Horsham college to create a new West Sussex Music Academy

James Underwood, Ben Dowsett,and Sally Bromley
James Underwood, Ben Dowsett,and Sally Bromley

Ambitious plans for music at the College of Richard Collyer in Horsham have taken a step forward with the appointment of Ben Dowsett as Director of Music.

With a wealth of experience, gained most recently as Head of Music at The Sixth Form College, Farnborough, where he has been responsible for running one of the country’s largest and most successful centres for A-level music, Ben is well positioned to fulfil ambitious plans for music at Collyer’s and to make his mark on musical achievement in West Sussex.

A joint appointment between West Sussex Music and Collyer’s, the new role will see Ben assume the position of Director of Music at Collyer’s, leading the A-level Music course, as well as making a significant contribution to providing progression routes to young musicians across the county.

He will lead the enhanced extra-curricular music programme at Collyer’s and provide countywide support for talented young instrumentalists working with the leadership team at West Sussex Music.

Ben will also lead the West Sussex Music Academy, a new music strand within the Collyer’s Performing Arts Academy, created for the benefit of all Collyer’s students passionate about music, not just those focused on music as a career, but also those who play music to beyond Grade 5 standard and are interested in improving their music performance.

Collyer’s Principal, Sally Bromley, said: “Teaching has been very much the centre of Ben’s career and he was very impressive at interview.

‘‘He demonstrated his belief in the study of music as an academic subject and also as an enrichment activity which nurtures skills and gives pleasure which lasts a lifetime. We are very lucky Ben will be joining us at Collyer’s to teach A-level Music and lead our music enrichment programme from September.”

A Christ’s Hospital alumnus, Ben studied at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Surrey University and the University of Cambridge. He is an active composer, arranger and brass player, and plays with a range of orchestras and bands.

James Underwood, Chief Executive, West Sussex Music, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ben to the team.

‘‘He brings with him a wealth of experience and an energetic vision that will not only reshape the delivery of A-level music at Collyer’s but will impact musicians joining the West Sussex Music Academy.

‘‘I am pleased that the already strong partnership between the College and West Sussex Music will be cemented through this shared appointment.”