A woman to lead the Musicians Union?

A woman to lead the Musicians Union?


norman lebrecht

February 14, 2017

Believe it or not, the Musicians Union (MU), representing 30,000 professionals across the UK and affiliated to the Labour Party and all left-on orgs, has never elected a female leader. Since 1893, it has been one bloke after another.

That may be about to change.

This morning, Kathy Dyson threw her hat into the ring in the contest to succeed John Smith as general secretary this summer.

Smith is retiring after 15 years of cautious moderation.

His deputy Horace Trubridge has put in for the job.

Kathy Dyson will challenge him at the ballot next month.

Kathy says: ‘I’m standing for a more feminist, inclusive and collaborative approach to working together, and for a decentralised union that fights more strongly for funding, musical work, and instrumental music education in all the regions. We need to create a long-term policy and strategy for every area of music we cover as a guide for action. We must also involve members more fully in our collective endeavour.

From her c.v.: Kathy Dyson is a jazz guitarist, composer, educator and researcher living and working in Manchester. She studied at Leeds College of Music in the early 80s, then worked throughout the UK as a jazz guitarist with husband, saxophonist John Dyson.

Let the best person win.


  • Andy scott says:

    Excellent news, she has my vote.

  • Julie Doubleday says:

    She has my vote.

  • Paul Kelly says:

    Refreshing. The MU has always had a bit of a Working Man’s Club feel about it. It needs freshening up.

  • Bob Walker says:

    A chance for real change and progress. All musicians working in the real world should support Kathy