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Professor Emeritus Michael Bridger

Attended Hymers College:

1950 - 1957

What makes this nominee inspiring?

After taking his A levels at Hymers, Michael was awarded the Margaret Anne Knowles scholarship to study BMus Hons at Manchester University and ARMCM at the Royal Manchester College of Music. Subsequently, he stayed on to complete a PGCE and in 1975 was awarded an MEd on the basis of a thesis exploring Responses of School Children and Adults to Avant-garde and Electronic Music. In 1976 he was awarded an MA in Contemporary and Electronic Music by Cardiff University, where his studies included theory and practice of electronic music and a thesis on Stylistic Evolution in the Later Symphonies of Shostakovich. In 1984, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Keele for a thesis on Structural, Expressive and Contextual Aspects of Selected Electro-acoustic Compositions by Berio, Cage, Ligeti, Stockhausen and Varèse.

Following graduation Michael was appointed Head of Music at two secondary schools - Counthill Grammar School, Oldham and then Poundswick High School, Wythenshawe. His next appointment was to Crewe College of Education (later Crewe and Alsager College of HE) and his final full-time appointment was to Middlesex Polytechnic (later University) as Head of School of Music (later appointed Professor of Music). He has continued active involvement in music performance, mainly on piano, but also, at various times, organ, horn and early instruments. He conducted the Nantwich Choral Society while living in Cheshire - performances included Vespers of 1610 (Monteverdi) , St Nicholas (Britten) and A Sea Symphony (Vaughan Williams).

Over the years Michael attended and presented papers at several conferences on Music. He also joined colleagues in the University’s Schools of Dance and Drama to launch a periodical called MTD (Music, Theatre, Dance) covering the three performing arts areas and interdisciplinary work. This was taken up by Harwood Academic Publishers with the title Performing Arts International.Under Michael’s leadership, several new programmes in performing arts and music education were developed and validated by the University. In addition he was partially seconded as an auditor to the HE Quality Council and participated in QA reviews of several UK universities. Parallel with this he was also partially seconded to the University’s Academic Development Unit and increasingly undertook validation chairing duties, including a range of programmes taught in Malaysia.This led to the establishment of links with Yamaha Music College and Sedaya College in Kuala Lumpur, via which students completed an additional year at the University for a BA award. His growing experience and interest in programme development and validation led to an approach by the School of Audio Engineering (SAE), based in Australia, to join Professor Clive Pascoe of Southern Cross University in developing a range of BA/BSc and MA/MSc programmes in recording arts, other digital arts and work-based learning, delivered by SAE and validated by Middlesex University. Over a period of several years, these were rolled out to SAE Schools in 15+ countries, offering vocationally orientated degrees to many hundreds of students. Following retirement from the University he took on the role of SAE Associate Academic Director on a part-time basis for several more years and continued to promote and advise on the Company’s ongoing expansion and success.

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