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Head of Music Service offered place on prestigious music college panel 3 October 2008

THE new Head of the Music Service for the Department of Education has been offered a place on a panel of one of the UK’s leading music conservatoires.

Maggie Richardson has been invited to join the advisory panel of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

The panel informs the CETL’s work on student employability, covering areas such as teacher training and accreditation, outreach work, chamber music and vocational training. Its initiatives include the launch of a youth choir at the College and extending its Post Graduate Certificate of Education programme to include opportunities for specialist instrumental teachers and aspiring vocal animateurs (voice specialists who work with schools and the community to excite and motivate children and adults about singing). Maggie Richardson

The RNCM says these are areas in which Ms Richardson – who has a background conducting choirs and training choral conductors – ‘has considerable expertise and will make an invaluable contribution’.

The invitation to join the panel, which meets twice a year, has come from Professor Linda Merrick, the Vice-Principal of the RNCM and a celebrated clarinettist, who visited the Island last weekend to work with promising young clarinettists and perform a recital.

It was the second visit the Department’s Music Service has had from the RNCM and it formed part of an ongoing project involving the College and students from the Island’s Music Service. It was instigated by the RNCM in light of the high standard of young musicians from the Island being accepted to study there. The next visit will be by Dr Paul Goodey, Head of Wind, Brass and Percussion at the RNCM.

Ms Richardson took up her post as Head of the Music Service for the Department in September following the retirement of Graham Kirkland. Prior to that she was Head of Expressive and Performing Arts at Castle Rushen High School, where she conducted three choirs and also worked with secondary schools as Key Stage 3 adviser.

Ms Richardson was the founder/musical director of the South Cheshire Youth Choir and conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir. She was the chairman of the national choral charity Sing for Pleasure for seven years and is one of SfP’s senior choral conducting tutors. She sings with the Tallis Consort, a group specialising in early music, and has conducted the Manx Youth Choir for more than two years.

Professor Merrick said:

‘The prestigious Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the Royal Northern College of Music is delighted to welcome Maggie Richardson to its advisory panel. She brings a wealth of experience in choral training and conducting to the CETL at a time when there it is a strong demand in the music profession and the wider community for highly skilled and innovative vocal animateurs. She will play a crucial role in informing the work of the CETL as it develops exciting new training and accreditation opportunities for vocal students, ensuring that the next generation of young musicians are able to experience for themselves the power of choral singing.’

Ms Richardson said:

‘I am honoured to receive this invitation and excited to be able to contribute to the excellent work already being done at the RNCM and to have the opportunity to help the development of future initiatives. It is a tribute to the Music Service as a whole for its high level of achievement over the years.’

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