Malcolm Matthews

Musical Director

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Malcolm was born in Penzance, Cornwall in 1948 and brought up in a musical environment; his mother played the piano and organ, while his father was deeply involved in music in west Cornwall as a conductor of choirs and operatic societies, and as a church organist.

After qualifying as a teacher in 1970 at the College of St. Mark & St. John in Chelsea, he began a career in education at Culverhay School in Bath and in 1971 became Head of Music. During his six years there he was a member of Bath Choral Society under the direction of Clifford Harker.

In 1976 he moved to Plymouth to take up the post of Head of Music at Southway School and was subsequently given the added responsibility of Head of House. While in Plymouth he was Assistant Director of Music of the Philharmonic Choir and Musical Director of the Carmenians of Plymouth. In the latter position he worked with professional directors such as Chris de Souza of the English National Opera. Shows ranging from La Belle Hélène to South Pacific were staged at the Palace Theatre to capacity audiences of 1200 during, arguably, the company’s most successful period. In 1981 Malcolm was asked to organise and direct music for the ‘dry runs’ prior to the opening of the Theatre Royal in Plymouth.

In 1982 he moved to Stockbridge, Hampshire to become Director of Music at Marsh Court Preparatory School, which gave him experience of teaching a younger age group. After obtaining a B.A. degree through the Open University, he moved to Lyme Regis in 1990 as Head of Music at the Woodroffe School. During his eight years there many young people went on to study at music at university and the Madrigal Group toured regularly, including a very successful trip to America.

In 1998 Malcolm decided on a change of direction and became a freelance musician of piano, theory, woodwind and brass instruments. He now teaches in East Devon. In coming back to Devon he resumed his conducting interest in operatic and choral music and has been Musical Director of the Axminster Choral and Operatic Societies as well as the Axe Valley Operatic Society. He served on the East Devon Arts Committee as Choral Representative.

Since 2000 he has been Musical Director of the Ottery St. Mary Choral Society, in which time the choir has grown from 28 to over 80 members. The music has been varied and of a high standard.

Apart from music, Malcolm has a great interest in most sports. He likes: playing and watching golf, tennis, football (a Plymouth Argyle supporter), crosswords, jigsaws and sudoku. He dislikes: holidays away.

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