Con­duc­tor sur­prised at pres­ti­gious award

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

AN ‘AD­MIRED’ con­duc­tor who de­votes his time to mu­sic in the com­mu­nity has won the Michael Crax­ton Award.

Peter Wil­liams, founder and con­duc­tor of the Hilling­don Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra and the Hilling­don Choral So­ci­ety, re­ceived the hon­our from mayor Ge­orge Cooper at a Hilling­don Arts As­so­ci­a­tion (HAA) con­cert.

The award is the high­est ac­co­lade HAA can give and is in trib­ute to Michael Crax­ton, its for­mer pres­i­dent and mayor of the bor­ough of Hilling­don in 1995.

Mr Wil­liams said he was ‘re­ally sur­prised and felt priv­i­leged’ to re­ceive the pres­ti­gious award.

He added: “Few peo­ple get it and it marks the ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the things I’ve done in Hilling­don.

“I was de­lighted that Jane Crax­ton, Michael Crax­ton’s daugh­ter, was present.”

Mr Wil­liams be­gan his ca­reer in mu­sic as head of mu­sic of Barnhill High School in 1973 and has no plans to slow down.

He said: “I’ll con­tinue to make mu­sic and I’ve got some good things com­ing up – a fam­ily con­cert in Fe­bru­ary and a choral con­cert in March.

“We have 100 peo­ple go­ing to Hol­land in May on a con­cert tour.”

HAA trustee Ly­dia Hol­land said it was hard to think of any­one who has ‘given more to mu­sic in Hilling­don’ than Mr Wil­liams.

She added: “It speaks vol­umes for the high re­gard in which Peter is held, that at the Triple An­niver­sary con­cert, pre­sented at Cado­gan Hall, in Lon­don, in hon­our of his 60th birth­day in July 2011, there were peo­ple present from ev­ery school where he has worked and ev­ery club and so­ci­ety with which he has been as­so­ci­ated through all this time.

“Peter is ad­mired by ev­ery­one who knows him and we are so very lucky to have him here in Hilling­don.”

Mr Wil­liams’ ex­ten­sive roles over the year in­clude mu­si­cal di­rec­tor for op­er­atic and mu­si­cal show per­for­mances, na­tional mu­si­cal di­rec­tor of the Free Church Choir, an ex­am­iner for the Lon­don Col­lege of Mu­sic and a pi­ano teacher.

In 2002, the Hilling­don Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra had the hon­our of play­ing for The Queen’s walk­a­bout af­ter lunch at Gun­ners­bury Park dur­ing her Golden Ju­bilee year.

The Queen was heard to say ‘what lovely mu­sic’ as she passed the stage.

n ‘DE­LIGHTED’: Peter Wil­liams with Jenny Thorne, the HAA awards sec­re­tary

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