Andrew Wilson-Dickson Andrew Wilson-Dickson


Andrew Wilson-DicksonI have been teaching without formal qualification since 1972. My first job was as a Lecturer in Music at Leicester University. It must have been the smallest University Music Department in the country. I was one of two full-time staff. For a short while I worked with John Currie and then for the rest of the time (till 1983) with Robert Meikle. Music was only offered as a component of a Combined Studies Degree course (three subjects taken in year one, two in year two, one in year three). Eventually the status of music was raised to the point where it could be taken as the major element (running through all three years).

Practical music-making was a strong element. I conducted choirs, large and small, the University orchestra and formed the chamber orchestra 'Proteus', which possibly still exists. I wrote a number of pieces for these groups, notably Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1977) for the orchestra and chorus, Litany (1983) and Sefyllfa a Sgwrs (for Proteus, 1981).

A year after I left for the Welsh College of Music and Drama the department at Leicester was closed, Robert Meikle moving to Birmingham University. At the WCMD I found myself initially in a turbulent and troubled place, with considerable worries about the abilities of both staff and students. I looked after the BA course to begin with, moving to responsibilities for post-graduates in 1995. Happily the place is unrecognisable compared to those earlier days and there is now great challenge and stimulus to be had from the musical and academic opportunities of the place.

In 2005 I formally retired from the College, though I still teach there for perhaps half a day a week.

For four crazy years, my wife Lucy and I established and ran an early music summer school, backed by the RWCMD and based at Atlantic College in St Donats Castle. It ran from 1994 – 97 and was in general successful, attracting students (numbering maybe 45 at the peak) from all over the world. Teachers included Alison Bury, Marion Scott, Rachel Brown, Susanna Heinrich, Bob Spencer, Jeremy Ward. But preparing for it and running it was a killer, especially following a demanding academic year. We are thinking of starting something similar soon, but based in our house in Marnaves.