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In 2014 Fred Davis received the Michael Craxton Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts from Her Worship The Mayor, Councillor Catherine Dann.


On Tuesday llth September 2012, Vincent Raven received the Michael Craxton Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts from His Worship The Mayor, Councillor Michael Markham.

Vincent Raven is the first person to receive this special Award presented by the Hillingdon Arts Association in honour of the late Michael Craxton,  Mr Craxton, a former Mayor and Freeman of the Borough of Hillingdon was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Brunel University in recognition of his service to the Arts.  A local Councillor for Hayes and Harlington for many years he was a staunch enthusiast for the Arts in all its forms, an ardent supporter of the Hillingdon Arts Association, local choirs and theatre groups and gave his time unstintingly to ensure access to the arts was available across the full spectrum of the community.

The Citation for Vincent Raven is as follows:-

Vincent Raven is a highly talented violinist and musician who started to learn the instrument at the age of 12.  After winning a Junior Exhibition in Brent, his home town,  he studied at the Royal Academy of Music for four years.  While still at school he led the London Junior Orchestra and at eighteen studied at Trinity College of Music.  Although he was offered a place at the Royal Academy he wanted to be taught by the famous Hungarian violin teach Bela Katona at Trinity College of Music so chose to study there.  While a student he formed The Student Symphony Orchestra which drew fellow musicians from The Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, Guildhall College and Trinity College.  At the end of his studies he qualified as a Licentiate, Trinity College, London.  In 1971 he moved to Bristol to play with the BBC Training Orchestra and a year later was first violinist with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and worked with Simon Rattle coaching the Merseryside Youth Orchestra.

In 1976 he moved back to this area and taught violin at Berkhampsted School and in 1979-80 trained to become a qualified teacher at Trent Park (now Middlesex University).  He came to Hillingdon in 1980 as a gifted musician and did his teaching practice in borough schools where he was spotted  by the then Head of the Hillingdon Music Service, Eric Stephenson, to teach violin to pupils in Hillingdon.  He quickly became part of the Hillingdon Music Service which offered classes in violin, cello, timpani and trumpet to pupils in schools, Vincent also taught in schools and at the Saturday morning Music School


On Eric’s retirement Vincent with Terry Loane, became Joint Head of the Music Service and later when Terry moved to Adult Education Vincent became sole Head of the Hillingdon Music Service.  During this time he undertook part time study into teaching methods at Oxford Brookes university where he gained a Diploma in Professional Studies in Education Management.  

Vincent worked tirelessly to encourage access to music for all young people, to share his love of music and to achieve maximum engagement of children and young people of all musical abilities to achieve their highest potential in the art of composition and performance.  He completed thirty three years loyal service with Hillingdon and his legacy is a love of music shared by hundreds of young people, many of whom have gone on to become professional musicians and teachers.  .

Even when funding for the Service was changed in the mid 2000s Vincent continued to inspire and lead the tutors and young people who attended music classes and the Music School.  He pioneered new forms of music making that included establishing new ensembles for jazz, swing and classical forms, choirs and steel bands.  The orchestras and ensembles have won many accolades during his tenure as Head of the Music Service.  One of the high lights of his leadership was the playing by a group of young musicians of his specially commissioned Fanfare for the arrival of the Queen on the occasion of her Jubilee Year visit to Uxbridge in June 2002.

Vincent took early retirement in 2011 as a result of the re-organisation of the Hillingdon Music Service but he continues to play and share his love of music with young people.

We are pleased to nominate Vincent Raven for the Michael Craxton Award for Outstanding Service, for his loyalty to an ideal, an ability to inspire others with enthusiasm for music, and to offer an inclusive service to young people in pursuit of musical excellence.