Alex Attwood

What is your favourite memory of Malvern College?

I have so many. The camaraderie both within the house and year group involved much hilarity and fun throughout my five years. Many life-long friends and valuable loved ones were met at Malvern.

Walking through Main Col between lessons was a constant source of delight, bumping into pals, teachers, stopping for chats and generally being surrounded by wonderful, funny people.

What attracted you to your particular career and what do you enjoy most about it?

Initially I was looking for a career in music that involved fewer gigs finishing at 3am. The idea of writing music in a studio on my own time-schedule seemed very attractive. Now I have children, flexible working hours are the most precious thing about my career.

More specific to composing, I was always interested in playing lots of instruments (with varying degrees of success…) rather than mastering just one. In the studio I get to tinker, bash and strum to my heart’s content.

What part did Malvern College play in giving you the necessary skills for your chosen path?

There is such a broad range of opportunities at Malvern, it makes the College a very positive environment to be around. With everything from racket-ball, mountain climbing, a wonderful art department, obviously as well as the supportive academic side, for five years you feel that you could have a go at almost anything. Not a bad attitude to take into life or your future career.

What are your ambitions?

Composing can be an unpredictable career and I am extremely grateful for the relative stability I have had over the last decade. It would be wonderful to score tv drama - I’ve been lucky enough to work on many documentaries and natural history projects with the BBC but a drama series would be a very exciting.

What advice would you give to current pupils contemplating working or studying in your field?

Unless you are lucky, it can take a long time to gain traction in the music or TV industry, so to keep mind, body and soul together, it is advisable to acquire a few skills or even get a qualification under your belt before you start the journey. Anything from joinery, a teaching qualification to climbing instructor; anything to keep you earning some money and being around folk. You don’t know if it is going to take weeks, months or years to achieve a meaningful amount of work in the arts industry, so pack wisely before starting the journey.

Try to remember what you most enjoy about the process of making music and that will most likely be your USP, so concentrate on it.

Prepare for some, or even a lot of rejection. It is not personal, but it does hurt. Keep trying.

What advice would you give to current pupils about making the most of their time at the school?

Being a grown up is great for all sorts of reasons, but you rarely get the time or opportunities that are offered at school, especially somewhere like Malvern. So if there’s a chance to experience something new, play a new sport, learn about an unusual architect, take photos in an unusual style, study ancient poetry, just say yes.