Colin Touchin has been Director of Music at the University of Warwick for over 13 years, during which time he has built up the number of ensembles from 6 to 20 and the frequency of performances from 10 a year to over 50 per annum. Previously he was Head of Composition at Chetham s School of Music in Manchester, where for 8 years he conducted the Classical Orchestra, founded the Symphonic Wind Orchestra, taught clarinet, recorder, composition, conducting, chamber music, electronic music and jazz.
At Warwick he has prepared the Chamber Choir (who sang in the televised Sainsbury s Choir of the Year Adult Class in 2000, and who have won silver or gold in all but one international festival entered since 1989) to sing Mozart Requiem and Vivaldi Gloria with the London Mozart Players and Matthias Bamert, and Holst The Planets with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Vernon Handley, and the large Chorus for Mahler 2 with the RPO and Gilbert Kaplan; and he has conducted premieres of commissions with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble he established in 1994, an ensemble which in 2002 gained a Gold Award in the Open Class Finals of the National Concert Band Festival at the Royal Northern College of Music. These distinctions are believed to be the highest gained by any university ensembles in the UK, yet Warwick has no degree course in music, all students combining together through enthusiasm and love for music-making to the highest possible standards.
From Oxford University (music degree from Keble College in 1974) he gained the Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Manchester in 1975, and taught in Manchester and Cheshire schools as peripatetic clarinet teacher. He was woodwind coach and wind band conductor for Trafford and Stockport Youth Orchestras. He conducted the Gorton Philharmonic Society and King Edward Musical Society of Macclesfield (choir and orchestra) for several years. He became a staff tutor at Stockport Recorder College where he conducted the first regular Recorder Orchestra in the world; Colin has also tutored at the Northern Recorder Course, at the Dolmetsch Summer School, on the European Youth Summer Music course as conductor and composer, and for nine years at the Dartington International Summer School. He has conducted the National Youth Wind Orchestras of Great Britain and Luxembourg.
He is in increasing demand to lead workshops for peripatetic staff in conducting and ensemble-coaching techniques, and has visited over 20 countries in the last 7 years to conduct choirs, orchestras, wind and brass bands and ensembles, to adjudicate and to coach students and staff.
His compositions have been broadcast on national and local radio and TV. He has been an adjudicator at music festivals for 27 years (including saxophones in Luxembourg, choirs in Slovakia, wind orchestras in New Zealand, and almost two hundred invitations to UK festivals). He has served on committees for the Incorporated Society of Musicians (national and regional), Society of Recorder Players, British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles (national and regional Chairman). He founded Warwick Orchestral Winds (originally Midlands Wind Orchestra, 1992), the Universities Honours Band (1996), and the National Youth Recorder Orchestra (2002).
CCA's Composer of the Month April 2013, Colin Touchin, has had a full and varied life in music from being the Director of Music at the University of Warwick for many years, a respected and...