing the commissions, selecting composers, programming concerts and building partnerships. 

A Brief History

Stephan has been Artistic Director of BCMG since 2016. He is a percussionist, composer and conductor, and also artistic director of Das Neue Ensemble Hannover. Stephan studied percussion and piano in Hannover and The Hague. 

As an expert in the popularisation and promotion of new music, Stephan has been invited to speak at conferences of the Deutsche Musikrat and by the President of Germany. 

Executive Director

Karen Foster

karen foster5

As Executive Director of BCMG, Karen is in an umbrella role - looking after a huge range of the ensemble’s activities and people, whilst keeping the rain at bay when the unexpected downpour happens!

A Brief History

Karen’s first orchestral role was with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra based in Brisbane, Australia where she had to translate between English and ‘Strine on a daily basis. She returned to the UK and worked with English Sinfonia, the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, the Academy of Ancient Music, and then moved to the Performance Management department of the Royal College of Music. After a brief, 10-year stint in the theatre world, she is now back in the classical world and loves talking about music and musicians again.

The best thing about working at BCMG?

"The team, of course. The musicians, of course. The wonderful voyage through new music, of course… and the commitment to proper coffee, of course!"

Director of Learning & Participation

Nancy Evans

Nancy is Director of Learning & Participation for BCMG where she has led the group's Learning & Participation programme since 2000.

A Brief History

Nancy studied classical trumpet at the Royal Northern College of Music, followed by an MA in Community Music from the University of York. For many years she also worked as a musician in early years settings as well as leading professional development programmes for early years practitioners and musicians for a range of organisations including the London Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Birmingham City Council and the Association of British Orchestras. Nancy is a published author on the subject of composing with young people.

Best thing about working at BCMG?

"Getting to be creative nearly every day, whether that is working with children to compose new music or thinking about how to do that with researchers, teachers and composers."

Project Manager: LIC Primary

Naomi Wellings

Naomi is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Listen Imagine Compose Primary (LICP) Project.

A Brief History

Naomi has worked at BCMG in the Learning Team since 2011. She now splits her week between BCMG, freelance project management, coaching clients and teaching flute and recorder.

Naomi studied recorder at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and performance practice at The University of Birmingham.

Best thing about working at BCMG?

“I’ve worked for BCMG for a long time now, and many colleagues have become life-long friends. I love the variety the job brings and the can-do attitude of the team."

Learning Co-ordinator

Emily Hopper (Ex-staff member)

As Learning Co-ordinator, Emily was responsible for the projects offered as part of our learning & participation programme.

A Brief History 

Emily is a graduate of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where she studied harp for 4 years. As well as working for BCMG, she is a freelance harpist, workshop leader, and teacher. 

Since leaving BCMG in Spring 2023, Emily is focussing on her freelance career and will begin a postgraduate degree in Performance at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in September. 

Best thing about working with BCMG?

"The team of inspiring and passionate professionals who are dedicated to creating unique experiences across Birmingham."

Learning Trainee

Abbie Pascoe

Abbie is the current Learning Trainee of BCMG and is involved in assisting the delivery of the Learning and Participation programme.

A Brief History

Abbie graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in July 2022 where she studied classical saxophone. Whilst studying at RBC, Abbie took a particular interest in music education and outreach, specifically working with young people with additional needs.

Since graduating, she now works as an SEN specialist workshop leader with Big Top Musical Adventures alongside her role at BCMG.

Best thing about working with BCMG?

"Working with an organisation who are as enthusiastic about contemporary music as they are their outreach programme. It also helps to work with such a lovely and supportive team!"

Project Manager: Concert & Tours

Sarah Woolhouse (Ex-staff member)

Sarah Woolhouse6

Sarah was responsible for the delivery of the organisation’s concert programme. Her days ranged from booking venues, drawing up stage plans, and organising rehearsals, to working out which screw is best to stick inside a piano.

A brief history

Sarah moved to the region in 2010 to study music at the University of Birmingham - and has stayed ever since! Before joining BCMG in January 2020 she has enjoyed a varied career in the arts, working with a number of concert halls and theatres across the city.

Since leaving BCMG she continues to work for B:Music and freelances as a stage manager, most recently with the Edinburgh International Festival and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

Best thing about working at BCMG?

"I love the challenge that each concert programme presents – no two projects, or days, are the same.”

Productions Assistant 

Teddy Woolgrove

Teddy is the Productions Assistant for BCMG, primarily assisting with the NEXT Ensemble and planning of concerts.

A brief history

Teddy trained as a classical baritone at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire from 2017 – 2022 where he enjoyed performing a variety of roles including Father/Other Father in Coraline (Turnage), Surgeon in Banished (McNeff), and Madame Beurrefondu in Mesdames de la Halle (Offenbach). As well as working at BCMG, Teddy teaches piano and singing and works as a freelance singer.

Best thing about working at BCMG?

"The commitment to performing repertoire which challenges the musicians, the audiences, and the admin team."

Marketing Manager

Amy Hoult

As Marketing Manager of BCMG, Amy is in charge of all things communication and marketing, from social media and campaigns, to design and data analysis.

A brief history 

Amy has a background in visual arts and has worked for multiple Galleries and Museums in and around the West Midlands, including Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Blakesley Hall Museum.

Keen to create more inclusive and accessible experiences within the arts, and with a passion for all things digital, she joined BCMG in 2021. Amy has also worked with local charities and non-profits to provide arts workshops.

Best thing about working for BCMG?

"The passionate team that make up BCMG, and being able to be creative every day. That I get to show how important the arts are and how music can evoke such intense feeling is wonderful. The office is also close to some beautiful canals and a really great Pret."

Communications Assistant 

Anna-Mhairi Kane

Anna Mhairi Kane 3

As Communication Assistant, Anna-Mhairi is BCMG's go-to for everything film and video related! She works closely with the Marketing Manager and Head of Development to bring BCMG's brand and content to life.

A brief history

Anna-Mhairi is a Black-Country-born Visual Artist who works primarily with photography and videography. After obtaining her degree in Filmmaking and Creative Technologies in Liverpool, Anna-Mhairi returned to the West Midlands and joined the BCMG team!

Best thing about working at BCMG?

"I love the collaborative process of the work. With any one project, I am collaborating and discussing ideas with numerous people and departments. I also love that creative freedom is encouraged, all of my ideas are welcome! Collaboration and creative input make BCMG what it is."

Head of Development

Alex Walker

Alex manages all areas of fundraising activity, including overseeing the Sound Investment commissioning scheme; relationship management, and achieving fundraising targets. 

A brief history

Alex graduated from University of Birmingham in 2007 with a BSc. in Natural Sciences. After working in commercial insurance for 9 years, Alex made the leap to the arts in search of a career closer to his heart. 

Best thing about working for BCMG?

"Being surrounded by music; having my assumptions about what music is, or can be, challenged; and seeing how the world's best musicians and composers go about their craft, not to mention my wonderful, talented colleagues."