Current Board Members

Alex Stevens
Alex Stevens has been a part of the Comar team for over 10 years, working first in the Café and Kitchen, before taking on the role of Community Engagement and Development Officer 2016-18. She now runs The Gallery Café on Tobermory Mainstreet. She has a BA in Social Sciences, formed part of the first all women parliamentary committee in Scotland, is an ambassador for She Votes and served on the Mull & Iona Community Trust Board and Glasgow Calton Community Council. Passionate about local politics and the arts and excited by positive links between the two, she has returned to Comar as a member of the board.  

Alex rarely escapes the Café, but when she does she enjoys long walks on the beach, drinking beer and day tripping to the city. She is currently looking forward to her three month expedition to SE Asia. 
 

Raymond MacDonald 
Raymond is Professor of Music Psychology and Improvisation at The University of Edinburgh. Prior to this position he was a Professor in the Psychology Department at Glasgow Caledonian University where he led the Glasgow Caledonian Music Psychology Research Group for 12 years. His ongoing research focuses on issues relating to improvisation, musical communication, music health and wellbeing, music education and musical identities. He studies the processes and outcomes of music participation and music listening and has a particular interest in collaborative creativity. His work is informed by a view of improvisation as a social, collaborative and uniquely creative process that provides opportunities to develop new ways of working musically. His work also contributes to debates highlighting the ubiquitous importance of music, stressing that everybody has a biological and social guarantee of musicianship. He runs music workshops and lectures internationally and has published over 70 peer reviewed papers and book chapters. 

He has co-edited five texts, Musical Identities (2002) and Musical Communication (2005), Musical Imaginations (2012) and Music Health & Wellbeing (2012), The Handbook of Musical Identities (2017) and was editor of the journal Psychology of Music between 2006 and 2012. He is an associate editor for The International Journal of Music Education, Jazz Research Journal, Research Studies in Music Education, Musicae Scientiae and The Journal of Music Therapy. As a saxophonist and composer who has released over 50 CDs and toured and broadcast worldwide. He has written music for film, television, theatre, radio and art installations and much of his work explores the boundaries and ambiguities between what is conventionally seen as improvisation and composition. He has collaborated with musicians such as Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, Evan Parker, David Byrne and Jim O’Rourke. 


Jan Sutch Pickard 
Jan is a member of the lively creative community in SW Mull, one of the Ross of Mull Poets, a writer and storyteller – a Directory member of the Scottish Storytelling Network. She is a Director of the Ross of Mull Historical Centre and a regular volunteer. She’s committed to good communication and collaborative working. 

A career in editorial work and communication with an NGO was followed by six years working for the Iona Community at the Abbey, latterly as Warden. At first hand, she knows the potential of performance and residencies to challenge and inspire both practitioner and host community. She hopes to see Comar enabling more of this kind of exchange: a resource for the whole island, drawing on the gifts and energy of those who live here (such as traditional music), as well as bringing new music, varied performance, writing and the visual arts from the mainland to established venues, schools, and village halls. 

Jan is a published poet, in numerous anthologies and on-line publications. Works in print include Out of Iona, Between high and low water and A pocket full of crumbs (all Wild Goose Publications). Recently, Jan has been involved in several local projects: ‘Carved Identities’ with Historic (Environment) Scotland, ‘Changing Landscapes’ with the National Trust for Scotland and a Storytelling Festival for the Iona Community. She hopes that the arts community represented by Comar and the local community (creatives, teachers, countryside rangers) can find common ground and mutual encouragement. 


Will Thorne 
Will was born and brought up in London, and studied Architecture at the Macintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow, and then at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. Since graduating, Will worked for Anne Thorne Architects, and then for Richard Rogers (RSH+P) before setting up in practice with his wife on the Isle of Mull. 

He has over 15 years of experience of a wide range of projects including everything from mega projects like the Leadenhall building in London, colloquially known as ’the cheese grater’ and Heathrow Terminal 5 through to smaller projects such as the Ulva Ferry Community Housing on Mull.

As such, Will is well placed to provide advice and guidance for upcoming capital projects in order to help Mull Theatre and An Tobar secure a great new venue and deliver the refurbishments needed.