Alan’s musical education began in the 1960s under the care of Edred Wright and his early composition tutors were Allan Wicks and Kenneth V Jones. Although he began writing poetry around this time, he didn’t become serious about it until he met Alasdair Aston in Dulwich who instilled in him that poetry must be performed, not just read.
Over the next few years while pursuing a career in the IT industry he ‘performed’ his poetry around South London, Pittsburgh, Wheeling, Raleigh-Durham New Jersey, New York and Connecticut where he met Rose and started his second career as an open mic host.
In the mean time he enjoyed singing with a number of London Choirs including being a ringer for the London Philharmonic Choir and the London Welsh. During this time he also promoted concerts in London Venues including St. John’s Smith Square, The Barbican Centre, The Queen Elizabeth and Festival Halls; and the Royal Albert Hall, often working with the New Symphony Orchestra. He continued to sing while in the USA. He has been choirmaster for churches in both England and in New York, where he also sang at the Catholic Basilicas in Brooklyn and Washington DC.
His compositions have mainly been written out of necessity when working with small parish choirs. The poem Thank you Lord was written in 1996 for the All Saint’s Kenley Patronal Festival and was originally set by Eric Bevan. Alan wrote his own setting in 1999 for use at St. Matthew’s Woodhaven for which church he also wrote the words and music for Lord Find a Way (another patronal festival) and Bring Peace to my Heart for use during the sharing of the Peace.
In recent years he has continued to write and publish poetry and in 2011 Fighting Cock Press published his collection Beyond the Window. York composer Edward Caine set the poems Daffodils and Summer from this collection which was performed at the August 2012 Late Music concert; and he plans to set at least two more.
Alan also writes concert and gallery reviews for One and Other Magazine.