Cirencester musician awarded OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list
A VISIONARY musician and former Trinity Laban joint principal from Cirencester has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.
Professor Derek Aviss, who dedicated most of his professional life to the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, was named as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to higher and music education.
The accolade has rounded off a year of celebrations for the professor from Cirencester, who retired from his position as executive director at the prestigious institution earlier this year.
At a special ceremony in his honour, more than 200 guests paid tribute to Prof Aviss’ career achievements.
Speaking at the event, Professor Anthony Bowne, principal of Trinity Laban, said Prof Aviss would be "sorely missed" by colleagues and students.
"As a direct result of Derek's leadership and core educational beliefs, the music degree programmes offered at Trinity Laban today have a significant focus on creativity, collaboration and employability," he said.
"Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance would be a very different place without Derek's vision and dedication.
"It is, for us all, difficult to imagine this special Institution without him and he will be sorely missed by every one of us."
After studying at the former Trinity College of Music between 1965 and 1970, he went on to work as a professor of cello from 1976 and later rose through the ranks to become joint principal of the latterly formed Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and most recently, chief executive.
In a tribute piece to Prof Avis on the Trinity Laban website, it said that the established cellist was first introduced to music through service as a church chorister. But as he got older, the cello became his new voice and a passion to inspire others to speak through music and dance became his lifetime ambition.