It was with great sadness that at the start of term we learnt of the death of Peter Smith, former Director of Music at Bishop Stopford’s School. Today former Stopfordians - both teachers and pupils will be gathering at St Mary the Virgin in Ware to celebrate his life.
Peter joined the school in 1972 and retired in 2000. During this considerable time he was instrumental in developing the provision of music in all of its guises throughout the school - be it the singing of hymns in assembly, the wide variety of music explored within music lessons, the delivery of challenging choral works in the annual concerts, to the joy of performances in operettas at the end of the school year; until it underpinned the very heart of the school. As well as being a passionate teacher of music, who inspired countless students to develop and pursue their love of both playing and singing, Peter was a highly accomplished organist and was responsible for the installation of the organ which sits within the school hall to this day. Music remains at the heart of what we do at Bishop Stopford’s School and so Peter’s legacy continues to influence each new generation of students
Ever the loyal Stopfordian Peter returned to the school in 2018 to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of its foundation, leading a choir of ex-pupils and staff in a celebratory evensong. It was evident how much enthusiasm Peter retained for the school and his former pupils and they were delighted to be back under his directorship again.
As the prayer for all Stopfordians was said this morning, as it is every morning, at the line “gone forth from amongst us” our thoughts were focused on the enormous contributions made to the School by Peter. May he rest in peace.