Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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JOHN, Malcolm Semple OAM

JOHN, Dr Malcolm Semple, OAM

Composer and musician, Dr Malcolm John was formally awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours List on 12 June 2006 'for service to the community of Geelong through music as an educator, composer, performer and conductor' .

Malcolm was commissionioned to create the opening music for the Keith Humble Centre for Music and the Performing Arts at the Geelong College. He was president of the Geelong Chorale, a Federal Examiner for the Australian Music Examinations Board, and had involvement with local theatre groups, Theatre of the Winged Unicorn and Drop of a Hat Productions.

Malcolm John started at the Geelong College in 1950 after attending Ballarat College. At College, he was a member of the 1st Football XVIII in 1953, in the Relay Team 1950, a member of the PFA and Music Committees, a School Prefect and Music Captain in 1952 and School Captain in 1953. In 1953, he also won the Nigel Boyes Cup.

After studies at Melbourne University and the Juilliard School of Music (NY) he taught both private and class music. His studies in the UK at York University gained him a PhD in Youth Music Drama, and he has held positions in state and federal organisations involved in music education. He has had roles as Head of Department at Scotch College (SA) and Geelong Grammar School, as well as being a senior lecturer at Salisbury CAE (SA).

For the opening of the Keith Humble Centre, Dr John was commissioned to write a work for choir and orchestra to be premiered at the beginning of the concert. Dr John's piece entitled 'In Memorium' was based on a poem by A H Harry, a respected staff member at the School early last century. The piece was a lament at the sudden death in 1909 of the popular Principal, Mr Charles Norman Morrison. It was premiered by the College Choir accompanied by an instrumental ensemble of staff and senior students.

Sources: Ad Astra No 111 December 2006 p26; Opening Program Keith Humble Centre for Music and the Performing Arts 22 July 2006.
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