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Sutton Valence School

Full Time Staff

Director of Music: Philip Horley (Organ, Piano and Flute)

I have been the Director of Music since 2002. Before then, I was the Assistant Director of Music from 1990, so now I am one of the longest serving members of staff. I studied the organ under John Rippin at Chingford Parish Church, before gaining the Organ Scholarship at St John’s College, York, studying under David Lang. After gaining my degree, I won a place at the Royal Northern College of Music to study advanced organ playing, choir training and harpsichord, studying under Ronald Frost and Gordon Stewart. Beyond my involvement with Music, I am a Gold Assessor for the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, Master in Charge of the School Shooting Team and build model railways!

Assistant Director of Music: Jonathan Soman BA (Clarinet, Saxophone and Piano)

Jonathan Soman studied clarinet and saxophone at the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music before studying music at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. Whilst at Oxford, he was involved in many theatrical productions, including musically directing a production of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music in the Oxford Playhouse. He sang with the award winning a capella group “Out of the Blue”. On graduation in 2013, he came to Sutton Valance, where in his first year he musically directed the School’s production of We Will Rock You. He is responsible for conducting the Chapel Choir. Away from Sutton Valence, he leads a youth Bible study group at his church in Loose.

Head of Strings: David Holmes LRAM (Violin and Viola)

David Holmes was appointed the School’s first Head of Strings in 1999. He began playing the violin at the age of 9 and by 14 he had won an award to study under Carmel Kaine from the Royal Academy. In 1990 he took a place at the Royal academy of Music to study violin with Nicholas Miller and viola with John White.  Since his appointment to Sutton Valence, he has built up the Strings to a very high level. The Senior Strings now regularly perform such works as Elgar’s Serenade, the Holdberg Suite and other famous works to great acclaim. When he is not working on music, he is often found on the golf course making sure his handicap is in single figures.

Instrumental Teachers

Eileen Field (Singing) ARAM. GRSM, LRAM. ARCM

Eileen studied at the Royal Academy of Music under Guy Johnson and Flora Nielsen. Eileen adjudicates for the British and International Federation of Music Festivals. She is a grade and diploma moderator and examiner for the ABRSM and was lead consultant for the selection of the singing syllabus.

Amanda Holmes (Piano and Singing) BA

Mrs Holmes studied Music at Christ Church College, Canterbury before moving onto her MA in piano accompaniment. Before being appointed to the staff at Sutton Valence in 1999, she taught at St. Edmund’s, Dover and Kent Music School.

Andrew Keeping (Guitar) ARAM LRAM (Hons) Prof.cert (Hons)

Andrew studied guitar at the Royal Academy of Music under Michael Lewin and Timothy Walkerman and took master classes under Julian Breame and John Williams. He has performed at venues all over the world, including the Southbank and in front of the Spanish Royal family.

Jamie Selby (Drums) BA (Hons) Diploma Popular Music Studies 

Jamie is a Drumtech and Canterbury Christchurch graduate who has been taught by the best in the music business, including Ralph Salmins (Robbie Williams) and Pete Riley. Jamie has recorded and toured the UK, Europe and USA with named artists including: contestants of BBC's Fame Academy, ITV's Pop Idol and X factor. Jamie also works with tribute and function bands across the UK.

Clare Mount (Piano) GRSM (Hons) LRAM DipRAM

Clare Mount studied piano and harpsichord at the Royal Academy of Music with Ruth Harte and Virginia Black. During her time there she won the Raymond Russell Intercollegiate Harpsichord competition. She performed a solo recital at the Wigmore Hall and has given regular concerts as soloist and accompanist in the South East

Carol Basden (Clarinet and Saxophone) GRSM (Hons) Dip. RCM

Carol studied clarinet at The Royal College of Music under John McCaw, where she won an exhibition. Since leaving College she has performed with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Lisbon, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the Festival Chamber Orchestra and has worked with Paul Patter and John Harle.

Fraser Bowles (Cello)

Fraser first played the cello at Sutton Valence Preparatory School. Since then his teachers have included Joely Koos and David Burrowes. He has performed the solo in Elgar’s Cello Concerto in several cities in Germany.

John Summerfield (Double Bass) Bmus GGSM LRAM

John Summerfield studied the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and then Goldsmiths College. He has been Head of Music, Bandmaster and has worked for Kent Music School, and now works around Kent teaching and performing.

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