The English conductor and music pedagogue, Ralph Allwood, was a pupil at Tiffin School and graduated from Durham University in 1972 with the Eve Myra Kysh prize for music, conducting the University Chamber Choir from 1970 to 1972. He was later a member of the King's College Choir Cambridge under Sir David Willcocks and then became Director of Music at Pangbourne College.
While Director of Music at Uppingham Ralph Allwood founded the annual Choral Courses for prospective choral scholars. There are now seven Eton Choral Courses attended each year by four hundred singers aged between 16 and 20, and 100 have now been held. 2010 is the 30th Anniversary of the courses.
Ralph Allwood is a judge for the Llangollen International Eisteddfod and is a regular visitor to several Welsh choirs, including the National Youth Choir of Wales. Most recent choral travels have taken him to Nantes, Philadelphia, Canberra, Beijing and Minneapolis.
Ralph Allwood is Precentor and Director of Music at Eton College. Eton College Chapel Choir, which he directs, has toured Israel, the Arabian Gulf, America, France, England, Ireland, Japan, Hong Kong, the Czech Republic, South Africa, China and Italy. It has appeared in the Bruges Festival, and has released eight recordings, most recently with Signum. He also directs the Windsor and Eton Choral Society and the Rodolfus Choir. The latter, a young choir made up of the best singers from the last four or five years' Eton Choral Courses, have released recordings of music by Tallis, Francis Grier, Bax and Villette, English Folk Song arrangements, arrangements by Gottwald and the Monteverdi Vespers with the Southern Sinfonia. A disc of Howells with Signum is the latest, and the Bach B minor mass will shortly be recorded. He is a choral advisor for Novello and Co, for the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and for the Voices Foundation. He will be leaving Eton in the summer of 2011 to pursue his freelance activities.