Allison's Life of Music
For Allison Walker-Morecroft
music is both a passion and a way of life.
Allison, who lives in
Admirals Way, Hethersett, is a renowned adjudicator on the world music
festival scene and has travelled to some exotic locations in the course
of her work.
But Allison is equally at
home giving talks to local groups such as Hethersett Women’s
Institute, or teaching singing and speech either from her home or at
Gresham’s School or the University of East Anglia.
With over 300 music
festivals throughout the world, Allison has adjudicated as far afield as
Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, France and Greece and
next year will be helping to set-up the inaugural Raleigh Festival in
North Carolina in the USA. She particularly enjoys a festival in Hong
Kong which lasts for four weeks and features 34,000 children.
Allison was born and
brought up in the Gateshead area and gained an honours degree in French
and German from the University of Swansea before meeting her future
husband Anthony and moving to Litchfield in the Midlands.
Anthony was a physics
lecturer at Welbeck College in Nottinghamshire for many years and the
couple moved to Norfolk on his retirement:
“I traced my ancestors
back to William the Conqueror and a number owned land in the Newton
Flotman area and I always felt drawn to Norfolk,” Allison said, adding
that they moved to Hethersett four years ago. One of her ancestors was a
12th century Bishop of Norwich.
Despite studying languages
at university, Allison has always had a deep love of music, and, after
bringing up her family (four daughters and two sons), she studied at the
Royal Academy of Music, the Guildhall, Trinity College and London
College of Music.
She then entered the world
of teaching, mixing language and speech alongside singing and piano.
Over the past few years,
Allison has taught both privately at her home, at the UEA and at
Gresham’s where she has 14 pupils at the present time.
“One of the Gresham’s
staff became ill and I filled in and just stayed. Now I’m involved
with the school’s debating society and even take the occasional
assembly,” she said.
Allison’s first taste of
festival adjudication came when she was living in Litchfield. Now, as
well as her exotic world-wide locations, she has adjudicated throughout
the United Kingdom and locally at festivals in Norwich, Cromer and
Gorleston. She has also been closely involved with Norwich’s Roman
Catholic Cathedral, helping to train readers and fulfilling many other
There are many sides to
Allison’s musical talent and she really is a jack of all trades and
master of many. She produced T.S Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral in
Norwich and also gives cabaret performances to local groups and
societies. “I love to talk and sing to groups about singers and their
songs,” she added.
And Allison has a wide
variety of musical loves. You certainly wouldn’t pigeon-hole her. One
of her favourite artists is legendary rocker Rod Stewart. “I love what
he has done with his Great American Songbook series of records. He has
taken the standards and made them his own,” she said.
Allison is equally at home,
however, with the songs and piano music of Schubert, the jazz of Duke
Ellington and the contemporary flashback feel of new groups such as The
One of her favourite places
to adjudicate is Sri Lanka and she organises an annual
The great thing that
strikes you in meeting Allison is her love of and lust for life “I am
one of nature’s blessed. There have been bad times in my life but I
have been so lucky to work with the arts. They enrich your life in so
many ways and bring you into contact with people of like minds. Music
helps you to express how you feel in a tangible and audible way. It is a
common language and so very fulfilling,” she said.
Allison would love to get
to know more people in Hethersett: “I really like the village. It has
so much to offer and I would love to know more people. I would really
like to do more teaching from home and find a few more pupils.
“What I do is just the
start of bringing something wonderful out of the young people I
Allison doesn’t have much
spare time but is studying for a doctorate which will include a thesis
on the psychology of performance. This runs hand in hand with her love
of musical theatre. Her favourite stage musical is Les Miserables,
although she admits to finding much of the work of Andrew Lloyd Webber
She would like music
festivals in the United Kingdom to be recognised more by the Media:
“Every year in the world, music festivals feature a million performers
and an audience of 10 million. It is a very vibrant area of
entertainment but doesn’t receive the publicity that it should because
it still holds onto its amateur status.”
Anyone wishing to talk to Allison about lessons can contact her on 01603 812239 or 0792 9387 567.
© Peter Steward 2007