A MUSIC lover is swapping the North-East for the prestigious Royal College of Music, in London.

Simon Hirst, a former pupil at Ponteland High School, has been appointed as admissions officer at the college, moving from Newcastle University where he most recently worked in support of undergraduate student recruitment and admissions for its school of arts and cultures.

Simon, who plays trombone with a keen interest in classical and big band jazz music, graduated from Newcastle Music, and was chairman of New Tyneside Orchestra and musical director of Bold Big Band.

Phil Noble, director of music at Ponteland High School said: “I am delighted for Simon securing his new job at the Royal College of Music.

"He is an enthusiastic and talented musician and I am convinced with Simon joining the admissions office, the RCM will continue to grow from strength to strength.

"Well done Simon and good luck in your new role from everyone at Ponteland High School."

Simon will be working with registry colleagues focusing on business continuity for admissions, to stabilise the RCM as it gets through coronavirus.

He will need to set up a new admissions cycle and ensure the new intake has met all the conditions of the offer, responding to a wider than usual range of admissions queries and making arrangements for the allocation of students to professors for the next academic year.

He will also be helping to administer a new hardship fund to assist for students who find themselves in difficult times.