The school received the sad news from OW Kevin McClure (1973) that Rob died on 2 June 2013. He was 53 years old. In September of 2011 Rob was diagnosed with grade 4 glioblastoma. In the months following this shocking news, he was determined to release a series of new albums as he battled with terminal brain cancer.
In his album notes he wrote: ‘I am nearing the end of my story now, with a terminal illness. I have had a wonderful life, and feel so thankful that I have gotten to see this story end so happily, with so much joy, and the feeling that I have been able to honor the gifts that the universe bestowed on me. One can ask for no greater blessing than that, unless it is the knowledge that one leaves behind three wonderful sons, all doomed, I fear, to be artists of one kind or another, already reaching far beyond the accomplishments of the father who loves them always.’
The following are details taken from the Lily magazine during Rob’s time at MCS:
Rob was in Walker-Dunn House and took a full part in school life. A talented table-tennis player he represented the school and was club captain. He also played in rugby, hockey and tennis teams through his time at MCS. It was in music that he excelled, being an excellent bassoonist, though he also turned his hand to vocals with the Community Service group that performed in local nursing homes, schools and hospitals. In one review it was said of him; his ‘ability to make this instrument sing and phrase with real sensitivity is immensely gratifying to an audience’.
His talent for composing was growing and in February 1977 his house won the House singing competition with a piece both composed and directed by him. He was first awarded the Maltby Cup (for creative work) for his musical compositions, then in September 1977 he was awarded the school’s most prestigious ‘Coronation Cup’, which annually goes to the most outstanding achievement of a pupil or group of pupils, again for his musical compositions.
Rob is survived by his sons Elan, Jesse and Ben, his sister Wendy, his father Philip and other family members.