June Keyte MBE ARAM - Tue 20 Oct 2020

We are sorry to announce the death of June Keyte, the well-respected music educator and choral director. For us, she was the founder of Children's Voices of Enfield, a long-time NAC member choir. Her obituary is below. We send our condolences to her husband Christopher and all her family and friends.

June Keyte – Biography

Dr June Keyte MBE ARAM was born in South Wales and trained in London as a music teacher at Trent Park College of Education (later Middlesex University). Her distinguished 50 year career in music and music education included many different roles, from Director of Music in comprehensive and independent schools, to editing the music publication of the Society of Assistant Teachers in Preparatory Schools, and conducting the BBC Schools Radio Music Broadcasts for 27 years with her Comprehensive School Choir the Kingsmead Singers. In 1994 she founded Children's International Voices of Enfield, for which she won much national and international acclaim. Most recently she travelled to Johannesburg to be one of the international judges at the Ekurhuleni Melting Pot, National Choral Festival.

June’s key role in music education was widely recognised. In 1990 she was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship for Trainers of Children’s Choirs to study choir training in Finland, and later that same year a Bye Fellowship at Selwyn College, Cambridge. In 1992 she was awarded an ARAM from the Royal Academy of Music (having studied violin there as a postgraduate with Frederick Grinke) in recognition of her 'distinguished services in Music Education'. In 2005 she was awarded an MBE by HM The Queen for her Services to Music and to the Community and was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate (together with her husband Christopher) from Anglia Ruskin University. One of June’s passions was commissioning new music and many composers were persuaded to write for her. The list is long and includes Betty Roe MBE, Douglas Coombes MBE, John Rutter CBE and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies CH CBE.

Celebrating over 25 years of Children's International Voices of Enfield, the choir have visited Switzerland, Iceland, Wales, Finland, Germany, Italy and Sweden. Important concerts have included a BBC Prom in the presence of HM the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to celebrate her 80th birthday, the 90th anniversary of Save the Children at St Paul's Cathedral in the presence of HRH The Princess Anne and the London Youth Festival of Music at the Royal Festival Hall by invitation of Rotary International. In 2014 Children's International Voices of Enfield gave three Christmas concerts called “RutterFest”, performing 11 Christmas works by John Rutter which he himself kindly recorded, edited and produced on CD.

Her legacy lives on in the many performers, teachers and lovers of music found internationally who she taught during their musical training, and her inspiration and kindness are continually remembered by those musicians and countless friends. June will be greatly missed.


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