Charlie is an experienced community musician, guitarist, percussionist, and teacher who has taught in both formal and informal education settings who had a successful 20-year career in business and IT before moving into arts and culture. He is a veteran of over 1500 workshops; delivering to both young people and adults on a range of topics from music, film, and visual arts to evaluation, bid writing, and events management. In 2007 he completed a postgraduate in World Music Studies undertaking fieldwork in The Gambia and in the same year co-founded Big Noise Community Samba band, which he led for 10 years. He has taken the UVG from its small beginnings in 2008 to what is now a major music organization that has made a significant impact on the lives of young people in the Portsmouth area. In 2013 Charlie was invited to Buckingham Palace in recognition of his work with the UVG charity and in 2018 was co-recipient of a Civic Award from Portsmouth City Council.
Amba Tremain (MA)
Amba Tremain is the co-founder of UVG and music leader for AUVG Havant. She is a contemporary singer, songwriter, musician, and vocal coach and has worked with many high-profile artists including Boy George, Newton Faulkner, Ella Henderson, and Roachford. She’s also been awarded a gold disc by the BPI for her contribution to the album ‘Somewhere’ by the late Eva Cassidy. Amba and her band ‘Blame Jones’ have recently secured a Spotify deal, having over 350,000 monthly listeners. She’s featured on over 90,000 worldwide playlists and is also a prolific session vocalist and keyboard player, playing with several up-and-coming and established artists. Her extensive experience of the creative and commercial side of the industry led her to coordinate UVG's ‘Breaking Through’ artist development programme and she is also currently Head of Vocals at Waterbear Music College based in Brighton. Not only does Amba do solo performances around Hampshire but also performs with her band Diva Revue and The Soul Sessions. In May 2021 Amba appeared as a vocalist on the BBC1 primetime show I Can See Your Voice
Sally joined The UVG in early 2008 initially as a volunteer and soon became our ‘Sing Safe’ tutor specialising in voice improvement and vocal safety. She has studied vocal technique for over 15 years with a great interest in voice protection and the rehabilitation of damaged voices. She has worked with bands, performance artists and young singers in preparation for gigging, recording and touring. In addition to her teaching, Sally has been writing and singing as a lead vocalist for over 10 years in many genres ranging from classical to heavy metal. In 2011 she graduated from The University of Chichester with a BA (Hons) in Music with Instrumental and Vocal Teaching.
Kate Gildea-Smith is UVG Music Leader to Portsmouth UVG. Kate is an experienced vocalist, performer and vocal teacher. She has been a session vocalist since the age of 19, working with Jimmy Cauty (one half of KLF and founding member of The Orb) and various songwriters for BMG International and EMI. Kate has now made a home for herself in the of the South of England as a jazz, soul and funk singer.
Faye Carpenter is the music leader for AUVG Portsmouth. Faye has been a member of the UVG for 9 years and has had a passion for singing since a young age; during her time with UVG, she discovered a passion for teaching and became one of the youngest people in the UK to achieve a Musical Theatre Diploma at the age of 15. In 2017 Faye recorded original music as part of UVG's Breaking Through project and now performs regularly at established music venues across Portsmouth and Havant both as a solo singer and sings with Mr Big Stuff, The Diva Revue and Soul Session.
Olivia Haggarty was the Community Arts Administration Apprentice for The Urban Vocal Group and is now the music leader for the UVG Havant group. She is the longest serving member of The UVG and has performed over 120 times with the group. As a singer/song writer under the name ‘Livvy’, she has recorded both original compositions as part of UVG's Breaking Through programme and has extensive performing experience; ranging from solo slots at Victorious Festival to the Grand Final of national singing competition Teen Star. She also sings with Mr Big Stuff, The Diva Revue and The Soul Session and is an up and coming young artist who loves performing but also passionate about passing on her knowledge to others.