I am sorry to announce that Douglas Seville, passed away recently after a brief illness. Douglas joined the OCA as a music tutor in 1997.
A keen cellist as a teenager, Douglas became fascinated in how composers created sound, and wrote his first piece, a string quartet inspired by Ravel. He went on to study for a music degree at the University of Huddersfield, where he won the composition prize in 1978. Further studies at Masters level followed under Roger Marsh at Keele University. He worked as a freelance performer on classical cello and jazz piano, and also as an instrumental teacher, before completing a PhD at Birmingham Conservatoire in 2004 under the supervision of Robin Grant and Philip Cashian. His compositions demonstrated a fascination with music theatre, and often included the use of text, narrators and theatrical elements. His compositions were performed in Birmingham, London and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
His enthusiasm for music continued throughout his life, and he had a particular affinity for composers who were able to express themselves through an original voice. He was a strong admirer of Berio, and his interest in the use of theatrical elements in music was inspired by Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King. As an OCA tutor for twenty years, he very much enjoyed the interaction with students and seeing the wide variety of experience they brought to the music programme. He approached student work with care and attention to detail and took great pleasure in sharing his passion for music. One of Douglas’s colleagues, Gavin Wayte says, “as a personal memory of Douglas I found he had a quiet wit and an eye for gentle, humorous observation which I greatly enjoyed.”
Douglas’s funeral will take place at Bradwell Crematorium, Newcastle-under-Lyme on Tuesday 17 July at 1200. His students and colleagues are welcome to attend. See Douglas’s funeral announcement.
Image: OCA student Gillian Wells