MBE for Peter Rose and Anne Conlon
The Queen's new year's honours list includes two 'Spartans': composer Peter Rose and lyricist Anne Conlon, directors of "Rose Conlon Music", distributed exclusively by Spartan Press.
A million thanks to all of you who have offered congratulations and expressed such great pleasure at Anne Conlon and myself being awarded MBE’s in the New Year’s Honours List. The award came as a total - but lovely - surprise on November 26th, my birthday. In truth, I thought it was going to be a request for a former student’s reference! However, It turned out to be a very special present indeed. Being sworn to absolute secrecy by the Cabinet Office (scary!) - I couldn’t even tell my mum until just before the list was published late last night!
I really don’t want to turn this into an Oscar type speech (!) - but I do have to say that the award’s citation “for services to music education and conservation, in the UK and abroad” surely has to embrace every one of you who has been involved in our environmental choral works, whether as performer, colleague, parent, helper - and not least, close friends and family.
I know Anne is keen to join me in also remembering with gratitude our friends at WWF-UK, firstly our original mentor, the wonderful Ivan Hattingh, who as inspirational Head of Development at WWF-UK commissioned from us the world’s first environmental musical - Yanomamo, followed by African Jigsaw, Ocean World and Arabica; if we deserve an MBE, then Ivan surely deserves a knighthood. We must also mention Ivan’s colleagues Peter Martin and Cherry Duggan, and the present education team of Karen Gates and Liz Rossall who continued to place their faith in us by commissioning more recently One Sun One World, premiered at the Royal Albert Hall. And then there’s our London publishers, Josef Weinbergers Ltd - whose managing director Sean Gray and his colleagues Lewis Mitchell and Alex Dangerfield have continued to publish and promote our environmental works for over thirty years.
In Arabica, we sang: “...Are you sailing on an empty sea? Do you journey on your own?...”
Well, Anne and I have certainly not journeyed on our own since The Conversion Job, our very first collaboration way back in 1980. For over 25 years, we enjoyed the company of generations of young performers from St Augustine’s RC High School in Billington, who through their amazing premiere performances in some of the country’s most prestigious halls introduced our music to a nationwide audience, never failing to attract standing ovations, and who through their phenomenal TV, radio and CD recordings, inspired hundreds of thousands of children throughout the world to sing out proudly the message of conservation, reminding audiences on every continent of our responsibility to care for the earth and all its inhabitants.
So thanks once again to you all. We gladly accept this award on behalf of each and every one of you. x