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Old Fletton County Primary School
Old Fletton
1950 - 1956

Bishop`s Stortford College
Bishop`s Stortford
1956 - 1963

'O' levels: English Language
English Literature
Elementary Mathematics
Additional Mathematics
Use of English
General Paper

'A' levels: Music (A1)
English (B)
French (C)
German (C)

Gonville and Caius College
Cambridge University
1963 - 1966

Degrees: Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Class 2 Division 2
June 1966

Master of Arts
June 1976

Department of Education
Exeter University
1966 - 1967

Certificate in Education
June 1967

Other qualifications: Examinations of the
Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

Grade 8 pianoforte
Grade 5 organ
Grade 5 theory

Teaching posts: Assistant Director of Music
The Royal Grammar School
High Wycombe
31st August 1967 - 31st August 1971

Director of Music
Hatfield School
1st September 1971 - 31st August 1977

Director of Music
Hitchin Girls` School
1st September 1977 - 24th August 2000

Supply teacher for "Teaching Personnel"
1st September 2000 - 10th December 2000

Supply teacher for Westcliff High School for Boys
11th December 2000 - 20th December 2000

Acting Director of Music
Westcliff High School for Boys
1st January 2001 - 31st August 2001

Director of Music
Westcliff High School for Boys
1st September 2001 – 31st October 2003

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The Royal Grammar School (High Wycombe) 1967 - 1971
In my first post in this excellent grammar school for boys aged 11-18 I taught at all levels, including sharing with the Director of Music the teaching of `O` level and `A` level music. I also helped with the running of extra-curricular activities such as the school choir and orchestra and I regularly accompanied a number of boys for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music grade examinations. In particular, I helped with the annual choral and orchestral concerts and the operatic productions, appearing as soloist in my first year as Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan.

Hatfield School (Hatfield) 1971 - 1977
On becoming Director of Music at Hatfield School, a mixed comprehensive secondary school for pupils aged 11 - 18, I devised my own syllabus for the teaching of music throughout the school, including `O` level, CSE and `A` level examinations. I shared the teaching of this syllabus with my full time assistant. As well as this I managed the team of 11 peripatetic instrumental teachers who taught a variety of instruments to pupils at the school and I was responsible for drawing up the timetables for these lessons on a weekly rotating basis and for all other administration with regard to these lessons. I also shared in the running of the school choirs and orchestras and was responsible for organising annual services and concerts. The latter included a very fine series of choral and orchestral concerts with performances of Handel`s Messiah, Haydn`s Creation, The Light of Life by Elgar and, in particular, Beethoven’ s Symphony No. 9 (Choral) with pupils as soloists. In addition I conducted a performance of Noye`s Fludde by Benjamin Britten in the local parish church of St Etheldreda and a performance of Britten`s Golden Vanity in the presence of the composer, Peter Pears and Imogen Holst (Gustav Holst`s daughter) in The Maltings concert hall at Snape by invitation of the composer.

A distinctive feature of my teaching at Hatfield School was the introduction into the syllabus of practical music making - composing and performing - in the days when these were regarded as very progressive innovations. I did, however, keep a balance between these progressive ideas and the more traditional skills such as theory, analytical appreciation and historical awareness. One of the more fruitful innovations was the introduction of a `living composer of the month` in which the pupils were introduced to a number of living British composers and learnt some basic details about their lives and compositions. Amongst the most fruitful of these was the establishment of a relationship with the internationally renowned composer John McCabe. This relationship has lasted ever since. As a result, John McCabe attended the performance of one of his works which was played in a concert by the school orchestra. He talked to parents and pupils after the concert and invited a very gifted cellist, Nicholas Selo, whose playing had particularly impressed him, to attend a recording session at which John McCabe and Julian Lloyd Webber, would be playing works for cello and pianoforte by Britten, Prokofiev and Shostakovich.

Hitchin Girls` School (Hitchin) 1977 - 2000
As Director of Music at Hitchin Girls` School I built upon the experience of my previous two posts and established and maintained a reputation for a Music Department of outstanding quality. This reputation was well known in the area and beyond and attracted a large number of parents with musical children to send them to the school. It was built not only on the high standard of teaching at all levels which led to excellent results at Key Stage 3, at GCSE, `A` level and `AS` level, but also the varied and excellent provision of extra-curricular activities, including choirs, orchestras and other ensembles which took part in the termly services, regular concerts and operatic productions, international exchanges and foreign musical tours. My fundamental premise was - and is - that children should be given the best at all times, whether it be a piece of music to listen to in class, to sing or to play in class, choir or orchestra or to experience in the concert hall, theatre or opera house during an educational visit. By experiencing music of real quality, their own lives will be enriched by a worthwhile and lasting cultural experience.

In the 23 years that I was at Hitchin Girls` School I was responsible for devising and keeping up to date the schemes of work used throughout the school. I was also responsible for managing a team of 17 peripatetic instrumental teachers who gave weekly instrumental lessons to approximately 170 pupils and also for the organisation of the schedule of extra-curricular activities.

Again, my schemes of work always maintained a balance between progressive and traditional features of musical education. I am enthusiastic about pupils composing and performing, since I am a composer and performer myself and know what pleasure can be derived personally from these activities and also shared with others; but I also believe fervently that pupils should be musically literate in that they can read musical notation, analyse music perceptively, talk and write about it coherently and intelligently and understand its place within various times and cultures. In this I have always regarded myself as a mainstream teacher, being neither avant-garde nor reactionary. I believe that my pupils have thus had the opportunity to discover in which particular branches of music their own talents lie and to develop these according to their own aptitudes.

Teacher assessments and public examination results were consistently outstanding. In 1999 over 80% of the pupils I taught at Key Stage 3 achieved the national average or above. For the last seven years that I was at the school the number of GCSE pupils achieving grades A* to C was 100% and the number achieving an A* or A grade was at least twice the national average. In 2001 GCSE results were outstanding: of 17 pupils 13 gained grades A*, 3 grades A and 1 a grade B. `A` and `AS` level grades in my last year at the school were 1 point above the national average and in 2000 three of the five pupils taking `A` level achieved an `A` grade.

Extra-curricular activities at the school were many and varied. Weekly activities in the year 1999 - 2000 included two orchestras, two string quartets, a flute ensemble, clarinet ensemble and three recorder ensembles. I was solely responsible for the Senior Choir and the Senior Orchestra. The Senior Choir had a heavy load of annual commitments including school services and concerts and gained an excellent reputation. In particular, its annual Service of Nine Lessons and Carols given every Advent was highly regarded both as a musical and as a religious experience. The standard of performance, whether choral or solo, was exceptionally high, all the more so when one considers that all the choir items were sung from memory in two, three and four parts. The Senior Orchestra was renowned for its series of `Concerto Concerts` inaugurated by my colleague Christopher Nicolls. At these concerts the orchestra accompanied gifted pupils in various concertos or concerto type works and then ended with the performance of a complete classical symphony. In 2000 the programme included movements from concertos by Vivaldi and Cimarosa and operatic arias by Puccini and Delibes. The symphony was Beethoven`s Symphony No. 5 in C minor. The standard of playing attained by the orchestra was compared favourably to that of the local youth orchestra. The school regularly supplied players to the local area and county youth groups and a significant number of ex-pupils have taken up music as their career, some pursuing a solo career and others performing in professional orchestras both in the United Kingdom and abroad.

On occasions the Senior Choir and Senior Orchestra joined together with Hitchin Boys` School to promote a series of choral and orchestral works. The organisation and rehearsal of the works in this series was undertaken in alternate years by the Directors of Music of the two schools. I was responsible for performances of Handel`s Messiah, Elgar's The Light of Life and Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf and Mozart’ s Requiem Mass. This series of performances, involving parents, governors, teachers and pupils from the two schools was very warmly received and highly regarded.

The performance of Handel`s Messiah actually involved three schools, the third being Ikast Gymnasium from Denmark. This was the result of a series of exchange visits undertaken by all three schools in the five years leading up to the Danish school's Silver Jubilee in November 1998. During these five years pupils from the two Hitchin schools visited Ikast on three occasions and a return visit was undertaken twice. These regular exchanges and concerts provided outstanding educational and cultural experiences for all the participants, the highlight of which was undoubtedly the tour party to Denmark for the Silver Jubilee when pupils, parents, teachers and even one set of grandparents were involved, the latter making up a whole family of three generations that sang in the chorus.

Outstanding also was the series of three operatic productions given at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage. In 1998 I conducted four performances of the children's opera, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by John McCabe, one of which was given in the presence of the composer and his wife, Monica, both of whom said it was the finest production of the work that they had seen. The cast of over 100 consisted entirely of pupils, including the principal solo part of the Witch, a part that was undertaken by one of my singing pupils, Jane Homer. John McCabe commented particularly on her outstanding singing and acting in this rôle, a rôle which was originally written for a professional singer. Jane has just graduated B. Mus. from Nottingham University where she studied music and had a choral scholarship at the Cathedral Church of St Barnabas, Nottingham.

Apart from being involved with the activities mentioned above I arranged regular music tours to Salzburg in Austria. These were open to any musician in the school, the only proviso being that any girl going on a tour must sing or play an instrument in the concerts to be given in Austria. The tours were very popular: on the first occasion 26 girls were taken, then 40 on the next and for the last two tours we took 57 and 54 girls respectively. All the members of the tour party stayed at a youth hostel and we gave three concerts in various locations on each tour. We also undertook a series of educational visits to Mozart`s birthplace, a salt mine, water gardens and some ice caves. We indulged as well in a little relaxation with some summer tobogganing. Repeatedly on the tours I saw girls develop their musical and social skills to an enormous extent. I consider these experiences invaluable.

I worked closely with the Drama Department at Hitchin Girls` School not only for the my own department`s operatic productions but also to provide music and musicians for drama productions. For some of these productions I composed the music, in particular a production of The Tempest which was toured to Stockholm and Mariestad in Sweden. I also composed the music for Hameln, a play written by George Szirtes, the poet, who was at that time Head of Art at Hitchin Girls` School. Later he was the librettist for my opera, The Fairy Feller`s Masterstroke which is about the painter, Richard Dadd and his painting called The Fairy Feller`s Masterstroke.

I regularly arranged outing to concerts, ballets and opera and hosted composition workshops given by members of the London Sinfonietta, the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. These workshops included pupils from a number of other local secondary schools as well as Hitchin Girls` School. I believe it is invaluable for pupils to work with professional musicians and with pupils from other schools. In the summer of 2000 I also hosted a workshop given by Andrew Martin, a composer who had written a work for the Hitchin Festival.

One of the features of the Music Department at Hitchin Girls` School was that our premises were shared by the North Hertfordshire Music School. Over 18 years, since specialist rooms were built in 1982 for the school Music Department, I co-operated on a daily basis with the various Directors of the Music School and with other Music School staff. This gave the pupils of Hitchin Girls` School Music Department access to the premises of the North Hertfordshire Music School during the day, thus ensuring that we had ample room for group practical work in Key Stage 3 and individual practical work in Key Stage 4 and for Advanced Level pupils. It also meant that the large numbers of peripatetic instrumental staff had suitable rooms in which to teach. In the evenings and on Saturdays our premises were made available to the Music School for its group work. The arrangement was mutually beneficial and in the many years since I and the then Director of the Music School worked out the practical arrangements there were very few occasions on which difficulties arose. In any case, these were quickly solved.

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Supply teaching for "Teaching Personnel" September to December 2000
I taught during this period at a number of schools in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire and the London area. I taught on a daily basis in Primary, Middle and Secondary schools, single sex schools for girls and mixed schools. During this time I earned an excellent reputation for the efficiency with which I carried out my tasks and settled into the various different schools.

Westcliff High School for Boys Westcliff-on-Sea) 2000 - 2002
In December 2000 I joined the staff of Westcliff High School for Boys owing to the indisposition of the Director of Music. I taught his classes for the remainder of that term and also played the organ in the school`s Service of Nine Lessons and Carols.

In January 2001, as a result of my performance at the end of the previous term, I was offered a full-time post for the rest of the academic year. During this time I taught GCSE, `AS` level and `A` level classes and steered them through the rest of their course towards the public examinations. I also revised the Department`s schemes of work, particularly the scheme of work for Key Stage 3.

I drew up timetables for the ten peripatetic instrumental teachers and made new appointments for the three that resigned their posts during the year. I re-organised the furniture of the main teaching room so that it gave more space at the front for class work. I installed a new computer and the Sibelius notation software. This was put into immediate use with the Year 11 GCSE set in particular.

Above all I instilled a greater sense of respect for Music in the school by insisting on a higher standard of behaviour and discipline within the Music Department and, in particular, in my lessons. I bought headphones and headphone splitters to be used with the keyboards and thus to cut down the noise levels in music lessons. I also tidied up and sorted out the Department`s stock of books and equipment and began to catalogue them using a computer database.

To improve the performance of the Westcliff Sinfonia – the school orchestra - I bought new stands and trolleys to store and to carry them on. I also insisted that pencils be brought to rehearsals and altered the length and timings of rehearsals in order to give a better use of rehearsal time.

I made concerted efforts to improve relationships with the Director of Music at our sister school, Westcliff High School for Girls.

I organised the Westcliff Young Musician of the Year Competition and conducted a substantial item in the spring term orchestral concert.

On taking up a permanent post as Director of Music I introduced the revised scheme of work for Key Stage 3 and started choir rehearsals on a regular weekly basis. In October I organised a chamber concert and in November conducted items in the Westcliff Sinfonia concert, one of which was Beethoven’ s Symphony No. 5 in C minor.

I believe my main achievement at the school to be the raising of standards in the Department, particularly standards of behaviour, which, on my arrival, had been unacceptably low.

Unfortunately, in the summer of 2002 I became seriously ill and eventually had to retire from teaching for health reasons.

I established during my teaching career a reputation amongst pupils, parents and colleagues for excellence and hard work. I was totally committed to my four full time teaching posts and earned an excellent reputation whilst on supply work. In particular, at Hitchin Girls` School, I spent a great deal of time and effort in attaining and maintaining high standards of teaching, presentation, personal appearance and conduct. I believe that I demonstrated continually throughout my career the ability to motivate and to inspire pupils of all ages and abilities and I believe that I discovered and nurtured the musical talents of a large number of pupils, with lasting effect. I am aware of this through the feedback that I got – and still continue to get - from parents and ex-pupils, whether they are particularly musical or not. I owe this, I believe, to the thorough understanding I have of my subject, to the high regard in which I held my pupils, to my sense of humour and to my infinite patience.

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Private tuition
Until 2001 I gave extra-curricular lessons to pupils who wished to learn the pianoforte, singing or to study the theory of music. I taught pupils at all levels from the Initial Grade to Diploma standard, from the age of six to adulthood and the results attained by my pupils were consistently good, including a significant number of merits and distinctions at Grade 8 level.

I have also taught composition, both privately and as a part-time lecturer at North Hertfordshire College (Hitchin site) on the pre-Diploma course.

I have composed since I was at in the Sixth Form at school. The list of compositions includes several Christmas carols, descants, anthems and songs, including four song-cycles, Crimson Joy, A Memory for Darkness, ;When I was in Love with You and The DTs. There are some pianoforte pieces, including Scotch on the Rox, a String Trio, Jubilee Overture (commissioned by Hitchin Symphony Orchestra), Ariel and Caliban (a Suite for Wind and Percussion commissioned by North Hertfordshire Youth Orchestra), an opera, The Fairy Feller`s Masterstroke, a Flute Concerto, Symphony No. 1 in D (first performed in Hitchin Town Hall on November 24th 2001) and The Selfish Giant, (a choral setting of the story by Oscar Wilde commissioned by Stevenage Choral Society and premièred in the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage on 9th June 2002).

I have also arranged a number of works, particularly a large number of Christmas carols and the opera, Suor Angelica by Puccini.

The Elgar Society
I was national Publicity Officer for The Elgar Society for five years from 1996 until 2001. In 2001 I became its International Co-ordinator. The Elgar Society is the largest British composer society and has a worldwide membership. Both as Publicity Officer and as International Co-ordinator I am a member of the Council of The Elgar Society. In the post of Publicity Officer I was responsible for raising the profile of The Elgar Society by advertising it in concert programmes and periodicals, by distributing society brochures and information leaflets, by giving interviews to the media, by travelling to concerts and other events in England and Scotland and mounting displays at them, by giving lectures on Elgarian matters to the London Branch, East Anglian Branch (now inactive) and Scottish Branch of The Elgar Society and by liasing with the Curator of The Elgar Birthplace Museum and The Elgar Birthplace Trust. I have also given concerts at meetings of the three Branches named above. Highlights of my tenure of this post have been the setting up of the Society's web site, in which I played a significant rôle, the creation of `Elgar Enterprises` and of `Elgar Editions`, trading arms of The Elgar Society, of both of which I am a Director, and the devising of a detailed questionnaire which was sent out to all 1300 members of The Elgar Society. I also processed using a computer database all of the replies (54% returns!) to this questionnaire and gave a presentation to the Council, a presentation which was greatly admired.

As International Co-ordinator for The Elgar Society I am at present leading a concerted drive to get Elgar`s music performed by orchestras overseas and to involve overseas members of the Society rather more closely in its activities.

I am computer literate, having begun my computing in the early days with a Sinclair ZX81 and having continued ever since. I am fully conversant with Microsoft Works, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher and the Sibelius music notation software and familiar with a number of other computer software packages. I used my computer skills constantly for preparing worksheets for use in teaching, both in class and in administration, and continue to use them for personal use, for work for The Elgar Society and for my own compositions. In the last four years of teaching I introduced the Sibelius software into lessons at my schools and have enabled a large number of pupils to benefit from using the package, a fact that was commented on favourably by my last OfSTED inspection.

In my leisure time I like to go to the theatre, particularly to see Shakespeare plays, to opera (English National Opera at The London Coliseum and the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden) and to concerts both professional and amateur. I also like reading, favourites being Dickens, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Aldous Huxley, C.P. Snow, E.M. Forster, T.S. Eliot and Ted Hughes. I am very fond of cooking and like wining and dining.

I am a member of Mensa. My IQ, as assessed by Mensa`s entry tests, is 167.

Occasional work
In the spring term 1967 I gave a series of weekly evening classes on the subject of musical appreciation to boys on remand at Exeter Prison.

During the period from 1977 to about 1981 I took up part-time work as a barman and then as a security guard for Group 4. In the latter capacity I guarded premises at nights and at weekends and worked on the cash vans delivering money to business firms and banks in the Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and North London areas.

For some years in the 1980s and 1990s I taught as a part-time Lecturer at North Hertfordshire College Music Department and, whilst Hitchin Symphony Orchestra was run as a College evening class, I was also a College employee engaged to take the orchestra rehearsals.

From 1991 to 1999 I was organist at Southside Methodist Church, London Road, Peterborough, playing for the weekly services on Sundays and at weddings and funerals at other times.

From 1999 until 2001 I worked again as a barman and in 2001 did some voluntary work in a charity shop for the Little Haven Hospice.

From the summer of 2002 until 1 January 2004, I have undertaken to transcribe and edit the overture and opera, “The Queen of Cornwall” by Rutland Boughton. This work is being undertaken on behalf of The Rutland Boughton Music Trust and entails preparing laser printed copies of the overture and the opera, complete with full score, revised vocal score and instrumental parts. I am editing the work from a photocopy of the composer`s manuscript and from the published pianoforte score of the overture and the vocal score of the opera and entering the music into the Sibelius notation software. As of today – Tuesday 6 May 2003 – I have completed entering all the notes and have prepared printed copies of the overture and Act 1 full scores. These are being proof-read by Michael Hurd, who is composer, author of a biography of Rutland Boughton: Rutland Boughton and the Glastonbury Festivals - sadly now out of print, though I did manage to borrow a copy through Hertfordshire Library Services. Michael Hurd is also a member of The Rutland Boughton Music Trust. Act 2 should be finished by mid-June and then the instrumental parts and the vocal score will be prepared for proof-reading.

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