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Bookable Sunday University of Salford We Think Big

Happier Mondays – Music Driving Change

Manchester and Salford have been associated with great music for decades, from the Happy Mondays, New Order and Oasis, to the more recent Parklife Festival and Sounds from the Other City. Greater Manchester is a place that fizzes with music and unique creativity. In this session we take a look at how music shapes Greater Manchester, the ability it has in bringing people together and the powerful role it can have in changing society.

University of Salford- Lecture Theatre

Sunday, 12:45pm – 1:30pm

Suitable for: All ages, step-free



Karen Gabey
Producer, Filmmaker & Radio Host, BBC Radio Manchester
Karen Gabay is a TV producer, podcast host & producer, award winning film maker, exhibition curator and radio presenter of one of the BBC’s longest running radio shows, The People which airs weekly on BBC Radio Manchester.


Riv Burns
Director, From the Other
Riv has worked within the music industry as a freelance creative producer for over 13 years. She is a Director of From the Other, the company behind emerging music festival and Salford treasure, Sounds From the Other City, one of the UK’s only music residency programmes, Samarbeta and Fat Out Fest, where heavy electronics meets queer culture. She also is programmer of Festival Square for Manchester International Festival (’19, ’21 & 2023) and lecturer in Events Management at BIMM. Previous roles have included a bit of everything, working as Festival manager of Indy Man Beer Con for 5 years and across venues, record labels, gig promotion, festivals and PR companies including Islington Mill, Future Everything, Manchester Pride and AND Festival.

Michael Betteridge
Composer, Conductor and Animateur
Described as ‘inventive’ (Financial Times) and ‘bold’ and ‘colourful’ (The Times) British-Canadian composer and conductor Michael Betteridge has an eclectic output in which his music draws on the stories of people and places, past and present, animating everything from concert halls to slate mines and market squares!

His work has been performed by the likes of BBC Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, violinist Nicola Benedetti, Opera North Youth Chorus, Psappha, and Streetwise Opera. He is currently a Royal Philharmonic Society Young Composer 2022-23 and is writing a new work for RLPO’s Ensemble 10:10. His work has been nominated for two Royal Philharmonic Society Awards in the Impact category and his 2018 Anglo-Icelandic interactive Twitter opera #echochamber was nominated for an Icelandic Music Award. He is also Artistic Director of The Sunday Boys – Manchester’s low voiced and open access LGBTQ+ choir.

Rebecca Swarray
DJ, Producer, Curator & Artist, GMCA Senior Policy Officer – Creative Culture, Policy & NTE
Rebecca is the founder and curator of Manchester based events and arts collective, RebeccaNeverBecky and Co-founder of queer DJ Collective, Queer Latifah. She also is known as Artist, DJ and Producer,  Mix-Stress who is a firm favourite on the Manchester music scene and beyond. Holding monthly residences at various Manchester venues and Gaydio Radio and Reform Radio where she platforms new and upcoming DJs and producers. 

By day she also works with the GMCA Night-time Economy & Creative, Culture Team as a Senior Policy Officer. Working on various projects GM. She is also curator and programmer within StreamGM, curating streaming partnerships with grassroot clubbing events which shine a spotlight on Manchester DJs and local promoters. Rebecca is very passionate about bringing different communities together and creating opportunities for people through creative arts and music.

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