At this time, his enormous potential was recognised by Adam Ockelford, then music teacher at Linden Lodge School for the Blind in London. In due course, weekly and then daily lessons were arranged, in an extensive programme of tuition that was to last for several years. Painstakingly (through physical demonstration and imitation) Derek acquired the foundations of technique that were necessary for him to move forward. His natural affinity for jazz, pop and light music soon became evident; together with his improvisatory talents, ability to play in any key, and flair for performing in public!
Derek's first major concert was at the Barbican Halls in London, when he was just 9 (in 1989). He played jazz with the Royal Philharmonic Pops Orchestra. Numerous national and regional television appearances followed, in the UK and overseas. Most recently Derek featured in the series Extraordinary People(Channel 5, UK), on the Discovery Channel (Health) in the United States and onRTL in Germany. His increasing maturity both as a person and performer enabled him to give concerts in venues across England, in Europe and the United States; among them, Ronnie Scott's renowned jazz club in London and the Mandalay Bay Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
Derek's talent, love of music, and - above all - the ability to communicate through sound means he will continue to thrill audiences for years to come in the UK and abroad.
May his story inspire you as it does for all of us here at Hemisphere to Hemisphere