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BIOGRAPHY

PERSONAL:  

Colin’s was born in Plaistow (West Ham), in the “East End” of London. He was educated at Plaistow Grammar School but the majority of his musical tuition took place at the local music centre “The Newham Academy of Music in East Ham. He was first inspired by listening to his church organist Edward Parker at the West Ham Central Mission and it was “Ted”, then "Teacher in Charge" at the Academy, who first suggested he might like to learn to play an instrument. They had just taken delivery of a new French Horn and were looking for a suitable youngster to 'have a go' on it. It soon emerged that this young player had more than just an aptitude for the horn and soon Colin was to become a multi instrumentalist with a promising future. At NAM Colin studied Horn (with Edmund Codling), Percussion (with George Scott) and Piano (with Edward Parker himself). He went on to teach himself Guitar & Bass Guitar and experimenting with compositions in all genres of music. In 1972 he gained a place at the music conservatoire  “Trinity College of Music London” (now Trinity Laban) where he studied horn with John Burden, Composition with Richard Arnell, Percussion with Michael Skinner and Conducting with Bernard Keefe. After 4 years on the performers course he graduated with a Fellowship in Composition, two Licentiateship diplomas in horn and conducting respectively and was awarded the “Ricordi Prize” and the college’s nomination for the “Barbirolli Prize”, both for conducting.

On leaving Music College he took the wise decision to do an extra year in further education and went to Trent Park (part of Middlesex Polytechnic) to gain “qualified teacher status”. It was here that he learned the extra skills (courtesy of LSO trombonist Peter Gain) to become an all round brass teacher.

In 1979 he accepted an appointment as Brass & Percussion Teacher back at his first educational institution “The Newham Academy” and went on to develop their move into the more “pop” genres of music that we now take for granted in modern music education. After a spell as Head of Department he moved to Essex Music Service as an advisor on Music Technology at the Southend Music Centre.

During these early years he was fortunate enough to work on both radio and television as well as appearing on stage with Sir Cliff Richard and Jean Michel-Jarre (the later on “the worlds biggest floating stage”) as well as fronting and recording with his own band "Crosstalk" which included legendary drummer Bob Armstrong.

In 1978 he married a fellow musician from his local youth Orchestra, Pauline Powell and they went on to have two children Adam and Joanna both of whom have become talented musicians in their own right. The family relocated to the West Country in 1999 when Colin took up the post of Director of Music at Upton Vale Baptist Church. During this time he appeared with the legendary "Canon & Ball" and comedian Peter Goodwright in a series of concerts in Torbay plus appearances at the "New Eden" Festival.  It was in 2006 that he was head hunted by the then Director of Education to form the new Torbay Music Service during which time he set up the now prestigious Torbay Schools Festival of Performing Arts. 2011 saw early retirement from this post due to a bout failing health but in 2014 (with his health improving) he was appointed as Director of Music for the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth. He retired from this position in December 2017 having been awarded the "Captains Award for Excellence" by Captain Jolyon Woodard RN at their December concert.

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