Rose Ballantyne

Rose originally trained and worked as a maths teacher and only discovered her true calling in life on returning to work after taking a 15-year career break to raise her three children. In 2006, Rose joined Blackheath Halls to run the community engagement programme, which involves over 2,000 participants a year of all ages, abilities and backgrounds in music-making. Rose passionately believes in the ability of music to build communities and change lives.

EstherRose Ballantyne

Meriel Barclay

Meriel spent much of her career as a Director of Corporate Services for charities and professional firms in London. She is a (now retired) qualified accountant and brings experience of dealing with finance, HR, organisational change, charity management and governance to Water City Music. As an experienced orchestral harpist, she is heavily involved in music and musical performance.

EstherMeriel Barclay

Geoffrey Keeys

Geoff has a degree in law and over 30 years of board experience in the oil, engineering and financial services industries, as well as in the public sector. He was director of Group Business Services for Prudential Corporation plc and a non-executive director of Her Majesty’s Prison Service when he started Strategic Thinking Group ( in the 1990s. He is a director of ISL Recruitment and a member of the Gloucestershire Advisory Board of Fredericks Foundation.

EstherGeoffrey Keeys


Chris is Managing Director of Firestarter (, a group of companies operating across a broad range of clients to drive improvement in sales performance and the removal of dependency on key individuals (such as owner-managers) for business growth and sustainability. Chris started his career as a fundraiser/events manager for the National Heart Research Fund before working in a number of senior corporate sales/leadership positions. In his spare time he is a keen amateur trumpet player.