Margaret Duckworth A.R.C.M.
Margaret Duckworth was born in St. Anne’s on Sea, Lancashire, but moved to Yorkshire where she was educated and trained up to Diploma standard as a pianist, before changing to singing. She studied with a local teacher, became an Associate of the Royal College of Music (A.R.C.M.) and then went to Manchester to study with the tenor, Frank Mullings.
At the age of 22, she started broadcasting with the BBC, doing morning and afternoon recitals, whilst appearing with many choral societies in the North of England. For further study she travelled to London for weekly lessons with Roy Henderson and became a finalist for the Queen’s Prize at the Royal College of Music. The Worshipful Company of Musicians awarded her the Percival-Hart prize, which included a recital debut at the Wigmore Hall in London, together with a substantial grant to further her career.
In 1963 she won the Kathleen Ferrier Award at the S’ Hertogenbosch International Competition for Professional Singers in Holland which opened up radio and television work in Holland, Germany, Belgium, France, Portugal and the rest of Europe, singing with major orchestras. She did two performances of “St. Matthew Passion” in Berlin with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. She has made broadcasts from the Bath Festival and sung with many of Britain’s major orchestras under the batons of Barbirolli, Boult, Sargent, Groves, Bertini and others.
Margaret became a Member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians in 1955. She became a Senior Lecturer in singing from 1964 until 1968 at the Birmingham School of Music and from 1964 until 1972 at the Lady Mabel Teacher Training College, Wentworth, South Yorkshire. She was also the peripatetic singing teacher for the West Riding of Yorkshire Education Authority from 1964 until the council reorganisation in 1974. In the 1980’s, she became a lecturer in singing with Hull University and is now the vocal advisor to Marsh Ladies’ Choir, Huddersfield and Denby Dale Ladies’ Choir.
She now teaches both amateur and professional singers in South Yorkshire where she resides, serving on the Private Teachers’ Committee from 1998 to 2000. Her wide knowledge of repertoire for all voices is her invaluable asset. Some of her students are members of Opera North, Leeds and the English National Opera, London, while she also gives Master Classes for young singers which are proving very popular.
Margaret has been connected with the Festival movement from her teenage years, starting off as a programme seller and later a competitor. She then progressed to accompanist, entries secretary and in recent years has selected music for a number of Festivals in the North of England. This overall experience has given her a wide knowledge of all aspects of the movement and she has now become a well known adjudicator in many parts of the country. Since 1989 she has often adjudicated at national competitions.
Since retiring from professional singing, Margaret has organised many concerts for charity – especially for the hospices and hospitals of South Yorkshire, raising many thousands of pounds. She has been helped on these occasions by her many friends in the music profession and broadcasting, as well as her own choir ¨The Margaret Duckworth Singers¨ (for more information, please follow this link to the section on Charity Work).
In 1995 the Rotary Club of Mexborough and District presented Margaret with the Golden Jubilee award in recognition of her services to the community and charity.