|2 Dec 2021|
We are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Jeremy Ard (1947-2021), a member of the academic staff from 1988-1994.
Jeremy Ard joined the staff in September 1988 and it was quickly evident that he was a person of wide interests and abilities. Primarily a cellist, he was involved in many aspects of the Music Department and of the College generally.
He was educated at King’s School, Canterbury, and then studied music performance at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where he was under the tutelage of Joan Dickson, one of Scotland’s most famous cellists. This was followed by a period of work with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Jeremy then combined teaching and freelance performing, playing with such orchestras as the London Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestras.
His assistance with choral work at St Edmund’s was invaluable, particularly with the Chapel Choir on Sundays as well as his own direction of the Ruds/Els Choir and later a Chorale group which he developed. His vocal talents took him further afield and many may have observed him on television in his half-moon spectacles singing with the BBC Chorus at the Last Night of the Proms.
His most distinguished offering was in musical-dramatic work, a particular interest of his. He gave an enthusiastic commitment to all the stage productions of both Junior and Senior Schools, including lighting set-up and direction as well as oversight of the musical preparation. At the performances themselves, he was holding the baton or playing keyboards or bass guitar.
Electronics were also an interest of Jeremy, and he was responsible for this side of things in the Music Department, setting up and running the Keyboard Lab and the Keyboard Club. He had his own high-quality recording equipment which he used to the great benefit of the department and pupils, particularly for those in GCSE and A level work.
In 1994 Jeremy married Lisa Chamberlain and their son Reuben was born the following year. Reuben has gone on to be an accomplished musician in his own right.
In 1996 he established Jeremy Ard Violins in Swaffham, Norfolk, a business in which he restored, repaired and sold musical instruments in the violin and guitar families.
Jeremy continued to teach and perform cello and guitar whenever the opportunity arose. He was director of the Chanot Ensemble, a string quartet which specialised in live music for weddings, corporate events and private parties.
Jeremy Lawlor Ard was born in Surrey on 25 September 1947 and was on the academic staff between 1988 and 1994. He died with Covid-19 on 30 October 2021 at the age of 74.
May he rest in peace.
Words by David Kay.
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