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Tom Chapman ↑ back

Tom originally joined Beckenham Junior Choir in 1995 and left in 1999. He then returned in 2002 as a guest pianist and accompanied us in our production of Dracula by Carey Blyton. He then later returned to our team as a regular accompanist, attending our weekly practices and playing at our concerts. Tom is also an accomplished Bassoonist and a singer of high standard. His sister, Emily has accompanied the choir as part of a musical ensemble, playing her Oboe on several occasions.

"John Webber has been a massive influence on my life. He taught me piano from a young age and introduced me to singing."
Tom achieved his Grade 8 piano in 2006, after 10 years of piano lessons with John Webber. He has now gone on to study music at York University.
“John is very good at giving opportunities. He’s amazing at building children’s confidence to perform in a friendly environment that they never thought was possible. John’s ability to organise has given children the chance to play and make music with other children of similar ages from many different schools.”
Tom believes that accompanying the choir greatly helped his piano playing as it introduced him to a wide variety of music and increased his knowledge of many different styles and techniques.

We have just heard from Tom who says “I have had a marvellous experience studying music at York University, learning about composing music and writing a number of pieces myself, including a full scale requiem.
Now that I have finished I’m going to New Zealand for a year to work in the music department of a school in Wanganui on the North Island.”

An update has been received from New Zealand! Tom says:

"To keep you up-to-date, I am doing very well in NZ! Working very hard teaching all these kiwi kids. Their work ethic is not like English students, a lot of the kids will finish school and then go back to the farm or to the army etc, and those that want to go to uni are only driven to get minimum grade required, after that they don't care. Teaching them is sometimes difficult therefore but its an interesting challenge. I have been teaching ukulele to the younger kids and doing some really gritty stuff with the cleverest ones in the top year, including Britten's War req, penderecki and Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem. About to get ripped into some of the Brahms Req also. They are far more fun to teach than the rest!  Although my main job is with the choir, i have been conducting the school chapel choir, who are ok. It takes them a long time to pick anything up and their sight reading skills are pretty bad, no surprises i suppose. the majority can't read music! But none the less there are some keen kids in there.  Starting a smaller chamber group soon who will be tackling some more interesting repetoire which is exciting. 
 
I will soon be packing my bags and flying off to the south island in their spring holiday, apparently thats the best time to go as the scenary is just beautiful.  We are getting a train across the island to see some of the glaciers etc. then hiring a car and i am driving round the bottom and back round.  All totalling up about 2wks of travel.  I can't wait for that, will be nice to get out of the school for a bit, as much as i like it, it's easy to get stuck in the bubble! Hoping to go to Australia in the summer but currently thats all in the planning."