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News Release: October 2008

New Chairman for the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society

Em Marshall succeeds Stephen Connock, MBE

Em Marshall, founder-director of the English Music Festival, has taken over the Chairmanship of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society, (, as Stephen Connock MBE, Chairman since the Society’s foundation in 1994, moves up to become Vice-President.

The ‘RVW Society’, whose purpose is to champion the music of the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, has established itself over the last fourteen years as one of the most vibrant and influential of music societies. And in Em Marshall, it has found a young and enthusiastic crusader.

Em Marshall has been a member of the RVW Society since its inception, and a Trustee since 2001.

Her love of English music began early; with her father singing ‘Linden Lea’ to her. She went on to attend St. Paul’s Girls’ School, Hammersmith, whose Directors of Music have previously included the composers Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Herbert Howells. The Director of Music during Em’s time was the conductor, Hilary Davan Wetton who encouraged her idea of setting up an English Music Festival.

Em dedicated her teenage years to furthering the cause of English music through her work with Thames Publishing, as a Hesse Student at the Aldeburgh Festival, and as an officer of various British composer societies. She went onto read ‘Greats’ at Brasenose College, Oxford.

Em is the founding Director of the English Music Festival,; an annual festival in Oxfordshire which aims to bring the music of British composers of all periods (but with a strong focus on the early twentieth century) to present-day audiences, with live performances by world-class musicians. The music performed at the Festival includes many long-neglected works.

Em’s current projects include writing a book on British Composers and the Landscape, as well as organising the third English Music Festival, which is scheduled for 22nd – 25th May 2009.

As a writer, she is regularly in print, covering topics from the arts, countryside and heritage, to travel, food, wine and real ales. In her spare time, she enjoys nothing better than walking in inspirational countryside with her border-collie.

"I can truly say that I believe RVW to be one of the greatest twentieth century composers - of this or any nation", says Em, "so naturally a Society that furthers his cause and places his music more firmly in the public domain is, I believe, of the utmost importance."

Formed by Stephen Connock MBE and others 14 years ago, the RVW Society now stands as a nationally, and internationally, recognized and respected organisation, and has also launched a recording arm - Albion Records, - specialising in recording less well-known works by the composer.

With around 1,000 members, the Society publishes a regular Journal inviting members and experts to submit letters and features, news, reviews and special offers.

The RVW website, (, provides a useful source of research, news, sound-bites, and a comprehensive international concert diary.

  • Ends -

Notes for editors:

Media contacts:

Karen-Lisa Fletcher (RVW Publicity Officer) m: 07973 175 588

and Andy Smith m: 07737 271 676

Other contacts:

Em Marshall:


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