Witchell has played the organ for most of his life – in churches in
, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire and as a freelance recitalist.
Presently he leads the music at the
, Olney. He graduated from the
in 1972 and for sixteen years directed the music in several secondary schools,
, Brackley and
. Within a busy schedule of
music-making and teaching his school choirs appeared with distinction in the
Sainsbury’s Choir of the Year and the International Choral Festival in
for Music in Hertfordshire and head of the music service. During that time the
service received the National Council Major Trophy for Music Education five
times and its young musicians performed in major venues throughout the
. One of his fondest and most
challenging memories is that of directing commissioned pieces for massed choirs
in the Royal Albert Hall.
John was the
founder conductor of the London Camerata and Kettering Chamber Choir.
However, as Chief Executive of the Federation of Music Services and chair
of the Music Education Council he spent considerable time arguing the case for
music education and supporting music services throughout the country rather than
making music himself.
retirement from full-time work he is once more enjoying practical music -
accompanying the Danesborough Chorus and, with mixed results, learning the
double bass! He is a Fellow of the
Royal Society of Arts and when not engaged with music he runs along the pathways
Great Ouse River
which are close to his home in Willington.