Location: England, United Kingdom
I qualified as a teacher in the 1960s at Westminster College, Oxford, the Methodist Church's college specialising at that time in teacher-training. My specialities were Music and English. I was the
first student to be permitted to conduct the Chapel Choir and was one of a small group of students who started a student-run choir with which I made my first appearance as a choral conductor.
I spent my professional career in Primary education, retiring after 25 years as Deputy Headmaster of a large primary school in Cheshire. I was heavily involved during my career in music-making with children, both in class teaching and in extra-curricular musical activities, specialising in training children's choirs and orchestras. I was involved for many years in the annual Warrington Junior Schools' Music Festivals, both in administration and in preparing and conducting the massed choirs and orchestra in Festival performances.
I've been involved in church music since boyhood (I sang my first solo in church at the age of 5!) and have continued this involvement. I'm now one of the organists and also the Choir Director in a small Methodist Church in Sale, a suburb of Manchester. I'm also an accredited Local Preacher and as such lead worship in all the churches of the Sale Methodist Circuit.
I've been an active member of the Sale Methodist Singers, the official choir of the Sale Methodist Circuit for over 40 years, at first as a singer and, for the last 25 years, as Conductor. This mixed-voice choir with a membership of around thirty is made up of singers from the churches of the Sale Circuit, but also has acquired members with no church connection but who are members of other local choirs and have joined us not only because they enjoy the happy atmosphere of our rehearsals and performances but also because they appreciate the thoroughness of our preparation and our high standard of performance.
I believe strongly that every choral director should have ongoing experience of singing in a choir, and I sing with the Owen Wynne Chorale both as a member of the bass section and as an occasional soloist. My wife, Sheila, is a fine soprano, as is my daughter. Now we take great pleasure in seeing our grandchildren continuing the family tradition and developing a love for music, and proficiency in their chosen musical fields.