Rydal Penrhos appoints new Director of Music from September 2023
April 22, 2023

Rydal Penrhos is delighted to announce the appointment of Alan McGuinness as Director of Music from September 2023.

Rydal Penrhos has a long and proud tradition of music at the school. We believe that music is an essential part of a well-rounded education and helps unlock the potential in every child, while also giving them a platform to express themselves as individuals.

Last term we had countless examples of music thriving in school, from a highly acclaimed Community Concert to the Prep and Senior Spring Concerts, which saw hundreds of parents, alumni and friends of the school enjoy a range of incredible individual and group performances across a range of musical styles and instruments.

Given this thriving culture of music at Rydal Penrhos, the school is thrilled to welcome Mr McGuinness as our new Director of Music from September 2023. Mr McGuinness has been an important member of the Rydal Penrhos community since he joined four years ago, and in that time has established himself as a firm favourite not only with pupils, but also parents, alumni and anyone in or around school who appreciates the unique power and beauty of music.

Mr McGuinness brings a wealth of experience from a long and varied career in music. Following his time as a pupil of Liverpool’s historic Blue Coat school, Mr McGuinness continued his studies as The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), where he was a prize winner, culminating in BMus (Hons), studying with some of the world’s finest organists, including Professor Margaret Phillips, Dr Gordon Stewart and Dame Gillian Weir.

In 1997 he was appointed as Organ Scholar at Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral and in 1999 became Assistant Organist at St. Asaph Cathedral. During his time at the Cathedral, Mr McGuinness established and directed a new Girls’ Choir. In January 2004, he was appointed as Organist and Director of Music, a post he held until July 2018.

Mr McGuinness directed the Cathedral Choirs in both live and recorded broadcasts for national radio and television and was organist for two broadcasts of Songs of Praise held there. He has made several commercial CD recordings, directing the St. Asaph Cathedral Choirs during the visit of HRH. The Prince of Wales and HRH. The Duke of Kent. He also directed the choirs at the inauguration of Glyndwr University and during concerts in collaboration with The King’s Singers, Russell Watson and Aled Jones.

Mr. McGuinness has also been Chair of The Royal School of Church Music, North Wales area and a panel member of their national forum. He has been a staff accompanist at Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, an Associate Lecturer at Canterbury, Christ Church University and is also an examiner for The Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). He has given many organ recitals in the UK and completed a concert tour of New York City and New England in the United States of America.

Rydal Penrhos is delighted to have Mr McGuinness at the heart of its musical programme over the coming years, and Mr. McGuinness is keen to see the further progress our excellent young musicians can make. “I am delighted to have been appointed Director of Music,” said Mr McGuinness. “Music is an important part of the Rydal Penrhos community. I am looking forward to building on a rich musical past.”