Alison Corfield has been appointed as the new Head of Norfolk Music Service. Having moved just over the border from Lincolnshire, she can’t wait to get stuck into her new role and develop music educational activities and engagement in Norfolk.
1. What is your background?
I have been an Area Manager for the South of Lincolnshire for the past four years, where I also had county-wide responsibility for Whole Class Ensemble Tuition. Prior to that, I started right from the grass roots as a supply Peripatetic Instrumental Teacher for Dumfries & Galloway Council and have worked my way South as a Manager for various Music Services throughout England.
I studied my Undergraduate Degree at The University of Glasgow, and as a Postgraduate at The Royal Northern College of Music. However, I decided not to pursue a career in performance as I could really see the impact that quality music education had made to the thousands of pupils I came into contact with every week. It was whilst working for the fabulous Manchester Music Service that I took the decision to devote my career to Music Service Education as I felt I was really making a difference in the lives of the children and young people that I was coming into contact with.
2. What instrument do you play and have you played in ensembles?
I am primarily a singer but I also play piano, woodwind and strings.
I have played in various ensembles throughout my career and with such a wide range of instruments available to me I have benefitted from playing most genres of music….although, I am most in my element when playing Baritone Saxophone as part of a Jazz Band!
3. What has impressed you at Norfolk Music Hub & Norfolk Music Service so far?
I have been impressed with the sheer variety and range of activities that are on offer for pupils in Norfolk, the commitment of the team at Norfolk Music Service and their partner organisations within the Music Hub. I will really miss Lincolnshire but everyone here has been really friendly and made me feel welcome, which has been so helpful in my transition. Nationally, the Norfolk Music Education Hub is very highly regarded which is something that interested me greatly when applying for this job – it’s really important for me to work for such a fantastic organisation that also provides outstanding opportunities for children throughout the county.
4. Are there any specific or major changes that you are planning on making in Norfolk?
My main focus is to increase engagement throughout Norfolk in its entirety, focusing particularly on those areas who maybe haven’t had so much Music Hub input to date. Meetings have already started taking place and there is a real buzz in the county for more partnership working especially cross-art form. I am also keen to put on some more large-scale events, increase the types of activities on offer and enhance the range and diversity of musical opportunities available to our young people.
5. What was your proudest moment in your previous role?
There were so many proud moments whilst working for Lincolnshire Music Service that it would be extremely hard to choose just one. Lincolnshire Music Service is an outstanding service with strong leadership, a clear direction and a phenomenal sense of teamwork at its heart. The dedication and commitment of the staff was incredible, and so, I’d say above all else I was most proud of my team: a tremendous group of people who I will miss dearly but who have also helped me to realise my ambition in becoming Head of Norfolk Music Service……my dream job!
6. What excites you the most about your new position & working in Norfolk?
One of the key reasons for applying for the job was the fact that Norfolk is one of Lincolnshire’s statistical neighbours and so it’s a similar type of Authority which I already have a sound knowledge of. It’s also an exciting time for me as I’m really keen to develop Music Hub relationships with partners, getting out and seeing all the wonderful work that goes on and working with an amazing team of people. There is so much great work already happening in the county, also through organisations who don’t necessarily have a music-focus, so I’m looking forward to working together to continue to provide a fantastic offer for the young people of Norfolk.
7. What do you like to do outside of work?
Bizarrely…Theme Parks and rollercoasters! I also love sitting of an evening playing songs on my ukulele and singing, just for fun! I like eating ice cream and building sandcastles on the beach and although I shouldn’t admit this…..I enjoy feeling nostalgic watching old episodes of Taggart!