Monday, February 24, 2014

Visit of John Catlow, former Director of Music

Just before half-term it was a great pleasure to welcome back to the School the former Director of Music, John Catlow, who came to be filmed in preparation for the Centenary event at the Royal Albert Hall this October.

Mr Catlow was the School's first Director of Music, teaching at the Vaughan from 1981-1986. He was at the School a relatively short time but his impact was huge and he set in motion much of the momentum that we still build on to this very day.

Whilst the Vaughan already possessed a strong singing tradition at the time Mr Catlow arrived (and the formation of the Schola in 1980 by then Headmaster Anthony Pellegrini, was to develop this aspect further) the instrumental music was less well developed.

 Former Director of Music John Catlow with the Director of Music

Mr Catlow had previously been a very successful professional cellist, playing with the LSO, the Halle and as principal cello of English National Opera and it was to the instrumental performing, and the classroom music (which was then a very new invention, regarded by many as radical!) that he set his very considerable energies and talents.

Within three years of his arrival the School possessed an orchestra that performed at several important occasions in and around London, most memorably performing Malcolm Arnold's Little Suite in the presence of the composer at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1986.

After leaving the Vaughan Mr Catlow worked for the following twenty years at Camden School for Girls, building a very successful music department there.

It was a real joy to spend a little time with this wonderful man - you will be able to hear a little of what he had to say about his time at the Vaughan at the Centenary Event at the Royal Albert Hall this October.


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