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|Ralph Allwood awarded an MBE|
|Saturday, 31 December 2011 10:17|
It is with enormous pride and pleasure that Trustees of the Rodolfus Choir and Friends of Ralph Allwood announce the news that Ralph has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List of 2012.
Ralph Allwood has been a champion of young singers for the last forty years and he continues to be a magnificent enabler, providing positive opportunities for youngsters to learn excellent music in the best, most inspiring conditions. An indefatigable encourager, he has spent the last four decades conducting and teaching music, inspiring a huge range of young people to find joy and fulfilment in the greatest music available and he has been responsible for starting the careers of many singers now prominent in the UK’s music industry.
From being a school Director of Music (at Pangbourne, Uppingham and Eton College) he has spent his ‘spare’ time running holiday courses in choral music for young people, providing extraordinary opportunities for children to share facilities and music teaching which are normally reserved for a privileged few during term time. These courses have blossomed for the last thirty or so years from an initial single week’s course to the seven one-week courses which now take place under the Eton Choral Course banner. The strength and continued success of the Eton Choral Courses is entirely due to the creative energy of Ralph Allwood, and these courses are now attended each year by over four hundred singers aged between 16 and 20, open to youngsters from all backgrounds and schools, and over 110 of these courses have now been held.
Not content with devoting his summers to these courses, Ralph has created further chances for some of their participants to meet up again, give concerts and make recordings of outstanding quality in his Rodolfus Choir. This group meets during the remaining few weeks left to him in the year. And when the odd few spare days pop up through his schedule he usually spends them travelling through the country and abroad (from the US to China) coaching other choirs – he was twice invited to be conductor for the National Youth Choir of Wales – and being consultant and judge at festivals such as the Llangollen International Eisteddfod. He has also begun a choral course for younger children in the spring holidays.
Ralph’s Rodolfus Choir goes from strength to strength, with recent recordings of the Bach B Minor Mass, Monteverdi’s Vespers, choral works by Howells and the soon to be released choral music of Elgar. The Rodolfus Choir’s CDs have drawn four-star reviews from BBC Music Magazine, The Times and other national daily newspapers.
Recently retired from Eton College, Ralph is taking his choral work to new communities. One of these projects sees a major new venture, co-founding Inner Voices, a choir for young people from ten different inner London state schools, the group will be launched later this month (18th January 2012).
For more information on the work of Ralph Allwood, please see his website.