Michael Solomon WilliamsFounder & Artistic Director
London born and bred singer, teacher and community leader Michael studied at the University of Leeds, the University of North Texas College of Music, The University of York and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has extensive performing and recording experience as a singer, musical director and arranger in the fields of concert, opera, film, commercial, church, community and original music, teaches singers of all ages and is Visiting Lecturer of Voice at the University of Southampton. Michael wrote the song Human Kind on the 26th of June 2016 and founded Common and Kind.
Raph Clarkson is a trombonist, composer and workshop leader – he has played in bands all over the world including with WorldService Project, The Dualers, Shed Seven, Isaac Birituro & The Rail Abandon and Laura Jurd’s ‘Stepping Back, Jumping In’ ensemble; runs his own ensembles The Dissolute Society, RESOLUTE, Speckles Brass and Equal Spirits; and has been commissioned to write a variety of pieces and arrangements including songs for young voices and orchestra (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Sinfonia Viva). He regularly leads creative workshops for a variety of organisations including English National Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, Mid Wales Music Trust, OAE, Spitalfields Music and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Julian is the Political Dialogues Director and Helsinki Policy Forum Manager for Forward Thinking. Julian is responsible for overseeing Forward Thinking’s political dialogues in the Gulf-MENA region, including Egypt, Libya and Tunisia as well as the Helsinki Policy Forum. At Forward Thinking he has managed the Tunisian Political Pluralism Dialogue Process (2012-2014), the Egyptian Economic Political Dialogue Process (2012-2013) and the Nyon Process (2010-2014). Julian served as a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee between 2016-2017. He currently sits on the Advisory Board of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Tunisia. Before joining Forward Thinking, Julian worked as a senior Middle East analyst for a political risk and strategic advisory firm (2009-10), and studied Arabic and worked as a freelance journalist in Damascus (2008-9). He graduated from the University of Bristol in 2006 with a First Class Honours Degree in Theology and Religious Studies.
Naveen ArlesChoir Leader
Naveen Arles BCA FRSA, has established himself as an energetic, inspirational vocal leader and animateur. His 35 years in music incorporates 25 years of creating singing groups of all ages and abilities. Nav’s ability to motivate people to try music and train any group of people means he equally delivers workshops to both senior management training courses and to prisoners. His choirs have toured with Hugh Jackman, Take That, Lulu; performed with George Ezra, Alexandra Burke, Freya Ridings, on all TV channels, for HRH Prince Charles and welcomed the guests for Michelle Obama’s exclusive UK book launch.
Lizzy RenihanChoir Leader
Lizzy trained at LAMDA and has been a leading actress in numerous West End hits including ‘Les Miserables ‘Starlight Express’ and ‘Joseph’. She has acted for the RSC, taken several leading roles for the National Theatre, toured Europe with the BBC and the RTE Concert Orchestras and performed as a soloist live on ‘Friday Night is Music Night’ and ‘Woman’s Hour’. She has appeared live on Children In Need and the Paul O’Grady Show. BBC1 Sitcom Kiss Me Kate, Channel 4 ‘Serious And Organized’ and ‘Smugglers’, and the films of Emma for BBC and Matchmaker films. Lizzy is founder and CEO of Natural Voices Choir and runs five choirs herself in Walthamstow with her own community. The choirs have been featured singing live on The Jenny Barnett Show on BBC Radio and BBC3’s ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’, Lucy Worseley BBC Programme, Hugh Jackman Concert 02 Arena, Take That Tour-Milton Keynes and BBC PROMS 2019. Lizzy, along with Cynthia Samuels. has recently set up the new, professional choir East London Soul Choir. Lizzy is over the moon to be part of the amazing Common And Kind.
Ignacio Lusardi MonteverdeAudio Engineer
Ignacio has produced a wide number of audio recordings that have been released at Nonclassical, Orpheus, ARC, Naxos of America, Orchid Classics and others. He graduated as a choirmaster and is currently working in the development of different music festivals such as Ketevan World Sacred Music Festival (India), Babylon Festival (Iraq), London Strings Festival and intensely with a number of performers of classical and Early Music. Collaborations with the British Museum, Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School, producing also a number of albums at the iconic Abbey Road Studios and has worked for six years in the Latin American Baroque Festival of Buenos Aires. Ignacio’s performances include collaborations with Ahmed Mukhtar Oud Master, Baluji Shrivastav OBE, Eduardo Niebla and live appearances on BBC Radio 3, Iraq Babylon Great Theater, Mumbai NCPA, and along Lux Musicae at London Festival of Baroque Music, St George’s Bristol, Stroud Green Festival, Liverpool Early Music Festival and others.
Leonardo González-Alcalá Video Producer, Director & Editor
Leonardo González-Alcalá, born in Caracas, Venezuela, is an award-winning author, classically trained musician, and producer. He holds a Law Degree and a Master’s Degree in International Business. After graduating from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and the University of Greenwich, Leonardo founded Pixaudio, a London-based video and audio production house focused on meaningful storytelling. Over the past years, Pixaudio has recorded and produced some of the world’s greatest musicians, including Grammy-award winners, as well as a wide range of new talents, and has exclusively filmed and produced video materials for Common & Kind since 2017.
Crystal EvansMarketing Director
Crystal is an award winning communications specialist in branding, behaviour change, cultural insight and sustainability strategy, with two decades experience in marketing and classical training on the violin and piano. She supports Common and Kind’s multi-channel communications, creative development and audience engagement strategy. Previously a Director at WPP and Omnicom, she is now CEO of Kingfisher Consultancy Services Ltd, a global insights, marketing and brand strategy agency. Clients include World Health Organisation, ethical bank Triodos, GSK, Coca Cola, Nike, PlayStation, Danone, and Diageo. Crystal has a deep love for the Arts, music culture and impactful storytelling. She is passionate about helping Common and Kind achieve their distinctive and meaningful purpose: to make a positive difference in the world through the enduring power of human unity.
Ken RichmanWeb Designer
Ken is Director of Togethernet, a web design agency based in Teddington. He is also an award-winning copywriter and a keen amateur singer and jazz musician. Ken was Chair of the London Humanist Choir when he met Michael and has performed with the choir at Common and Kind. Enthused by the message behind Common and Kind, Ken put his design skills to work to build the Common and Kind site, posters and flyers.
Mel FieldMembership and Fundraising Manager
Mel Field has been running primary school choirs for seven years, building the numbers from a 12 to a 60 strong choir, leading and performing with them at various events including the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall. She has workshopped with the likes of Pete Churchill (Guildhall/Royal College of Music), Omari Carter (Lead dancer in STOMP) and has performed on stage at The O2 with Hugh Jackman, Take That and Lulu (London dates of their world tours) and the BBC Proms. Mel’s background incorporates thirty years of stage productions, including lead roles in “Fame”, “Pirates of Penzance”, “Moby Dick” and “Slice of Saturday Night”. She has also performed as the Princess in many Pantomimes – Oh yes she has!! Mel has extensive experience in event organising for major fundraising organisations and is very much looking forward to facilitating membership and fundraising management during this incredible journey with Michael Solomon Williams and Common and Kind.
Harriet Crawford School Choirs Manager
Harriet first became aware of Common and Kind through her work teaching music in inner London secondary schools and is passionate about enabling students from different backgrounds to take part in these exciting events. Born in Hackney in North London, Harriet has taught music there for the past 15 years to children of all ages. After training as a secondary music teacher, Harriet developed her expertise in directing, conducting and arranging for vocal and instrumental ensembles.
Peter MycroftTechnical Production Manager
Pete joined the Common and Kind family in 2019 as part of a new team supporting technical production. Hailing from Bromley, south-east London, Pete trained as a trumpet player and a singer with Bromley Youth Music Trust. He studied music at Leeds University, including an illuminating and formative year at University of North Texas College of Music, following the path laid out by none other than C&K founder Michael Solomon Williams. Pete’s performance background informs a strongly music-centric approach to technical work, which has supported him through roles at Opera North, the Barbican Centre and a recent move to LSO St Luke’s, where he now leads the technical team. In the few hours available outside work Pete balances his time between getting out on a bike ride and coming home to feed his pet hedgehog and cook up a curry.