Ingham: Nikki-Kate Heyes collects MBE

Nikki-Kate Heyes
Nikki-Kate Heyes

Ingham community music champion Nikki-Kate Heyes has been appointed MBE for services to music.

The CEO of Lincoln-based charity soundLINCS, Nikki-Kate was named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours and was presented with her medal by the Prince of Wales during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

“To be presented with the MBE is both a huge honour and a great privilege,’ said Nikki-Kate.

“It was a humbling experience to rub shoulders with so many true heroes from every walk of life.”

A community musician, composer, conductor and cellist, Nikki-Kate founded soundLINCS in 1998 in order to create and deliver music-making opportunities to remote or socially isolated communities across Lincolnshire. SoundLINCS is now an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation running projects throughout the East Midlands and engaging with people of all ages and abilities across all genres.

Specialisms include working with Early Years children and with young people in challenging circumstances, together with workforce development and delivering large-scale live events.

The 46-year-old dedicated her MBE to colleagues at soundLINCS.

“We’ve built a fantastic team here and it’s only through their commitment, professionalism and endless enthusiasm that we have been able to achieve so much,” she said.

“We’re planning a huge musical event at the Epic Centre in May to mark our 15 years – it’s the best way I can think of to thank everyone for all their hard work.”

In addition to steering soundLINCS through the last 15 years, Nikki-Kate has held several high-profile posts within the music-making community at both local and national level.

She is a former regional council member for Arts Council England, vice-chair of EMARAN - the East Midlands Arts in Rural Areas Network and past Chair of Sound Sense - the national organisation for community music. As a composer, Nikki-Kate has written for the theatre and for the City of London Sinfonia.

She maintains her involvement in composing, arranging and performing through the Heyes Ensemble, a chamber group which she founded in 1995.

*Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh has also been presented with his Knigthood at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace. See next week’s Gainsborough Standard for more details.