Each and every day our faculty bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion into Nexus ICA classrooms. They’ve led worship teams, signed record deals, toured the world, recorded hundreds of sessions, collaborated with Grammy™ winning artists and been involved in every facet of both the music industry and the Church. There is no-one better placed to guide and inspire your career.


Nexus ICA Faculty - Dave Silber

Dave Silber


Dave is the founder of Nexus along with his wife, Kate. The vision for Nexus ICA started over 20 years ago while Dave and Kate were on tour working for Youth for Christ. Work started on the school in 1996, with Nexus ICA then opening for students in 1998. Since then, Dave has been leading the institute and its development.

Dave oversees the strategy and creative direction of Nexus ICA.

As well as establishing Nexus ICA, Dave and Kate have exercised their love of teaching by home educating their two sons.

Dave has an MA from Birmingham University in Evangelical and Pentecostal studies and is an associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Nexus ICA Faculty - Kate Silber

Kate Silber


Kate is a founder of Nexus ICA along with her husband, Dave. They have been leading the school together since it began over 20 years ago. Kate originally trained as a primary school teacher before joining Youth for Christ with Dave to head up their band ministry.

She spent four years with YFC travelling around the UK and Europe, teaching in schools and training the musicians in the band. In 1998 Dave and Kate started up Nexus ICA and over the years Kate has had a variety of roles within the school, now working as the the Executive Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Kate is an experienced worship leader and gifted prophetic song writer and oversees pastoral care.

As well as establishing Nexus ICA, Kate and Dave have exercised their love of teaching by home educating their two sons.

She has a BEd (Hons) in Education and English Literature and is an associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Nexus ICA Faculty - Matt Cossey

Matt Cossey

Interim Principal

Matt is an experienced performer, educator, session musician and musical director who brings a wealth of musical experience to Nexus ICA. 

As well as teaching and performing worldwide, Matt enjoys giving his time to composing, arranging and music production. Matt is committed to helping students reach their goals and develop into rounded, employable musicians. As Creative Director and course leader on our postgraduate course, Matt is heavily involved in the creative output of Nexus ICA, giving students access to his dynamic teaching and unique industry experience.

Matt is an official Nord Keyboards Artist and is known worldwide for his tutorials, ability to craft sounds and his application of keyboard technology in a live playing environment. He regularly travels to LA, Frankfurt and Stockholm to work with Nord and demonstrate their products. You can find out more about Matt’s musical endeavours and his work with Nord Keyboards at his website mattcossey.co.uk.

Matt has an MA in Popular Music Performance and is an associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Nexus ICA Faculty - Matt Donald

Matt Donald

Assistant Principal

Matt Donald is a multi-instrumentalist, known for bringing energy and creativity to the stage, studio and classroom.

He has been involved in music and performing since childhood and turned his hand to contemporary music in his teens, discovering a passion for the bass. He came to study at Nexus ICA in 2002/3 where he co-founded the rock band [dweeb], hailed as ‘infectious’1 and ‘perfecting the formula’2 of modern indie. Over the subsequent nine years they would go on to secure record deals, play hundreds of gigs around the world, release two studio albums and star in a documentary for the BBC.

Now an experienced session player, educator and Ableton (amongst others) endorsed artist, Matt continues to play worldwide alongside award-winning artists and musicians, as well as being part of the faculty here at Nexus ICA. He teaches our Bass pathway, all song writing curriculum, leads & contributes to several of our modules directly, as well as his Assistant Principal role here holding oversight of all our courses.

Matt holds an MA in Songwriting from the University of Bath Spa, a BA in Youth Studies and Applied Theology from Oxford Brookes and is an associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Stay up to date with Matt Donald via his website – mattdonald.com

Teaching Faculty

Alex Hart

Alex Hart


Alex Hart (known professionally as Alix Original) is an accomplished songwriter and producer based in the heart of Birmingham. Alex will be joining us two days a week to lead and teach elements of our BA(Hons) Songwriting degree.

In addition to bringing his expertise to our students, Alex Hart runs his own songwriting and production company called Original Studios. Original Studios is a team of 29 (and growing) songwriters who create a wide variety of music for a multitude of companies and projects. He also is a member of the songwriting and production team for Gas Street Music and attends Gas Street Church with his wife Joanna and two boys, Donny and Dexter.

Ashley Allen



Ashley Allen is a keyboardist, composer, producer and songwriter who currently resides in Birmingham, UK. At the age of 30, he released his latest album which caused a huge buzz in the UK scene and on the Amazon and iTunes charts. Having acquired his first record label artist deal with the renown Italian A.MA records, he is now billed by Jamie Callum as one of the next rising stars to come out of the UK and will feature on Jamie Cullums ‘recommending program’ next year.

Ashley has a wealth of performance experience. Some of his most notable performances include the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Opening for the Sky Sports World Badminton Tournament, BBC Maida Vale Live Lounge, BBC Radio 1 Introducing Artists programme, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Mostly Jazz Festival, Headline shows at Symphony Hall and The Hare and Hounds, Camden Assembly and Cadogan Hall.

Whether performing alongside Grammy award-winning artists such as Gregory Porter & Dionne Warwick or touring Europe and the UK with Julie Dexter, Lady Sanity, Town Hall Gospel Choir, and Aynsley Lister, Ashley continues to push the boundaries of innovation in the UK music scene.

After graduating from Wolverhampton University with a BA in music, Ashley has taught keys at several institutions and is a lecturer in higher education.

Nexus ICA Faculty - Dan Johnson

Daniel Johnson

Head of Academic Development / Lecturer

Daniel is an experienced and gifted worship leader, writer, theologian and teacher. As Head of Academic Development, Daniel oversees the research life of our school, equipping both students and staff in their studies and learning. He teaches across our undergraduate and postgraduate courses, working closely with colleagues to produce educational and academic excellence.

Originally from Newcastle, in 2011 he moved to Nottingham, and in 2015 he finished a degree in Popular Music with Music Technology from the University of Derby. Following on from this, he successfully completed a Masters of Research in Theology at the University of Nottingham, where he studied Isaac Watts’ interpretation of the psalms. He is now researching for his PhD at the University of Leicester, in which he continues to study the theology of Isaac Watts’ hymns. Daniel has a growing international reputation as a leading scholar in this field, and has presented and published his research all over the world.

Daniel is passionate about biblical theology, its influence on congregational worship, and the way it has been understood throughout Church History. Daniel is married to Rosanna and has four children, five guitars, too many books, and a banjo.

Nexus ICA Faculty - Dan Meakin


Course Leader - BA (Hons) Event Technology

Before joining Nexus ICA in 2011, Zimbabwe-born Dan Meakin spent his life on the road. He’s worked with some of the biggest bands and artists around, such as Deftones, Incubus and Scars on Broadway.

Having honed his skill in arenas across the world, Dan brings a wealth of experience and a packed CV, passing on all of his enthusiasm, knowledge and passion for event technology to students here at Nexus ICA.

Dan holds a BA Honours in Live Events Production and is an associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

David Graham

David Graham


David is an experienced musician, musical director and educator who loves to combine theoretical knowledge with practical performance.  

Working in a multitude of band situations, David has gained professional experience in both live worship and contemporary session music settings. He has played at national conferences and festivals such as Spring Harvest and New Wine and is a member of the function band Groove Revolution. He was also the Musical Director for our Christmas production ‘Convicted’ during his time on the Popular Music & Worship degree. 

In addition to this, David is a teacher at The Piano School, where he is able to educate and encourage a passion for music with his students in a variety of musical styles. Following his undergraduate studies, David is currently studying an MMus in Performance (Classical, Jazz & Popular) with the University of West London. 



Hannah is one of our Worship Studies lecturers alongside being the Vocal Tutor and co-ordinating the Nexus ICA Gospel Choir. Following her own studies at Nexus ICA on our Popular Music & Worship degree, Hannah spent a year as an intern with St Marks Coventry on the Worship Central Academy programme. 

In addition to teaching at Nexus ICA, Hannah is currently studying a MA in Integrative Theology at LST and specialises in the practice of congregational singing. She is an experienced worship leader and has led workshops and times of sung worship at various churches, conferences and events as well as serving as one of the core worship leaders at her home church, St Marks. 

A keen songwriter and lyricist, Hannah has contributed to a number of tracks for our original Christmas musicals including Awakening and Convicted. She is passionate about writing contemporary worship songs and hymns for the local church and can often be found at a piano arranging harmonies.

John Connearn


John Connearn is a guitarist, composer, producer, and teacher from The Midlands, UK. Growing up with a guitar in almost every room led John to be a passionate musician, performing guitar from a very early age. He is now a solo artist and a session musician for a range of bands and artists. He has achieved national airplay on BBC Radio 1 and performed to crowds of up to 30,000 people. After graduating from Coventry University with a first in BA Music Performance, John has taught guitar for several institutions and is a lecturer in higher education.

As a multi-instrumentalist and producer, John has released several original works as part of his solo project. Releasing his original music online brought John to the attention of a variety of brands, leading him to work with Chapman Guitars, Taylor Guitars, Neural DSP, G7th Capos, Blackstar Amplification, and Joey Sturgis Tones. While collaborating with brands and musicians worldwide, John continues to release music, tutorials, and demos online.

Nexus ICA Faculty - Simon Blake

Simon Blake

Head of Student Wellbeing / Lecturer

Originally from Somerset, Simon is an experienced teacher and performer/session musician, who is a versatile musician, studying both classical and jazz and performing in a wide range of musical settings.

Spending the last 12 years in Cardiff, Simon studied Orchestral Percussion at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama after spending a year in America, studying at the School of Worship, Kenosha, USA. He went on to do an MA in Jazz at RWCMD.  From teaching in schools, privately and lecturing in university, Simon has seen many of his students go onto careers in music themselves. As a performer Simon has played with multiple ensembles whether as a drummer or percussionist, for local artists, worship leaders, jazz/latin ensembles, or classical music ensembles. Simon lead a music and worship programme called the Academy of Music and Worship for 4 years, and has just completed a certificate in biblical studies at Covenant College before moving to Coventry to become part of the faculty at Nexus ICA as a drum and bible tutor.

Guest Faculty

Nexus ICA Events - Anika Nilles

Anika Nilles

Guest Faculty

We are really excited to have the incredible Anika Nilles on our Guest Faculty. Anika built a name for herself over the last four years as a Youtube sensation and solo touring artist. She can boast more than 13 million online views and has toured through Europe, Asia, Canada and Russia playing her original compositions. Anika’s playing style is distinguished by her strong groove, technical finesse, her unique sound and an innate ability to use odd rhythms and make them sounding easy!

Her use of the drum set as an expressive instrument rather than just a rhythm keeper allows for some extravagant playing without stealing the focus away from the music. Anika inspires drummers and musicians world wide to develop their skills and create their own music. She has also become an important role model for a lot of female drummers who are looking for their place in a male dominated scene.

Anika has released various singles, as well as a debut album “Pikalar” (under Sakurai Records), all of which earned spaces on several of the top music charts all around the world. Upon release, “Pikalar” was immediately listed on the ‘iTunes 200 Top Rock Releases’ charts in the USA and climbed its way to number 113 (a remarkable feat for a mostly instrumental album).

Well known in the drumming community, Anika won the ‘Modern Drummer Readers Poll’ for ‘Up And Coming Artist’ as well as ‘#1 Rising Star’ in “DRUM!” Magazine in 2015, 2016 and for best Fusion Drummer on #2 in 2017. She also has been voted to #3 for best educator on UK drummies awards in 2017.

With Anika Nilles / NEVELL, Anika pulled together a group of three energetic and passionate musicians to help turn her music into a spectacular live show. Her music is instrumental Prog/Fusion with singable melodies accompanied by the incredible talent and musicianship that each of the players contributes. Influenced by Pop, Funk, Prog and Jazz music, Anika Nilles / NEVELL finds itself in the same category as bands like Toto, Chon, Plini, Dream Theater, Aristocrats and Joe Satriani, yet Anika’s signature style of super-hip odd-time- and odd-grouping grooves, tricky metric modulations, and intense full-kit fills gives NEVELL’s music its distinct sound and identity.

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Careers at Nexus ICA

Nexus Institute of Creative Arts is a Christian education institution offering Higher Education qualifications. We specialise in the education of the whole person, making sure that the learning environment is rich and full of possibilities for each student to grow and learn.

The staff at Nexus ICA are committed to offering a high standard of teaching and support, offering many opportunities outside of timetabled classes to provide an environment of growth and development in many skill areas.

If you have any questions please contact hr@nexus-ica.co.uk.

Nexus ICA Guests - Guvna B

Nexus ICA, Astoria House, 71 Albany Road, Coventry, CV5 6JR
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