David with one of his grandsons


I always liked music, but at school I learnt that I was not quite good enough. A succession of piano teachers all gave me pieces to learn that were too difficult for me to play and I was not allowed to join the school choir because I could not read music. Then my brother-in-law introduced me to jazz, and I found a book called Beginners Play Boogie that actually made sense to me.

I began to write songs, and I learnt three or four chords on the guitar. At Cambridge I joined the Footlights, wrote more words and music. learnt a few more chords and occasionally performed in cabaret. In my first teaching job at Repton School I was master in charge of the jazz band, most of whom were better musicians than I was. I played the piano with them and learnt a lot.

Then I moved on to Dartington Hall School where there was already a superb jazz band with Tim Moore, the music teacher, as pianist. In spite of not being quite good enough I learnt to play the double bass so that I could join in. I also sang tenor in the choir and the madrigal group and wrote the book and lyrics for a number of musicals that Tim and I wrote together. Later I learnt to play the tenor sax because I wanted to join the front line in the jazz band. I played the piano in the newly formed Middle School jazz band, and wrote music for the Junior School.


The fruits of all this are listed below.