We are delighted and thrilled that John has been awarded an MBE
in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to Birmingham's Music Service and in his role as Chair of MTW's Trustees on the New Year Honours list 2016.
Born and educated in Birmingham, John Clemson studied to diploma level at Birmingham School of Music (now Birmingham Conservatoire) with the 'cello as his main instrument. He then gained a Cert Ed and combined a career as a' cello teacher, initially with Solihull Music Service, with work as a freelance musician. John moved from Solihull to Birmingham Music Service in 1976 and continued as a 'cello teacher and added double bass. He introduced minibass teaching to the City and has many ex pupils, both 'cello and double bass, active as players and teachers.
He has held a number of managerial posts in Birmingham at increasing levels of responsibility from 1991 and was Head of Service from March 2000 to August 2014. The Birmingham Music Service HMI/OFSTED inspection took place in March 2001 and from the report - "The Birmingham Music Service has strong management and is well led by the Head of Service, an established tutor and highly regarded in this new role".
During his time as Head of Service the numbers of pupils supported each week by the Music Service increased fourfold and is now in excess of 33,000.
John was a nationally elected representative for five years, and then Secretary, of the Federation of Music
Services. He was also Chair of the British Suzuki Institute School Committee for ten years. He is a governor of two primary schools and sits on a number of other management and advisory boards. He has been a Trustee of Music Therapy Works since it was founded in 2000.
John was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of Birmingham Conservatoire in June 2007 and the MBE in the New Year Honours List 2016.