David Milsted

David Milsted

A rmed with an Arts Honours Degree from

Dartington College, a Licentiate Diploma and a Certificate in Education,

David set foot with some trepidation into the unfamiliar world of a private school in the January of 1993 to teach woodwind.

At this time, the Music School was divided between the premises next door to the Stahl Theatre

and the Old Sanatorium, with the woodwind department nestled snuggly in the barn conversion situated at the former.

During the warmer months, many an ad hoc barbecue was enjoyed by David and members of his team,

and Friday morning break-times were frequently spent down the road at Fitzgerald’s Bistro (now the Onkar restaurant),

occasionally resulting in a more mellow rest of the day.

It was during these halcyon days that David made

the mistake of allowing his ability to conduct and rehearse an orchestra to be discovered,

and he was quickly conscripted to run both the School Symphony and Chamber Orchestras.

Both orchestras flourished under his direction, producing some memorable concerts. The evening of four concertos with pupil soloists accompanied

by the Symphony Orchestra was a particular highlight, featuring Miho Hirobayashi with the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, and Ian Farrington performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

As well as developing the variety of chamber groups for the woodwind pupils to be involved with,

David saw the need for a tiered arrangement of wind ensembles, based on his own musical experience at school.

So, from the very large Concert band, he and Richard Kauffman formed a more specialist Wind Orchestra which the younger players could aspire towards and this group is still flourishing

and exploring the more challenging repertoire of the Wind Band world. September 1993 saw the arrival of a new Head of Drama,

 Robert Lowe, and he and David soon discovered that they had a mutual love of musical theatre, and so began a partnership of Director

and Musical Director lasting over 10 years, resulting in the school productions of Cabaret, Jack the Ripper, My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Cinderella and Little Shop of Horrors.

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