8th march 1961
MP is born in Woodford, a suburb in the north-east of London
1963 – 1979
Lives in or near Canterbury
1966 – 1972
Pupil at St Thomas’s Roman Catholic Primary School
A descant recorder is delivered by Santa Claus.
Clarinet lessons commence. 8th birthday presents include Acker Bilk’s Stranger on the Shore LP.
1972 – 1979
Pupil at Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys
Starts singing in St Thomas’s Church choir. Alto voice gradually slides down to tenor
Starts piano lessons
1974 – July 1979
Studies at Kent Junior Music School in Maidstone. Saturday morning classes include piano lessons, theory and aural tests, choir and orchestra. Clarinet lessons every alternate week in London with Georgina Dobrée, then from 1977 with Margaret Archibald.
1975 – 1979
Member of the Kent Youth Orchestra. Courses of up to two weeks each holiday at either Benenden or Cobham Girls’ Schools. Highlight is 1977 tour to Germany including a performance in Berlin’s Philharmonie Hall of Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Dvorak’s 8th Symphony.
Also in this period played in a memorable performance of Berlioz’s Symphonie Funèbre et Triomphale conducted by Colin Davis in Canterbury Cathedral.