Chetham’s head to leave after 16 years in post
THE headteacher of Chetham’s School of Music has announced she is stepping down after 16 years in the job.
According to a school spokeswoman, the departure of Claire Moreland is unconnected to separate trials later this year of violinists Malcolm Layfield and Wen Zhou Li who face sex charges.
The head, who has been in place since 1999, announced her exit in an email to 300 students, saying she wanted to give the governors plenty of notice to find her replacement before her retirement in 2016.
She wrote in her email to students: “I am sharing my decision with 18 months’ notice in order to liaise with the school governors as they appoint my successor, and then to work with the new head to lay the foundations for the next exciting phase for Chetham’s, not least involving our new world-class Concert Hall!
“It has been a rare privilege to serve as head of this unique establishment, and I would like to thank everyone sincerely for all the wonderful support I have received throughout my time here, support which has helped me to lead the school through much development and progress.”
In recent years
the school has been rocked by a string of scandals relating to previous teaching staff.
In 2013 the school’s former choir director Michael Brewer, 68, of Selly Oak, Birmingham, was jailed for six years for indecently assaulting former student Frances Andrade in 1979 and 1980.
Mrs Andrade killed herself at her home in Guildford, Surrey, a week after giving evidence against him.
Last year conductor Nicholas Smith, 66, formerly of Macclesfield, was jailed for eight months for assaulting a teenage girl from the school. Two further cases involving former teachers are also set to take place.
Violin teacher Malcolm Layfield, 62, of Victoria Pit Marina, Higher Poynton, Cheshire, a music professor at ‘Chets’, has denied a single count of rape of a young woman in the 1980s.
Another violin teacher, Wen Zhou Li, 59, of Vale Royal Drive, Northwich, has been charged with rape and two offences of indecent assault relating to alleged abuse of a teenage girl in the 1990s. AN artist is set to retrace the steps of an Indian elephant who walked all the way to Manchester from Edinburgh.
Maharaja the Indian Elephant was walked from Scotland to Belle Vue Zoo in 1872 – after the zoo purchased him as a new attraction.
He had meant to go by train – but destroyed his railway carriage, meaning he and his keeper were forced to make the mammoth journey on foot.
Now Manchester comic artist Oliver East is set to retrace the famous elephant’s footsteps, walking the same 200 miles over eight days.
Along the way he will create drawings inspired by scenes along the route as well as being filmed for a documentary ‘Take Me Back to Manchester’ which will be shown at Toronto Comic Art Festival in May this year.
Oliver said: “It’s a story that sits somewhere at the back of most Mancunian’s memories without them ever really knowing what actually happened.
“There is a lot written about Belle Vue Zoo itself, and Maharaja’s life there, but little to nothing about the actual walk Lorenzo undertook, which makes it ripe to mine for linear narrative.”
The exhibition of drawings are due to go on public display early next year.