Tony is a musician, academic and educator with 25 years experience in the education sector. His role at ICMP is the strategic leadership and management of the institution’s academic provision, portfolio of programmes, teaching and learning development, research and scholarship, and the faculty team. He is a Professor of Music Education and Chair of ICMP’s Academic Board.
Tony’s career history is unusual in that he’s had the privilege of working in all educational phases and sectors, from primary through to doctoral study, and he prides himself on a comprehensive understanding of music learning processes. Prior to joining ICMP Tony was Head of Teacher Education at Nottingham Trent University, lectured at Birmingham Conservatoire, taught in schools and colleges and worked as a freelance composer and performer. His expertise as a designer of participatory music education projects has led him to work with a wide range of organisations including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. Tony is also a longstanding advocate and mentor for Music For Youth.
Tony qualified with a First Class BA(Hons) in Contemporary Music and a PGCE in Secondary Music from the University of Leeds, and subsequently completed his PhD at Birmingham Conservatoire. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Contemporary Music For All (CoMA), Vice-Chair of Governors at Charnwood Academy, Staffordshire, and a non-executive member of the Academic Board at Met Film School.
His research specialism combines the world of experimental music and the avant-garde with music pedagogy, community music practice, and music education more generally. A major book, The Legacy of Cornelius Cardew (2013), has become a seminal text on the composer, and other publications include The GCSE Composition Course (a set of 5 textbooks published by Peters Edition) and Valuing Music in Special Needs Settings (2016
Alongside his academic career Tony manages to maintain a life as a musician and can still occasionally be found playing the piano around the pubs in his hometown of Lichfield. He was a founder member and toured internationally with the Pound Shop Boys (1998-2010), was Music Director of CoMA Birmingham (2003-5) and resident percussionist with CoMA East Midlands for 10 years. His music has been performed by the Cornelius Cardew Ensemble, Backbeat Percussion Ensemble, Stockholm’s Great Learning Orchestra and he has produced numerous albums of experimental electronica under the guise of Boring Phil. Outside of music, Tony is awaiting Rick Stein’s retirement from TV, to make room for his own series on seafood cuisine.