"Anastasia is a fabulous Director of Music."
- Suzi Digby OBE
"Anastasia is a fine musician, a great teacher and a committed human being."
- Dr Atarah Ben Tovim MBE
"Nothing is more important than inspiring young people as you do.
I admire you so much for that."
- Suzi Digby OBE
Yorkshire-born Anastasia Micklethwaite is a musical director, teacher, flautist, contralto and conductor. She has lived and worked in the UK and New York City and has toured extensively as a soloist, chorister and orchestral musician, performing at many of the world's leading concert halls. On graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge, Anastasia successfully maintained dual careers in International Banking and Musical Performance. In 2002 she set up Furness Music Centre in Cumbria and decided to focus solely on teaching and performing. Anastasia specialises in flute, voice and choral directing, whilst working in schools. She has held the position of Director of Music at St George's School, Windsor Castle and Casterton, Sedbergh Preparatory School in Cumbria and is currently Acting Head of Music at Stockport Grammar Junior School.
Anastasia has won several major awards and competitions for her performances and has made numerous TV and radio broadcasts, in addition to commercial recordings. She feels privileged to have studied and worked with many great musicians and conductors over the years, but is especially grateful to Atarah Ben-Tovim MBE, Dr Richard Marlow, Janet Alexander, David Butt, Dr Gordon Pearce, Michael Brewer, John Powell, John Leach, Morag Noble, Jeffrey Dooley, Peter Broadbent and Sir Neville Marriner for their guidance and friendship.
As a youngster, Anastasia was a member of the National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain and went on to perform with the National Youth Orchestra of GB and the National Youth Choir of GB. A child prodigy on the flute, she made her solo South Bank debut aged 12 and went on to study at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester. Anastasia won a Choral Exhibition to Trinity College, Cambridge, where she read music and then gained her teaching qualification. She is also an Associate of the Royal College of Music in London (flute performance).
Anastasia founded and then directed Furness Music Centre in Cumbria for 9 years and has taught in schools across the North of England for 2 decades. In addition to leading large music departments, she has developed highly successful singing programmes for young voices which have been rolled out across more than 30 schools. Anastasia has a passion for community music and feels strongly that music is for all. She firmly believes in developing musical excellence and encourages young performers to be the best that they can be.
Anastasia held the post of Director of Music at St George's School, Windsor Castle, before returning to Cumbria as Director of Music at Casterton, Sedbergh Preparatory School in 2012. She developed a thriving music department at Sedbergh Prep, incorporating 5 choirs and 13 instrumental ensembles into a busy performing schedule of almost 30 annual services and concerts, whilst creating and delivering a unique curriculum of innovative, tailored lessons across the school. She also developed a new programme of Big Sing! workshops for primary schools along the Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire Dales border, bringing together more than 700 primary pupils each year in song. Anastasia enjoys devising innovative community musical projects and over lockdown she created a series of online educational music videos for children aged 3-13. She is currently Acting Head of Music at Stockport Grammar Junior School.
In addition to her school teaching, Anastasia enjoys freelance work as a tutor, conductor and performer. As a singer, she is in demand as a soloist for oratorio and recital work and she currently performs with a variety of choral groups, including Vox Celestis and the Scottish Vocal Ensemble. She has worked as a Flute Tutor for the National Children's Orchestras of Great Britain and has played with noteable orchestras in the UK and abroad. Anastasia has worked as Conductor or Musical Director with a range of choirs, including The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, The National Children's Choir of Great Britain, Dentdale Choir, Kendal Choral Society, Kirkby Lonsdale Singers, Furness Community Choir and the Sing Joyfully! vocal ensemble, and she has directed the Children's Chorus at Lakeland Opera.
Sing Joyfully! is an exciting vocal ensemble which Anastasia founded in Autumn 2015. Initially based in the picturesque village of Casterton, at the crossroads of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria, and now temporarily merged with Kirkby Lonsdale Singers, the group explores a wide range of choral music from different genres, combining choral music training with vocal tuition. Look out for performances in beautiful and unique venues across the North, or click on the Sing Joyfully! page above, for more details. During Lockdown, the choir moved online and met weekly for vocal and social Zoom gatherings. Since September 2021, the choirs are back rehearsing face-to-face, rehearsing weekly at St Mary's Church in Kirkby Lonsdale.
Acclaimed as an innovator and well-known for her energetic and enthusiastic approach, Anastasia enjoys encouraging musicians of all ages and abilities to develop their love of music through performance.