The North & Midlands School of Music has a number of esteemed patrons from the world of Music.
Organist of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, City Organist of Liverpool, Chorusmaster to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society and Organist to Liverpool John Moores University, where he holds his Professorial Chair.
Professor Dr Ian Tracey has been involved in church music all his life, having started as a chorister in the largest anglican cathedral in the world, at Liverpool.
He learned the basis of his craft there under Dr Noel Rawsthorne and in 1982 succeeded him as only the third organist since the mighty instrument was built in the 1920s.
Apart from a brief foray to Trinity College in London, and a scholarship to Paris for study under Langlais and Isoir, Ian affirms that he is delighted to have been able to spend most of his life "in my beloved Liverpool home".
His working week is spent mainly in the cathedral, arranging, rehearsing, conducting and playing for its continual round of services, concerts and recitals.
Ian is also City Organist, with a base at the historic console of St George's Hall, Chorusmaster to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society and Organist to Liverpool John Moores University, where he holds his Professorial Chair. Added to this are an extensive calendar of recitals and recording engagements.
Dr Elizabeth Stratford was one of the first girl choristers in the country singing at St Anne's Cathedral, Leeds, under the direction of Joseph Cullen.
She went on to read Music at the University of Huddersfield and began learning the organ whilst acting Assistant Director of Music at Christ Church, New Mill, Huddersfield, singing in the university chamber choir and with St Peter's Singers in Leeds.
After graduating with honours she undertook a Master of Arts in Liturgy and Music at the University of Leeds, specializing in organ performance, choir training and composition. Her tutors included Dr Gordon Stewart, Dr Simon Lindley and Dr Philip Wilby. During this time she was awarded a number of scholarships including the Duchess of Leeds Assumption Fund Millennium Scholarship.
Elizabeth was appointed Organist and Director of Music at St Paul's Church, Shipley in February 2000 and held positions as singing tutor at a number of different centres of education whilst training at the Royal Northern College of Music with Henry Herford for a year following her MA studies.
At the age of 23, Elizabeth was appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers at Arundel Cathedral, West Sussex. As such she was the first woman to hold this level of position in the UK and was the youngest Cathedral organist in Britain appointed to date. In addition to creating places for and recruiting 20 choristers to the Cathedral choir, between 2004 and 2006 she oversaw the rebuilding of the Cathedral's historic Hill organ by David Wells Organ Builders. Since then the choir have undertaken tours, recordings and television work which recently notably included BBC One's live Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve in 2014 and a significant contribution to BBC Children in Need where she assembled and trained 100 children from the local area to sing live during the 7 hour broadcast. Elizabeth pursues a busy teaching and solo career alongside her Cathedral commitments.
She holds awards from the ABRSM and the Guild of Church Musicians (amongst others) and is currently studying for a PhD in liturgy and music.
Organist, Artistic Director and Musician who has performed with leading orchestras. She has featured in a national awareness video "Pulling out all the stops" to promote the organ as an instrument.
Carol spent five years at the Royal Academy of Music, there specialized in organ performing as a student of David Sanger and obtained the Academy's prestigious Recital Diploma together with an LRAM (organ) and an LRAM (piano). Williams was awarded all the major prizes for organ performing and, during her studies, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and a Fellow of Trinity College London plus an Associate of the Royal College of Music.
Carol has also visited Paris for study with Daniel Roth, the Organist at the Church of St. Sulpice where the famous Charles-Marie Widor was organist for sixty-three years. Moving to the USA, Carol undertook postgraduate study at Yale University under the direction of Professor Thomas Murray where Williams was appointed University Chapel Organist and was awarded an Artist Diploma together with the Charles Ives prize for outstanding achievement.
Then to New York where Carol became the Associate Organist at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Long Island's Garden City and undertook Doctoral study under Professor McNeil Robinson at the Manhattan School of Music where Williams received the Helen Cohn award for her D.M.A. degree.
In October 2001, Dr. Williams was appointed San Diego Civic Organist and Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society and now devotes all her time to concerts. Other venues at which Carol has performed include: St. Sulpice, Paris; Westminster Abbey; St. Paul's Cathedral; King's College, Cambridge; Queen's College, Oxford; Blenheim Palace; Roskilde Cathedral, Denmark; Woolsey Hall, Yale University; Memorial Chapel, Harvard University; St. Patrick's, New York; Washington National Cathedral; St. Ignatius Loyola, New York; Riverside Church, New York. She has also given concerts in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Holland, Germany and Singapore.
En route, Carol has been elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) in recognition of her contribution to music. A regular broadcaster in the UK and in America, Carol has been the guest performer with a number of leading orchestras including the BBC Concert Orchestra and, more recently, a concert with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra when she performed the inaugural recitals on a newly-installed Austin organ in Beijing's Forbidden City Concert Hall. Carol has been interviewed "live" on many radio programs, in which she has highlighted her profound love of the King of Instruments, and she is featured in the national-awareness video "Pulling out all the Stops" when she was filmed in concert at St. Thomas' Church in New York's Fifth Avenue. She was also privileged to take part in the Virgil Fox Memorial Concert held in the fall of 2000 at New York's Riverside Church and a recording of the memorable event has been released as a double-CD by Gothic Records.
A theatre, silent films and concert organist, Donald has a long association with the Odeon, Leicester Square and has performed all over the world. He has performed for BBC Radios 2,3 and 4 and the World Service, has been featured on many television programmes and has played for numerous Royal Film Performances.
Donald MacKenzie was born in 1970 in Ayrshire (Scotland), and after learning to play the piano and classical organ with renowned Scottish organist Gordon Frier, he received his first engagement in 1988 as the resident organist to the Glasgow Garden Festival. In 1991 Donald was the winner of the Senior Young Theatre Organist of the Year in the A.T.O.S. International Competition and this won him a trip to San Francisco to play at their Convention.
In July 1992 Donald began his long association with the Odeon Leicester Square Compton organ, by playing it for a number of events including a preview of 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Chaplin'. In November 1993 he was engaged to play the organ for 5 weeks before each performance of the film, 'Aladdin'. He was then appointed House Organist and has appeared regularly at film premieres, special events and organ concerts. He has broadcast from the Odeon on BBC Radios 2, 3, 4 and the World Service. He has been featured on a number of television programmes and Donald has played for numerous Royal Film Performances, including four in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen.
Donald is one of the regularly featured artists for the Bournemouth Pavilion Compton Organ Concert Series and a featured artist during the past three years at the Wolverhampton International Organ Festival. 2006 has also marked his third concert at the Albert Hall Nottingham. In 2005 and 2006 Donald gave concerts at the International Johann Strauss Festival held in Bucharest. Both his concerts from the famous Atheneum Philharmonic Concert Hall, were televised. In 2005 Donald was privileged to be asked to open the newly installed Compton organ at Movieland in Newtonards near Belfast. In July 2006 Donald made his debut at the world famous Spreckels Organ housed in the magnificent surroundings of Balboa Park in San Diego.
When he is not playing for concerts Donald specialises in the accompaniment of Silent Films - he accompanied his first film when he was 14 for a special evening screening at Paisley Town Hall. He has now more than twenty feature films 'under his fingers' including the major classics of the silent screen - The Phantom of the Opera, Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, King of Kings, Carmen, The Black Pirate, Metropolis - as well as many different types of short silent films. His now renowned accompaniments have led to numerous bookings throughout the UK (including the Victoria Hall Hanley, Bournemouth Pavilion, in at Wolverhampton City Hall and the Lighthouse Media Centre, in London at the Odeon Leicester Square, Alexandra Palace and St Martin in the Fields, Somerton Arts Festival, in Tywyn at the Neu Pendre Hall), Ireland (in Belfast at St Annes Cathedral and Clonard Monastery), Germany (Weikersheim), USA (Boston University, Rivieria Theatre in Tonawanda), Holland (Scheidam Theatre) and most recently Poland. One of his most treasured memories was playing for the film 'Nosferatu' at the Usher Hall Edinburgh in October 2005 to a very enthusiastic full house. In December 2005 Donald appeared at the Odeon on an ITV programme, demonstrating the art of silent film accompaniment.
His overseas concert appearances have included - in Poland at the Bielsko Biala Bach Festival, in Philadephia (USA) at the Wanamaker Store and Girard College, in Holland for the Nederlands Orgel Federation and several times in Germany playing the Moller organ in the music hall of the world famous organ building firm of August Laukhuff. At this venue he has also played for silent film evenings as part of the Hohenloher Cultural Summer Festival.
Donald is a Bachelor of Music, graduating from the University of London. He also has an interest in Steam Trains, Tram Cars, and enjoys going to orchestral concerts and the opera.
Cathedral Organist who studied under Dame Gillian Wier and Flor Peeters. He has been a member of the Council of the Royal College of Organists and a long-serving patron of the NMSM.
Peter Wright was born in Hertfordshire. He was educated at Highgate School and then spent two years as Organ Exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music, studying with Richard Popplewell (Organ) and Angus Morrison (Piano) and gaining various prizes and diplomas. In 1973 he went to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, as Organ Scholar, where he continued his organ studies with Dame Gillian Weir and with Flor Peeters in Belgium.
Following this Peter Wright became Sub-Organist at Guildford Cathedral and, in March 1989, succeeded Harry Bramma as Organist and Director of Music at Southwark Cathedral. Under his direction the Choir has recorded five CDs, undertaken three tours to the USA and several to the continent and broadcast regularly on television and radio, including recording the signature tune for Mr Bean for Thames Television. In 2001 it sang at the Three Choirs Concert of the St Albans International Organ Festival, and in August 2002 the choristers (both the Boys' and Girls' choirs) participated in a performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion with Trevor Pinnock at the Proms.
Peter Wright is much in demand as an organ recitalist and choral conductor, both here and abroad, and enjoys performing a wide and varied repertoire. He has recorded the first CD of the restored Lewis organ at Southwark for PRIORY which includes the complete published works of the French organist and composer, Augustin Barie. He was principal conductor of the Guildford Chamber Choir from 1984-1994, and of the Surrey Festival Choir from 1987-2001, and was for several years conductor at the annual Edington Festival. He has travelled widely in Europe and elsewhere as conductor and recitalist, including Japan, South Africa, USA, Bermuda, Australia and New Zealand. In 2000 he performed the complete organ works of J S Bach as part of the Monday lunchtime series of recitals at Southwark, and has recently given recitals in Paris at Notre-Dame and La Trinite.
In April 2000 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Guild of Church Musicians in recognition of his work at Southwark. Peter Wright has been a Patron of the North and Midlands School of Music since 1999. From 1997-2002 Peter Wright held the office of Honorary Secretary of the Royal College of Organists, afterwards becoming a Vice-President and retaining his role as Chief Examiner. He held the office of President from March 2005 until June 2008.
Andrew Whelan is organist of All Saints church, New Cross, London. He studied organ under Eric Chadwick at the Royal Manchester College of Music and is also an ARCO.
Andrew Whelan was born in 1945 and received his early education in Bournville. He continued his studies at the Royal Manchester College of Music, studying with Ronald Frost and Eric Chadwick. From 1968 to 1987 he taught in Manchester and York. He conducted and played for the Greater Manchester Police Choirs and Military Band and was organist at Salford Cathedral.
In 1987 he moved to London and since 2001 has been organist of All Saints Church, New Cross, and he has played with the Princess of Wales Regimental Band who are stationed in Canterbury.
Throughout his life Andrew has trained football and tennis teams and from time to time supports Millwall FC who support and provide so much to the community.
Dr Kemp English is one of New Zealand’s leading concert performers.
Much in demand as a solo organist, specialist fortepiano exponent and collaborative pianist, he relishes the opportunity to work in a diverse array of styles and periods.
Dr English enjoyed a distinguished studentship at the Royal Academy of Music in London and later completed a Master of Arts degree in Music Performance from the University of York. In 2001 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of his performing and teaching career.
Four years later, after more than a decade as Executant Lecturer in fortepiano, organ and harpsichord performance and Organist at the University of Otago in New Zealand, he made the decision to freelance and concentrate on his increasingly hectic performing and recording career.
He continues to tour Australasia and Europe as both a solo and collaborative performer. In 2014 he gained a PhD from the University of Adelaide.
I have worked within secondary education all of my working life teaching Music, so I am in total sympathy with the desires and the philosophy of the
NMSM, to encourage the advancement of musical skills and enrichment in a person-centred way, through study and examination processes.
As a Patron I shall endeavour to spread awareness of the NMSM and its unique person centred approaches to the musical development of its members.