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KHS Old Girl and musician Joan Taylor (KHS 1957 – 1964)

Lockdown Life has certainly not been dull for KHS Old Girl and musician Joan Taylor (KHS 1957 – 1964).

Joan was Head Girl in 1964 and the daughter of another Old Girl Esther Conner, who is pictured smiling in the 1922 picture of the whole school. Joan always feel a warm connection to KHSW and the staff, particularly Head of Music Miss Heather Wallace who enabled her to go to Oxford to read Music and to have such a wonderful career performing, teaching, coaching, playing at the Wigmore Hall and accompanying phenomenal singers like mezzo soprano Ann Murray and many other rising stars.

Joan has still been able to enjoy online teaching and coaching during lockdown and had the good fortune recently to be featured on Radio 3. She has created a YouTube Channel, periklavier, with music and video, a collaboration with her partner James Hypher, and hopes that other Old Girls might like to enjoy visiting it. Joan says all this has worked surprisingly well online: ‘Pupils have had more time to practise too and I feel piano has been of great solace to rather stressed young schoolchildren.’

Joan has ‘invested in a fabulous recorder and now send recordings of accompaniments to young singers to help them learn songs for their recitals. During lockdown, in true KHS style, I moved house, found a wonderful partner, got engaged, bought a piano of a lifetime (a beautiful Fazioli, for recording purposes), and am getting married in 2022.’ If that were not enough, Joan also saved the life of an elderly friend who had had a stroke, and now sends him daily piano recordings to aid his recovery. She adds, ‘Music is still central to my life as you can see, and what a start King’s High School gave to me and to my Mother before me.’