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West Sussex Music and The College of Richard Collyer Make Strategic New Joint Appointment

MON 08 APR 2019

Marking the beginning of an exciting new era for music education at the College, West Sussex Music and The College of Richard Collyer announce the appointment of Ben Dowsett as Director of Music. With a wealth of experience, gained most recently as Head of Music at The Sixth Form College, Farnborough where he is currently responsible for running one of the country's largest and most successful centres for A Level music, Ben is well positioned to fulfil ambitious plans for music at Collyer’s and to make his mark on musical achievement in West Sussex.

A joint appointment between West Sussex Music and Collyer’s, the new role will see Ben assume the position of Director of Music at Collyer’s, leading the A Level Music course, as well as making a significant contribution to providing progression routes to young musicians across the county. He will lead the enhanced extra-curricular music programme at Collyer’s and provide countywide support for talented young instrumentalists working with the leadership team at West Sussex Music. Ben will also lead the West Sussex Music Academy, a new music strand within the Collyer’s Performing Arts Academy, created for the benefit of all Collyer’s students passionate about music, not just those focused on music as a career, but also those who play music to beyond Grade 5 standard and are interested in improving their music performance.

“Teaching has been very much the centre of Ben’s career and he was very impressive at interview.  He demonstrated his belief in the study of music as an academic subject and also as an enrichment activity which nurtures skills and gives pleasure which lasts a lifetime.  We are very lucky Ben will be joining us at Collyer’s to teach A Level Music and lead our music enrichment programme from September.” Said Collyer’s Principal, Sally Bromley.

A Christ’s Hospital alumnus, Ben completed his undergraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he graduated with a BMus (Hons) in Music, his postgraduate studies include a Masters in Composition and Conducting at Surrey Universityand a PGCE in Secondary Music from the University of Cambridge.  An active composer, arranger and brass player, Ben plays with a range of orchestras and bands and was formerly a member of the award-winning Friary Guildford Brass Band and has enjoyed solo success on stage in roles such as Pish Tush in The Mikado and Robin / Sir Ruthven in Ruddigore. 

“We are delighted to welcome Ben to the team. He brings with him a wealth of experience and an energetic vision that will not only reshape the delivery of A Level music at Collyer’s but will impact musicians joining the West Sussex Music Academy. Ben’s instrumental and compositional skills will be invaluable to the work of West Sussex Music in our provision of music lessons in schools and at our Horsham Music Centre. I am pleased that the already strong partnership between the College and West Sussex Music will be cemented through this shared appointment.” said James Underwood, Chief Executive, West Sussex Music.

Ben Dowsett

West Sussex Music Chief Executive James Underwood together with Ben Dowsett and Collyer's Principal, Sally Bromley