Ken Parr

Newton Abbot
LLCs Covered: 

Newton Abbot, Teign Valley, Teignmouth

Contact Details:
Areas of specialist expertise: 

Music Education Hub Board issues
Arranging (eg repertoire for school ensembles)
Curriculum support
Secondary support


Ken began teaching in Devon in 1981 and has held a number of leadership and management positions (Area Music Co-ordinator for West Devon, Head of Woodwind for Devon) before becoming Head of Devon Youth Music in 1992. He directed Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra for more than 20 years and is currently Head of Devon LDP Music Service and Lead for Devon Music Education Hub. Ken also managed a large portfolio of Curriculum Support and Enrichment services in Devon, was a member of the National Music Programme Board until 2010, trained as a Music Service Evaluation Partner (MSEP) and is currently South West Regional Convener for Music Mark – The UK Association for Music Education and DMS Music Lead for Newton Abbot.

Major achievements include strategic leadership of music education in Devon, developing an inclusive vision for music education ‘This is our music’, introducing large-scale events such as the Mix, Music Comes to Town and leading the successful bid for Devon Music Education Hub in 2012, ensuring that professional expertise is maximised and strong links between teams, schools, regional and national partners are maintained. Ken guided Devon’s Music Service through a fundamental review in 2004 resulting in a radically different and exciting new approach to supporting music education. Ken has also supported a number of LDP teams through remodelling exercises to promote sustainability and future development of education services. Ken currently leads the Devon Children’s University programme, DCC’s programme to support dementia awareness in schools and various initiatives relating to the joint venture between DCC and Babcock LDP, including the Devon Education Fund. One of Ken’s achievements was receiving a national accolade (Gold Award) for his outstanding ability as a performer 1984.

Ken began playing clarinet at the age of 12 and was inspired by the music of Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman. Whilst in the 6th form at school, he added alto saxophone to his studies and started playing the flute at Leeds College of Music, graduating in 1977 and Role College (Education) in 1981. Ken was keen to take up music as a career and has performed with a number of international artists including The Four Tops, the Drifters and Frankie Vaughan; he has also played for many shows including The Rat Pack, Dancing in the Street and numerous shows in in the South West. Memorable encounters include playing the solo clarinet part in Rhapsody in Blue with pianist John Ogden, leading the Saxes in a Big Band conducted by Thad Jones, meeting players from the Benny Goodman Orchestra and playing alongside Jimmy Deuchar and Gary Husband in jazz combos. Ken has also featured on a number of commercial recordings and has travelled the world performing on the flagships of P&O (Canberra and Oriana).

Ken has directed the premier South West Big Band AJ’s since 1997 and continues to perform professionally.

Supported using public funding by Department for Education and Arts Council England