Durham Alumni – Global Connections

International Schools’ Choral Music Society


Chinese New Year 2015:

Two Durham alumni crossed paths at a music festival for International School students in Shanghai - ISCMS XI (International Schools’ Choral Music Society).

Martin Crozier (Mathematics, University College, 1996-2000) was working at Dulwich International High School Suzhou as Head of Maths, and Paul West (Music, St John’s College, 2000-03) had joined Dulwich College Beijing as Director of Performing Arts.

Although Martin and Paul narrowly missed each other during their time at Durham they reminisced over Durham memories and soon found themselves collaborating on a number of projects.

Paul and Martin are both committee members of the International Schools’ Choral Music Society (ISCMS).

Each year, ISCMS holds a festival for more than 350 musicians from International Schools around the world, working with world-renowned conductors, and premiering works by famous composers including Karl Jenkins and the double GRAMMY award winning Christopher Tin. Recent repertoire has included Mozart’s Mass in C, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music and Orff’s Carmina Burana.

As a mathematician and a musician, Martin became Treasurer in 2016 for ISCMS X, which Paul was the Festival Director of in Beijing, and Paul became Secretary in 2017 for ISCMS XI, which Martin was the Festival Director of in Suzhou.

Paul and Martin work together on numerous occasions each year on sourcing repertoire, funding, contracting practitioners, setting up registrations, communicating with young musicians and their teachers, and securing concert venues such as the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and the Shanghai Symphony Hall. Martin has even been known to jump on a high-speed train from Suzhou to Beijing to play viola in the Orchestra that Paul conducts!

Both Paul and Martin proudly remember cutting their teeth in music societies in Durham, organising events and managing concerts. The opportunities that were available at Durham we invaluable in giving them the skills required to organise and run such a high profile event such as ISCMS.

Martin was actively involved in the musical opportunities at Castle, including conducting the Castle Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, and as a viola player in DUOS and Durham Sinfonia. Paul was similarly busy with music societies, as conductor of both DUOS Orchestras, a member of the University Chamber Choir and Musical Director for a number of DULOG productions.

You can find out more about Music at Durham at www.musicdurham.org


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