Helen first encountered the cornett during postgraduate research in musicology at Birmingham University. After initial studies with Jamie Savan, Helen went on to study at the Schola Cantorum, Basiliensis under Bruce Dickey, generously supported by Birmingham University's Centre for Early Music Performance and Research. Helen graduated from the Schola in 2008 with a final concert programme exploring three centuries of cornetto performance practice, from the 15th-century Italian frottole repertoire to the large-scale sonatas of Johann Heinrich Schmelzer. Since completing her studies, Helen has continued to pursue research and editing interests, and completed a PhD in 2019 examining the role of the cathedral wind band in seventeenth-century England. Helen is a founder of the innovative online publishing house Septenary Editions, which provides support to, and a platform for performer/editors working in the field of early music, and created Passaggi, the improvisation and ornamentation app for historical performers, released in 2020.
Helen has performed and recorded with some of Europe's leading period ensembles, including English Baroque Soloists, The Orchestra of the Sixteen, The Gonzaga Band, Concerto Scirocco, the Gabrieli Consort and Players, Gothenburg Baroque, and I Fagiolini. As a multi-instrumentalist Helen has worked on productions at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, including Henry V on tour and in residence at the Globe and on Twelfth Night in the West End. Helen was thrilled to be invited to join His Majesty's Sagbutts and Cornetts in 2012, and now tours, records and performs regularly with the ensemble throughout the UK, Europe and the USA.