Sam Dunkley is a freelance community musician and music education consultant based in Yorkshire and working across the country. He works with people of all ages to create and perform songs, shows and musicals, has his own production company Performing Arts Etc.

Sam frequently leads large scale singing projects, and has conducted 550 singers at the Royal Albert Hall in a performance of his own piece Digitalives, 750 primary school children in Symphony Hall, and more than 500 children at Calderdale’s Big Sing project in the town’s iconic Piece Hall. Sam works with a broad range of participants, including people living with dementia, people with special needs, and young people in challenging circumstances, as well as university students and education professionals, including coaching school staff in using singing in their everyday practice and to increase their confidence in music teaching.

Having studied undergraduate and post graduate degrees at the University of Huddersfield, Sam began his career as a singing teacher, working for music services and schools across the north of England. He quickly discovered that his passion was for community music, and bringing that practice into more formal settings.

Early in his career, he worked as Education and Outreach Manager for the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and led songwriting projects for the Leeds Lieder + Festival. He spent 7 years working for Woldgate College in Pocklington, East Yorkshire, as the college’s Community Music Coordinator, working with Early Years settings, 10 primary schools and across the secondary school building partnerships and bringing his community approach to the formal education environment.

Sam established his company Performing Arts etc in 2008. Working with a team of talented practitioners, the company has a reputation for impactful, high quality, intensive projects; summer schools putting on a musical in a week, multi arts projects in schools devising plays and musicals and delivering community and outreach work for schools, theatres and arts centres. In recent years this has included Bradford the Musical for Bradford Music and Arts Service and leading the Hull Massed Ensemble at the Royal Albert Hall in 2017.

Sam is the founder director of the chamber choir Chorus Natus Est, a group which performs big works in small places; Messiah in the pub with four singers and a harpsichord, Vivaldi Gloria inside an historic city wall. The choir aims to bring choral music to new audiences, in relaxed but high quality performances. They also deliver ‘come and sing’ performances and education projects.

Sam has been the musical director of Hands and Voices, a singing and signing choir based in York, he has been the musical director of IMPs East Riding, has worked with Richard Stilgoe at the Orpheus Centre, and delivered projects in prisons with the Irene Taylor Trust.

Sam is a member of the Musicians Union Executive Committee.  He has been Chair of Sound Sense, the UK professional association promoting community music and supporting community musicians, and is currently at Board Member at Yorkshire Youth and Music.