Meet the ABC Team


ABC was founded by twin brothers Tom and Phil Bancroft. Both studied Medicine at Cambridge University, with Phil doing a joint degree in Psychology, and Tom in Social and Political Sciences. Both went on to become two of the UK’s leading jazz musicians. For the past 12 years, they have combined their interest in science, the brain and psychology, with a passion for Education, particular exploring the huge potential creativity brings to children’s experience of Education especially in music education.

Phil (centre), is one of Britain’s leading saxophonists, and leads his own ensembles, including the Phil Bancroft Quartet and multi-media show ‘Home Small as the World’ as well as collaborating with other leading musicians, such as fiddler Aidan O’Rourke of LAU.

He also plays in the award-winning contemporary jazz group Trio AAB, also featuring Tom (right), which recently closed the Delhi Jazz Festival, playing in a collaboration with 4 Indian classical musicians to an audience of 10,000 people.

Tom is a winner of the BBC Jazz Award for Innovation and a Creative Scotland Award. He runs his own big band Orchestro Interrupto and the band Trio Red, as well as playing in Trio AAB and other groups.

Both Tom and Phil have played with many world class musicians from the classical, jazz, pop, and folk scenes including Sun Ra, Tommy Smith, Martyn Bennett, Bill Wells, Hue & Cry and have studied music and performed with top-level musicians from around the world, including Cuba, South America, Africa and India. This wide range of experience in composed and improvised music from different traditions informs much of Tom and Phil’s approach to the design of ABC Creative Music programmes for children.

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Barbara (middle) is a classically trained pianist, singer, and harpist. She has 30 years teaching experience, as a Primary Class Teacher, and a music specialist in mainstream Primary and SEN schools around Edinburgh, Scotland. She joined Tom and Phil when she discovered that ABC were developing resources with ideas very similar to ones she had been using herself for years in the classroom, both in mainstream and SEN/ASN education. Barbara is also a talented visual artist.