Profile: Paul Goodey


Who got that job?

By Martyn Bull
Times Higher Education, 15 December 2006  

Professor Paul Goodey, Head of School of Wind and Percussion, Royal Northern, College of Music, Manchester

Paul Goodey moves from London this week to the Manchester-based Royal Northern College of Music to take up his position as Head of School of Woodwind and Percussion.

An oboe player of international standing and a keen champion of challenging new music, Professor Goodey will manage around 40 staff at Manchester. In addition to teaching duties, a key role will be quality assurance, ensuring course standards are maintained and that the College delivers against national requirements for the successes and outcomes of degrees.

As well as the commitment to new music and community-based performance offered by the Royal Northern, he is very relieved to be escaping his daily 1.5 hour commute between North London and Greenwich.  “What I really love about Manchester is that it functions how a city should function and it has a strong community. I can walk to work, walk to the concert halls, walk to a bar after dinner and then walk home,” he said.

Professor Goody is keen to nurture close collaborations between students composing music and those performing it.

“There are some real challenges in running study programmes for wind players,” he said, “mainly because there are fewer seats for them in the orchestra compared to the string instruments. It’s very easy to have the wind students getting completely bored whilst the string players get repetitive strain injury. But imaginative concert programming can alleviate many of these issues.”

Performance remains an important part of life. “I like to work with composers on new music so that they can build up a picture of the techniques that are possible and the sounds I can make. I’m currently working on a piece written by Marc Yeats, a composer living on the Isle of Skye. It’s 46 pages long and is probably going to take me a year to learn, so don’t hold your breath,” he said.