Director of Music, Whitgift School
Rosie was born in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, home of The Beatles, and Ken Dodd and the Diddymen. From an early age, she enjoyed impromptu performances with her musical family, often described as the 'Von Trapps of Westfield Avenue'. With five brothers and sisters all studying the piano and learning an array of instruments, there was no place for a shrinking violet. As a young player, Rosie achieved the principal oboe position with the Merseyside Youth Orchestra, where she was able to discover the joy of orchestral classics under the guidance of stellar conductors, such as Timothy Reynish, Nicholas Cleobury, Sian Edwards and Sir Charles Groves.
In 1985, Rosie achieved a coveted Exhibition Award and a place to study at the Royal College of Music. After graduating, she embarked on a career as a freelance oboist, playing in professional orchestras and chamber ensembles in London. Having been invited to perform as a regular oboe soloist with the Band of the Blues and Royals, Rosie was subsequently appointed professor of oboe at the Army Junior School of Music, a role which resulted in some of the most challenging and unique musical experiences of her career. She has performed and recorded with Paul Weller many times, including as part of a remarkable tribute concert for Ronnie Lane and the Small Faces at the Royal Albert Hall. However, being cast as a soloist in the 1991 Royal Tournament at Earls Court, and entering the arena on the back of a horse-drawn cart playing Mozart’s Don Giovanni, accompanied by 300 military musicians, remains one of her fondest musical memories.
After completing a PGCE at Durham University in 1996, Rosie began her career at Whitgift. Rosie is a Trinity College of Music examiner and an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals. She has been central to the establishment of the Whitgift International Music Competition, and in this role continues to develop long-lasting links with international music schools, visiting countries as far afield as Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Italy, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
Appearing on the Jeremy Vine show with young Whitgift musicians, following her Huffington Post article, ‘Music Saved My Life’, Rosie highlighted her hopes of creating further opportunities for talented young musicians and developing inspiring educational projects for primary school children. A keen conductor and composer, in November 2012 Rosie directed the première of her work The Gift at Croydon’s Fairfield Halls, a project which involved over 300 Whitgift pupils, singing alongside the choirs of Elmhurst School, with over 1500 children from Croydon primary schools in attendance.
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