About the composer
Duncan McLean, ARCM, once said he would only resort to writing music "when my back is to the wall". Concerning "The Job Story" and "The Miracles of Jesus", he comments wryly:
"If anybody else had written these, I wouldn't have bothered. The Job Story has been treated as a ballet by Vaughan Williams, and Sir Hubert Parry wrote 'Job' as a reluctant commission whilst busy with other works and omitted to mention the all-important happy ending. A key point of the book of Job in the Bible is that God blessed Job in the end.
"As for the Miracles of Jesus, I searched in vain through extensive choral libraries and catalogues and found only a handful of hymns referring to the miracles - nothing for choirs to perform today. I found this quite astonishing, as the miracles are frequently the subject of sermons."
- Started playing the cornet at 8
- Brass band at 10
- Left home at 14 to play the trumpet for a living
- Running a Dixieland band at age 16
- At 19, did an arrangement (working without a piano - didn't have one!) in 5-part harmony and submitted it to George Evans, who taught dance band arranging. Mr Evans was so impressed that he offered me his correspondence course free of charge!
- Apprenticeship as a bricklayer (you can never depend on the music business entirely!)
- Wrote two big band jazz arrangements and performed in these in a concert sharing the bill with Count Basie and "Jazz at the Philharmonic" (American jazz package)
- Band director at Ambassador College, Bricket Wood, during a 12-year period
- Passed ARCM in Trumpet Teaching and Special Harmony, 1970
- Began conducting church choirs, 1978
- 1982: ordained as a deacon, reflecting years of past - and future - service in facilitating church music
- Wrote technical studies including 19 pages of duets for clarinets or trumpets
- Wrote the technical manual "Triad Power" in five modes
- Continuing to play in big bands, conducting church choir and providing hymn band for local church and larger church gatherings