Malcolm Matthews

One of East Devon’s most popular and well-respected musicians is at the heart of planning for the biggest indoor concert in the area.
Malcolm Matthews from Tipton St John is Musical Director for Classics Galore! – a show staged every two years at Exeter University to raise money for Exeter-based cancer charity FORCE. It features 200 musicians on a specially extended stage performing to an audience of around 1,000 people.
Malcolm is currently working on the programme for this year’s event on Saturday November 18 and it promises to deliver another fantastic night of musical entertainment.The show features a mix of popular and easily recognisable tunes from showstoppers to traditional classical music. This year’s selection will include extracts from Les Misérables, Dambusters March, Hallelujah Chorus  and Live and Let Die.. In true Last Night of the Proms style, the concert at the Great Hall will have a traditional finale including Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia that’s guaranteed to get the audience singing along.
“We don’t want to give too much away because we know people enjoy discovering what’s in store on the night of the concert,” said Malcolm. “But we will be sticking to the variety of music that has become so popular over the years.”
Malcolm, Musical Director for Classics Galore! since the first concert in 2007, will conduct a 50-strong symphony orchestra, the Lympstone based South West Comms Band, Ottery St Mary Choral Society and Exeter’s St David’s Players.
“The musicians get excited about each concert. They are always very keen to be involved and very supportive because of the charity,” said Malcolm, who admits that he gets a real buzz out of conducting in front of such a big crowd.
Classics Galore! has raised more than £69,500 for FORCE since the first concert ten years ago.
“We were all a bit apprehensive at the start but after the first one we realised its potential and it has been absolutely fantastic. It has really gone from strength to strength, said Malcolm, who has been involved in music all his life.
He spent his early years in Cornwall before qualifying as a music teacher and in 1998 he became a freelance instructor of piano, theory, woodwind and brass instruments. For the past fourteen years he has been Musical Director of the Ottery St Mary Choral Society, in which time the choir has grown from 28 to more than 80 members. Apart from music, Malcolm has a great interest in most sports and particularly tennis, which he has played at county level. He is also a football fan and has recently taken up golf as a member at Honiton.