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Mark Humphreys

Mark Humphreys

General: At-a-glance

Hello, and welcome to my website.

This site contains a little about my work and other interests, and provides an internet presence for my work on English seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music in general, and the life and works of Daniel Purcell in particular.

I live in south-east London and, by day, am the Head of Space Management and Timetabling, within the Estates and Facilities Directorate of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Before moving to SOAS, I studied for a doctorate at Oxford University. My thesis, a thematic catalogue and biographical study of Daniel Purcell, relative of the more famous Henry Purcell, was supervised by Dr. Michael Burden at New College, Oxford. I am also the Editor of the Handbook for Studies in 18th-Century English Music, a cross-disciplinary publication mostly dealing with bibliographic matters, and have worked as a contributor for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Second Edition (London, 2000), and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004). There's more about my academic work elsewhere on the site.

Previously, I was a student at Manchester University, gaining a Mus.M. with distinction. My main research here involved producing a critical edition of the 1699 Dramatick Opera The Island Princess, with music by Daniel Purcell, Jeremiah Clarke and Richard Leveridge. Whilst in Manchester I was an Alto Lay-Clerk at Chester Cathedral, and before that was a Student Songman at Sheffield Cathedral, where I gained a First-class degree in music at the University, developing an interest in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English music. With the Sheffield University Opera company Operaworks, I conducted Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, in August 1997.

My parents live in Bebington, Wirral, where I was born and brought up, and where I went to Wirral Grammar School.

My interests include opera (particularly Handel opera and Wagner music drama), seventeenth- and eighteenth- century life (particularly local and national history, art and architecture), books and cookery, as well as football, cricket, and rugby. I have twice run the Oxford 'Town and Gown' 10K run. Oh, and I quite like beer (though you won't find the last one on my CV - at least not until I apply for my dream job as chief taster at Fuller's.....).

I also enjoy church bellringing. I learned to ring at Port Sunlight, part of the Wirral Branch of the Chester Diocesan Guild. In Oxford, I was Master (President) of the Oxford University Society, and also rang with the Oxford Society of Change Ringers. Now I live in London, I'm a Past Master of the Ancient Society of College Youths, am a supernumerary (deputy) member of the band at Westminster Abbey, and occasionally ring as a deputy at St Paul's Cathedral. I've rung over 500 peals, including over 150 on twelve bells, and called nearly 50. You can find out more about my ringing by following the link on the left.