Alan was born in N Ireland and his early musical training was in the local brass band. After music studies at Queen’s University Belfast, he taught in Belfast before moving to South London in 1988 where he concentrated on choral work in the John Fisher Comprehensive School.
He revived his interest in Kodály education, which he first encountered at London University, Institute of Education, with Cecilia Vajda, eventually completing an advanced course with Cecilia and attending Summer seminars regularly in Hungary and England. The Chapel Choir of boys in his school is one of the best known school choirs in the UK, getting into the finals many times of National competitions. The Boys’ Choir section reached the semi finals of the BBC’s Choir of the Year competition in 2000; achieved the “outstanding performance” award in the National Festival of Music for Youth in 2002; a “highly commended performance” award in 2004; finalist of the BBC Songs of Praise Choir of the Year 2006 and final six of the BBC Radio 3 Choir of the Year 2008. In 2010 the boys and mixed voice choirs were both South of England Area section winners of the BBC Choir of the Year. The school’s choral society has performed many of the major choral works like the Fauré Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Handel Messiah, Verdi Requiem, Britten War Requiem, Haydn Creation and Walton Belshazzar’s Feast and Louis Vierne’s setting of the Mass. Alan retired from class teaching in 2010 to enable him to further teach Kodály methodology in more schools and in the community.