She’s the first woman in the role for nearly 20 years and Margaret Young is hoping she will hit all the right notes as musical director of Fleetwood and District Choral Society.
She has been director of music at Rossall School since 2006, previously working at Cardinal Newman College, for nine years.
Margaret started playing the clarinet and violin at the age of five. She was inspired to take up music lessons after attending an orchestral performance.
She said: “The performance was so enthusiastic and passionate, I was hooked.”
After achieving a distinction in her Grade 8 clarinet at age 11, she studied at the junior school of the Royal Northern College of Music and at 18, started her own music school, Ribble Academy of Music. While bringing up a family, she managed to run the business, perform freelance as a solo clarinettist with pianist Philip Kubilius and as part of a wind quintet, Ensemble Elan, attain a BMus(hons) in contemporary composition.
She began her teaching career in schools in 1992 and became solo clarinet in the Lancashire Artillery Band in Bolton. Under her directorship, the Rossall Chapel Choir has participated in numerous cathedral tours across the UK and abroad – including being choir in residence at both Washington National Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.
She said: “There have been some really memorable moments, I think the highlights have to be singing at mass in St Mark’s in Venice, and performing at Westminster Abbey and Washington National Cathedral.
“It’s such a cliché, but music speaks far better than words can. It can affect your state of mind. Science shows a positive affect in children on their maths and language skills if they learn a musical instrument and to read music. And music is part of everybody’s life.”
Margaret stood in for Fleetwood’s previous musical director, Alistair MacKenzie, in the past – so when the role came up, she knew she wanted to apply.
She said: “I’m very excited and absolutely thrilled. Plans are afoot for the society celebrating 50 years in 2019. I would like the society to grow, both in terms of the district and the capacity – and younger members.”