After nearly eight years of energetic service, Jonathan Kershaw has finally left the ranks of Spartan Press to become the new general manager of Cardiff Music. This post will suit his new family status much better than the nomadic and lonely existence of a sales rep, and while he will be missed greatly at both Spartan and Cramer (who shared his services), we wish him every success in his new, more appropriate role.
Jon first presented himself as a keen bassoonist and eminently employable musician while still a student at Merton College Oxford. He just knocked on our door in Old Marston, Oxford and introduced himself.
Much later, when Jon had completed a further two years study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, we offered him what we all thought was a temporary job as sales co-ordinator in the Old Brewery House, Monmouthshire in the last few months prior to Spartan's big re-location to the Highlands. In fact Jon played a lynch-pin role in holding the company together during those exciting 'Dunkirk' like times, working both totally alone down in the Welsh Brewery for weeks while the rest of us were searching for the right location up near Inverness. Jon then moved up to the Highlands himself for some months, erecting shelving in sub-zero temperatures (good team building stuff) while running the sales and credit control departments amidst the chaos of building conversion work on Strathmashie House!
From 2000 - 2006, Jon hit the road as the new 'Spartan Rep' for the UK and Ireland ("Our man in Havana"), following in the footsteps of the two Marks (Goddard and Pulman), and then Sarah Garratt from 1999 - 2000. The roving life of the rep suited Jon in those days, allowing him the freedom to accept professional bassoon playing work, as and when each freelance opportunity occurred, in various orchestras including the BBC Philharmonic (with recordings and gigs at the 'Proms' for example).
In honour of Jonathan's supreme dedication to the Spartan cause over so many years, he has been presented with the 'freedom of Strathmashie': an award which provides free holidays in the Highlands for life (or until we decide to relocate to an even wackier location?...)!