Christopher's Story

"I was a reasonably shy young man at the start of my teens. I suffered from a mild speech impediment that led to a loss of confidence at this critical stage of my adolescence.  I was immensely fortunate to have been brought up in a supportive family where my joint interests in music and sport were nurtured.  However, I was at times very unsure of my own abilities and feared I was being judged by others because of my lack of fluency in speech.

"My experiences at NMPAT were amongst the most influential of my childhood.  I was fortunate to have John Berryman as a teacher; one of the most respected brass players and conductors of his generation. It was John who encouraged me to audition for the county groups. From the moment I joined the Training Brass Band on second baritone as a shy and unassuming 13 year old, to my final concert with the County Youth Brass Band (having held the principal Euphonium seat for 3 years), I felt supported, challenged, valued and respected.  The staff saw me as the young man I was, and allowed me to become the musician I dreamt of being. The Brass team of John, Rachel and Peter, are in my eyes amongst the finest music educators in the country.  They empowered and equipped, whilst always maintaining their excellent pastoral care.

"Through my musical experiences I developed so many core values that have served me in my future work.  Dedication, resilience, the pursuit of excellence, care for others, leadership, and of course advanced level musical skills. My experiences at NMPAT helped me to find my voice, both musically and socially. I have since forged a career as a choral conductor, working as a head of department at one the DfE Specialist Music Schools.  My work has led to much competitive success, high profile performances broadcast on radio globally, critically acclaimed recordings and guest conducting professional choral and instrumental groups throughout this country and overseas.   I am only too aware that my success is forged on the opportunities and instruction afforded to me as a child.  As a result I have continued to dedicate myself to the education of young people alongside my own performing career."

Chrisopher conducting an orchestra Christopher as Guest Conductor, Hong Kong 2016