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New Year's Honours for Peter and Anne

We were astonished - and delighted - to learn we had been included in the 2016 New Year's Honours List. We want to thank all of those who have offered congratulations and expressed such great pleasure at our each receiving the MBE.  We do have to say that the award’s citation “for services to music education and conservation, in the UK and abroad” surely has to embrace every one of those involved in our environmental choral works, whether as performer, colleague, parent, helper - and not least, our close friends and family.

We remember with gratitude our friends at WWF-UK, firstly our original mentor, the wonderful Ivan Hattingh, who as inspirational Head of Development at WWF-UK commissioned from us the worldʼs first environmental musical - Yanomamo, followed by African Jigsaw, Ocean World and Arabica; if we deserve an MBE, then Ivan surely deserves a knighthood. We must also mention Ivanʼs colleagues Peter Martin and Cherry Duggan, and the present education team of Karen Gates and Liz Rossall who continued to place their faith in us by commissioning more recently One Sun One World, premiered at the Royal Albert Hall.

And then thereʼs our London publishers, Josef Weinbergers Ltd - whose managing director Sean Gray and his colleagues Lewis Mitchell and Alex Dangerfield have continued to publish and promote our environmental works for over thirty years.

In Arabica, we sang: “...Are you sailing on an empty sea? Do you journey on your own?...”   Well, we have certainly not journeyed on our own since our very first collaboration in 1980, the “Conversion Job”. For over 25 years, we enjoyed the company of generations of young performers from St Augustineʼs in Billington, who through their amazing premiere performances in some of the countryʼs most prestigious halls introduced our music to a nationwide audience, never failing to attract standing ovations, and who through their spectacular TV, radio and CD recordings, inspired hundreds of thousands of children throughout the world to sing out proudly the message of conservation, reminding audiences on every continent of our responsibility to care for the earth and all its inhabitants.

So thanks once again to everyone. We will willingly accept the award on all your behalves!

The big day arrived on Thursday June 9th, and the two of us - along with our families - had a wonderful time at Buckingham Palace. The weather was beautiful, and the palace resplendent. Prince Charles, who presented the awards in the magnificent ballroom, was keen to know if after 36 years of writing together we had possibly run out of ideas! We assured him we certainly hadn’t. We are very confident that there are plenty of words and music left in us yet!