Commendation from Professor Joseph Morgan
18 November 1957
Mr W. Neville John, B.Mus
Mr WN John entered the department in October 1954. His career before entering college had been different from that of the usual student who comes up to university direct from the grammar school. He received lessons in cello playing from Mr George Isaac, who is the college tutor, for some years before 1954, and he became extremely anxious to try to qualify for entrance to the university in order to pursue a degree course. He succeeded in obtaining matriculation of the university through the examinations held for students of mature age. With his rather limited preparation, he proceeded to apply himself with all his energy to the various sections of the course. His persistence was rewarded at the end of his first year when he obtained a good pass in the Part one examinations in music and in Italian. For the following two years he continued to work tenaciously, and my colleagues and I agree that Mr John’s progress was quite exceptionally good. At the sessional examinations held in June 1957 he had no trouble in gaining a very good Pass, his composition Exercise consisting of a very good work for string quartet.
Mr John studied cello and chamber music as his main practical subjects and he was a most valuable member of the college orchestras. He took part in a number of students’ terminal concerts as a cellist in chamber music groups. He had done little work in pianoforte before entering college, but he also gave much time and energy to this study during the three years of his degree course. In July 1957, he was awarded the David Evans Memorial Prize as a reward for his good work in both theoretical and practical studies. Mr John is at present pursuing a course of study in the Teacher Training Department.
Mr John has a most acceptable personality and he was a popular member of the department. He has sufficient technical ability and knowledge of the subject to ensure success as a teacher of music in a grammar school, and I am happy to be able to recommend him highly to the appointing authority.
Joseph Morgan, D.Mus, FRCO, Professor of Music
Reference from WM Snook, Headmaster
1 September 1961
Mr W. Neville John, B.Mus
Mr John came to this new thru-form entry mixed grammar school in September 1958 as its first music master, and in that time has developed the musical life of the school to the stage where we are able, in spite of the youth of our pupils (the oldest are just entering their fifth year), to put on a full concert of choral and instrumental music each year and to produce a suitable musical contribution on speech day and the like. An orchestral training scheme has been established in which pupils learn to play a wide variety of instruments; the school orchestra plays regularly both for rehearsal and in morning prayers, and is a recognised element in school life. Choral work too has been developed with the result that we now have a large and enthusiastic choir able to sustain the performance of of quite lengthy works.
If my timetable would allow it, I should be happy to enable Mr John to spend all his time teaching music. As it is, apart from general work at the lower end of the school, he has a small GCE set in the fourth and fifth years. But I have had to ask him to spend some of his time on his subsidiary subject, Mathematics, which he has done cheerfully and effectively.
It will be seen that Mr John’s entry into teaching was somewhat later than is usual, but he has by now fully assimilated and is a very acceptable member of the profession.
WM Snook, MA (Cantab), Headmaster
Letter of thanks from Blackwood Musical Theatre Society
1 February 2010
During last season and the start of Wizard of Oz, as you know, we were desperately looking for an MD. Your tremendous support and kindness saw us through this difficult period and without you the society would have been in dire straits.
We appreciate all the time and thought which you afforded us and would like to express our grateful thanks.
We hope that the friendship which spans more than 25 years will continue and we look forward to this.
Once again tremendous thanks,
May Jones, General Secretary