UK Charity Nordoff And Robbins Appoints Emma Banks As Chair, Lucy Noble As Vice Chair

Emma Banks
Emma Banks. (Picture by Edward Whitaker)

Nordoff and Robbins, the UK’s largest music therapy charity, announced that music agent Emma Banks has been appointed as chair, and AEG Presents’ Lucy Noble as vice chair.

Banks, the co-head of CAA’s London office, as well asco-head of international touring, succeeds David Munns, who’s stepping down after 30 years.

Banks, who has been a longstanding supporter of Nordoff and Robbins, comes with several industry accolades to her name, including Music Week’s 2023 The Strat award, and Pollstar’s 2021 Impact International honors, alongside being named mentoring platform The Cat’s Mother’s “Cat’s Mother of the Year.” She is also the first female executive to receive the coveted MITS Award in 2018.

Signing Stormzy, Forming LIVE & Wearing Wigs While Discussing COVID Protocols: Emma Banks Is Busy (Pollstar Cover Story)

Banks’s roster of world-leading musicians includes Katy Perry, Muse, Arcade Fire, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Florence + The Machine, Kylie Minogue, and Green Day.

She’s chaired the Committee of Nordoff and Robbins’ O2 Silver Clef Awards for the past decade, joined the board of trustees in 2019, and also sits on the Nordoff and Robbins Race Day committee.

“In her role as chair,” the press release announcing her appointment reads, “Banks will oversee Nordoff and Robbins’ mission of using music therapy to help break through the barriers caused by life-limiting illness, disability and social isolation, creating space for people to express themselves and find connection. As part of its new strategy, the charity will continue using music to address injustice across society, lobby for policy change on behalf of its clients – some of the most isolated children and adults across the UK – and encourage a more diverse pool of musicians to train as music therapists.”

The O2 Silver Clef Awards 2017
David Munns (left) pictured with artist Evie, who regained her singing voice thanks to the work of Nordoff and Robbins. The picture was taken at the 2023 O2 Silver Clef Awards. Artist Naughty Boy is pictured on the right. (Picture by Dean Fardell)

Munns, her predecessor, has been supporting Nordoff and Robbins for over thirty years, including playing a key role in organizing the legendary Knebworth ’90 concert that funded a new music therapy centre for the charity in Kentish Town. He has been instrumental in guiding the charity through a significant growth period, becoming a UK wide charity, which has seen an 894% increase in clients the charity works with annually to more than 13,000.

Since 2010, Nordoff and Robbins’ annual income tripled under Munns’ leadership, allowing the charity to help more people connect and communicate through music. The charity’s flagship program, Master of Music Therapy, is now delivered in Manchester, and Newcastle, as well as London, and Munns has been a major driver in making music therapy more available to people in the North of England. He now steps down from the role of chair, which he has held since 2010.

Munns long career also includes senior roles at Polygram, and EMI. He has worked with artists including Bon Jovi, Kate Bush, U2, the Bee Gees, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Van Morrison. He chaired the Music Industry Trusts Award (MITS) committee for 27 years, raising over £7 million for Nordoff and Robbins, and The BRIT Trust, before stepping down in 2021.

Lucy Noble Headshot
Lucy Noble, the new vice chair of UK music therapy charity Nordoff and Robbins.

Supporting Banks in her new role, AEG Presents’ artistic director Lucy Noble will take on the role of vice chair, succeeding Howard Jones, who steps down after more than 13 years. Noble, who joined AEG Presents’ following 20 years as artistic director of the Royal Albert Hall, joined the Nordoff and Robbins’ board of trustees in April 2023.

Legendary music agent Neil Warnock, trustee board member, and chair of the charity’s fundraising committee, is also stepping down from his trustee role at Nordoff and Robbins.

Emma Banks commented, “It is a true honor to become chair of Nordoff and Robbins. The music industry has loyally supported and championed this vital charity for many years, and I embrace the responsibility of building on David’s legacy with the support of Lucy and the Board of Trustees, continuing this essential advocacy far into the future. We have an incredibly strong Board that we will be looking to add to in the coming months as our new strategy develops, and I welcome anyone who is interested in becoming involved with Nordoff and Robbins to reach out to me.”

David Munns said, “I am delighted that Emma Banks and Lucy Noble have agreed to take over the chair and vice chair positions at Nordoff and Robbins. After 12 years as a trustee and then the chair role I feel it is time for someone else to help steer this wonderful organization. I have Nordoff and Robbins in my blood because we don’t just use music to entertain, we must also use the power of music to help those who find it difficult, if not impossible, to communicate any other way. There is a huge need for Nordoff and Robbins’ work and the people there are completely dedicated to making it available to as many people as possible – it’s a truly remarkable organization. Emma and Lucy will make a huge contribution to the future of Nordoff and Robbins and they need your support.”

Lucy Noble said, “In my time on the board of trustees at Nordoff and Robbins, I have seen first hand the power of music to transform lives – from adults living with dementia reconnecting with their family, to children with autism finding their voice. I thank the board for placing their trust in me to take on the role of vice chair and am excited to work with Emma as we enter a new phase for this increasingly important charity.”

O2 Silver Clef Awards 2022
Sandra Schembri, CEO of Nordoff and Robbins, (left) pictured with Emma Banks at the 2022 O2 Silver Clef Awards. (Photo by JM Enternational)

Sandra Schembri, CEO, Nordoff and Robbins, added, “We are thrilled for Emma Banks to be stepping into the role of chair of Nordoff and Robbins, supported by the excellent Lucy Noble as vice chair. A hugely respected figure in the music industry and beyond, we are grateful for Emma’s time, presence and energy as we now leave the challenges of recent years behind and look ahead to a bright future.

“It is impossible to explain in just a few sentences the transformational impact that David Munns has had to Nordoff and Robbins in his time as a trustee and chair. From overseeing the merger with our Scottish sister organization, and us becoming a UK wide charity to weathering the storm of COVID-19 and making it through to the other side, alongside many, many unforgettable fundraising events and unwavering support for the clients we work with. We also owe both Howard Jones and Neil Warnock, a debt of gratitude and sincerely thank them for their focus on our mission.”

Subscribe to Pollstar HERE