Clifford began his musical education as a chorister at Winchester Cathedral, under the direction of the delightfully named Alwyn Surplice. He later won a Choral Scholarship to The King's School, Canterbury, and subsequently studied singing with Kenneth Bowen and the late Clara Taylor at The Royal Academy of Music. Whilst at the Academy he moved from the post of Lay-clerk at Canterbury Cathedral to a similar post in Westminster Cathedral, where he remained for the next twenty years. In November 2007, he elected to pursue a freelance career concentrating on teaching privately, and at Northbourne Park and Kent College, (and more recently at Christchurch Canterbury University), and concert work, including consort work with Cappella Nova (Scotland) and Opus Anglicanum. Clifford continues to sing in the Cathedrals of Rochester, Canterbury and Westminster on a part time basis, and to tour, broadcast and record with these and the other groups.
On the concert platform Clifford is no stranger to Choral Societies in the South and South East and has performed nearly all the mainstream roles in Oratorio. Particular recent highlights have included Puccini “Messa di Gloria” in Bahrain and a tour to Rome with Westminster Cathedral Choir, singing in the Sistine Chapel, St Peter's, and for an audience with the Pope; nearer home, a recital of Brahms lieder and Vaughan Williams “On Wenlock Edge” for the Egerton Music club, and concerts in St John's Smith Square, and the Cadogan Hall. Forthcoming engagements include Mozart's Coronation Mass at St John's Smith Square, Carmina Burana (Orff), and the Evangelist in the St Matthew Passion. Clifford has been MD of the Thanet Festival Choir since 1996, and in 2001 took over the Directorship of the Seventy Chamber Choir of Thanet; both choirs continue to thrive under his guidance, and as he often remarks, even after so many years, "It's like we've only just begun".