The Rookie Rockstars team are a mix of very experienced musicians and office staff who are passionate about the work we do. Many of our music tutors have toured internationally, won music awards and had TV and radio appearances worldwide as part of some well known bands or as solo artists. We work together to try and impact as many young people as we can in a positive way. Find out about who’s who below.
Dave Brackenridge (Founder, CEO)
Dave wrote the original Rookie Rockstars programme with a view to positively impact young people all over the UK. Dave had a tough time at school, having been severely bullied for a number of years. He wanted to seize the opportunity to help children understand that they are all special, they should have confidence in themselves, that they should never give up and to always remember that bullying is not right! His energetic, fun songs have helped teach these positive messages to tens of thousands of school pupils across the country. On the back of the success of the programme Dave has written a second programme for schools and opened our first School of Music in Kirkintilloch. He is passionate and focussed about continuing to grow the charity and helping as many young people as he can! Dave has pretty solid musical credentials too having toured worldwide with his band before starting the Rookie Rockstars Programme.
Stephen Brackenridge (Outreach Worker)
Steve, did his first Rookie Rockstars week in September of 2014. He is an accomplished singer, musician, songwriter and playwright! He has performed internationally and played in bands with a variety of styles including indie, folk, soul, punk and of course, rock! He is a loveable big guy and very popular with all pupils, perhaps because of his love of robot dancing! Steve also plays guitar in the Rookie Rockstars Band.
Glyn Harris (Outreach Worker)
Also in our East of Scotland team is Glyn. He has had a long and successful career in the music business from playing to teaching and even selling musical instruments. He still performs regularly however he wanted to get involved with Rookie Rockstars having seen how worth while the project is. We are glad he did.
Nick Tomlinson (Outreach Worker)
Nick has recently moved to Glasgow to join the Rookie Rockstars team having spent the last 3 years living in Edinburgh where he gained his Degree in music. Before that he trained as a Primary Teacher. He has a passion for working with young people but decided the formal class room environment wasn’t for him. Having spent 3 years working as an Early Stages Teacher at Stagecoach Theatre School in Aberdeen and another year in Perth, Nick is no stranger to jumping around and making a fool of himself for the amusement of youngsters and when he’s not doing that he’s usually performing onstage himself, either with theatre group Limelight Productions or Pop Rock band, ‘Peyton Place’.
Ash Squires (Outreach Worker)
Ash is a new tutor for Rookie Rockstars. He he is a graduate of Leeds College of Music and is an experienced guitarist. Having played in bands since the age of 14, he has a vast amount of gigging experience and has played gigs at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Gibraltar Music Festival and has been on two European tours. With an energetic persona and a background in jazz, funk and blues – the rock genre is suiting him nicely!
Anie Murphy (Outreach Worker)
Chloe Watson (Outreach Worker)
Andy Wells (Outreach Worker)
Andy has been with Rookie Rockstars for a number of years. Having worked with us full time for 18 months he moved on to new things but still works with Rookie Rockstars on a part time basis helping out with teaching in schools and presenting our popular concerts. Having played drums with and big UK based band he loves all things music and Rock! He is a big favourite with pupils to to his young (and handsome we are told?) appearance and we are delighted to have him as part of our team!
Aaron Brackenridge (Concert Front of House)
Dave’s eldest son Aaron helps out after school making sure our stock is counted and that the merchandise boxes are ready and packed correctly for our concerts. As the vast majority of our income is from our concerts its important we keep on top of stock levels and sales. It can be a tedious job, but someones got to do it!
Iain Chapman (Concert Front of House)
Iain has been about for a long time!! Right from the start really. He has volunteered, worked part time then full time and now sessional work but one way or another he has played a part in Rookie Rockstars since back in the Royal days! These days he mainly helps out at concerts from time to time but Iain is well known for turning his hand to anything! Including playing a big role in the renovations that took place at our head quarters in Kirkinitloch. A valued member of the team!
Sara Danson (General Manager)
Sara has been involved with many charities over a number of years. Yorkhill Children’s Charity, MediCinema, Homestart Glasgow North, Noah’s ark Children’s Hospital for Wales and Ronald MacDonald House have all benefited from her experience over the past number of years. Having joined initially as a volunteer her talents were noticed early on which saw her offered a key role within the organisation. She now manages the office and its staff as well as working closely with schools to ensure the smooth delivery of the Rookie Rockstars Programme.
Jessica Cumming (Administrator)
Jessica is a welcome new addition to our team! Originally from Aberdeen, she worked as a duty manager in a hotel for 2 years, and has a background in mental health and social care. Her BFF is her greyhound, Flint.
She looks after our office and all things admin. She’s in charge of making sure all of the schools are kept up to date with all of the paperwork and relevant info to ensure everything runs smoothly from start to finish. Her friendly face is the first you’d see first if you ever pop into our office.
Jordana Richardson (Media & Music School receptionist)
School of Music Staff
Ela Brackenridge (School of Music Coordinator)
As you can see by looking through our staff list, Dave’s family have been a massive support to him in getting Rookie Rockstars off the ground and getting it to where it is today. In fact in order to actually see Dave (who works a lot!) his wife Ela has decided to officially join the staff team to help out with admin for both the schools programme and our school of music. Our first school is open in East Dunbartonshire but we hope to open many more over the coming years.
Maria Robertson (Vocal Tutor)
Maria has been performing and teaching for many years since achieving her BA Honours Degree in Music Performance at Abertay University. She now teaches music in schools around East Dunbartonshire and performs as the lead singer of function band ‘The Karma Rockets’. She performed for many years as a soloist of ‘The Gospel Truth Choir’, sharing the stage with the likes of Ricky Ross, Horse, Marti Pellow and Tom Jones. Maria has a huge passion for teaching singing and is an extremely enthusiastic vocal coach. She goes out of her way to make sure that students have a ball during her lessons, and always pushes them to the limits to ensure they reach their full potential.
David Stephen (Guitar & bass Tutor)
David is a music facilitator based in Glasgow that has worked with Paragon Music, Capability Scotland, Glasgow University and Aberdeen City Council amongst others. He is a multi-instrumentalist whose main instrumental focus is guitar/bass which he has taught to children and adults over the last twenty years. He has a BA Music Performance from the University of the Highlands and Islands and a BMUS (Hons) Music and Communities from the University of Aberdeen.
Along with David’s teaching work he is also a touring musician that has shared stages with the likes of Franz Ferdinand, the Fratellis and the Proclaimers. He has performed all across the UK and Europe including UK festivals appearances at T in the Park and XPO North. David’s a published songwriter and is a member of the Performing Rights Society (PRS), many of his compositions have received airplay on Radio 1 and national press in publications such as Rocksound and Record Collector.
David’s excited to be a part of the new Rookie Rockstars music school and contribute to developing the stars of the future.
Filipe Teixeira (Drum Tutor)
Filipe is an amazing musician that started to play drums when he was just 9 years old. Initially he wanted to learn piano, however because all the classes were full at the time, he ended up starting some drum’s lessons and never stopped since then. Thankfully for us, he turned out to be a great drummer! He studied at the Music Institute of Vasconcelos Memorial Batista in Brazil for 5 years. This Brazilian has been living in Scotland since 2013. In his journey as a musician, he has had the chance to play many different styles and with so many different bands. His influence’s comes from a huge variety of music styles, such as rock, alternative, jazz, indie, acoustic, pop and funk.
Alanna McCuaig (Keys Tutor)
Alanna McCuaig is a young, highly motivated and dedicated musician who recently graduated with 1st Class Honours on the reputable BA Applied Music course at Strathclyde University. She plays the piano as her first instrument and also sings. Her specialism is in celtic music, jazz and classical music, but also holds a healthy interest in most styles including rock, world, salsa, acoustic, indie, singer songwriter, funk and alternative. You can hear these incorporated into her playing and compositions. To her, music is not about the boundaries between the different styles, it’s about realising that they all come from the same place. Alanna is delighted to be part of the family here at Rookie Rockstars and looks forward to working with out stars of the future!
Calum Borthwick (Guitar/Keys Tutor)
Sara Moffat (Music School Receptionist)
Sara recently joined our team on a part time basis helping to liaise with new schools looking to have Rookie Rockstars in for the first time. She currently studies business management at Strathclyde University and sees Rookie Rockstars as a great learning experience for the future.
Sam Gallagher (Sound Engineer)
Sam not only plays music, he has also produced several albums for some serious artists and bands. The recording of the school CD is a big part of what we do. Although Sam is never in the schools he works hard behind the scenes to make sure the CD is put together to a high quality.
Speff Strachan (Party Host)
Rookie Rockstars are now offering Kids Parties. Speff will be our host for these marvellous occasions! More info on Steph coming soon!
Jillian is an experienced Speech and Language Therapist. She selflessly took a year out to support Dave after he approached her and asked for help to turn the programme into what it is today. She also toured internationally with Dave’s former band. Her understanding of Music, Education and her experience in working with young folk with additional support needs, gives her a huge amount of knowledge to bring to the table!
Philip is to be frank a legend! He has a career that spans TV, Radio, Musical
Performance and Events management. He has performed in some of the biggest venues in the UK and had numerous acting roles on major soaps. He has performed with Cilla Black and interviewed some of the biggest artists in the world on various radio stations over the years! He was also part of the cast, along side Amy MacDonald for the Common Wealth Games 2014 opening ceremony.
Despite her young looks Helena is a very experienced Lawyer and we are thrilled she has agreed to lend her knowledge and advice as a member of our trustees.
We all know someone great with IT! Alan is a massive support to Rookie Rockstars with all things computer and internet related. His company Enrich IT provides our web and email hosting for free! He is always available to provide help and advice on technology issues, ideas for our website and fixing email issues. He’s even been known to run cables for our printers! A huge support.