||Abigail Baylis - Soprano 2
Originally from Saltaire, soprano Abigail Baylis is in her final
year at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire studying with Catherine
Benson for her undergraduate bachelors degree. There she
has performed in the ensemble role of Nelly Kerwin in Banished
(Stephan McNeff), as well as performing in the chorus for the
conservatoires 2022 French Opera double bill, that toured
to the Leamington Spa Music Festival. Recent scenes roles include
Alcina (Alcina, Handel) Second Witch (Dido and Aeneas, Purcell),
Virtú (Lincoronazione di Poppea, Monteverdi). Her
upcoming work includes the role of Pepík (Cunning little
Vixen, Janácek) and soprano soloist for the Oratorio de
Noël (Saint-Saëns).Competition success includes being
a finalist in the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Ambache Prize
2022, the Edward Brookes English Song Prize 2022, and the inaugural
Birmingham Festival Choral Society Oratorio Prize 2023. Prior
to her conservatoire training, Abigail was a member of the Opera
North Childrens chorus, where she enjoyed regular concert
opportunities at venues such as Spittlefields Cathedral and the
Howard Assembly Room. Currently, Abigail is working as a freelance
singer alongside her continuing studies.
(WDCS - A French Christmas)
|| Adrian Clarke - Baritone
Black Management is sad to announce the death on 10th September
2020 of much loved baritone Adrian Clarke. He was a joy to work
with, full of character and love for his art, and also a most
delightful man with a gleeful sense of humour and a nose for
a good glass of red. Our thoughts are with Sarah Pring and his
Adrian studied at the Royal College of Music where he won the
English Song Competition, and at the London Opera Centre where
he was awarded the Vaughan Williams Scholarship.
On the operatic stage he has sung principal roles with most of
the British opera companies, most recently with Mid&SHY;Wales
Opera singing Dr Bartolo in Rossinis Barber of Seville,
Opera North in Rossinis Theiving Magpie and Martinus
Julietta, Scottish Opera in their acclaimed production of Ariadne
auf Naxos, and Welsh National Opera in La Traviata, with English
National Opera in their production of Leoncavallos La Boheme,
and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in Strausss Die
Frau ohne Schatten, in Mussorkskys Boris Godunov, Puccinis
La Fancuilla del West, Bizets Carmen, and the world premiere
of Nicholas Maws Sophies Choice.Abroad, Adrian has
travelled to Prague with Opera Norths Julietta, appeared
over nine seasons at the Bregenz International Opera Festival,
Austria, singing in A Greek Passion Martinu, The Golden Cockerel
Rimsky Korsachov, La Boheme Puccini, Tosca Verdi, Blond Eckbert
Judith Wier, Playing Away Benedict Mason and Andre Chemier Giordano.He
has appeared at Cagliari, Sardinia, in their production of A
Village Romeo and Juliet Delius, a European tour playing the
title role in the premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
Mr Emmet takes a Walk, and in Venice A Midsummer Nights
Dream Benjamin Britten.
He has appeared at the Landestheater Salzburg in Albert Herring
Britten Ariadne Strauss and Death in Venice Britten, and Die
Soldaten Zimmerman for the Nederlandse Opera, the Ruhr Triennale,
and in New York.
His busy concert schedule has taken him to most of the cathedrals
in England, performing such works as Carmina Burana, Elijah,
Beethovens 9th, and Messiah.
Adrians recordings include The Maharal in John Caskens
Golem, Deceit in Gerald Barrys The Triumph of Beauty and
Deceit for Channel 4 Television, Don Ferdinand in Gerhards
The Duenna for Chandos Records, Puccinis La Boheme, and
Martinus A Greek Passion, Zimmermans Die Soldaten
and Mr Emmet takes a Walk. Future plans include The Devils of
Loudun Penderecki for the Royal Danish Opera and a return to
Bregenz in their production of The Merchant of Venice by Andre
(WDCS - Mendelssohn's Elijah - The Sea Symphony - Brahms Requiem
- Stabat Mater -
||Alexander Jones - Tenor
Alex has been singing for many years, firstly as a choral scholar
at Wells Cathedral, subsequently at Kings College, London,
and more recently as a Lay Clerk at Gloucester Cathedral. Currently
studying for a post-graduate vocal degree at the Guildhall School
of Music and Drama, he has sung at many London churches, including
St Brides Fleet Street, Marylebone Parish Church, St Georges
Hanover Square, and the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace.
He has sung as soloist for several Choral societies, in the Bach
Passions and Magnificat, Mendelssohns Elijah, Orffs
Carmina Burana, and Mozart and Brahmss settings of the
Requiem, as well as Jenkins The Armed Man.On the stage
he has sung with Hampstead Garden Opera, the Co-op Opera Company,
and British Youth Opera, in such roles as Krushine in Smetanas
Bartered Bride, and Papageno in Mozarts Magic Flute. He
is delighted to be able to join us in tonights performance
of the Schubert Mass in E flat.
(WDCS - Schubert Mass)
Alden - Tenor
With a repertoire spanning over a millennium, Ben enjoys a varied
career as soloist. Past performances include Monteverdi Vespers
in The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Vaughan Williams Serenade to
Music at Cadogan Hall and Pilate in Pärt
Passio at the Laeiszhalle, Hamburg.
As a recitalist, Ben has an extensive song repertoire and has
a particular passion for English song. Recent performances include
Britten Winter Words and Canticle II in the Sheremetev Palace,
St Petersburg. Following a recital in the 2012 Penkhull Festival,
where he premiered Joseph Phibbs Three Songs, Ben later recorded
two of these songs on the 2013 release for NMC recordings, The
Canticle of the Rose.
Ben studied Modern Languages at Durham University before embarking
on Postgraduate Vocal studies as an ABRSM scholar at the Royal
Conservatoire of Scotland. There he studied under Peter
Alexander Wilson and also worked with Malcolm Martineau, Ann
Murray and the late Philip Langridge. Ben continues to study
singing with Ryland Davies and is a Lay Clerk at St Georges
Chapel, Windsor Castle.
Bens latest concert performances feature Bach St John Passion,
Handel Messiah, Puccini Messa di Gloria and Stainer Crucifixion.
As an accomplished ensemble singer, Ben enjoys performing with
many leading choirs and vocal ensembles, including The Monteverdi
Choir, Tenebrae, Exaudi, The Tallis Scholars, Synergy Vocals
and London Voices.
(WDCS - St Matthew Passion)
Alger - Organ
Callum Alger is currently the Interim Director of Music at the
Collegiate Church of St Peter, Wolverhampton, in addition to
studying on the Advanced Postgraduate Diploma (Professional Performance)
course at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, with a Headley
Music Scholarship, under the guidance of Daniel Moult. In 2019,
he graduated with a first-class honours degree in Music Performance,
where he studied the organ with Henry Fairs and David Saint,
and choral conducting with Paul Spicer.
During his studies, he was accompanist to the critically-acclaimed
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir, accompanying the
choir on their most recent CD Rosa Mystica with SOMM Recordings.
Callum was fortunate to spend a semester studying at the Hochschule
für Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
in Leipzig under the tutelage of Martin Schmeding.
He has previously held positions at Westminster Cathedral, St
Thomas Church, Stourbridge, Portsmouth Cathedral (in conjunction
with The Portsmouth Grammar School), and St Matthews Church,
Callum has performed extensively as a soloist in the UK. He won
first-prize at the IAO/RCO Organ Playing Competition (2018) in
Peterborough, and Dame Gillian Weir Messiaen Competition (2018)
in Birmingham, and was twice a finalist in the Northern Ireland
International Organ Competition. Recent recital venues have included
Westminster Abbey, St Johns Smith Square and St Albans
Cathedral (St Albans International Organ Festival). He is a prize-winning
Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, an Associate of Trinity
College, London, and has performed on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and
is a Making Music Selected Artist 2020-21.
In 2019, Callum released his debut CD Klangreden with Regent
Records, featuring the Garnier organ at the University of Birmingham,
and the Walker organ at St Chads Cathedral, Birmingham.
Klangreden is centred on the performance of Lutheran chorale-based
repertoire, in which Callums music-making has been described
as unfailingly elegant [Choir and Organ].
(WDCS - Nowell! Nowell! - Christmas Concert Dec 2021)
Christopher Griksaitis is an up and coming young tenor from the
North East of England. He is particularly focused on opera, lied
and oratorio performance. As well as being a singer, he is a
He started piano when he was five and later took up the violin
and viola. He played viola with the Tees Valley Youth Orchestra
but when he turned sixteen he joined the Tees Valley Youth choir
and singing quickly became his ambition.With the choir he toured
France, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Spain and
Hong Kong. In September 2010, when he was nineteen, he received
a place on the Vocal and Operatic course at Birmingham Conservatoire
where he graduated in 2014 with a First Class Honours degree
whilst studying under Welsh baritone, Gwion Thomas.
During his time at the Conservatoire, Christopher took part in
many productions. He regularly performed in the departments
opera scenes, liederabends and opera productions, most recently
performing the role of Le Chevalier de la Force in
Poulencs Dialogues des Carmélites. Christopher
also won the John Ireland Singing Prize in 2012 and the Edward
Brooks Lieder Prize in 2014.
He has recently completed a production of Jason Robert Browns
two person musical, The Last Five Years, which was
used as one of his final exams for his degree. Alongside his
studies, he is frequently performing lied recitals and oratorio
Christopher is now starting to establish himself as a professional
singer, and in time he is planning to start a postgraduate degree.
He would like to continue expanding his experiences within all
aspects of opera, lied and oratorio performance.
(WDCS - Crucifixion)
Educated at Newcastle University and the Britten-Pears School,
Christopher was a winner of the N.F.M.S. Young Concert Artists
Award, a finalist in the Richard Tauber Competition and one the
inaugural Samling Scholars.
His concert work has included the world premieres of Pawel Lukaszewskis
Requiem (2014 Presteigne Festival) and Brittens The Rescue
of Penelope (Aldeburgh Festival) whilst other work has included
Mozarts Requiem (Royal Festival Hall); Mendelssohns
Elijah (Durham Cathedral); Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony
(Darmstadt) and Handels Messiah (Beijing).
Radio broadcasts have included work in France (Mozarts
Grabmusik) and in Holland (Bernsteins Trouble
in Tahiti) and for the BBC, Schumanns Manfred and Stravinskys
Le Rossignol, both at the Royal Festival Hall and Bachs
Matthäus-Passion with Trevor Pinnock (BBC Proms).
His operatic roles include Sarastro, Mozarts The Magic
Flute (London Festival Opera, in Budapest); Traveller, Britten
Curlew River (Nova Music Opera); Kawabata, Philip Glass
Hotel of Dreams (UK premiere for Volta Theatre); Arthur, Maxwell
Davies The Lighthouse; Friar Laurence, Gounods Romeo
and Juliet (Riverside Opera); Raimondo, Donizettis Lucia
di Lammermoor (Winslow Hall Opera); Father Frost, Rimsky-Korsakovs
The Snow Maiden (University College Opera); and various Mozart
roles including Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte (Britten-Pears
A growing reputation as a recitalist has included festival appearances
at Barnes, Presteigne, and for the English Music Festival at
Dorchester Abbey, performances of his programme A Soldiers
Tale, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of
WWI and the 75th anniversary of WWII.
He studies with Gary Coward and Anna Sims but when not singing,
he enjoys photography, fine wine, the cinema and cycling at the
gym, though not necessarily in that order.
(WDCS - Messiah)
||Ciará Preston Myakicheff - Soprano
Ciará Preston Myakicheff, soprano, grew up in the Lake
District and began her musical studies on piano and flute, before
turning her focus to singing aged fifteen.
Ciará has a special interest in early and choral music,
which she found singing in a chamber choir with Dr Anthony Milledge,
a specialist on the works of Dyricke Gerarde. Pursuing this interest
she has taken solos in performances of Bach St. Matthew
Passion and Handels Dixit Dominus, and has also been fortunate
enough to have gained further experience as one of Ex Cathedras
student scholars (2020-2021), under the directorship of Jeffrey
She is currently in her second year at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
studying Vocal Performance with Louise Crane.
(WDCS - Faure & Durufle Requiems - April 2022)
(WDCS - A French Christmas - December 2022)
Filer - Mezzo-Soprano
Claire Filer was born in Auckland, New Zealand, where she began
a career that has involved studying and performing in the US,
the UK and Europe. Claire holds a Master of Arts with Distinction
from the Wales International Academy of Voice in Cardiff, a Master
of Music from The Boston Conservatory in the US and a Bachelor
of Music with first class honours from The University of Auckland
in New Zealand.
Claire made her UK Opera debut as Dido Dido and Aeneas followed
by Dorabella Così fan tutte, both with West Sussex Opera
in Chichester and West Wittering.
In early 2016, Claire sang the role of the Sorceress Dido &
Aeneas with The Helen Astrid Singing Academy in the Waldegrave
Drawing Room at St Marys University, Twickenham, as part
of the Richmond-upon-Thames Music and Drama Festival. In the
summer, Claire sang 2nd Witch/Ensemble in Verdi Macbeth with
Opera at Iford, chorus in La Traviata with West Green House Opera
and reprised the role of Dorabella Così fan tutte with
The Black Cat Opera Company at the Birgitta Festival in Tallinn,
Estonia, after successful performances in Guildford in December
Most recently, Claire performed the role of Maurya Riders to
the Sea in a touring production with Piccalilli Opera, followed
by chorus in the Opera Holland Park summer production of Káta
Claire is currently involved in productions of two contemporary
operas with Gestalt Arts Cameron Dodds Unsung Heroes
of the Planet and Sarah Daceys Liquid History, performed
at the Green Man Festival and the Totally Thames Festival respectively.
(WDCS - Stabat Mater - Mozart Requiem - Messiah)
||Daniel Marles - Counter Tenor
Daniel Marles is a Tenor from Leeds who enjoys singing in choirs
and consort groups with a passion for early music. He has sung
with the Leeds Guild of Singers, performing at Leeds Minster
where he has had his compositions performed.He sings regularly
with Ex Cathedra, holding the Student Scholar position for a
second year, performing in prestigious venues across the country.
He sings regularly with the Birmingham Oratory Choir, has assisted
the CBSO Chorus in a professional capacity, and sings with the
Chamber Choir at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.In his spare
time he enjoys playing the piano and composing.
(WDCS - A French Christmas)
||Daniel Tate - Baritone
(Section under construction)
- Trumpet soloist
David joined the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra and
went on to study at the Royal College of Music with Michael Laird.
He has performed as principal trumpet with Scottish Opera, the
English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique
and the Academy of Ancient Music.
He formed the groundbreaking group Blackadder Brass which became
the resident educational ensemble at Symphony Hall in Birmingham.
David is renowned as a soloist having performed and recorded
with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Roger Norrington,
Franz Brüggen, Vladimir Jurowski and Stephen Cleobury. His
recordings of Handel arias with singers such as Reneé
Fleming, Kiri Te Kanawa and Elin Manahan-Thomas have received
particular critical acclaim.
In 2009 David devised and scripted a concert programme with his
colleague Benedict Hoffnung celebrating the life of Handel entitled
Divine Music for Trumpets and Voices. Other projects
have been the formation of The London Trumpet Choir
which will play choral music in four parts on SATB trumpets and
as a music consultant, teacher and player for the latest album
of royal music to be released by Alison Balsom.
He is a professor of Natural Trumpet at both Birmingham Conservatoire
and the Royal Northern College of Music and is also Head of Brass
at Rugby School.
(WDCS - Nelson Mass & Vivaldi Gloria)
We welcome back Edward who also has sung with us before in Mendelssohns
St Paul.Ed Harrisson, having studied at the Birmingham
Comservatoire, has performed recently with the Midland Opera
Company as Turiddu in Mascagnis Cavalleria Rusticana, and
with the CBSO in concert performances of Wagners Parcifal
and Strauss Der Rosenkavalier.
He has also performed on several occasions with the Birmingham
Opera Company as Chorus mentor and soloist in Mussorgskys
Kovanschina, Tippets The Ice Break and, as a member of
Ex Cathedra, Stockhausens Mittwoch aus Licht, the latter
of which was performed again in the BBCs Proms in the Albert
He has also worked with the British youth opera in Brittens
Paul Bunyan and with the RSC for the world premier of Johnathan
Girlings Anya, for which he sang the role of Narrator as
well as tenor in the semi-chorus.
His recent Oratorio work includes performances of Bachs
Mass in B minor, the Evangelist for the St John Passion and Verdis
As well as singing, he conducts a local choir and youth orchestra
as well as teaching and playing the double bass, having played
with the Conservatoires Symphony orchestra as an undergraduate
and with the CBSO Youth orchestra for five years. His composition
of a fanfare for the BCU (UCE) graduation ceremonies, Antiphonality
was used for six years and he has received commissions for choral
works from the Crescent Theatre and conductor Paul Spicer for
the Conservatoire Chamber Choir.
(WDCS - St Paul - Stabat Mater)
(WDCS - A French Christmas)
||Ellie Neate - Soprano
Ellie is a masters student at the Guildhall School of Music and
Drama, where she studies with Sarah Pring. She has sung the soprano
solos in Bachs St John Passion with the Gloucester Cathedral
Choir, Bachs Cantata number 51 (Jauchzet Gott in allen
Landen) conducted by David Corkhill, Mahlers Symphony No.
4 with the Cheltenham Philharmonic Orchestra, and Andriessens
De Staat and Adams Grand Pianola Music with Simon Wills
and the Guildhall School UBU ensemble.Opera performances include
Mabel, Yum Yum, Patience and Josephine for Opera Anywhere, Suor
Osmina and Suor Dolcina in Suor Angelica (Opera Anywhere) Zerbinetta
(GSMD scenes), Despina in Così fan tutte, Papagena and
First Boy in The Magic Flute (GSMD), Athenian youth in the UK
premier of Jonathan Doves The Monster and the Maze (Simon Rattle,
LSO), and chorus in Poulencs Dialogues des Carmélites
(GSMD), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (West Green House
Festival Opera), Fidelio (Longborough Festival Opera), and Iolanta
(GSMD). Upcoming highlights include Vaughan-Williamss Symphony
No. 3, a recital at Holy Trinity Sloane Square, Handels
Messiah, a performance of songs from the Great American Songbook
and opera scenes from Die Entführung and le Nozze di Figaro.
(WDCS - Schubert Mass)
Rauch - Soprano
Elisabeth Rauch currently studies at the Guildhall School of
Music and Drama under Susan Waters in a Master of Performance
programme. She completed a Bachelor of Music at the Felix Mendelssohn
Bartholdy College of Music in Leipzig, where she also took part
in a two years Masters in Opera Course.In 2015 she made her debut
as Agathe in the university production of Carl Maria von Webers
This June the singer had one of the leading roles in the production
of Richard Wetzs `The Eternal Fire with the Hofoper
Jena.Elisabeth also performs on a regular basis in concerts and
oratorios in Germany and in and around London. Besides her studies
she participated in several masterclasses with Frieder Bernius,
KS Julie Kaufmann, Janice Watson, Graham Johnson and Peter Rose
to name a few.Elisabeth is a Britten-Pears Young Artist and a
Bayreuth Scholar of the Richard Wagner society.
She was awarded a Guildhall School of Music and Drama scholarship.
The singer currently receives ongoing support from the John Wates
(WDCS - St Paul)
Elinor, originally from Stoke-on-Trent, studied voice at Chethams
School Of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama,
where she won the Worshipful Company of Horners Becker
Scholarship and the Tracey Chadwell Memorial Prize for Contemporary
Recent roles include Josephine HMS Pinafore (Gilbert and Sullivan
Opera Company Tour) Mabel Pirates Of Penzance (Gilbert and Sullivan
Opera Company Tour) Violetta La Traviata (OperaUpClose/Soho Theatre
and Tour), Mimi La Boheme (in the Olivier Award winning OperaUpClose
production at the Soho Theatre and Charing Cross Theatre and
Tour), Sophie Werther (Midsummer Opera), Rosina The Barber Of
Seville (OUC Tour), Anna Don Giovanni (OUC/Soho Theatre), Mrs
Bear-Crawford Beginners (New commission, ROH Linbury Theatre)
Michaela Carmen (For EPOC at the Royal Albert Hall), Susanna
The Marriage of Figaro (Opera La Gozinère), Rusalka/Voran
May Night (Garsington Opera), Rowan The Little Sweep (International
Festival of Shannon). Elinor has been the recipient of a Garsington
Oratorio experience includes Mozart Requiem (at the Cadogan Hall),
Verdi Requiem (Lighthouse Theatre Poole), Vaughan-Williams Sea
Symphony (at the Victoria Hall, Hanley with the Ceramic City
Choir), Orff Carmina Burana, Handel Messiah, Handel Joshua, Hadyn
Creation, Haydn The Seasons, Haydn Nelson Mass, Mozart Coronation
Mass, Schumann Requiem, Rossini Petite Messe Solenelle, Mendelssohn
Elijah, Brahms Requiem.
Elinor was a soloist on a SONY BMG recording The Best Of
Gilbert And Sullivan which reached the top of the Classical
Elinor is in demand as a vocal animateur for opera companies
such as Opera North, Aldeburgh Music, the Royal Opera House,
and as far away as Canadian Childrens Opera Chorus in Toronto.
She was assistant director on Towards An Unknown Port for English
Touring Opera (ROH Linbury Theatre and Tour) last year and also
directed her first childrens opera Hedgehogs Home
at the Conway Hall in 2012. Also in 2012 she performed a dance
role in Danny Boyles Olympic Opening Ceremony but has since
put away her hip hop shoes (until the right future opportunity
(WDCS - Brahms Requiem)
Kyte - Mezzo-Soprano
Emily is a London born classical mezzo-soprano. She trains
with Susan Waters on the award-winning Opera Course at the
Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Previously, Emily trained
in the vocal department at the Guildhall School, and on the ENO
Throughout her career so far, she has gained experience in the
fields of opera, oratorio and recital. Emily is a Concordia Foundation
Artist.Emily has been part of many performances in opera, oratorio,
recitals, masterclasses, etc including: The cover role of Zulma
in Litaliana in Algeri, British Youth Operas
production of The Cunning Little Vixen, chorus for La Boheme
and Samson et Dalila, Fag Hag in Vahan Salorians Boys of
Paradise, in the female quartet in Schumanns Das Paradies
und die Perl with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by
Sir Simon Rattle, second alto solo in Handels Utrecht Jubilate
and Utrecht Te Deum with the English Chamber Orchestra at St
Pauls Cathedral.Emily has performed the roles of Rosina
(Il Barbieri di Siviglia), Pinocchio (The Adventures of Pinocchio),
and Annio (La Clemenza di Tito). She has also taken part in masterclasses
with Martin Katz, Anne Murray, Louise Winter and Graham Johnson.
(WDCS - St Matthew Passion)
Florian was born in Paris and moved to Brighton at a young age.
He first studied History and Politics at the University of Warwick,
singing under the tutelage of Johnny Graham-Hall, before embarking
upon a Masters at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Having just completed his first year, he studies with Adrian
Thompson and John Evans.A few of his opera credits include Telemachus
(Cover) The Return of Ulysses (Royal Opera House), Peter Quint
The Turn of The Screw (Kings Opera), Demetrius (Cover)
The Enchanted Island (British Youth Opera), Alfred Die Fledermaus
(Opera Warwick). Amongst his work as a soloist Florian has sung
in Paris with the LA-Philharmonic conducted by Dudamel, the Tippett
Spirituals for the LSO Sing-in Day, Brittens Canticles
with Graham Johnsons Song Guild, and the Serenade for Tenor
and Horn with the Orchestra of Sussex.
He was recently awarded the Rosalind Armstrong Song Prize in
HCOs singing competition and it grateful to The Worshipful
Company of Leathersellers and the Guildhall Scholars
trust for their generous contributions towards his tuition.
(WDCS - Schubert Mass)
Francis took up the organ at the age of ten, studying with David
Flood at Canterbury Cathedral.He took up his first post within
a year and gave his first London recital at St Brides,
Fleet Street at the age of 16: two weeks after completing his
O-Levels!He studied music at Sheffield University and at the
Royal Academy of Music in London before working as a freelance
musician, during which time he was Director of Music at Luton
Parish Church and ran the St Albans Organists Training
After a sojourn onto the island of Jersey, the call to teaching
brought him back to earth and with a brief stop in Peterborough
to get him into the right gear, Francis moved to Wrekin College.
He subsequently worked at St Edmunds Canterbury before
returning to the Midlands to work at Wolverhampton Grammar School.
He has recently left the Grammar School to take up a new position
He is a Principal Examiner for GCSE Music and works regularly
delivering training and workshops to pupils and teachers.
He is more often heard accompanying rather than giving solo recitals
these days and regularly accompanies two London based choirs
with recent performances at both St Pauls and Westminster
Abbey. Aside from music, he has a passion for sailing and classic
(WDCS - Crucifixion)
The baritone, Gwion Thomas was born in Gorseinon, South Wales
and gave up a career in banking to study singing at the Royal
Northern College of Music, Manchester, where he graduated with
Distinction, winning many prizes.
His operatic roles include Figaro in Barber of Seville and First
Mate in John Metcalfs Tornrak for Welsh National Opera.
He also sang Maitra and Presiding Judge in Param Virs double
bill, Snatched from the Gods and Broken Strings and more recently
the role of William Godwin in the Sally Beamishs Monster
for Scottish Opera.
He has performed several roles for Kent Opera, such as Chao Lin
in Judith Weirs A Night at the Chinese Opera, Ned Keene
in Peter Grimes and the title role in Monteverdis Orfeo.
At Aldeburgh Festival he has sung Mr Punch in Birtwistles
Punch and Judy and created the title role of The Wildman in Nicola
LeFanus new opera.
For Music Theatre Wales his numerous roles included Mr Punch
in their acclaimed production of Punch and Judy, Blazes in Peter
Maxwell Davies The Lighthouse, Pasternak in The Electrification
of the Soviet Union and Hermes in Param Virs Ion, which
was a joint production with the National Opera du Rhin in Strasbourg
and the Berlin Festival.
He has also recently performed the Pasternak in The Electrification
of the Soviet Union for Opera Vest in Norway and Blazes in Peter
Maxwell Davies The Lighthouse for Transparant Muziektheater
With the latter he also took the role of the composer Janacek
in their production Intimate Letters. On the concert platform
he has performed the role of Chao Lin in A Night at the Chinese
Opera for Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Boatswain in HMS Pinafore
at the Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Roger Norrington and the Journalist in Lulu with
the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Davis.
(WDCS - St Paul)
Harrys interest in singing began at the age of five when
he performed his first solo with a choir at an event at his primary
school. From there, he moved to Hereford Cathedral School to
become a chorister in 2009. During those years as a chorister,
he toured South Africa, sang for members of royalty and took
part in several broadcasts of services. When his voice changed,
Harry was fortunate to gain choral scholarships in many choirs
including Hereford Chamber Choir, Hereford Cathedral, St James
Parish Church Sydney and Portsmouth Cathedral.Harry is currently
undertaking a vocal studies degree at Birmingham Conservatoire.
Harry currently works as a deputy bass at St Chads Catholic Cathedral,
Magdalen College Oxford, New College Oxford, Christ Church Cathedral
Oxford, The Oratory Birmingham, Coventry Cathedral, Gloucester
Cathedral, Worcester Cathedral, St Philips Cathedral Birmingham
and Hereford Cathedral. Outside of the music world, Harry is
a keen sportsman, playing for the 1XV mens rugby team at university.
(WDCS - A French Christmas)
Helen Meyerhoff has been praised in The New York Times for the
unabashed lushness of her voice with interpretation
described by The Independent as Triumphant... having the
utmost dramatic force.Since making her debuts both at the
Wigmore Hall and on BBC Radio 3 (live from the City of London
Festival) Helen has frequently appeared as a recitalist with
leading accompanists and ensembles internationally. London concerts
include performances in the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall,
Barbican, St Johns, Smith Square and Cadogen Hall.
She has also appeared in the Schoenberg Centre in Vienna, for
Bargemusic in New York, and in recital with Jonathan Zak in Tel
Aviv, as well as for festivals such as Edinburgh, Cheltenham,
Leamington, Boxgrove and Bromsgrove in the UK.Helen is experienced
on the operatic stage and has sung the roles of Pamina (Die Zauberflöte),
Titania (A Midsummer Nights Dream) and Belinda (Dido and
Aeneas) for Opera Shorts, Papagena (Die Zauberflöte) for
the Aldeburgh Festival and Clorinda (Il Combattimento di Tancredi
e Clorinda) for the Northern Aldeborough Festival.
Helen was also a finalist in the New York Centre for Contemporary
Opera Competition. A specialist in the contemporary repertoire,
she has given many UK and World premieres including works written
for her by Judith Bingham and Naji Hakim.Helens discography
includes music by Pärt, Bliss, Langlais, Vierne, and Patterson.
Recent performances include Haydn and Vaughan-Williams with the
City of London Sinfonia, and Handels Messiah in the Royal
Festival Hall with the combined forces of Lewisham Choral Society
and the Hackney Singers.
(WDCS - Messiah)
||Helen Daniels - Mezzo-Soprano
Helen first began singing when she joined Coventry Blue Coat
School Choir at the age of eleven. She then went on to study
music at Cambridge University where she was a choral scholar
with Trinity College Choir under the direction of Stephen Layton.
Winner of the oratorio and English song prizes at the Beckenham
Festival (November 2017) and runner-up in the recital class at
Bromley Music Festival (February 2018), Helen is a budding recitalist
and enjoys devising creative and challenging programmes for audiences
Helen currently sings with a number of acclaimed professional
choirs including The Hanover Band, Philharmonia Voices, City
Bach Collective, Classical Opera and The Carice Singers. She
is thrilled to have been chosen as an alto choral scholar with
St Martin in the Fields for the 2018-2019 season.
Recent solo performances include Haydns Nelson Mass, Buxtehudes
Membra Jesu Nostri, Bachs Tue Rechnung! Donnerwort, BWV
168 and Vivaldis Gloria. Operatic roles have included Lapak,
Cunning Little Vixen (Janacek), Romeo, Fairy Queen: Re-imagined
(Purcell) and Liddy, Far From the Madding Crowd (Barnaby Martin).
Alongside singing, Helen plays the clarinet and enjoys performing
with the London Incidental Orchestra in various venues around
(WDCS - Schubert Mass)
Moore - Soprano
Canadian soprano Jenavieve Moore is a singer on the Opera Course
at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, under
She is also an accomplished pianist and flautist, holding two
Performance A.R.C.T. diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of
Music (Canada). She has won top prizes at many competitions including
the Susan Longfield Competition, the Dean & Chadlington Festival
Competition, the GSMD Aria Prize, the Canadian Music Competition,
and the National Kiwanis Festival, and has been featured as a
soloist with many prominent orchestras.Equally at home on the
opera and concert stage, Jenavieve has performed across North
America, Europe, and China, with operatic role and scene credits
including Judith Wiers one-woman opera King Haralds
Saga, Wolf-Ferraris Le Donne Curiose (Rosaura), Birtwistles
Yan Tan Tethera (Hannah), Bizets Carmen (Micaëla),
Stravinskys The Rakes Progress (Ann Trulove), Humperdinks
Hänsel und Gretel (Sandmann), Massenets Manon (Manon),
Mozarts Don Giovanni (Donna Anna) Mozarts Le nozze
di Figaro (Countessa), and Rossinis Le comte Ory (Comtesse
Adèle). Recent Oratorio appearances include Verdis
Requiem, Rossinis Stabat Mater, Haydns Paukenmesse,
Mozarts Requiem and Exsultate Jubilate.
She is regularly featured on BBC Radio 3 in connection with their
New Music Immersion concerts; previous events and recordings
have included Brett Deans Wolf-Lieder concerto
for soprano and orchestra in Barbican Hall, and Arvo Pärts
Upcoming performances include the role of Female Chorus
in The Rape of Lucretia (Britten) in February 2016, as well as
an appearance in the Budapest Opera Festival and in the Royal
Opera House in January performing European Premiers of three
chamber operas. She will be making her solo debut in Royal Albert
Hall in March 2016 with Brett Deans Wolf-Lieder
concerto for soprano and orchestra.
(WDCS - Nelson Mass & Vivaldi Gloria)
Jennie hails from West Sussex and lives in London. She graduated
from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a First Class
(hons) Bachelor of Music degree under the tutelage of Professor
Susan McCulloch. Whilst at the Guildhall she has had the privilege
of working with internationally acclaimed coaches and singers
including Sarah Walker, Graham Johnson, Eugene Asti, Adrian Thompson,
Andrew Watts, Sally Burgess. Now studying with Sarah Pring, she
is returning to the Guildhall and continuing her studies, working
towards a Masters degree in performance.
During the 2011/12 season, 23 year old Jennie made her U.K. role
début as Ortlinde in Die Walküre conducted by Martyn
Brabbins at the St. Endillion Festival, where she also performed
a recital of French song with Iain Burnside. Further performances
included Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi for Fulham Opera, Page in
Chabriers Le Roi Malgré Lui, with Wexford Festival
Opera, Fleury in La Rondine for Opera di Peroni and in Glyndebourne
Festival Operas Hippolyte et Aricie.
In addition to her opera work, Jennie appears regularly on the
oratorio and concert platform both as a soloist and as a consort
singer. As a soloist, oratorios include Messiah (Handel), Gloria
(Vivaldi), Requiem (Brahms), The Armed man (Jenkins), Requiem
(Mozart), Samson (Handel), St Johns Passion (Bach) An Eternal
Light (Goodall) and Requiem (Fauré) amongst others. One
of her most relished experiences, she sung soprano chorus in
a fully staged production of Bachs St Matthew Passion at
the National Theatre directed by Sir Jonathan Miller with the
As well as developing a career on the classical concert platform
and the operatic stage, Jennie is a keen supporter of the charity,
Help for Heroes and performs the war time classics with Her Majestys
Royal Marine band to help fundraising.
(WDCS - The Sea Symphony)
White - Baritone
Baritone Lawrence White has performed, recorded and broadcast
at many major concert venues, theatres and studios, both at home
in the UK, in Europe and further abroad.
A frequent soloist in performances of standard oratorio repertoire,
he has also performed contemporary repertoire by, among others,
Reich, Andriessen, Birtwistle, Nono and Saariaho.
As a contributor to vocal consorts, Lawrence has performed and
recorded with The Sixteen, Tenebrae, Ensemble Plus Ultra, The
Marian Consort, The Tallis Scholars, Ex Cathedra and Synergy
Vocals. Solo studio and session credits include the plainchant
of the Knights Templar (for Herald), Paco Peñas
Requiem for the Earth (Universal) and Mozart masses (Naxos).
Recent highlights include Brittens War Requiem with the
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Coventry Cathedral); excerpts from
Orffs Carmina Burana with the Birmingham Royal Ballet and
Orchestra (Symphony Hall); Purcells Indian Queen (Birmingham
Town Hall and St. Johns Smith Square, London), and Monteverdis
Vespers (St. Davids Hall, Cardiff) with Endels Messiah
with The English Concert (Duomo di Pisa, Tuscany) under Trevor
Plans for the coming months include performances of Bachs
St. John and St. Matthew Passions, and performances of an English
song recital programme in both London and Mexico City.
(WDCS - Faure & Durufle Requiems - April 2022)
Oxley - Baritone
John first studied singing with Constance Kershaw in Wolverhampton
and later with Roger Stalman at the Birmingham School of Music
(now the Conservatoire).
He has sung regularly throughout the Midlands and also further
afield in Southport, Llandudno, Newquay, Eastbourne, London and
Datteln in Germany.
Johns range of music includes oratorio, opera, operetta,
Lieder and English song. He has played a variety of stage roles
in Gilbert and Sullivan opera and has also sung the parts of
Escamilio in Carmen, Fagin in Oliver and Tevye in Fiddler on
Since retiring from teaching, John is very involved in his family
(two daughters, six grandchildren), church and golf. He also
very much enjoys singing with the Wombourne and District Choral
Society, here in Wolverhampton.
(WDCS - Crucifixion)
- Composer (Patron of our choir)
John Rutter was born in London in 1945 and received his first
musical education as a chorister at Highgate School. He went
on to study music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he wrote
his first published compositions and conducted his first recording
while still a student.
His compositional career has embraced both large and small-scale
choral works, orchestral and instrumental pieces, a piano concerto,
two childrens operas, music for television, and specialist
writing for such groups as the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and
the Kings Singers.
His larger choral works, Gloria (1974), Requiem (1985), Magnificat
(1990), Psalmfest (1993) and Mass of the Children (2003) have
been performed many times in Britain, North America, and a growing
number of other countries.He co-edited four volumes in the Carols
for Choirs series with Sir David Willcocks, and, more recently,
has edited the first two volumes in the new Oxford Choral Classics
series, Opera Choruses (1995) and European Sacred Music (1996).
From 1975 to 1979 he was Director of Music at Clare College,
whose choir he directed in a number of broadcasts and recordings.
After giving up the Clare post to allow more time for composition,
he formed the Cambridge Singers as a professional chamber choir
primarily dedicated to recording, and he now divides his time
between composition and conducting.
He has guest-conducted or lectured at many concert halls, universities,
churches, music festivals, and conferences in Europe, Africa,
North and Central America and Australasia. In 1980 he was made
an honorary Fellow of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, and
in 1988 a Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians. In 1996 the
Archbishop of Canterbury conferred a Lambeth Doctorate of Music
upon him in recognition of his contribution to church music.
He was honoured in the 2007 Queens New Year Honours List,
being awarded a CBE for services to music.
(WDCS - John visited Wombourne Choral Society in 2009 and
conducted the weekly rehearsal.)
Lavender - Tenor
Justin Lavender was persuaded
by Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten to abandon nuclear engineering
for music. He made his international debut in The Pearl Fishers
at the Sydney Opera House. In 1990 he made debuts at the Royal
Opera, Covent Garden, singing the leading role of Arnold in Rossinis
spectacular masterpiece William Tell, and at the Vienna State
Opera as Tamino in Mozarts Magic Flute. His debut at La
Scala, Milan, in the title role of Rossinis Count Ory came
the following year.
More recent performances have included the title role in Gounods
Faust at Covent Garden, Florestan in Beethovens Leonore
with the Chelsea Opera Group, Don José with the Welsh
National Opera, Loge in Wagners Das Rheingold for the Latvian
National Opera and at Norways Bergen Festival, Ruis in
Donzettis Maria Padilla for Washington Concert Opera, Pollione
in Bellinis Norma for English Touring Opera, and Don José
again in the Royal Operas co-production with the Taiwan
(WDCS - Verdi Requiem)
Polish born mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Balejko began her musical
training as a violinist studying for 12 years at Witold Lutoslawski
Primary and Secondary Music School in Kielce. She completed her
undergraduate training in vocal and drama at Karol Szymanowski
Academy of Music in Katowice. During the course she performed
as Lucy in The beggars opera and as Rinaldo in Handels
Rinaldo both productions of Academy of Music in Katowice
for G.G Gorczyckis International Festival.
Katarzyna has graduated with distinction from postgraduate vocal
course at Guildhall School of Music & Drama and was awarded
Concert Recital Diploma for her final recital. Kasia is currently
a student of the Opera Course at the Guildhall School where she
recently appeared as Colombina in Le donne curiose by E. Wolf-Ferrari.
She also took part in Opera Scenes performance in Studio Theatre
in Milton Court and in The Buick Grand Theatre in Shanghai (China).Kasias
future engagements include: role of Lucretia in Brittens
The Rape of Lucretia at Guildhall School of Music and Drama,
Opera Makers performance at The Clore Studio in Royal Opera House,
alto solo part in Verdi Requiem in St. Batholomews Church
in Brighton and role of Judith in Bartoks Bluebeards
Castle in West Road Hall, Cambridge.
Kasia is generously supported by Dr Michael Shipley and Mr Philip
(WDCS - Nelson Mass & Vivaldi Gloria)
Mark studied at Magdalen College, Oxford and the Royal College
of Music winning various awards including an NFMS Award, a Samling
Scholarship and Susan Chilcott Bursary.
Concert appearances include Messiah with the CBSO, Brubecks
La Fiesta de la Posada at the Barbican, and Haydns Creation
with the Northern Sinfonia.As a WNO Associate Artist he has sung
Rodrigo Othello, understudied Lenski Eugene Onegin, The Duke
Rigoletto, Kudrjas Káta Kabanová, Giove in
Monteverdis Il ritorno dUlisse in patria and sung
various roles in a Scottish Opera Essential Tour and 1st Trojan
Man Idomeneo and Giuseppe La traviata for Glyndebourne on Tour.
As a recitalist he has performed with Iain Burnside and Roger
Vignoles at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Ludlow Song Festival
and his recordings include Durufles Messe Cum Jubilo for
Harmonia Mundi.Some recent highlights and future performances
include Satyavan in Holsts Savitri with Choros,
Steersman (cover) Wagner The Flying Dutchman for ENO, stagings
of Carissimi Jephthe with a recording for Harmonia Mundi, Aminta
in Handels Atalanta for Cambridge Handel Opera, Rossini
Petite Messe Solennelle for Lewisham Choral Society, Schubert
Mass in Ab for Salisbury Choral Society, Beethoven 9 at St Albans
Abbey, Beethoven Missa Solemnis at Dorchester Abbey and Mozart
Requiem at The Royal Festival Hall.
(WDCS - Messiah)
Mark lives in Kettering and teaches pianoforte at Northampton
School for Boys.He is the Assistant Director of Music at the
parish church of Ss Peter & Paul, Kettering. In addition
to his teaching commitments, he has worked as a répétiteur
for the Royal Academy of Dance in London, the Birmingham Royal
Ballet Company and their education department.
He was involved with the latters Ballet Hoo
project, broadcast by Channel 4 television in 1996.In 2009, he
was the organist for the Schools Prom concert at the Royal Albert
Hall.In June and July 2011 he was the organist for Earl Spencers
wedding at Althorp House and for the Duchess of Buccleuch &
Queensberrys memorial service.
In November 2014 he was organist for the Thanksgiving Service
of the late Hugh de Capell Brooke, and is much in demand as an
accompanist and organist.
(WDCS - St Paul - 'It's Christmas Time' Concert 2016)
Allen - Tenor
Nick graduated from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama
in 2011. Last summer he played the roles of Frederic in The Pirates
of Penzance and Nanki-Poo in The Mikado in the inaugural UK tour
of the Official Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company. Other roles
include Tobias in Jonathan Doves opera, Tobias
and the Angel, and Defendant in G&S Trial
by Jury. He understudied the role of Damon in Acis
and Galatea under the late Sir Charles Mackerras) at the Jubilee
Hall in Aldeburgh. His wide oratorio experience includes tenor
solos in Rossinis Petite Messe Solennelle, Handels
Messiah, Mozarts Requiem and Coronation Mass, Haydns
Creation and Nelson Mass, Beethovens Mass in C Major, Michael
Haydns Missa pro Defunctis, Ramirezs Navidad Nuestra
and the Evangelist in Bachs St. John Passion. In 2013 Nick
performed Brittens Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings
as part of the centenary celebrations.
Nick attended the seven-week summer opera course held in Banff,
Canada, where he made his operatic debut as Peter Quint in the
Benjamin Britten opera The Turn of the Screw as part of the annual
Banff Summer Arts Festival. Nick has collaborated as a soloist
with numerous contemporary composers and performed their new
works at venues including the Wigmore Hall and St. Johns,
Smith Square. In 2011 and 2012 at the Barbican Pit Theatre he
played the role of English composer Herbert Howells in A Soldier
and a Maker - a play written and directed by Iain Burnside based
on the life and music of Ivor Gurney. Nick was also part of the
radio version of the play for BBC Radio 3.
(WDCS - Nelson Mass & Vivaldi Gloria)
Hooke - Soprano
Nicola studied flute and piano at Trinity College of Music, London,
and has taught flute for many years. In recent years she has
studied singing with Norman Welsby (former Principal Baritone
at Covent Garden and Sadlers Wells).
She appears regularly as a soloist with Adoramus, a Christian
choir based in North London, and in 2012 became a founder member
of the Asaph Ensemble, a five piece ensemble with two sopranos,
two trumpets and an organist.
Her work with Adoramus and the Asaph Ensemble has included work
in Italy, France and Turkey, as well as across England. She has
recently returned from Turkey, where she performed Handels
Let the Bright Seraphim and Mozarts Laudate
Dominum in the Osman Gazi Hall, Ataturk Congress and Cultural
Centre in Bursa.
Nicola has been involved, as a singer and flautist, with several
BBC TV and Radio broadcasts for religious programmes, and has
sung roles in Purcells Dido and Aeneas and Humperdincks
Hansel and Gretel for St Albans Chamber Opera. Most recently
she sang the demanding role of Elle in Poulencs
opera for solo soprano, La Voix Humaine.
Other recent performances have included Haydns Little Organ
Mass with Potters Bar Choral Society, Mozart Requiem with Enfield
Choral Society and two concerts of Mozart Concert Arias and Grieg
songs with Enfield Chamber Orchestra. Nicola lives in North London
with her husband and their three teenage sons.
(WDCS - Stabat Mater)
Nicholas Salwey graduated from Oxford in 1990 with a First in
Music whilst also gaining performers diplomas from the Royal
College and the Guildhall School of Music.
After a Masters in Politics from the LSE and a stint as a reluctant
eurocrat at the European Commission, he made a rapid return to
music, teaching piano, composition, academic music and coaching
chamber music at Eton and Winchester Colleges, and at Oxford
University, where he was a Lecturer at New College.
He gained a doctorate in 2001 for a thesis on late 18th-century
piano music about which he has published articles for books and
journals in the UK and Austria, as well as several entries for
the Dictionary of National Biography.Nick has performed on ITV,
Channel 4 and Radio 3, has reviewed for The Independent and the
New York Observer, and he is on the review panel of International
Record Review and International Piano Magazine.
In 2002, he joined the full-time staff at Winchester College,
where he is Head of Piano and Deputy Master of Music.
(WDCS - Brahms Requiem)
Legg - Baritone
Piran Legg graduated as a baritone from the Guildhall Opera School
in the summer of 2014 and has since begun his studies on the
Artists Diploma with Kate Paterson.
He made his operatic debut at the Wexford Festival singing chorus
and small roles and has previously performed in 2012 at Garsington,
as cover Alcandro in Vivaldis LOlimpiade and The
Guide, Boy on boat and Polish Father in Brittens Death
in Venice in the summer of 2015. In addition to this Piran, whilst
working as a Garsington Young Artist, understudied the role of
the Notary in Strausss comic romance, Intermezzo.
Recent highlights include a debut at the Cadogan Hall singing
Schaunard in La Boheme, assuming the title mantle of a crusty
old codger with a prosthetic nose in The Cooper by Thomas Arne
at the Guildhall School, as well taking a young artist position
at Iford in Monteverdis The Return of Ulysses with Christian
In October Piran made a return to Cadogan Hall singing the role
of Danieli in Wagners Das Liebesverbot with Chelsea Opera
Group.A busy concert schedule is planned over the coming months,
with performances of Handels Messiah around the U.K. and
a performance of the Bach Christmas Oratorio on the 23rd of December
in Berkhampstead. Piran was an International Opera Awards bursary
winner 2014-2015 and is grateful for the financial support of
The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers and Serena Fenwick.
(WDCS - Nelson Mass - Vivaldi Gloria - Mozart Requiem - Messiah)
Lomas - Soprano
Rosie Lomas studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama
in London where she graduated with a distinction in her final
She made her operatic debut as the thirteen year old American
Suburban Girl in English National Operas world
premiere production of Two Boys. In January 2013 she performed
the two childrens roles of Lucy and Josh in
the world premiere of Philip Glass The Perfect American at
Madrids Teatro Real. She repeated this role at ENO in the
UK première.Other operatic roles include Flora in The
Turn of the Screw at the Festival di Spoleto and First
Witch and Second Woman in Dido and Aeneas in
London and on tour in Italy and Germany.
Recent concert work includes excerpts from Handels Solomon with
countertenor James Bowman in a celebratory concert in aid of
The Foundling Hospital, and Haydn Nelson Mass with Choir
of the Twenty First Century at Christ Church, London.
She was a finalist in the 2015 London Bach Society Singing Competition
and sang in Andreas Scholl Master Classess as a Britten Pears
Young Artist. She performed Flora Turn of the
Screw for the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw and for Opera
She also gave further performances of The Perfect American with
Opera Queensland at the Brisbane Festival, as well as Cupid Venus
and Adonis on tour in the UK and Italy.
(WDCS - St Matthew Passion - Mozart Requiem - Messiah)
Samantha Carrasco is a highly skilled soloist, accompanist, orchestral
player and chamber musician and has developed an impressive reputation
as a teacher and ensemble coach.Samantha studied with Yonty Solomon
at the Royal College of Music, London, where she was awarded
an Exhibition Scholarship. She obtained a Bmus(Hons) degree in
1998, the ARCM teaching diploma and was subsequently awarded
the Phoebe Benham and Leverhulme Junior Fellowship from the College.
In 2001, Samantha later completed a Mmus performance degree with
distinction in 2008 from Southampton University and she has just
completed a PhD, studying the music collection of Jane Austen
and her family.Samantha Carrasco is in great demand as a recitalist,
performing in London, festivals nationwide and all over the world.
She has performed most of the major solo concerto repertoire
including Grieg, Schumann, Tchaikovsky No.1, Rachmaninoff No.2,
Mozart K466, K467 and K488 and Beethoven 3rd and 5th piano concertos.
She has also become a sought-after accompanist working in many
differing duo partnerships and for the Associated Board.Samantha
has broadcast live on BBC Radio3 and Classic FM with the highly
successful Newbold Piano Quartet. This prestigious quartet won
the Rio Tinto Ensemble Award and Miller Trophy from the Royal
Overseas League competition, the Parkhouse Award, the Tillett
Trust Young Artists Platform and the Tunnell Trust Competition.In
1999 Samantha performed both her Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room
debuts to critical acclaim.
She has since performed in all the major London venues including
Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Barbican, St. Martins-in-the-Fields,
St. James Piccadilly and Fairfield Hall, Croydon. Her versatile
skills enabled her to develop very successful cross-over concerts
of Classical to Jazz music, and she worked with a 10-piece band
on major cruise lines worldwide including Cunard, Holland Amercia,
Princess and Celebrity during 2002-2005.
She is on the teaching staff at Southampton University and Winchester
College and Samantha is an examiner, trainer and moderator for
the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music nationally
and internationally in the fields of classical music, jazz and
diplomas. She currently plays orchestral piano with the Bournemouth
(WDCS - Brahms Requiem)
Crawford - Soprano
British Australian soprano Samantha Crawford was awarded the
Golden Medal with Honours at the 2017 Berliner International
Music Competition and The 2017/18 NSW Wagner Society Award for
Emerging Wagner Singers. In 2016 she won First Prize and the
Presidents Prize at the Wagner Society Singing Competition
in London and was a Royal Philharmonic Society Chilcott Award
In 2018 Samantha was finalist for the inaugural Hong Kong International
Operatic Singing Competition at Hong Kong City Hall, chaired
by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Critics have praised her performances
as a singer whose fine cut soprano brought singing of class,
(Opera) and bringing a most complete portrayal, to
her roles (Financial Times).
Upcoming engagements include her return to Teatro Real Madrid
for Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed by Robert Carsen, Rossinis
Stabat Mater at St James Lincolnshire, Strauss Vier
Letzte Lieder at the Newbury Spring Festival, Verdis Requiem,
and concerts with CAM (Celebrating Australian Music) and London
Samantha graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Dramas
Opera Course with Distinction, as a Baroness de Turckheim Scholar.
She is an alumna of the Wagner Bayreuth Stipendium, Britten-Pears,
and Garsington Alvarez Young Artist Programmes.
(WDCS - Verdi Requiem)
(See more information about Samantha on her website : www.samanthacrawford.com)
Samantha Crawford, Soprano soloist commented "Choral
Singing is an important part of British musical culture and heritage.
It was a pleasure to perform with the Wombourne and District
Choral Society for their 90th year celebration concert of Verdis
Requiem. It is immensely rewarding to sing such a great work.
Long may the opportunities for professionals and amateurs alike
to be able to lift up their voices in unison. I firmly believe
singing is good for the soul. Choral societies do much to encourage
local community and bring the joy of singing to both performers
and audience members."
Pring - Mezzo-Soprano
Sarah Pring began her professional career at Glyndebourne, where
her roles have most recently included Gamekeepers Wife
(The Cunning Little Vixen).
She has performed for companies including English National Opera,
The Grange Festival, Grange Park Opera, Opera Holland Park, Opera
North and Welsh National Opera, in such repertory as Mrs Grose
(The Turn of the Screw), Alisa (Lucia di Lammermoor), the Marquise
de Berkenfield (La Fille du régiment), Lady Bertram (Mansfield
Park), Mrs Alexander (Satyagraha), Marthe Schwertlein (Faust),
Mother (Hänsel und Gretel), Mamma Lucia (Cavalleria rusticana),
Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), Ragonde (Le Comte Ory) and Mary
(Der fliegende Holländer). International engagements include
Madame Larina (Eugene Onegin) for Stuttgart Opera and Zita (Gianni
Schicchi) for Singapore Lyric Opera.
Sarah Pring is a professor of singing at the Birmingham Conservatoire
and the GSMD.
(WDCS - Verdi Requiem)
Moore - Organist
Stephen is Director of Music at St Matthews Church, Northampton,
where he oversees the day to day running of the music department
and directs the choir in all choral services at the church. Stephen
has continued the famous history that began with Brittens
Rejoice in the Lamb over 70 years ago of commissioning new music
at St Matthews, and under his direction the choir have
given the premieres of newly commissioned works by Paul Mealor
and David Halls, recorded their first CD for 20 years and undertaken
several tours within the UK.
Stephen completed his undergraduate studies at Trinity College
of Music, with organ as principle study, graduating in 2008 with
a first class honours degree in performance and winning the college
medal for the highest keyboard studies mark in his year. Whilst
at Trinity he studied with William Whitehead and Colm Carey and
twice won the Cardnell Organ Prize for outstanding performance.
He is an Associate of the Royal College of Organists and a Fellow
of Trinity College London.
He is an active teacher and performer, and as a soloist has given
recitals in numerous churches and cathedrals throughout the country,
most recently Salisbury, Leicester and Wakefield Cathedrals and
Christ Church Priory. He performed in the Three Choirs Festival
in Worcester in 2008, and the Southern Cathedrals Festival in
Salisbury in 2009. Stephen has worked as accompanist to various
choirs in the Midlands and further afield in works including
Orffs Carmina Burana, Britten Saint Nicolas and Rossini
Petite Messe Solennelle.
(WDCS - Joseph Jongen Mass Op 130 & Bruckner Motets)
Legg - Mezzo-Soprano
Since winning the National Mozart Singing Competition, Susan
has enjoyed a flourishing career that has taken her to major
concert venues worldwide. Specialising in contemporary song,
lieder and chanson, she is regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3
and has recorded for Norwegian Radio. Legendary mezzo Christa
Ludwig described Susans lyric mezzo as a beautiful
voice with a fine coloratura.
Susan has given recitals at Londons Wigmore Hall, Purcell
Room, St. John, Smiths Square and opera galas at St. Jamess
Palace and British Embassies in Moscow, Copenhagen, Lisbon and
Stockholm. Operatic engagements include Glyndebourne, Bayreuth,
Wexford and Aldeburgh and the Walton Trust, Ischia. Susan has
performed all Elgars works, Bachs Passions, Verdi
and Mozart Requiems and toured Handels Messiah in Mexico.
She regularly records film, TV and video game soundtracks and
freelances with the BBC Singers.Other accolades include the Richard
Tauber Schubert Society Prize; Tillett Trusts Young Artists
Platform; finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards and Belvedere
International Singing Competition, Vienna and being British representative
in the Queen Sonja International Music Competition, Norway.In
a celebrated duo with pianist Ann Martin-Davis, their unique
CD of Lutoslawski chamber music for ASV Label was described as
beautiful and exquisite by BBC Music Magazine.
A further disc for Nimbus Heaven-Haven - The Songs of Peter Pope
rediscovered a forgotten English composer. The duo commissioned
pioneering song-cycles from Graham Fitkin, Howard Skempton and
Gabriel Jackson, which toured major UK music and poetry festivals.
Their latest project Mr James Garden: Jardin de los Sueños
celebrates music, sculpture and Edward Jamess surrealist
Mexican garden Las Pozas. With specially commissioned Mexican
artwork, performances in Henley and Petworth Festivals followed
premieres in Mexico City.Susan studied singing with Margaret
Kingsley at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera
Studio and piano with Clifford Benson and Phyllis Sellick.
(WDCS - Messiah)
Purkis - Mezzo-Soprano
UK based singer and performer Suzie Purkis began her vocal training
at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where she won a scholarship
and many prizes.
After completing her studies, she was awarded a medal for Excellence
in Performance from the Worshipful Company of Musicians and went
on to complete the Opera Works course at English National Opera.
Since graduating she has been employed by Diva Opera, Buxton
Festival Opera, Kentish Opera, Heritage Opera and Graham Vicks
Birmingham Opera Company.
Operatic roles include Carmen (Carmen in English) for
Kentish Opera and Heritage Opera; Mother (Amahl and the Night
Visitors) and Juno (Semele) for Operamus; Minerve (Orphée
aux Enfers) for Diva Opera; Ottavia (Lincoronazione di
Poppea) for Birmingham Conservatoire; First Witch (Dido and Aeneas)
for mac Productions/Sampad.
With a special interest in performing new music, Suzie has sung
Boulez to Pierre Boulez and Andriessen to Louis Andriessen. She
has also been a soloist on several recordings and BBC radio broadcasts
and is featured on a forthcoming album by Michael Wolters.She
has sung opera in a swimming pool, performed in an ice rink during
public skatinghours and even sung in a cage in a zoo on German
Plans for 2022 include: concerts with the a cappella group Papagena;
her debut in the role of the Angel in Elgars The Dream
of Gerontius; mezzo soloist in Duruflés Requiem;
alto soloist in Handels Messiah and operatic concerts with
the Orchestra of St Johns.
Suzie is currently Head of Singing at a leading independent school
in North London and has strong ties with Music of Life Foundation,
Choir with No Name, for people affected by homelessness, and
Beating Time, an initiative to establish choirs in prisons.
(WDCS - Faure & Durufle Requiems - April 2022)
Welsh tenor William is a postgraduate student at Trinity Laban
Conservatoire of Music and Dance studying with Lynton Atkinson.
Recent performances include premiering the role of Gehazi in
Stephen McNeffs The Burning Boy with Bournemouth
Symphony Orchestra and Lucano/Liberto in Lincoronazione
di Poppea (Monteverdi) with Hampstead Garden Opera.With
Trinity Laban Postgraduate Opera Scenes he has performed the
roles of Essex in Gloriana, Albert in Albert
Herring, Quint in Turn of the Screw (Britten)
and Paolino in Il Matrimonio Segreto (Cimarosa).
He was also selected as a soloist to perform in the Schumann
Concert Series at Trinity Laban. Other recent performances include
Tenor Soloist in Dvoráks Stabat Mater
with Kings College Chorus, Mozart Requiem with
Chipping Campden Festival Chorus and Handels Messiah
with The Waynflete Singers at Winchester Cathedral.Alongside
his studies William was elected Vice President of Music on the
Trinity Laban Students Union, a position he will hold until
August 2018.He is very grateful for funding from Help Musicians
UK and the Drapers De Turckheim Scholarship which will
help him continue his studies this year.
(WDCS - Mozart Requiem)
William Searles promising solo career has seen him performing
with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Cadogan Hall, with Graham
Johnson at the Wigmore Hall and in a world premiere at Carnegie
Hall. Originally from Cardiff, he currently studies with Adrian
Thompson at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, following
a Music BA at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.
Oratorio repertoire has included J.S. Bachs Magnificat
(Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), St John Passion (The Gippeswyk
Singers) and Christmas Oratorio (St Johns, Waterloo), Brittens
St Nicolas (South Nutfield Choral Society), Beethovens
Symphony No. 9 (Cambridge University Symphony Orchestra), Rossinis
Petite Messe Solennelle (Southend Festival Chorus), Monteverdis
Vespri della Beata Vergine (English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble),
Mozarts Requiem (Croydon Minster), Handels Messiah
(Chapel Royal Tower of London), Stainers The Crucifixion
(Chapel Royal Tower of London), Pärts Passio, Stockhausens
Stimmung (both The Façade Ensemble), Maxwell-Davies
Solstice of Light (Cantate) and Haydns Nelson Mass (LSO
Discovery). He has also recently completed recording a disc of
the lieder of Robert Franz alongside the pianist Marc Verter.
A graduate of the National Youth Theatre, William is an accomplished
stage performer, with recent roles ranging across Tony in West
Side Story (Up The Hill), Beppe in Pagliacci (GSMD Opera Scenes),
Anatol in Samuel Barbers Vanessa (Brickhouse Theatre),
the title role in Idomeneo (Up The Hill), Parpignol in La Bohème
(Sinfonia dAmici - Cadogan Hall) and the immersive West
End show You Me Bum Bum Train.
Having trained with Llandaff Cathedral Choir, Gloucester Cathedral
Choir, the Genesis Sixteen and the National Youth Choir of Great
Britain Fellowship Scheme, William maintains a busy schedule
of choral and consort singing with the Orchestra of the Age of
Enlightenment, the Early Opera Company, Arcangelo, the Chapel
Royal at the Tower of London, Mogens Dahl Kammerkor, the William
Byrd Choir and the London Handel Festival.
(WDCS - Schubert Mass - Messiah (Tenor))