Mansfield music teacher wins Classic FM Lifetime Achievement Award

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A music teacher from Mansfield has been honoured at the Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year Awards.

Meryl Chambers was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award in front of five thousand people on stage at the Royal Albert Hall. Now in their 16th year, the awards were held this week as part of the Music for Youth Schools Proms Concerts.

The Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year Awards celebrate and reward those teachers who have made a real difference to the musical lives of young people. Meryl will receive musical equipment and instruments from Yamaha and software from Avid’s Sibelius music education range.

The judges commented: “For 55 years Meryl has been inspiring people of all ages through her lifelong career in teaching and managing the development of music in the Mansfield area. Meryl has led numerous schools departments as Head of Music to great success, has sat on the board of GCSE music examinations and advised Nottingham County Council for Music teaching in the area. It is with choral conducting, however, that Meryl has touched the lives of so many. The Singers, set up by Meryl in 2000, is a choir of over 30 girls, mainly teenagers. This is much more than an ordinary choir; members are all taught privately by Meryl outside rehearsals in vocal studies, leading to external examinations. Meryl also devotes much of her time to the Mansfield and District Male Voice Choir and has led it to great heights at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall. These examples of Meryl’s devotion are just a glimpse into the life of a truly special and inspiring individual.”

On receiving her award, Meryl said: “My first reaction was amazement and elation, but coming down to earth, I recalled the words of John Donne who said that, ‘No man is an island”. I have not done this by myself.”

Darren Henley, managing director of Classic FM, said: “Every single day, inspirational music teachers like Meryl change the lives of thousands of young people across the country, helping to develop Britain’s next generation of brilliant musical talent. We’re proud that our awards celebrate the outstanding work of the UK’s very best music teachers inside and outside the classroom”.