Keith Howard, Headmaster of Queen Mary's Grammar School 1979-1995
Throughout the years that I spent teaching at QM (1974-2007), as Director of Music, Keith Howard probably saw and heard some of the finest performances and musicians whilst he was Headmaster, particularly during the 1980’s. This was, of course, no mere coincidence, for he himself was a fine performer, an attribute he passed down to his family and to his wider family of QM. He did it by example and by taking part, at all hours of the day: he showed through his enthusiasm the enjoyment that music and other disciplines can bring. This was his way of living and he wanted others to have the opportunity to enjoy life to the full. I was forever grateful for his help and active approach, and I know others have been too.
In May 1982 the Chamber Choir gave a concert in Barmouth to a packed church: a few days later we gave the same concert in Wolverhampton to an audience of 4 men and a dog! Keith took part in both performances and sang the baritone solo in the Fauré Requiem – professional performances: magnificent recordings exist of both. At the end of this September, Geoff Weaver, a college musician friend of Keith’s went to see him and said Keith had insisted on them listening to the recording.
We will miss him: all who came into contact with him know that he lived life in the right way, wanted others to do the same and was prepared to involve himself in making it happen. He knew that the results would be well worth it – “It’s the taking part that counts!”