Michael Brewer charged with rape of student at Chetham's School

The former musical director of a specialist music school in Manchester has been accused of raping a student.

Michael Brewer, 67, is alleged to have attacked the teenage girl at Chetham's School over 30 years ago.

Mr Brewer, the artistic director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB), was charged following a police investigation into allegations of historic sexual abuse.

His then wife, Hilary, 67, is also charged with rape and indecent assault.

Mr Brewer, who was awarded an OBE in 1995, was director of music at Chetham's School in Manchester for 20 years and has also directed the World Youth Choir.

He serves as an adjudicator in international competitions and in 2008 led BBC workshops for the programme Last Choir Standing.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place at Chetham's and at an address in Manchester.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "Michael Brewer, 67, of Swarthmore Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham, has been charged with rape and six counts of indecent assault.

'Contesting the charges'

"Hilary Brewer, 67, of Knowl Gap Avenue, Rossendale, Lancashire, has been charged with rape and indecent assault.

"They are due before Manchester City Magistrates' Court on 7 June."

Michael and Hilary Brewer were married at the time of the alleged offences but have since divorced.

The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain said in a statement that Mr Brewer was "contesting" the charges and was currently suspended.

In a statement issued on behalf of the chairman of trustees, Professor Chris Higgins, the NYCGB said: "The NYCGB became aware today (Thursday) that Manchester police had issued serious charges against its artistic director, Mike Brewer OBE, which he is contesting.

"As a consequence, Mike has been suspended from all duties with immediate effect and will have no part in any NYCGB activities until these allegations have been resolved.

"These allegations relate to events over 30 years ago, before the choir was founded, and have nothing to do with the NYCGB nor Mike's time as artistic director.

"A search for a new director to replace Mike Brewer as he nears his planned retirement is already under way and the trustees expect to have identified a successor in August.

"All planned choral courses and concerts for the summer, including the BBC Promenade Concerts, and our programme remains uninterrupted, albeit the senior choir will no longer be conducted by Mike Brewer."

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