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Caroline D’Cruz (Caroline Atkins), Chetham's 1969-1976

Policy Adviser, and Company Manager/Musical Director of Dorset opera companies

Piano, Violin

After Chetham’s Caroline attended the Royal College of Music. After a short spell teaching music she began work for the Inland Revenue/HMRC in 1983, but developed a very busy professional musical life in parallel with her career in the Civil service. Her day job is now as a Senior Policy Adviser for HMRC in London. She’s also Company Manager for Dorset Opera, and Musical Director of Milborne Port Opera…lots of musical activity in the Dorset area where she lives.

Ensembles or key performances you played in

Soloist in Bach D minor Piano Concerto in Manchester Cathedral summer 1974, Mozart G major Piano Concerto in RNCM summer 1976. Numerous concerts at school, Free Trade Hall, Cathedral and venues round Manchester in the 1970s. In the orchestra the first time Wayne Marshall played the Gershwin piano concerto….

What was the best thing about your time at Chetham’s?

The opportunity to explore music making with young people who wanted to do the same. Fantastic and varied concert experience. The friends I still have, some for almost 50 years some of whom I still make music with.

What’s your favourite memory of Chetham’s?

Singing carols after Christmas Dinner in the Baronial Hall….being part of an orchestra playing large scale works like The Planets and Shostakovich 10….VIth form history lessons with Penry Williams, the wisest of the wise….the many friends I have from those years with whom I still make music….

What impact did Chetham’s have on your life?

Massive…..I was fortunate to be there at the start. At the age of 10, I wasn’t aware of just how significant it was. The discipline of practice, the range of musical opportunities, learning under inspirational musicians…although my principal income isn’t from music, I am heavily involved in music in my local area and the opportunities and experiences from Chets were formative in the way I do what I do.


Instruments: Keyboard, Strings

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