New Year's honours for Trinity Laban Governors, Fellow and Staff

Professor Derek Aviss, who dedicated most of his professional life to Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, was named as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to higher and music education in the Queen's New Year's Honours list.

Also receiving an OBE was Darren Henley, Managing Director of Classic FM and Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban; while John Heighway, ex-Deputy Principal of Trinity College of Music was awarded the Royal Victorian Medal.

Formerly Joint Principal of Trinity Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Derek Aviss retired from his most recent position as Executive Director in September 2012.

Derek said: "I have spent the last 36 years of my career working for Trinity, now Trinity Laban, as I always believed that I was serving a cause, rather than doing a job. The award of an OBE is, for me, validation of that cause."

Darren Henley was awarded an OBE for services to music. He told RadioToday: "I'm really very chuffed. For me, it's the icing on the cake as we round off Classic FM's 20th birthday year."

John Heighway was awarded the Royal Victorian Medal for his very long and distinguished service as a Lay Clerk at St Georges Chapel Windsor.

John said, "I'm delighted to receive this award, which is in the personal gift of Her Majesty The Queen. My work as a singer in St George's Chapel neatly complemented my various management and teaching roles at Trinity (as it was then), and together these made for an especially fulfilling musical career."


Professor Derek Aviss was educated at the then Trinity College of Music between 1965 and 1970. His early career, as a professional 'cellist, was spent performing at major concert venues and festivals as a recitalist and as the 'cellist of the Ariosti Piano Trio and the Cantilena Soloists' Ensemble (voice, 'cello and piano).

A professor of 'cello at the then Trinity College of Music since 1976 he has, in addition, held posts as Senior Lecturer, Principal Lecturer, Head of the String Faculty, Head of Performance Studies, Deputy Principal and Principal of TCM. Derek is now retiring as Executive Director of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. He continues to hold positions on many professional associations, boards and committees, and has a life-long interest in music pedagogy and innovative educational practice.

Derek states the three most important influences on his musical life as the 'cello, the human voice and the piano. First introduced to music, like many of his generation, through service as a church chorister, with the breaking of his voice the 'cello became his new and, subsequently, life-long voice. His career in performance was primarily based around collaboration with keyboard instruments, in particular the piano. His non-musical interests include travel, literature, cricket and motorcars, all of which he hopes to indulge further on his retirement.


Darren Henley is the Managing Director of Global Radio's national classical music station, Classic FM. Darren's independent review into the funding and delivery of music education in England for the Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, resulted in the country's first National Plan for Music Education in 2011. He has since authored a further independent review for the government into all aspects of Cultural Education in England. Darren accepted an Honorary Fellowship from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in December 2011.


John Heighway was Deputy Principal and Dean of Studies of Trinity College of Music, and a member of the Executive of Trinity Laban, from 2005 until his retirement in July 2010.  He was made an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban in 2011.  He holds degrees from the Universities of London and Birmingham, and has been a Visiting Lecturer in Musical Analysis and Historical Musicology at Goldsmiths' College and King's College, as well as a Professor of Academic Studies at Trinity since 1993.  He has recently been elected a Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Musicians.  He has been a Lay Clerk at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, since 1974, and since that time has also sung and recorded with many professional ensembles.

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is the UK's only conservatoire of music and dance. Its innovative course provision, exciting performances and groundbreaking education, community and social inclusion work make Trinity Laban a leader in the advancement of elite and creative artistic practice. The organisation fosters the musicians, dancers and artistic leaders of the future, enriching Britain's vibrant cultural life and its creative industries which are vital to a balanced, diverse economy.

More than 97% of our first degree leavers are in employment or further study six months after graduation - the fifth highest figure across the entire higher education sector.

More information:Susie Haywood, Trinity Laban Media Manager, 07912 963 427 [email protected]

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