Students and staff from a Bushey music school have had many reasons to celebrate this year, with a landmark anniversary and two associates being awarded OBEs in the Queen’s Honours List.

Founded in 1962 by Rosemary Rapaport and Irene Foster, The Purcell School of Music, in Aldenham Road, is marking its 50th anniversary.

School governor, actress and staunch supporter of Purcell, Jenny Agutter and Purcell’s very own head of composition and outreach, Alison Cox, both received OBEs in the Queen’s Honours list this year.

Other patrons of the school include HRH The Prince of Wales as well as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa DBE as a governor.

In 2003, the school was awarded the acclaimed UNESCO Mozart Gold medal in recognition of its unique contribution to music, education and international culture.

HRH The Prince of Wales said: "The Purcell School is an extraordinary institution with a very special place in my heart. Since I became the school’s patron in 1985, I have followed its development with close interest and it is a great pleasure for me to see the school reach its 50th year.

"The Purcell School exists to provide young musicians of exceptional promise and talent with the best possible teaching, and an environment in which to fulfill their potential, irrespective of their background."

The school was set up with the aim of becoming the first specialist school of its kind. It presently houses 180 musicians in Bushey and takes students on by audition, based on talent, regardless of background and experience.

Alumni include some of the best musicians in the profession today from internationally acclaimed conductor Paul Daniel to cellist Robert Cohen, oboist Nicholas Daniel, violinist Jack Liebeck, harpist Catrin Finch and horn player Tim Thorpe.