Jennet Campbell - An Obituary
16th October 1927 - 3rd January 2019
This obituary was taken from the Guardian on 25th February 2019. The original article is available at https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/feb/18/jennet-campbell-obituary?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
My mother-in-law Jennet Campbell, who has died aged 91, was a teacher of music and English whose influence spread far and wide, not least through the voluntary work she also carried out during her life.
Born into an academic family in Cambridge, she was the daughter of Hester (nee Pinsent), who was made a dame for her work in the mental health field, and Edgar Adrian, an electrophysiologist, Nobel laureate, master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and a member of the House of Lords.
During the second world war Jennet was evacuated to the US, where she was cared for by families in the scientific fraternity of Pennsylvania.
Four years at Swarthmore high school nurtured her passion for music and after returning to Britain to take an English degree at Somerville College, Oxford, she moved on to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London to study the flute under Geoffrey Gilbert.
On a summer music camp, living communally and rehearsing choral and orchestral works, she met Peter Campbell, whom she married in 1953. With Peter, who moved into teaching, and fellow music camper and eventual conductor Colin Davis, Jennet helped to found the Chelsea Opera Group and recruited woodwind and brass players to play for the Falmouth Opera Singers, run by her cousins Maisie and Evelyn Radford.
After her marriage Jennet embarked on family life in London while teaching English part-time at Mortlake secondary modern and St Paul’s girls’ school, also providing musical instruction on woodwind instruments to pupils at the Royal Ballet school and Barnes comprehensive school.
A juvenile court magistrate, she took on an array of additional voluntary commitments, including membership in the mid-1960s of the Plowden committee, which reviewed the state of primary school education, and as chair of various committees for charities such as Mind and Cruse. She also founded the St Anthony Players in Cornwall, offering performance experience to young musicians during the holidays.
Moving to the Roseland peninsula of Cornwall in 1978, Jennet administered the Radford Trust, established by Maisie and Evelyn, to support young Cornish musicians. She introduced and catered for chamber music weekends, workshops and masterclasses with visiting professional instrumentalists.
As a village school governor her mission was to get an instrument into the hands of every pupil. She gave music lessons on the Isles of Scilly, English literature lectures in Wadebridge, taught woodwind for the county music service, and founded a youth concert band called St Anthony’s Noyse.
She was appointed MBE in 2011 for services to music and education in Cornwall.
Jennet’s legacy is that, in her inimitably practical, generous and inclusive way, she inspired generations from differing backgrounds to play and appreciate music.
Peter and their son, Richard, predeceased her. She is survived by two daughters, Sally and Emma, and four grandchildren.