Our Staff

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 Dave Seriousthe 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 approx ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND! 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 very own School of Music which currently has two campuses in Kirkintilloch and Cumbernauld respectively.  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.


Office Staff

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.

 Kristin Kudeva (Media & Administration)

Kristin is currently a media student by day and an important part of our team by night.  She has previously been involved with charities such as Glasgow Sport and her freelance work has been focused on creating media content, filming and editing promotional videos.

Kristin has a passion for video-making and advertising and views Rookie Rockstars’ programme as an inspiring project where she could enhance her skills.  She is also the first face you will see when you attend our School of music in Kirkintilloch and your first contact on the phone for all of our Music schools after 3pm.

Sula Marchetti (Book Keeping &Payroll)

Sula started off as a volunteer who then became indispensable to the organisation.  As the charity grows its more and more vital that we have a firm grasp of the finances. What once was a small few hours a week voluntary position, has grown into something that we had to put much more focus into.  We are glad that Sula has agreed to join the team officially to help us with this.

Schools Staff

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’.

Anie Murphy (Outreach Worker)

Aine moved to Glasgow last year after touring the UK and Ireland with a Musical Theatre Production. Originally from Ireland, she has been playing music for over fifteen years, performing as a soloist and as part of bands and ensembles around Ireland, the UK and America. Aine is a Music Graduate of Dundalk Institute Of Technology where she trained in Folk, Classical, Rock and Pop. Her main musical background is in Folk music performance, however she does have a strong passion for Rock.

Chloe Watson (Outreach Worker)

Chlóe has recently returned to Scotland after working a summer season in Cyprus as a singer/animator.  Prior to this she studied music performance in Edinburgh for several years.  During the course of her studies she has volunteered at various youth and music projects around Scotland and is very excited to now be a part of Rookie Rockstars


Iain Chapman (Concert Front of House)

Iain has been with us right from the start.  He has volunteered, worked full time, helped us renovate the office and now works part time helping us out with concert set ups and merchandise sales.  He is a cracking chap who is always willing to help with whatever is needed.  A valued member of the 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!



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)

Calum developed a love for music and guitar at an early age, which would lead him to a successful career as both a performer and a teacher. He began his formal studies at Strathclyde University’s BA Applied music course before moving to the United States to study at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, where he earned a Masters in Classical Guitar performance.

Calum has performed as a soloist and in various ensembles across Europe and the United States, in recent years as one half of his award-winning guitar duo, Derelict Hands. In addition to his work as a classical musician, he has continued his passion for rock and heavy music by playing and recording guitar and keyboards in various bands. He is also an enthusiastic teacher who loves to share his passion for music with his students, and to see them develop and grow throughout their time learning with him.

Holly Blair  (Vocal/Keys Tutor)

Holly has had a passion for singing for as long as she can remember and has been heavily involved in all aspects of music from studying, to teaching, and performing. She was trained by the world renowned vocal coach of the famous London musical “The Lion King”. After learning from the best, Holly graduted with a first class BA Honours Degree in Commercial Music at the University of West of Scotland and went on to perform with multiple bands on numerous stages from the likes of The Royal Concert Hall to the SECC and the list goes on… When Holly isn’t rocking the stage at night, by day she is sharing her passion and love for singing with those who are looking to find and improve their own voice! No matter the genre, Holly knows every technique to get you to where you want your voice to be!

Dario Palazzo  (Guitar Tutor)

Dario is a Glasgow based guitarist and is a new member to the Rookie Rockstars team. With musical influences ranging from rock, pop, jazz and folk, Dario has a lot of experience in performance. He is a self-proclaimed guitar nerd with what he describes as “an expensive habit” when it comes to buying guitars! He has a BMus Hons degree in Music Performance and  a BA in Music Performance. Alongside his studies, Dario performs regularly across Scotland with folk band Eriska and function band Studio as well as his recent solo endeavour Dario looks forward to bringing this experience to the Music School to help our Rookie Rockstars!

Fraser Wills  (Drum Tutor)

Fraser is a soulful drummer based in Glasgow who has toured internationally with Harakiri, the MCSM Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and The Human Empire. He learned his trade at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota, under the guidance of internationally in-demand drum set clinician Dave Stanoch. Alongside this master technician, Fraser has learned from greats such as Paul Stueber, David Schmalenberger, Kevin Washington, Marv Dahlgren and Gordy Knudtson.

Fraser was the principal percussionist for four years at Bethlehem Baptist Church under the directorship of Dr Matthew Westerholm and served as the Assistant for Worship and Music. During his eight years as a professional, Fraser has enjoyed playing a variety of styles including neo-soul, funk, rock, pop and hip hop alongside various artists such as; Ian Everson, Ethan Yeshaya, Trevor Wiest, The Brandon Projekt, Ashley Dubose and many more incredible artists.

Euan Wilkie  (Drum Cover)

Euan provides cover in both our Cumbernaud and Kirkintilloch campuses.  His full bio is coming soon!





Rhona Boyle  (Guitar Cover Tutor)

Rhona is a young musician who started playing guitar at the age of 8 and joined her first ceilidh band aged 10. She achieved her RGT Grade 8 Acoustic Guitar aged 15 in 2015 and received the Student Of The Year award at her music school. As a result of playing in the ceilidh band, Rhona was encouraged to take up bass guitar and fiddle and is currently working towards grade 6 violin. She has been in various Folk and Rock bands and has played festivals such as Celtic Connections and several times at The Dougie Maclean Festival. Rhona has also performed solo guitar and fiddle at G66+ Live and Mayfest. She is currently a member of The Campsie Scottish Folk Players and The Campsie Ceilidh Band, playing fiddle. Rhona will be providing cover mainly for our Kirkintilloch Campus.

Larissa Currie  (Vocal Cover Tutor)

Larissa has had a strong passion for singing from a young age. She has recently graduated with a 2:1 BA (Hons) degree in Musical Theatre from New College Lanarkshire. She is an Estill trained vocalist and enjoys singing a variety of genres incuding Musical Theatre, jazz, rock and pop and is thriled to be coming on board to work as a Vocal Tutor. When she’s not singing, Larissa also has a passion for literature and achieved an MA in Literary Studies from Glasgow University before pursuing her studies in the performing arts. She is looking forward to meeting the students and helping them develop their vocal skills and confidence!  Larissa will be providing cover for any absences on both campuses.

Aileen Sweeney  (Piano Tutor)

Bio coming soon

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.


Jillian Reid

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 Rose

Philip is to be frank a legend!  He has a career that spans TV, Radio, Musical251208_2191035576274_1117969_n
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.

Helena Brackenridge



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.






Alan Gunn  (IT and Webmaster)

12799012_10208425165697578_380537256627242375_nWe 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.





Alan Gunn  (IT and Webmaster)

12799012_10208425165697578_380537256627242375_nWe 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.

3 Dalrymple Court, Kirkintilloch, Glasgow, G66 3AA

& 5 Mid Road, Cumbernauld, G67 2TT Rookie Rockstars is a Charity registered in Scotland

Reg. No. SC045528
0141 404 0057