A site about the Music Production community at York St John University and the degree courses we offer.

LISTEN to music produced by our students

READ articles they’ve written

FIND OUT MORE about our collective of music producers

DISCOVER our degree courses

GET IN TOUCH if you’re interested in joining us or you have any questions – we’d love to hear from you.



Our programmes are designed to prepare students for a career in the music and media industry. We do this by inviting our own professional contacts to work with our students on live projects so that they are exposed to a broad range of expertise and can develop their professionalism in the very same circles they will be interacting with when they graduate.  They are our friends and colleagues from our own work as individual producers outside of University. Here, we call them our Industry Partners.

Ben McAvoy

Composer and Post Production audio

Ben is the Director of Leeds based WMP, a team of five music composers and sound designers creating soundtracks for advertising, television and production music projects. In the last year, they have worked on 148 briefs. Highlights include bespoke campaigns for DFS, Vodafone and Tui as well as recording 16 strings at the Angel studio in London for “Documentary Soundtracks” with De Wolfe Music and creating the album “Eclectic Trip Hop” album for EMI. They are proud to be providing the industry with the highest possible standard of composed audio as well as being based in the North!

Ben is welcomed as a guest speaker on music and sound production for film and television, and he is the client on several annual student production projects, including a Music and Sound Design project for a TV Commercial.

Ed Heaton

Producer & Mix Engineer

Ed is based in Leeds has been working professionally for 19 years. In that time he has produced records form a wide range of genres including acoustic virtuoso Jon Gomm and Post Hardcore pioneers NARCS. He works out of his own studio The Coal Room. Ed is passionate about grassroots music and helps runs not for profit label Monomyth Records. He also designs sound for Theatre including Red Ladder Theatre Company’s acclaimed 2018 version of Mother Courage and installations on the London Eye and The Joseph Rowntree. Ed has just begun working on his own album, he hopes people won’t hate it.

Ed has chaired our annual Industry Day conference for the past few years, and he is frequently invited to run client-based projects with our students, hooking them up with external artists for studio based production projects.

Chris Sheehan

Music Industry Consultant and Producer

Chris is the co-founder and CEO of Karousel Music, a boutique music publisher offering artist friendly short commitment deals with world class admin via Wixen Music (Neil Young, The Black Keys, Tom Petty).

As an artist, songwriter and producer he has worked with many artists including Chris Difford, Mark E Brydon (Moloko), Matt Deighton (Mother Earth, Oasis, Paul Weller), Kathryn Williams, Chris Helme, Marti Pellow, and Steve Nieve (The Attractions).

He consults to Big Group on events around the Brit Awards, Champions League Final and Mercury Music prize and is the Music Industry Liaison for Help Musicians UK, the UK’s leading independent charity for musicians. He also runs 50:50 Studios in North London and co manages Pat Dam Smyth and Ren Harvieu.

Chris is a regular contributor at our Industry Day events, and has partnered with us on large scale production projects at Abbey Road Studios.

Barkley McKay

Musician, producer and boutique analogue studio owner

Barkley is an exceptional recording engineer. Working from his extensive Valleywood Studio, Barkley works mostly in the acoustic and Jazz field. Clients have included Jaki Graham, Kirsty McGee, Matthew Bourne and Corrine Bailey-Rae. As a musician he has worked with artists as diverse as The Pretty Things, Crystal Gayle, Jon Langford, The Waco Brothers and The Mekons, touring extensively through Europe from the late 80’s through to the present – with two stints at Glastonbury, most recently in 2014 on the Billy Bragg stage. He also does extensive session work, collaborating with engineer/producer Ian Caple and Mike Hagler of Kingsize in Chicago amongst others.

As part of our Music Production courses, Barkley teaches various concert hall recording sessions and runs analogue production workshops in his boutique studio, Valley Wood Studios.

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