A dedicated headmaster and choral singer

Martin Peters was a commited choral tenor as well as being headmaster of Benson Primary School from 1985 to 2004

Martin Peters was a commited choral tenor as well as being headmaster of Benson Primary School from 1985 to 2004

First published in News

A TEACHER of more than 30 years, who was also a passionate choral singer, has died aged 64.

Martin Peters was headmaster of Benson Primary School between 1985 and 2004.

He also sang tenor in the Christ Church Cathedral Singers, of which he was a part since 1982. Another of his passions was classical music, which saw him become involved in the running of the Oxford Lieder Festival.

Martin Peters was born on December 1, 1949, in Hayes, Middlesex. He attended the local school as a boy with his brother Christopher, who predesceased him.

In the early 1970s he moved to Oxfordshire and took his first teaching job at St Mary and St John Primary school, in Cowley.

He took the job of headmaster at Dorchester Primary School, Wallingford, in 1980.

He was to take up his final and longest role, as headmaster at Benson Primary School, in 1985 and stayed there until he retired in 2004.

His teaching style was said to be strict, but balanced with a mercurial sense of humour, and he passionately encouraged extracurricular activities, such as going on residential trips to the Hill End eco centre with year six pupils.

During his retirement he would often meet pupils he had taught across the county, something he always enjoyed.

Beyond his teaching career lay a love of the arts, which regularly saw him making trips to London’s Covent Garden for opera and ballet performances.

He sang with the Christ Church Cathedral Singers, as well as the Oxford Bach Choir, for more than 20 years, and served as the latter’s artistic administrator for 12 years.

His dedication was such that just five weeks before his death he was performing Bach’s St John Passion at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford.

Another role he was to take on was that of a wandsmen at the Queen’s annual Maundy Thursday service, which honours pensioners for services to their parishes.

Martin Peters died on April 19 during a short time in hospital that followed eight years of cancer. He did not marry or have children.

His funeral will be held at Christ Church, in St Aldate’s, on Saturday at 12.30pm. All who knew him are welcome.

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