Instrumental and Vocal Teaching Staff

We are very lucky that our students receive lessons from musicians with extensive performance and teaching experience.  

Drums – Declan Sanderson

Accrington born and bred, Mr. Sanderson has been a professional and semi-professional musician for the last 40 years. He has toured Britain, Ireland and Europe with various bands playing Rock, Pop, Blues, Soul, Funk, Country and Celtic music. He has been a fully qualified teacher for the last 25 years and is currently in his 20th  year of teaching Drums and Percussion at The Hollins. He has helped literally hundreds of our students learn to play, and to pass G.C.S.E. Music and internationally recognised Grade exams. Mr. Sanderson also runs the loud and lively, fun and free to all, Samba Band which has featured in many School events.

Guitar – John Norton

Mr Norton is full time musician a part time session guitarist based in the North West of England. He has worked with various record labels and performed within high-end musical theatre pit bands. He is a PGCE Certified teacher with a background in high school education and studied at Bristol Institute of Modern Music where he achieved his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance.

Mr Norton regularly performs corporate functions and weddings. Mr Norton’s areas of expertise range from Jazz and Country to Fusion and Rock. He is a music theory teacher and experienced with ABRSM, RGT and Rock School exam boards.

Piano – Craig Smith

Mr Smith started taking piano lessons at the age of 12, and was playing professionally by the time he was 17. 

He trained as a session musician and musical director at Sir Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), going on to MD various theatre tours and share stages with several platinum-selling and UK chart-topping artists. He even found himself recording for Bryan Adams one freezing Manchester morning after a concert at the M.E.N.!

Now a dad of 3 boys, the majority of his work is slightly tamer, as a specialist wedding and event solo pianist playing over 100 events a year across the country and teaching at The Hollins and another school. He still tours, currently as the musical director for The Vintage Boys Rock ‘n’ Roll Show UK tours, playing keyboards and guitars; pianist for international classical crossover performer Gemma Louise Doyle; and keys player for band Jessicas Ghost.

Singing – Helen Latham

Ms. Latham, a soprano  from Lancashire, completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Vocal and Operatic Studies at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire before studying with dramatic soprano, Jane Erwin.

Ms. Latham has performed roles including Miss Jessel (Turn of the Screw) & Anne Truelove (The Rake’s Progress) for The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Opera Scenes, Micaela (Carmen) with Opera 74, Mimi (La Boheme) with North Star Opera, Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with Opera Seria, and Adele (Die Fledermaus) with Bolton Choral Union. Most recently she sang the role of Suzanna in a Mozart Mash-up project with Preston Opera. In concert, Ms. Latham has performed the works of Handel (Messiah), Mozart (Requiem), Haydn (Mariazellermesse), Bach (Magnificat), Vivaldi (Gloria)  and Orff (Carmina Burana).

As well as choral director of Hoghton In Harmony and LGGS Senior Choir, Ms. Latham has enjoyed a varied path as a vocal animateur working with Welsh National Opera, and Outreach Opera. As a founding member of Outreach Opera, Ms. Latham continues to inspire and create opera in the community, delivering workshops across the UK.