Headmaster’s Blog

It’s been an action-packed week, this one, with huge numbers of sports teams taking to the fields and enormous numbers of musicians working hard in some high-profile performance opportunities, namely in Exeter University’s Great Hall and at this evening’s Charity Concert in the Cathedral.  On that music front, I am delighted to share with you this week the news that we have appointed ECS’s new Director of Music.

  Our new Director of Music will be Mr Dylan Quinlivan-Brewer.

After long-list interviews last week, three candidates were taken through to the final short-list earlier this week.  Following assessments/observations in choral directing, ensemble directing, accompanying, administration, teaching, and a number of panel interviews involving Directors of Music from other schools, an ECS Governor, members of the Senior Leadership Team and me, Mr Quinlivan-Brewer emerged as the unanimous outstanding candidate.

Dylan is currently Head of Brass and a class music teacher at the prestigious Wellington College, Berkshire.  He was a Specialist Musician at Wells Cathedral School and is a graduate (Hons) of the Royal College of Music.  He also has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Orchestral Performance and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Advanced Solo Performance from the Royal College of Music.

Mr Quinlivan-Brewer has a stellar professional playing career as a trombonist, having played with the London Sinfonietta, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the London Concert Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and many more.  He is in high demand as a recitalist and adjudicator, and has given masterclasses in some of the top schools across the UK, as well as at the Yerevan Conservatoire, Armenia.

On his appointment to ECS, he says ‘I am delighted to be joining ECS at this very exciting time musically and for all the other interlinked curricula and co-curricula disciplines in the School as a whole.  As a former pupil at Wells Cathedral School and graduate of the Royal College of Music, I value the important link between choral and instrumental music which is essential for aural training and appreciation for all genres of music.  This is very much evident at ECS and I look forward to helping our pupils develop a life-long love of music by developing the ensemble and academic music at this ambitious school.

‘I come to ECS from Wellington College, in Berkshire, where I have been teaching as a member of the full-time music staff for nearly 10 years alongside a career playing with major orchestras in London and my work performing in services and ceremonies in Canterbury Cathedral.  I am married to Davina, who is a university lecturer, and we are the proud parents to our young sons, Inigo and Orlando.

‘I have huge enthusiasm for the transformative power of music and I am very much looking forward to passing this onto the pupils and the staff at ECS to further develop excellence in musical education for all levels and abilities.’

Dylan will be moving to Devon with his wife and two children, and will take up his post at ECS in September 2018.  Meantime, Mr Sean Fitzpatrick continues his outstanding work as Acting Director of Music – which you will be able to see/hear for yourself at this evening’s Charity Concert.  I look forward to seeing you there, and I wish you a happy weekend.

James Featherstone

16 March 2018
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