28th June 2021 — Repton has appointed Mr Richard Yarr FRSA as the school's first Music Fellow.
Richard is a highly accomplished musician and producer, with a strong track record for developing talent.
He read music at Queen's University, Belfast, where he graduated with First Class Honours and the May Turtle Scholarship for academic excellence.
He subsequently won a choral scholarship to King's College London, where he achieved a Masters in music, before returning to Queen's to undertake Doctoral Studies.
Richard joined the BBC in 2000 and is Senior Producer of Arts, Music and Events with BBC Northern Ireland. In this role he oversees all classical music output from the region, both for BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio Ulster.
He has held a range of board positions in the last twenty years and is currently Chair of the Charles Wood Festival of Music and Summer School.
He founded the NI International Organ Competition in 2011, is a Patron of the NI Young Musician of the Year Competition, and a trustee of the Church of Ireland’s Organ Scholarship Scheme.
Richard also presents Sounds Sacred, BBC Radio Ulster’s popular Sunday evening requests programme, and is Director of Music in Belfast’s oldest place of worship.
He was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2019 and received the Freedom of the City of London in the same year.
Repton's Director of Music, Mr Oliver Walker, says that Richard's involvement will bring fantastic benefits to our busy Music School: "As well providing career advice, Richard will support us in introducing pupils to exciting new musical talent and contribute to our active programme of masterclasses and workshops. He will also adjudicate for music competitions and assist us in marketing our most able and talented musicians."
The many and varied roles that Richard has enjoyed throughout his musical career will enable him to offer extraordinary insight to Reptonians.
Richard said: "The musical talent at Repton is outstanding and it's wonderful to see that every musical endeavour is supported at the School.
"I will enhance that by showcasing some of Northern Ireland’s top talent – from international performers to opera directors – in a range of contexts, and look forward to providing opportunities for the School back home and beyond.
"Music has provided me with some truly life-changing moments, so I am passionate that young people should enjoy all its possibilities."
Headmaster, Mark Semmence, added: "We are delighted to welcome Richard as our first Music Fellow.
"Music is an integral part of a Repton education and many Reptonians go on to have successful careers across many genres.
"We place enormous value on the richness that a lifelong love of music brings and encourage Reptonians to enter our Music School with an open mind and a keen ear."