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Meet Mr Hanson

Meet Gareth Hanson, the new Director of Musical Performance. We spoke to Mr Hanson to learn more about him and his role.

How long have you worked at Mill Hill School for? 

5 weeks with 5 years’ worth of music-making in it already!   

What does your role involve?  

Inspiring and encouraging all pupils and members of the Mill Hill community to make music! And providing aspirational opportunities for all to do so throughout their time here. I want music to be one of the best things about their school experience. 

What is your favourite thing about working at Mill Hill? 

The genuine warmth and kindness of pupils and staff – as a colleague mentioned to me before starting, “everyone is kind”. And that has been my experience. 

Do you have any advice for our pupils which could help them to get the most out of their time at the school? 

Enjoy all there is to enjoy! What you do at school is less important than how you grow through it, and who you do it with. Give everything a go at least once and never, ever give up on the things that you want to achieve – even if it takes longer than you expect. 

What is your favourite book and film for our pupils and why? 

Easy – the Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. It is many things, but for me it is also a picture of the ups and downs and winding paths we tread as we journey through life. Ultimately it reminds us that the most important things can only be achieved and best enjoyed through friendship and working together. 

Could you share an inspirational quote with us? How does it inspire you? 

Three, if I may! One musical, one practical and one aspirational: 

  • “Music is enough for a lifetime – but a lifetime is not enough for music” (Sergei Rachmaninov, composer) 

There is SO much good music in the world and something to appeal to everyone.  

  • “All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us” (JRR Tolkien, author) 

As well as grounding us in reality, this inspires me to seek to enjoy all there is in the current moment. 

  • “The difference between ordinary and extra ordinary is so often found in that little word – ‘extra'” (Bear Grylls, survivalist) 

All that I have achieved so far as a musician and leader can be traced back to working really hard and seeking to go the extra mile.  

Can you tell us something that we might not know about you? 

I once had a drink with Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellan) at the National Theatre.