Getting to know Team Deal

Over the coming months we will introduce you to the members of the team of Deal Music & Arts.  You can learn about them, what drives them and why they are so passionate about making the arts available for as many people as possible, especially within our community.

Today, we feature the work of our Education Director, Peter Cook.

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Peter Cook

In this film, newly appointed Education Director of Deal Music & Arts, Peter Cook, talks about his passion for music and his work in music education, together with Christopher Cook, the organisation's Chair. Peter Cook is a musician, photographer and film maker. His work includes digital media, recording sound, photography and film. He performs with music groups, jazz ensembles and big bands, and he organises and leads projects, performances, exhibitions and events often focusing on a theme or a Community's needs. Peter enjoys working with people of any age or ability in a creative and valued partnership. He was appointed Education Director of Deal Music & Arts in 2020.

Peter Cook

In converstation with Christopher Cook

Willie Cooper

If you are a friend or supporter of Deal Music & Arts, or indeed a regular attendee at our events, you will know Willie Cooper, our General Manager.

Willie is the beloved lady who makes everything happen, she steers our organisation on a day-to-day basis, working with and supporting everyone in the DMA team.  Willie is one of those truly indispensable people, a true force for good with an unstoppable energy that totally belies her years.

But here are a few things you may not know about Willie.  She comes from a background of Fundraising and was a member of the Institute of Fundraising. She has been successfully involved with fundraising appeals (unpaid!) launched on behalf of many charities, which include The Samaritans, Relate and The Cyrenians. Marketing and Public Relations have been a major part of her working life. She was Director of Canterbury Samaritans for six years. She was Chair of East Kent Relate for ten years and spent nine years on the National Council of Relate. She is also Chair of Herne Bay Improvement and Conservation Trust. Willie completed a journalism course with the London School of Journalism. She has twice been a judge on the RTS Education Television Awards. She is also Treasurer of Music at St Peters in Canterbury, chair of Herne Bay Philanthropic Society and a Trustee of the Astor Theatre in Deal, The Changeling Theatre Company and Lilys Community Kitchen.

This week we feature Willie Cooper, in an interview with DMA Chair and journalist & broadcaster, Christopher Cook.

Willie Cooper

In converstation with Christopher Cook

Paul Max Edlin

Paul is a passionate advocate of the arts.  He combines composing, performing, lecturing and artistic direction, and sees this mix as ultimately helpful to ensure that all these various aspects are catered for within society.

In addition to his work with Deal Music & Arts, he is Director of Music at Queen Mary University of London, was founding Chair of Ora Singers and remains a member of its board, and is Executive Chair of China U.K. International Music Festival.  He has also recently re-joined the Council of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, of whom he was President 2011/2012.

Primarily, Paul sees himself as a composer, and during the recent lockdown, he took advantage of the solitude it imposed and created a series of large-scale works, including this piece for symphony orchestra, A Pilgrim of Angkor.  Paul’s love of the art and architecture of South East Asia digs deep into his work.  Paul visited Angkor for the first time in 2017, and this film uses his own photographs, taking the listener/viewer on a virtual tour of the great Khmer temple of Angkor Wat.  The sounds you hear have been carefully crafted to create as close a realisation of a true orchestra.

His works Borobudur, Prambanam and Three Old Gramophones all share links with South East Asia.  You can enjoy these sound recordings via these links.  They are performed by some of our finest musicians, including the Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra conducted by Elgar Howarth (who conducted Grimethorpe Band at Deal in 2004), Britten Sinfonia with soloist Nicholas Daniel (who was scheduled to perform in Deal this year) and the Southbank Sinfonia conducted by Nicholas Cleobury:


Temple of the Secret Aspect


Concerto for oboe d’amore, trombone, percussion and 22 solo strings

More insights into our passionate and talented team will be added over the coming weeks.

Remembering Tony Nandi - 1950-2020

Remembering Tony Nandi - 1950-2020

Tony was one of our country’s foremost photographers of the performing arts, and we were so proud and fortunate that he was Deal Music & Arts’ official photographer.  Tony’s work has made a profound impact on the way our work was seen by everyone, including participants, audiences old and new, supporters and funders.  Sadly Tony died in November.

For more information about Tony, and a selection of his wonderful photographs, please click here.