Norwich High welcomes new Assistant Director of Music, Mr Joseph Wistow

Posted on 2nd March 2022

The music department at Norwich High School for Girls has enjoyed a very busy start to 2022, welcoming a brand new Assistant Director of Music, Mr Joseph Wistow, following the retirement of Mr Francis Fox.

Mr Wistow, a freelance composer, will be predominately based in the Norwich High Prep School, Stafford House, but will work across the whole school including with the GCSE, A-Level and Sixth Form students. A graduate of Leeds College of Music and the Royal College of Music, Mr Wistow joins Norwich High School for Girls from Langley School, and has extensive copying and engraving experience, including private freelance commissions, score preparation for TV and Film recordings, as well as contemporary classical editing for clients including Universal Production Music.

Mr Wistow said: “Starting at Norwich High as the Assistant Director of Music has been great fun so far. There is so much warmth around the school from the extremely supportive staff and the wonderful children. There is an exceptional music provision here with a very high standard. It is very impressive how many girls are involved in school music in our numerous choirs, bands, orchestras and chamber ensembles. Making music here is inclusive for all and a big part of the school.

“From a Prep School-perspective, it is about creative music provision that is broad and balanced and fits in with a modern music curriculum so the girls use their iPads to compose original music from Year 1 upwards.”

Mr Joseph Wistow, Assistant Director of Music at Norwich High Prep School for Girls

“Using digital technology gives the girls confidence as they can realise their musical ideas instantly which they really enjoy. Along with our provision of lessons for all across instruments including the recorder, violin and ukulele, we have seen a surge in numbers for our Prep School Choir and they are really excited to be learning music from the new Disney movie, Encanto.”

Mrs Susan Roberts, Head of Norwich High Prep School and Nursery commented: “We are delighted to welcome Mr Wistow to the teaching staff. He has already made a huge impact and it is lovely to have a renewed buzz around music across the school. We share his vision of making music accessible to all our students. Our Winter Arts Festival in February was a great success, and we were very thankful for Mr Wistow’s contributions which included hosting steel band workshops with the Steel Pan Agency, sessions on music from different cultures for all the girls and his ‘That’s all Folks’ illustrated talk looking at cartoon music.”

Regarding joining a girls only school, Mr Wistow added: “Before joining Norwich High, I wasn’t sure what to expect from a girls’ only school. As soon as I arrived for my interview, I knew that this was the place I wanted to work. The students have a confidence, and a willingness to try new things musically. They are creatively very confident when working together as a team. Being in a single-sex environment, they are not worried about judgment or what anyone else thinks – they are free to be themselves. There is such a positive attitude to learning – I find I get through a lot of content in my lessons. The standard of behaviour, positivity and a willingness to learn is evident from our youngest girls up to Sixth Form. It is great witnessing the through-school environment – from the Nursery girls up to our very talented sixth formers, who clearly treasure music. I really enjoyed the Winter Arts Festival and have a busy end to the Spring Term ahead including the Choral Concert at Norwich Cathedral on Saturday 12th March.”