Allington Strings Conductor - MARK WESTWOOD-Gould

Mark started composing and conducting at an early age, directing a Brass group at a school concert of his own arrangement of The Snowman. Whilst studying his A-levels he also directed several instrumental and vocal groups and was assessed conducting Britten's Simple Symphony as part of his A-level qualification.

Mark read music at Cardiff University and studied Trombone, Double Bass and Voice and majored in Composition. His earlier pieces, a short piece for soprano and chamber ensemble; a string quartet; a collection of unaccompanied carols and a Violin Concertino, were inspired by the work of the post-war Polish composers Lutoslawski, Gorecki and Penderecki. He continued his post-graduate studies in composition, winning commissions to write pieces for the Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra and having pieces performed and recorded by the BBC NOW conducted by Jac van Steen. Whilst at Cardiff University he conducted the University Contemporary Music Group and Chamber Orchestra, developing the work of undergraduate composers.

Mark developed and directed a 4 year composition project in partnership with Cardiff University, UWIC and the Arts Council for Wales, supporting young composers across 24 schools in South Wales. He went on to become an examiner, teacher and research fellow at Bristol University. He now teaches music at Maiden Beech Academy in Crewkerne, has several string pupils and regularly performs with several local chamber groups, choirs and orchestras. He is continuing his vocal training with Jeff Stewart and has appeared as a tenor soloist with Somerset Voices, The Constanzi Consort and Cantemus Cum Spiritu, in venues ranging from small parish churches to Ripon Cathedral, Southwell Minster and St Paul's Cathedral.