Dr Neil Carey

Postgraduate Research Student

Qualifications: M.Mus.(London),G.R.S.M.(Hons),L.R.A.M.,P.G.C.E.


Further information


Neil attended the Royal Academy of Music in the mid 1980’s; studying composition with Christopher Brown and Edward Gregson; Bass Trombone with Harrold Nash and Mike Hext.  Prior to attending the Academy, Neil had his initial composition training, as a VI former, with the opera composer Ian McQueen.  This experience engendered a fascination and aesthetic appreciation for modern British music, particularly the music of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, which continued and developed during his Academy studies.  After graduating in 1988, Neil worked as a professional trombonist for six years in the British Army, playing with the Band of the Scots Guards.  His military service saw him deployed operationally as well as musically, so experiences as diverse as taking part in Trooping the Colour and being deployed as an operating theatre technician with 7th Armoured Brigade during the 1990-91 Gulf War, have all subsequently contributed to his artistic application.  Neil continued his composition training whilst serving in the Army, undertaking a post graduate programme at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, studying with Brian Elias, graduating with an M.Mus. degree in 1994.  After completing a P.G.C.E. at Manchester Metropolitan University in 1995, Neil took up a music teaching position in Bedfordshire and is currently Director of Music at the same large comprehensive school.  During this time, Neil has had pieces performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra as part of an education project and several pieces performed in the theatre studies department of the University of Bedfordshire as well as many wind band compositions and arrangements throughout the country.  In 2010, Neil started part time on the PhD composition programme at the University of Surrey, his principal supervisor is Dr Tom Armstrong for composition and Dr Chris Mark for musicology.  Performances have included a String Trio, performed by the Fidelio Trio, a song, performed by Paul Carey Jones and a large scale wind band piece performed by the Royal Anglian Regiment Band and the Royal Signals (Northern) Band.

Research Interests

Neil's project is primarily directed to composition.  Currently, he has completed three of the five pieces that will contribute to the main part of the submission.

Three Scottish Pieces for Guitar and Violin

I. Air
III. Reel

This is an extended  fifteen minute piece that uses the Scottish Strathspey for its core material.  The piece is the first that Neil produced that will be submitted and moves on from the initial string trio composed at the start of the programme.  Neil is exploring and developing a style that is looking forward towards a critical modern future, possibly moving away from his modernist past.  The piece employs virtuosic techniques for both instruments and was commissioned by the guitarist Steve Gibb.

"Along the Silent Streets" A song cycle for Baritone and Piano

I.  Along the Silent Street
II.  Cotton Roses
III.  The Rope Maker
IV. Along the Riverbank
V.  Remember Them

Following an invitation by Tom Armstrong to write a song for a forth coming lunchtime concert the first song, "Along the Silent Streets" was written in collaboration with poet Phillip Dalziel and performed by Paul Carey Jones during a music department lunchtime concert.

Memorial Suite for Military Band in three movements

I. Dance
II. Song
III. March

The final two pieces planned for the submission are:

"A Child of Bethlehem, A Nativity", a music theatre piece for soprano, chorus and ensemble (Violin, 'Cello, Flute, Clarinet, Percussion and Piano).

Symphony (working title).  A large scale piece for symphony orchestra

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