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Leader :: Tom Field    Conductor :: Maurice Powell  Patron:: Charles Guard

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Maurice Powell - Conductor

Maurice Powell was appointed Musical Director of the IOMSO  in 2004 following the return to England of the previous conductor, Wendy Smith.

He studied the French Horn with Francis Bradley at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and played professionally in London for some years before moving to Yorkshire and holding various teaching posts there and in Lancashire.

Maurice moved to the island in 1997, has played with the orchestra and the Mill Ensemble  and worked with the music service as a peripatetic teacher of brass instruments.

Maurice is widely recognised for his research into aspects of the musical and other entertainments during the Island’s golden years as a holiday venue, and is the author of several articles ranging from ‘The origins of Hi! Kelly’, ‘The Imperial Viennese Orchestra at the Villa Marina’, ‘Let’s Have a Song About the Isle of Man: Florrie Forde at the Derby Castle 1900-39’ and ‘A rale Manx Concert’. He has contributed six new biographies to A Supplement to New Manx Worthies including the Manx composer J.E. Quayle, Oliver Gaggs, the composer of the ‘Hi! Kelly Polka’, F.C. Poulter and Florrie Forde. (see manxmusic.com and Manx National Heritage Manuscript Collection, MS 13670).

His book ENCORE! a history of the Isle of Man Symphony Orchestra, was published in 2013, and ‘A Very Gifted Manx Lady, the Life of Kathleen Rydings’ in 2014. ‘Manxland’s King of Music, the Life and Times of Harry Wood’, the popular and influential musical director of the Palace & Derby Castle Company, is eagerly anticipated for the end of 2017.

Maurice is also the presenter of ‘A Little Light Music’, Manx Radio’s new classical music hour, which can be heard on Wednesday evenings at 9.00pm.

Charles Guard then became Administrator of the Manx Heritage Foundation (now Culture Vannin), an organisation dedicated to the support and promotion of Manx culture. He also produces videos on a variety of Manx topics, runs a recording studio, is a Director of Manx Radio and Chairman of the Trustees of the Milntown Estate, and continues to compose music and broadcast.

He has been closely involved with IOMSO for some years and has appeared in several of our Villa Marina Concerts ; as compère in the Opera Gala, narrator in Peter and the Wolf, keyboard player in the Planets. We have also performed his compositions ; his arrangement of the Manx National Anthem and his wonderful ‘Song of the Southern Hills’. He is currently working on a new composition for IOMSO about the life of St. Maughold, which includes a narrator.


Charles Guard - Patron

Born and brought up on the Isle of Man, Charles was educated at St Francis School and KWC. He studied organ and piano at the Royal College of Music in London, and the Irish Harp in Dublin. He returned to the Isle of Man to take up a position at Manx Radio, and from 1984 produced and presented the daily current affairs programme ‘Mandate’.

He left Manx Radio to become General Manager of IoM Television, a production company specialising in TV documentaries and heritage films such as ‘The Story of Man’ at the Manx Museum. During this period he composed several scores for BBC films and documentaries.