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Mr Winwood accepts musical challenge


A man who has devoted the past nine years to creating a successful music department in Sunderland School, is leaving so he can start all over again.


“I couldn’t resist the challenge”, said Mr Alan Winwood, (31), who this week conducted his last concert at Ryhope School.


He is going to the George Salter School, West Bromwich, where he will be head of the music department.


And he is hoping that his years at Ryhope will just be an overture to this future work.

Mr Winwood

Public Concerts


Before he leaves Sunderland and moves south Mr Winwood will be leading his second trip of pupils from Ryhope School to Germany where the brass band and madrigal group he formed at the school will be giving a series of public concerts.


The brass band – considered one of the best in the Sunderland area – and the madrigal group are proof of Mr Winwood’s achievement in the school.


A native of Doncaster, Mr Winwood came to Sunderland College of Education and completing his course there, started work at what was then Ryhope Secondary School in 1964, the school where he had done his final teaching practice.


Formed Band


He formed the brass band and in 1969 when the secondary school and the grammar school across the road were amalgamated to form Ryhope Comprehensive School, Mr Winwood became head of the music department.


At that time the grammar school had a string orchestra.  Mr Winwood developed and enlarged this into full orchestra and formed the madrigal group and senior and junior choirs.  Now about 100 pupils at the school learn musical instruments.


With a full-time music staff in the school there is enough going on to keep them interested he said.


He and his wife will be moving from their home in Carlisle Road, Durham, when he returns from Germany in August.

Mr Alan Winwood, head of the music department at Ryhope School, Sunderland, who is leaving to take up an appointment in West Bromwich.

excerpt from Ryhope Review Magazine 1973:


MR A WINWOOD came to the Modern School in 1964, and was appointed Head of Music in the new School in 1969.  He will be remembered for his great contribution to the life of the school, especially with the Brass Band, and for putting into practice the well-known saying that “Music is the food of love”, by marrying Miss Oxley, one of the Cookery teachers.  We hope they will both find success in pastures new at West Bromwich.

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