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Over the years, many soloists have sung for the society, and here are some of them. As the concerts go by, we are adding more names to this page. They are in alphabetical order.

*please note - if any soloists wish to have their photos added to this page or amend their details, please email

Adam Green, Adam Magee, Adam Wright, Alan Eost, Alan Horsey, Alison Hudson, Alistair Digges, Andrea Ryder-Smith, Andrew Dickinson, Angelina Warburton, Anita Wiencelewski, Anthony Wright, Ben Davies, Ben Thapa, Beth Mackay, Cameron Stanley, Carey Williams, Cari Searle, The Choir of Leeds Parish Church, Christopher Foster, Christopher Wray, Christopher Wright, Claire Strafford, David Allsopp, David Townend, David Houlder, Debra Morley, Donna Bateman Elizabeth Roberts, Elizabeth Watts, Georg G'dker, Hannah Mason, James Gower, Jan Townend, Janet Bennett, Janet Fairlie, Jason Darnell, Jennifer Westwood, Jeremy Dawson, Joanne Boddison, Jo Dwyer, John Dunford, John Lofthouse, Jonathan Gooing, Karina Lucas, Kathryn Woodruff, Kevin Spence, Kristina James , Lucy Appleyard,  Margaret McDonald, Martin Hindmarsh, The McAuley Chamber Choir, Monica Law, National Festival Orchestra, Nick Sales, Nicola Mills, Nigel Boucher, Nigel Gyte, Noah Nazir, Paul Dutton, Paul Tidd, Peter Heginbotham,  Philip Steel, Philip Wilcox, Philippa Hyde, Quentin BrownRachel Anne OakesRebekah Coffey, Ronald Law, Samantha Hay, Sarah Potter, Simon Lindley, Stephen Brown, Stephen Liley, South Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, Terence Ayebare

Adam Green, bass

"....Adam Green's Aeneas reacted as if genuinely moved, more flesh and blood than is usually found in this role. His baritone is founded on a solid technique and grows more in stature with every appearance."

adam green bassOpera Magazine August 2007

Aeneas for Opera North

Adam Green was born in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and studied at St John’s College, Cambridge, the Royal Academy of Music, London, and the National Opera Studio. He has won several competitions including the Song Prize at the National Mozart Competition, and was awarded the prestigious Ian Fleming and Sybil Tutton Awards.

Adam’s recent operatic engagements include Aeneas Aix-en-Provence Festival, Burghess Peter Grimes in Salzburg and Berlin with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, Sergio Fedora and Naval Officer Manon Lescaut for Holland Park Opera, The Pig (Title role) by Jonathan Dove, at Glyndebourne, the Assassin Tangier Tattoo, Glyndebourne on Tour, Ford Falstaff, and Il Conte Le Nozze di Figaro with the Southbank Sinfonia. Further roles include Belcore L’elisir d’amore, Benito Das Wundertheater (Henze), The Clock L’enfant et les sortilčges Emireno Ottone for the London Handel Festival, Guglielmo Cosģ fan tutte, Slendor, Salieri’s Falstaff, Escamillo Carmen, and Malatesta, Don Pasquale.

His concert experience is already extensive - Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium in Frankfurt under Lutz Köhler, Brahms’ Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and Fauré’s Requiem all at the Royal Albert Hall under Sir David Willcocks and with the RPO, Elgar’s Coronation Ode with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Elijah in Budapest, Carmina Burana televised in Ely Cathedral, and Telemann Matthäus Passion at the Snape Maltings.

Recital engagements have included performances at St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Linbury Studio Theatre of the Royal Opera House, the Pump Rooms, Bath, and Ripon Cathedral.

Engagements for the 2007/8 season include Aeneas for Opera North, Retrofire, Buzz on the Moon, by Jonathan Dove, for Channel 4, First Mate, Billy Budd with the LSO and Daniel Harding in the Barbican, recorded for Virgin/EMI, Judge Korngold Das Wunder der Heliane with the LPO and Vladimir Jurowski, Aeneas for Opera du Lille, and the Grand Theatre d’Aix en Provence. The Count for OEP, Don Giovanni at the Berbigueres Festival, France, and The barber of Seville for WNO.


Adam MageeAdam Magee, tenor

 was born in Birmingham. After graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2002, he took up a place on the opera course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama studying with Peter Alexander Wilson.

Whilst at the RNCM, he performed in many of the College's productions including the choruses of Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberfl'te, Jenufa and Queen of Spades. Roles include 1st Man in Armour/Die Zauberfl'te, Dr. Caius/Falstaff, Peter Quint/Turn of the Screw and Reuben Waterford/Dr. Heidegger's Fountain of Youth.

Adam has also performed the role of Benedict/Beatrice and Benedictfor West Riding Opera, Le Prince Charmant/Cendrillon with the RSAMD, and sang in the choruses of Cherevichki, L'Equivico Stravagante, Le Comte Ory, Arabella, Don Pasquale and May Night with Garsington Opera, and Curlew River at the Edinburgh Festival. He performed at Musica nel Chiostro, Batignano, Italy in 2000 and 2003. He is currently in the chorus for Scottish Opera's performances of Madama Butterfly and Lucia di Lammermoor.

Adam performs regularly on the concert platform, his repertoire includes works by Bach (St. John and St. Matthew Passions and Christmas Oratorio), Haydn (Creation, St. Nicholas and Nelson Masses), Handel (Acis and Galatea, Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus and Alexander's Feast), Mozart (Coronation Mass, Solemn Vespers, Requiem and Litanaie Laurenanae), Rossini (Petite Messe Solennelle), Stainer (Crucifixion), Mendelssohn (St. Paul and Elijah), Dvorak (Stabat Mater), Puccini (Messa di Gloria), Bizet (Te Deum), Finzi (Dies Natalis),Elgar (Dream of Gerontius), and Britten (St. Nicholas and Rejoice in the Lamb).

When he is not singing, Adam enjoys decorating other peoples' houses and is a very bad bird watcher.
 

Adam Wright, treble

is fourteen years old and is currently a student in Year Nine at Danum School Technology College (2010).

He displayed an interest in music from an early age and started singing in autumn 2002 just prior to his seventh birthday, in the choir of St George's Church Doncaster, now Doncaster Minster. Adam is at present Head Chorister of the Minster Choir but also uses his singing ability as a member of other choirs including the RSCM Northern Cathedral Singers and the local Danensian Choir, both of which specialise in performing English church music in cathedrals across the country. Adam has also attended the RSCM Cathedral Courses at York, Ely and Winchester and on one occasion had the opportunity to sing in the Chapel of Kings College Cambridge.

In December of last year Adam was awarded with the RSCM Gold Award with Honours, the highest award presented by the RSCM.

Adam's other musical interests include learning the piano and the bassoon and he has stated that he would like to turn his hand to the church organ one day. He also takes part in school concerts and productions having played the part of Kurt in last year's production of The Sound of Music.

Away from music Adam is very keen on sport and has represented both his schools thus far in a number of different sporting activities with some success. He also has a keen interest in cooking which he says he aims to pursue in the future.
 

Alan Eost, solo piano

was born in London and educated in Essex. At fifteen he became one of the youngest ever Associates of the Royal College of Music. He read Mathematics and Music at Cambridge where he gained an MA degree. He has performed in a variety of venues including the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, Buxton Opera House, Huddersfield Town Hall, Southwell Minster and Sheffield Cathedral, as well as Vienna Konzerthaus. He has also appeared on BBC Television.

In 1987 he decided to work as a freelance musician. Alan has been conductor of the Sheffield Oratorio Chorus since 1986 and has established a thriving and versatile choir. In recent years he directed an exciting and memorable performance of Fanshawe's African Sanctus, which included the Sunduza Dance Theatre from Zimbabwe. In addition to his considerable ability as a conductor, he has acquired a well-deserved reputation as a keyboard player (piano, harpsichord and organ) and is in considerable demand throughout the region as a soloist and accompanist. He is a member of staff of the Sheffield Music School.
 

Alan Horseyalan horsey, organ/harpsichord

Alan Horsey was born in the New Forest town of Fordingbridge and received his musical training at the Royal College of Music.

Following appointments at Leeds and St James, Muswell Hill, London he became organist at Bradford Cathedral in 1986. He held this position with distinction until 2002. In 1997 he became Conductor of Ilkley aid Otley Choral Societies. He now pursues a freelance career as a continuo player appearing regularly with the Halle, the Manchester Camerata and Kirklees Baroque. He is accompanist to Bradford Festival Choral Society.

Such spare time as Alan now has is devoted to pipe-organ restoration. working with John R Clough and Son Ltd.

Alison Hudson, mezzo-soprano

Alison Hudsonwas born in Doncaster and graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music. Along with the coveted Decca Kathleen Ferrier Prize she has won a number of awards and gained international recognition in the Peter Pears Awards. Among her operatic roles was her notable international debut as Cherubino in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro for Leipzig Opera. A regular performer on the concert and recital platform, Alison made her London debut at the Barbican in Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. She has an extensive repertoire, ranging from the Handel oratorios and the Bach Passions to the works of Tippett and Elgar. Recent performances include Elgar's Music Makers and Sea Pictures and a memorable live relay of Messiah for BBC Radio 3 together with solo appearances with the London Bach Choir. Last summer marked her thirteenth consecutive season performing with the New Spa Orchestra in Scarborough where she is able to cross over into the West End musicals. Last autumn Alison appeared in concert with Marilyn Hill Smith in Durham and will soon return to the North East for a gala evening at Auckland Castle. Future oratorio engagements include Bach's Magnificat and Elgar's Dream of Gerontius. Alison is also looking forward to appearing at the Civic Theatre on May 21st.

Alistair Digges, tenor

was born in Glasgow and received his early musical training in the RSNO Junior Chorus and as a horn player in the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. He is currently a pots-graduate student at the Royal College of Music (Robertson and Sir James Caird scholarships), studying under Ryland Davies. He previously studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

His extensive experience as an oratorio soloist includes, most recently, Haydn's Creation, Britten's St Nicolas, Mendelssohn's Elijah and Handel's Israel in Egypt. On stage he played the role of Snout in Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream, Soldato and Famigliari in Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Dumain in Love's Labour's Lost and sang for Opera on a Shoestring in their Viennese series.

Forthcoming engagements include performances with the Edinburgh Singers, Paisley Philharmonic Choir and Stainer's Crucifixion in York Minster.
 

Andrea Ryder-Smith, soprano

soprano, studied voice at the Birmingham Conservatoire and graduated with a first class honours degree and a postgraduate diploma in vocal performance with distinction. Among her operatic roles for the Conservatoire were Sinaide (Mose ' Rossini), Susannah (Marriage of Figaro ' Mozart) and Polissena (Radamisto- Handel). She was the winner of Conservatoire's Oratorio Prize and twice finalist in the Mario Lanza Opera Competition.
 
Since graduating Andrea has toured extensively with the Carl Rosa Opera Company in The Mikado, Iolanthe and The Yeoman of the Guard as well as covering the role of Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus. She has also worked with Mid Wales Opera and with Opera Brava and performed at the Buxton International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival with the Professional Opera Company and also at the Woodthorpe Festival.  Recently she played the role of Cunegonde in a concert version of Bernstein's Candide.
 
Andrea's concert work is varied and includes performances for The Ensemble and Oxford Philomusica at the Royal Festival Hall and the Purcell Rooms. A highly experienced oratorio soloist she performs regularly with societies throughout the country. Recent engagements include Mozart's Requiem and Bach's Mass in B minor
Future performances include Handel's Messiah and Judas Maccabaeus and Bach's Christmas Oratorio as well as Mozart's Requiem and Mass in C minor.
 
Andrea is co-founder of Opera Nano who perform opera in concert around the UK and abroad. She is also to be the guest soloist in Pavarotti and Friends, which starts its UK theatre tour in Autumn 2009.
 

Andrew Dickinson, tenor,

tenor, is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music under Ryland Davies and Audrey Hyland. The Derek Butler Trust and the Countess of Munster Award assist him in his studies. Before that he completed his Bachelor of Music degree with 1st Class Honours at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, studying with Peter Wilson.

Recent Operatic roles include Raoul de St Brioche in the Merry Widow with Scottish Opera, Apollo in Vivaldi's L'incoronazione di Dario and Serano in La Donna Del Lago, both at Garsington Opera, Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte and the Mayor in Albert Herring with RSAMD, Alchemist in Candide and Lehrbube in Die Meistersinger, both at the Edinburgh Festival, Pong in Turandot with Dorset Opera and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Fife Opera. Andrew has recently played Ferrando in Clonter Operas performances of Cosi Fan Tutte in April, as well as Il Conte Alberto in the Royal Academy of Music's summer production of Rossini's L'occasione fa il Ladro. He is also privileged to be part of the Bayreuth Chorus for their 2009 season.

Andrew has sung Handel's Messiah as a guest soloist across Central and Eastern Europe, including venues such as Stephansdom Cathedral in Vienna and the Liszt Academy in Budapest. Other oratorio highlights include Elgar's The Apostles, Puccini's Messa di Gloria, Mendelssohn's Elijah and St Paul, Gonoud's St Cecilia Mass, Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, Bach St. John at St. Martin in the Fields and Mozart's Coronation Mass in Ravensburg. Forthcoming concerts include Britten War Requiem at Dunblane Cathedral.

 Whilst studying at the RSAMD Andrew won the Florence Veitch Prize for Oratorio in 2007 and the Frank Spedding Lieder competition 2008. In his first year at the RAM he won the prestigious Arthur Bliss Prize and reached the final of the Richard Lewis Competition as well as making his Wigmore Hall debut in a performance of On Wenlock Edge by Vaughan Williams. He is currently on the Opera Course at the RAM and is assisted in his studies by an Ian Fleming Award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, as well as further support from the Countess of Munster.
 

Angelina Warburton

angelina warburton - harpistAngelina attended Chetham's School of Music in Manchester for sixth form, studying with Eira Lynn Jones, and gained a Distinction for harp Grade 8 in Spring 2006.

While at Chetham's she gave numerous performances, both as a soloist and with Chetham's Symphony Orchestra.  

Angelina graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in July 2011.  In Summer 2010 Angelina was selected to travel to Italy with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra to take part in Montepulciano's annual Music Festival. 

As well as her teacher Eira, Angelina has received teaching from Honor Wright, Rachel Dent, and Gabriella Dall'olio.

Having now graduated, Angelina spends her time playing for orchestras around the North of England, recent concerts include performances with Huddersfield Philharmonic, the Academy of St. Olave's, York, Hull Philharmonic, and a week of playing for 42nd Street in Newcastle's Theatre Royal.  She also plays for many weddings and other social functions.

 Angelina is also available to give harp lessons

 

Anita Wiencelewski, soprano


Anita graduated in German at the University of Durham, with a post-graduate certificate in Education at Manchester University. Her singing studies have been with Olive Valentine, Moira Witty, Sybil Chambers and Kathryn Woodruff and she has participated in master classes with Peter Chase and Robert Hayward.

Anita performs regularly as Principal Soprano with St Peter’s Singers in Leeds and with St Oswald’s Singers in Thirsk and with the Rudgate Singers. Solo engagements with choirs throughout Yorkshire include Bach Mass in B minor, Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio; Britten Rejoice in the Lamb; Couperin Trois Leēons de Tenčbre, Duruflé Requiem, Dvorak Mass in D, Handel Brockes-Passion, Messiah, Samson and Saul, Haydn Nelson Mass, Monteverdi Vespers, Mozart Vespers, Mass in C minor and Exsultate jubilate, Pehkonen Russian Requiem, Pergolesi Stabat Mater, Poulenc Gloria, Rathbone Requiem, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle, Rutter Requiem, Schubert Masses, Vivaldi’s Glorias.

Anita’s rendition of I know that my Redeemer liveth from Messiah was described by the Yorkshire Post as being sung with rare conviction. Anita has also given recitals of Church Music in Germany. Her wide range encompasses mezzo and most soprano roles.
 

Anthony Wright, bass

graduated from the College of Ripon and St John where he successfully undertook a Master's degree in performance (voice) and composition. To supplement the course he sang as a Songman for the choir of York Minster. Throughout the past twelve years he has sung in many concerts performing both solo baritone repertoire and as a bass soloist for choral ensembles in the north of England. Most notable works have included Bach's St John Passion and Wachet Auf, the Requiems of Mozart and Faure, Haydn's Nelson Mass, Barber's Dover Beach and Vaughan Williams' Five Mystical Songs. He is currently Head of Music at Wales High School, Rotherham.

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photo of Ben DaviesBen Davies, bass

studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Mark Wildman and Antony Saunders.  Whilst at the Academy he won the Oratorio Prize and the Henry Cummings Prize. He appeared in a number of operatic productions including Le Rossignol by Stravinsky, and covered the role of Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro for John Copley and Sir Colin Davis. He has performed with choral societies throughout the country in a variety of venues such as St John's, Smith Square, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wakefield and Ripon Cathedrals and the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford. His extensive repertoire includes works such as Bach's St John Passion, the Requiems of Brahms, Mozart and Faure, Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle. Elgar's Dream of Gerontius and Kurt Weill's Der Jasager. Ben is a lay  clerk at the Brompton Oratory and also sings with The Sixteen and The Monteverdi Choir.  Future engagements include a tour of Spain and a performance of Mendelssohn's Elijah in  Norwich.

 

Ben Thapa, tenor

studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music, London, and currently studies with Adrian Thompson. Ben has been supported by a number of major bursaries, including funds from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, the Leverhulme Trust and, most recently, the Wagner Society of Great Britain.

Ben’s recent performance as Vanya Kudrjash in Scottish Opera’s touring production of Katya Kabanova drew significant critical acclaim: ‘an impressively assured performance in his debut for the company’ (Post and Journal), and ‘one of the highlights of the evening’ (Opera Britannia). Other roles include Corebo La Didone, (GSMD/Christian Curnyn; ‘beautiful tone and beautiful phrasing’ Opera), Mat of the Mint (Beggar’s Opera, Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House), understudy Siegmund Die Walküre (Wagner Society/David Syrus) and First Prisoner/understudy Florestan Fidelio (Garsington Opera).

Recent concert engagements include Monteverdi Vespers (BBC Proms/European Concert tour, John Eliot Gardiner/Monteverdi Choir), Bach St Matthew Passion (St John’s Smith Square/Charivari Agreable), Mozart Requiem (SJSS/Charivari, King’s College Cambridge), Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle (Derby Cathedral), Rachmaninov The Bells (King’s College, Cambridge), Elgar Dream of Gerontius (Derby Cathedral) and Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music (Cadogan Hall/Sonitus/Orion Orchestra) and Mass in G (King’s Place).

Future plans include an Armed Man/Priest/understudy Tamino Die Zauberflöte (Garsington Opera) and understudy Max Der Freischütz (l’Opera Comique, Paris/John Eliot Gardiner).

 

Beth Mackay, contralto

studied at the University of Leeds from which she graduated in 2004 with first-class marks for performance, and in 2007 was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma (Vocal Studies) with distinction from the Royal Northern College of Music, where she was a recipient of the Annie Ridyard Scholarship and a finalist in the Frederic Cox Award for young singers. She completed a Postgraduate Diploma (Opera Studies) at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in July 2009, and has now embarked on the MMus Opera course in the Academy's prestigious Opera School, studying with Pat Hay.  

She has performed regularly with the Leeds Baroque Orchestra under Peter Holman and Hull Philharmonic Orchestra under Andrew Penny and is enjoying a multifarious career as a concert soloist in works from Purcell to Tippett, with choral societies all over the UK . Her opera roles include the Baker's Wife in Sondheim's Into the Woods, Lapak in Jan'Ĩek's The Cunning Little Vixen and Larina in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Excerpt series have seen her as Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Idamante (Idomeneo), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), H'nsel (H'nsel und Gretel), Nancy (Albert Herring) and in the title roles in Handel's Ariodante and Serse, Britten's The Rape of Lucretia and Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri.

Beth appears on the Delphian label's collection of songs and choral music by Howard Skempton, The Cloths of Heaven (DCD34056), and more recently as a featured soloist on Scotland at Night (DCD34060), choral and solo settings of Scottish poetry.  

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Cameron Stanley

 Cameron Stanley is Principal Soloist and a Wesley Scholar in the Choir of Leeds Parish Church. He joined the Choir from the Parish Church’s Parochial School (founded almost exactly two hundred years ago) and is now a High School Student at Abbey Grange Church of England High School on the Northern outskirts of the City. Cameron studies piano with Michael Rodgers and receives vocal coaching from Anita Wiencelewski, a name well-known to Doncaster Choral Society audiences! His younger brother Joshua also sings treble in the Choir and his older brother Ian is the Parish Church’s Principal Countertenor. Cameron lives at Oakwood very near to Roundhay Park.

Carey Williams, bass

was brought up in north Wales. He studied singing at Bretton Hall with John Highcock and soon established a reputation for oratorio. Formerly Head of Music at Balby Carr School he specialised in the production of operas, including Mozart and Rossini, and introduced significant innovations with the use of music technology.

Over many years he has been extensively involved with church and school activities and among his numerous other commitments Carey is Conductor and Musical Director of the Hallgate Orchestra, a position he has held for over twenty five years. Now, working freelance he continues to teach singing and theory, and is increasingly available as a soloist and accompanist. Performances have included Songs of the Fleet (Stanford), and Messiah with Pontefract Choral Society, Creation (at Barton on Humber) and Faur''s Requiem with the Isle Choral Society, for whom he is often soloist and, occasionally, accompanist. He will sing in Crucifixion at Barton on Palm Sunday, and conduct Messiah at Boroughbridge on April 18th

Soon after completing a Master of Music at Sheffield University, (as part of which he studied and edited some Telemann Cantatas, which were presented at a memorable concert at Hallgate in September 2005), Carey moved to Wales to look after his ageing parents Since their deaths he has been developing a holiday venue ' Ridley's Residence - at his parent's former 'Snowdonia' home, in Bala, Gwynedd. He has also recently opened a small camping and caravan site called the Old Vicarage Site. Carey has been teaching part time at two junior schools, and this year is also acting Head of Music at the local secondary school in Bala while the incumbent takes maternity leave. In these capacities he is very involved with the Urdd Youth Eisteddfod, accompanying, arranging and directing groups from all three schools, while continuing to involve himself as much as possible in musical life here in Doncaster. A notable feature of his recent Hallgate concerts has been the inclusion of young solo singers and harpist from Wales, who have worked closely with some of his Doncaster pupils. He continues to play the organ at Hallgate church, when he is in Doncaster while playing at the 'English Chapel' in Bala when he is back there.

He is also called upon occasionally, to play at the Parish Church in Bala where he is currently developing an instrumental ensemble to play in services. Other activities include directing a small youth group called Cerddorion Celyn, specialising in Welsh music. Last year this group came to play at a Celtic festival in Leeds and gave a Sunday afternoon concert at Hallgate.

In his spare time Carey is renovating an old stable which will soon be a studio for teaching his increasing number of pupils, using some of the latest technology, for composition and recording.

>> visit Carey Williams website

Cari Searle, contralto

was born in Yorkshire and read music at Sheffield University before studying at the Royal Northern College of Music with Glenville Hargreaves, supported by the Peter Moores Foundation and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. Whilst at the RNCM she participated in masterclasses with Benjamin Luxon, Roger Vignoles, Brigitte Fassbaender and with Dame Gwyneth Jones at the Royal Opera House.
Cari made her operatic debut in 1996 as Florence Pike in British Youth Opera's production of Albert Herring in London and in the same year performed Bianca in the Fiftieth anniversary production of the Rape of Lucretia at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall with the Britten Pears School under the baton of Steuart Bedford. She has subsequently sung the roles of Baba the Turk (The Rake's Progress) and Amastris (Xerxes) for British Youth Opera. Having sung the role of Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) for Opera Holland Park in 2000, Cari returned in 2001 to perform Un Musico (Manon Lescaut) and Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia). In 2004 she performed the role of Suzuki at the Longborough Festival with Opera Project and this year she has covered both the roles of Rossweisse in Die Walkure and Wowkle in Fanciulla del West for the Royal Opera House.
Cari has also performed Mrs Noye in Noyes Fludde and excerpts of Mercedes, Dalila, Ariane in Ariane et Barbe-Bleu, Annina in La Traviata and Musetta in Leoncavallo's La Boheme.
Her concert repertoire includes Bach Magnificat, Christmas Oratorio, St John Passion; Durufl' Requiem; Handel Messiah; Mendelssohn Elijah; Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle; Elgar Dream of Gerontius; Verdi Requiem and Copland In the Beginning. She has sung with Manchester Camerata and the Orchestra of the Golden Age in Manchester Cathedral. As well as the Messiah at the Brangwen Hall, she has also sung Elijah and the Mass in B minor at the RNCM Concert Hall. Forthcoming concerts include Mozart Requiem, Salieri Requiem, an opera gala for Opera South and a concert performance of Die Walkure at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford.
She has also performed song-cycles with orchestra; Sea Pictures with Chester Philharmonic Orchestra, Des Knaben Wunderhorn and Kindertotenlieder with Derby Concert Orchestra, and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen as part of the principal's concerts at the RNCM. Last year Cari performed Mahler 3rd Symphony with Hertfordshire Youth Orchestra and assembled choirs. This year she has given recitals at the Royal Opera House comprising of American music and English song programmes.
Cari has been successful in several competitions: Most recently in December she won the Wagner Society's 2006 Ralph Wells award for dramatic singers. She was a prizewinner in the 1998 National Mozart Competition and a prizewinner in the 1995 Frederick Cox Competition for singing. She was the second prizewinner in the 1996 Leslie and Dorothy Blond Award for Lyric Dramatic Singing and was a finalist in the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Awards in the same year.
In June 1996 she was awarded the Professional Performance Diploma from the RNCM with merit and was subsequently awarded the RNCM Curtis Gold Medal for singing.
 

The Choir of Leeds Parish Church

was re-formed under the Vicariate of the redoubtable Dr Hook. On the opening of Hook's new church in 1841, choral services were established on weekdays as well as Sundays ' a tradition sustained today although there is no residential choir school. The boys singing tonight come from the following schools: Michael, St Peter's C of E Primary, Andrew, Cardinal Heenan RC High, Toby, Fulneck School where he is a music scholar. A recent anonymous donor has gifted a scholarship in grateful memory of Dr Roger Bullivant ' part of an effort to raise '500,000 to secure the choir's future.

Christopher Foster, bass

Chris Foster basswas educated at Newcastle University and the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies and was a winner of the N.F.M.S. Young Concert Artists' Award. He has sung in major venues throughout the UK and Europe, performing with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony and Concert Orchestras, the Britten Sinfonia and Chapelle Royale and has worked with Pierre Boulez, Sir Andrew Davis, Trevor Pinnock and Joshua Rifkin among others. Notably he took part in the first English performance of Messiah in Beijing. Christopher has twice performed Bach's St Matthew Passion at the Proms.  Broadcasts in France and Belgium include Bruch's Sch'n Ellen, the world premi're of Donizetti's cantata Christopher Columbus, Schumann's Manfred and Stravinsky's Le Rossignol (both at the Royal Festival Hall) and the world premi're of Britten's The Rescue of Penelope. Among his many operatic roles are Count Almaviva in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Don Alfonso in Cos' fan tutte and Arthur in Maxwell Davies' The Lighthouse. His recordings include Purcell's Timon of Athens (Trevor Pinnock) and Bach's Cantata 34 (Sir John Eliot Gardiner) both for Deutsche Grammophon. A busy schedule lies ahead with Bach's Christmas Oratorio and Cantatas, Mahler's Symphony No. 8, Brahms' Requiem and a lunchtime recital of war related songs in the Banqueting House, Whitehall to name but a few.

Christopher Wray, baritone

Christopher's earliest musical experiences were in Doncaster when he attended the William Appleby Music Centre and played in the Beechfield Youth Orchestra.  He first studied singing with Carey Williams, before being accepted at Trinity College of Music, London where he studied with soprano Laureen Livingstone and international vocal coach Helen Yorke. There his performances with the Opera Group included Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) and Seneca (Monteverdi's Coronation of Poppea).  As a member of the Early Music Ensemble he discovered a love for the early repertoire and has performed with groups in London including The Marisienne Consort, The Rose Consort of Viols and his own co-founded ensemble El Escorial. Last year he was invited to coach the vocal chamber music course at Dartington International Summer School and was then invited by Emma Kirkby to join the prestigious Consort of Musicke. He now studies with baritone Russell Smythe and divides his time between London and Somerset where he currently teaches at Wells Cathedral School. Recent performances include Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (Aeneas), Monteverdi Vespers of 1610, Durufl' Requiem and Bach's Mass in B minor. His future plans include a solo recital in London and a semi staged performance of Handel's Acis and Galatea.

 

Christopher Wright, bass

has established himself as a principal bass with a number of companies in and around London, although he was born and raised in Yorkshire.  He developed an interest in music at schools in York and Durham, before attending Bristol University, where he studied German.  Currently touring theatres and stately homes with productions of Cosi fan tutte and Rigoletto, Chris enjoys a varied repertoire of over 25 operatic roles, including Mephistopheles (Faust), Daland (The Flying Dutchman), Osmin (Seraglio), Rocco (Fidelio), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Papageno & Sarastro (The Magic Flute), Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro).  Chris's other engagements this year include concerts of lighter music by George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Ivor Novello, and Cole Porter. Chris is a keen oratorio singer, with a repertoire including Mozart's Requiem and Solemn Vespers, Howells' Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Solomon and Dixit Dominus, Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb, the solo Bach cantata, Ich habe genug, and most recently Jesus in Bach's St John Passion. Chris currently studies privately with baritone Stephen Roberts. Future plans include performances of Rigoletto in Newbury, Cheltenham and Bath, the title role in a production of Donizetti's Don Pasquale, concerts in Walton on Thames, Egham and Marlow, and a performance of Mendelssohn's St Paul in Chiswick. 

Claire Strafford, soprano,

studied at Leeds College of Music and went on to qualify as a teacher. For many years she has been an active oratorio soloist and has sung the majority of the repertoire from the last four centuries, from Handel’s Messiah through the great oratorios of the 18th and 19th centuries, including the Verdi Requiem and many major 20th century works. These have taken her all over the country, to Wimborne Minster, Peterborough, Norwich, Sheffield, Ripon, St Paul’s and Bangor Cathedrals and the mighty Town Halls of Birmingham and Leeds. She is regularly asked to sing at Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals, gives recitals of English song and particularly enjoys singing in small ensembles with instrumentalists. Claire lives at Kilburn near Thirsk and leads a charmed life teaching solo singing at two very musical schools, Queen Mary’s, Topcliffe and Ripon Cathedral Choir School.

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David Allsopp, Countertenor

“Highly intelligent, vocally brilliant countertenor” David Allsopp began his musical training at an early age as a chorister at Rochester Cathedral and went on to spend four years as a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge. From there he moved to the renowned Westminster Cathedral Choir where he combined his growing career as a soloist with the daily services.

David sings with many of London’s major consort groups and has toured extensively both in Europe and further afield. On the solo platform, he has given many performances – although he specialises mainly in Baroque repertoire, his background means that he is equally at home with renaissance and medieval works and with more modern composers such as Britten and Tavener. Recent appearances have seen David in venues such as Karlsruhe Opera House, the Musikverein in Vienna and St John’s, Smith Square in London. His critically acclaimed performance of Othniel in Handel’s Joshua appears on the Maulbronn Monastery Edition series and he features in recordings on the EMI Classics, Deutsche Grammophon and Hyperion labels.

David Houlder, organ

was from 1981 to 1999 Director of Music at Liverpool's historic Blue Coat School. In 1987 David was appointed Sub-Organist of Liverpool Cathedral, latterly combining that position with a freelance career, both as recitalist, accompanist and orchestral accompanist. He has appeared in concert regularly with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir. He has played almost all the cathedral organs in Great Britain, including a stint as Acting-Assistant Organist of York Minster. David specialises in organ and piano transcriptions of orchestral scores and is in demand as an accompanist to choral societies in the North of England. Recent performances have included Durufl': Requiem, Handel: Israel in Egypt, Rutter: Magnificat, Schubert: Mass in A flat and two of Vaughan Williams' most evocative works: Serenade to Music and Toward the Unknown Region. After almost thirty years music-making on Merseyside, David moved across the Pennines in October 2003, having accepted the post of Sub-Organist at Leeds Parish Church where he directs the Girl Choristers. He is accompanist and associate conductor of Leeds College of Music Choral Society, and directed their acclaimed performance of Mendelssohn's St Paul in spring 2005 and a very enterprising and well supported concert of English music at Leeds Parish Church earlier this year.

David Townend, bass

took a place at the University of Sheffield and became a Songman of Sheffield Cathedral in 1985. He sang with the Cathedral Choir for over twenty years, enjoying its varied and rich repertoire, ensemble work, and many interesting solo opportunities. With the Cathedral choir, he made a number of broadcasts and recordings, and toured in France, Germany, Holland and South Africa. He has studied with Richard Hill and with Martin Hindmarsh. David now lives in Maastricht, Nederland.

David makes regular oratorio and recital appearances. His engagements have included Bach's St. John and St Matthew Passions; Britten Canticle IV; Delius Appalachia; Elgar Dream of Gerontius, King Olaf and The Apostles; Handel, Judas Maccabeus; Haydn Creation; Mendelssohn Elijah and St. Paul; Orff Carmina Burana; Puccini Messa di Gloria; Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle; Schutz St Matthew Passion; Tippett A Child of Our Time; Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs and Pilgrim's Journey and Walton Belshazzar's Feast. He particularly enjoys early twentieth century English and French song, and has sung many recitals from that repertoire.
 

 

Debra Morley, soprano

debra morleystudied at Cardiff University before being awarded numerous prizes to study at the Bonn Opera and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and was recently awarded the prestigious Madeline Finden Memorial Award. She has appeared with many companies including the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, London Opera Players, Opera Della Luna and Pavilion Opera with whom she toured the UK, Europe and Japan. Roles performed include Leila (Les P'cheurs de Perles), Micaela (Carmen), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Adele (Die Fledermaus) and Violetta (La Traviata). Recordings include Kayser's Christmas Cantata for Guild Music, original compositions for De Wolfe Music Ltd and BBC Radio 3. Debra also has a busy concert and oratorio career, and her extensive oratorio performances have included: Bach's Magnificat, St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Carissimi's Jephte, Haydn's Harmoniemesse, The Creation and The Seasons, Orff's Carmina Burana, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, Purcell's Come Ye Sons of Art, Schutz' The Christmas Story, Thiman's The Last Supper, Tippett's A Child of Our Time and Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music.

Donna Bateman, soprano

studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she won the GSMD Singing Prize and was the Principal's nomination for the prestigious James Anthony Horne Scholarship. Prior to graduating with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music she was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Prize and winner of the National Federation of Music Societies Award. She currently studies with Pamela Cook MBE. Operatic roles include Mrs.Coyle (Owen Wingrave), Frasquita (Carmen) and Marzelline in Birmingham Opera Company's South Bank Show award winning production of Fidelio, broadcast live on BBC 4. She was subsequently invited by Ned Sherrin to sing 'Glitter and be Gay' on Loose Ends on radio 4. Recently she performed Coralina (Il Toreador) at the Batignano Opera Festival in Italy. Donna also gives regular recitals and concerts; she recently completed a recital tour of music societies in Wales supported by the NFMS. She has performed in Singapore, South Africa and Malaysia. This year she sang at the opening ceremony of the World Athletics Championships. Recent oratorio performances include St. Matthew Passion at St. John's, Smith Square and Mozart's Mass in C minor at Chichester Cathedral. Future engagements include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro for English Touring Opera

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Elizabeth Roberts, soprano

studied music at Newcastle University, where she specialized in performance and won the David Barlow Memorial Award.  She has worked in master-classes with David Wilson-Johnson and now studies with Lillian Watson and Colin Baldy. Her many operatic roles include Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro (Susanna), Puccini's La Boh'me (Musetta) and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (Belinda). She took the role of Hilary Belle-Bottomley in the premi're performance of On Thee We Feed by Richard Chew and Rufus Norris. Solo oratorio engagements are extensive and varied including Haydn's Stabat Mater, Purcell's Te Deum & Jubilate in D, Mozart's Solemn Vespers and Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 and, among others, works by Rutter, Faur', Rameau, Lully, Bononcini and Charpentier. Notable performances include Mozart's Requiem at St John's Smith Square, Orff's Carmina Burana, Tippett's A Child of Our Time and Richard Blackford's Mirror of Perfection. She has also been guest artist with the Scarborough Spa Orchestra for a Viennese evening and a gala concert. Future engagements include Mozart's Mass in C Minor, Bach's Cantata 68 and Mass in A; Rutter's Mass of the Children, Wheeler's Sea Changes (premi're), Bach's Magnificat, Purcell's Come ye Sons of Art and Handel's Sing unto God.

Elizabeth Watts, soprano

A SPECIAL TALENT 

photo of Elizabeth WattsAlthough still in her mid-twenties Elizabeth Watts is making her mark on the music scene. She graduated from Sheffield University with a first class honours degree in archaeology and then won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London. She has won numerous awards and has sung in recital at the Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Purcell Room and many other venues across the country. Notable concert works include Bach's Christmas Oratorio at St John's Smith Square and Mozart's Requiem with Sir David Willcocks. She is equally at home on the opera stage and already has a number of roles in her repertoire including Flora Turn of the Screw, Nanetta Falstaff and will make her debut with English National Opera's Young Singers Programme in September as Papagena in The Magic Flute. 

'Watts's bright, clear delivery has an agreeable quiver of vibrato'..In Sleep she conjured equal measures of joy and melancholy in the lovely melismas with which Gurney fills the words 'idle fancy'; '.. she is a performer who communicates readily.  We will hear more of her' Evening Standard  Purcell Room  September 2004

'The Elmira of Elizabeth Watts, who sings the opera's show-stopping Act II duet, was the star of the evening, and by a long way.  Tireless, with rich and thrilling tone, each of her arias was an occasion'. The Spectator  RCM  Handel's Sosarme  April 2004

Elizabeth Watts declaimed Tippett's text with a confidence, belief and a sense of theatre that marks her out as a special talent' she has a terrific voice and natural stage-presence' Colin Anderson, classicalsource.com, January 2005

'The opera should really be called Fulvia, and Elizabeth Watts sings the role with deepening passion that excavates her torments brilliantly. Watts can do the trilly soubrette but there is much more to the voice ' rounded, athletic and surprisingly fiery' Robert Thickness, The Times, March 2005  

'Watts's pliant, direct soprano has a shimmer and spin that recalls the (very) young Victoria de los Angeles' Anna Picard, Independent on Sunday, March 2005

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Georg G'dker, bass,

Georg Gļæ½dkerreceived his early music education at the Freiburg Cathedral Boys Choir School where he also sang as a soloist. After joining the junior department at the University of Music, Freiburg, he studied both performance and vocal education with Bernd G'pfert and Rudolf Piernay in Freiburg and Mannheim, and at the Guildford School of Music and Drama, where he obtained his Masters with distinction. He completed his vocal training attending masterclasses with Emma Kirkby, Charles Spencer, Sarah Walker and Graham Johnson, amongst others.



In 2005 he reached the final at the Vocal Competition 'Concorso di musica sacra Roma'. Georg was awarded a scholarship by the 'Deutscher Musikrat', the central German music association in 2007, and was honoured by becoming a member of the 'Bundesauswahl Konzerte Junger K'nstler' (Federal Choice Concerts of Young Artists). During the same season he won third prize at the new 'International Cantilena Vocal Competition, Bayreuth, followed by second prize at the vocal competition of the German Association of Concert Choirs in 2008. He has also been awarded a number of scholarships, including the International Richard-Wagner-Society.

Important highlights of his career as a singer so far include concerts in the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy and Poland as well as international festivals (European Music Festival, Stuttgart; Bach-Festival, Zurich; Baritonale, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein-Musifestival). He received much artistic encouragement whilst working with world-famous Bach interpreters Helmuth Rilling and Masaaki (Bach Collegium Japan). With Rilling he recently performed Handel's Messiah in Cracow and Bach's Kreuzstab-Kantate in Zurich.
 

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Hannah Mason, contralto

was born in Leeds. She won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she completed an honours degree in music and began her studies with David Pollard. Her operatic roles to date have included Olga in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Mallika in Lakm', Clotilda in Koanga and the Dolcina in Puccini's Suor Angelica. Recently she appeared at the Buxton Festival in the role of Hansel in Hansel and Gretel. Hannah has performed extensively in recitals, notably a solo recital at St Martin-in-the-Fields and a series of recitals aboard Swan Hellenic's Minerva II cruise ship around Italy. Hannah regularly performs in cabaret evenings and opera galas throughout the UK. Hannah's oratorio repertoire includes Haydn's Nelson Mass, Mozart's Solemn Vespers and Tippett's A Child of Our Time. Apart from performing with this Society last season in Beethoven's Mass in C and Choral Fantasia her recent performances have included Pergolesi's Stabat Mater. Future engagements include Mozart's Mass in C and Requiem and Beethoven's Mass in C. She will also be performing the role of Hansel in Opera on a Shoestring's Scottish tour of Hansel and Gretel.

James Gower, bass

 was born in Newport, South Wales. He studied at St John's College, Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music and is currently studying with Robert Lloyd.


James is a young singer at English National Opera and has performed Mercury (The Coronation of Poppea) (broadcast on BBC Radio 3) and Lord Krishna/Parsi Rustomji (Satyagraha) by Philip Glass for the company. As an associate artist with Welsh National Opera James performed Un Moine (Don Carlos) and second armed man (Magic Flute). For Glyndebourne Festival Opera he performed Pinellino (Gianni Schicchi) (broadcast on BBC Television and performed at the Proms) and Erster Priester/Zweiter geharnischter Mann (Die Zauberflöte). For Glyndebourne on Tour he sang Doctor (Pelleas and Melisande) and Doctor Grenvil (La Traviata). Other roles include Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor) Iford Arts; Colline (La Bohčme) Opera Theatre Company and High Priest (Dvorak's Vanda) for University College Opera. 


James made his Proms debut singing a false witness in Mendelssohn's St Paul with BBC NOW directed by Richard Hickox, recorded for Chandos. He has since performed with Hickox as Sir Walter Raleigh (Gloriana) St Endellion Festival; Nym (Sir John in Love) with the Northern Sinfonia; the voice of God, the Devil and Jesus, (Fall and Resurrection) by Sir John Tavener, with the City of London Sinfonia; Horaste (Troilus and Cressida) with the Philharmonia Orchestra in Birmingham Symphony Hall and the Royal Festival Hall, broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In Dortmund Konzerthaus he has performed Israel in Egypt; Pagano (I Lombardi) and Silva (Ernani).

 

Jan Townend, reader

From reciting and performing as a child in church and youth club events in Goole, receiving Best Actress Award at the Yorkshire Youth Drama Festival, to taking drama as main subject at college, directing school productions, acting and directing for Doncaster Little Theatre, training teachers, helping to run the Youth Theatre Jan has come full circle, reciting and performing in a church. Her mother ensured her attendance at elocution lessons ' mainly to correct a nervous nose twitch! She relishes all aspects of performance of which the most recent include Shirley Valentine, Mrs Alving in Ibsen's Ghosts, Lady Macbeth, Arcadina in The Seagull and Mrs Prentice in What the Butler Saw by Joe Orton. Some productions she has directed are The Tempest, Under Milk Wood, When We Are Married, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Educating Rita.

 

Janet Bennett, harpist 

studied harp and singing at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Equally at home playing the celtic harp and larger concert harp she has played with many professional orchestras including the Scottish National and Northern Sinfonia.
 Her main love however is singing with self accompaniment and she is currently delighting audiences from all over the world with this art form, having played to Royalty and civic dignitaries. The music and songs she performs come from many different countries and range from classical to popular in style but she particularly enjoys the contemporary and traditional Northumbrian music and songs from the region where she now lives.  It was as a response to the enthusiasm of her audiences and TV appearances that Janet has released three solo CDs: 'Clarsumbria' is a collection of her favourite music and songs from the North with self accompaniment on the celtic harp. 'A Touch of Class' contains a mixture of classical, traditional and popular songs and music, a guest flautist and even some jazz. 'Romantic Moments' is her most recent CD and again contains classical, traditional and popular songs and music suitable for the many weddings and special occasions for which she is asked to play. These last two recordings feature her stunning gold concert harp. As well as being recognised as a soloist, Janet is part of 'The Border Minstrels' trio which consists of Northumbrian Pipes, Fiddle and Voice and Harp. They are considered one of Northumbria's premier groups and have made two recordings of Northumbrian music and songs.Teaching is also very much part of her life. She currently teaches singing at Emmanuel College and is the main teacher of harp in Northumberland.

 Janet Fairlie, soprano

was born in Glasgow and studied at the Royal College of Music with Margaret Cable. She has won many singing awards and prizes including the first prize in the 1992 National Mozart Competition and the 'Earl ofDalhousie Award' for the most promising Scottish student at college. After leaving the RCM she studied with Robert Dean and now studies with Richard Hetherington. Her wide concert and operatic experience includes tours of Switzerland, the Czech Republic and her debut performance in Germany in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in the Beethovenhalle, Bonn. as part of the International Beethoven Festival 2001. Oratorio performances include works by Haydn, Mozart, Bach, Handel and Carl Orff. She has appeared in a variety of operatic roles to critical acclaim at the Royal Opera House and Covent Garden and also at Glyndeboume Festival Opera. More unusual engagements have included performing for Sir Eiton John at his Charity Ball and singing on a Spanish mountaintop for Matthew Paris' (of The Times) 50th birthday! Janet has recently recorded a CD of popular operatic arias, sacred and secular songs with ZHL Chamber Orchestra.

Jason Darnell, tenor

studied at the Britten-Pears School and went on to gain an MA in Vocal Performance Practice at the University of York. He has performed extensively both at home and abroad, including early music in Versailles, Leipzig, Warsaw, Corfu and the Czech Republic. He has recorded and broadcast on ITV, Channel 4 and BBC Radio 3. He also records with Corona Coloniensis for W.D.R. Recent performances have included a programme of French baroque music with the Harmonia Universale at the York Early Music Festival, a recording at the Herne Festival with Corona Coloniensis, Handel's Messiah and Purcell's The Fairy Queen with the Yorkshire Bach Choir. He has also taken part in a live E.B.U.  broadcast from Poland of the world premi're of Zebrowski's Magnificat and Wanski's Missa de Nativitate Domini with Concerto Polacco.

Jennifer Westwood, contralto

is a graduate of Birmingham University (First Class) and of The Royal Northern College of Music. She was also a student at the Britten-Pears School, Aldeburgh and is a former member of the BBC Daily Service Singers.

Jennifer performs the mezzo-soprano and alto oratorio repertoire throughout the UK. International concerts have taken her to Hong Kong where she sang the Angel in The Dream of Gerontius. She has toured Finland and Germany singing Vivaldi`s Gloria, Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle and Dvor'k's Biblical Songs. Nearer to home, performances have included a programme of sacred music by Haydn with the Lindsay String Quartet and Beethoven's 9th Symphony for Music in the Round at The Crucible. Recent concerts include Stanford's Bible Songs and Rachmaninov`s All-Night Vigil at Sheffield and Lincoln Cathedrals. Jennifer's operatic appearances include the Bayreuth and Salzburg Festivals.

She has worked with many prestigious conductors including Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Daniel Barenboim and Antonio Pappano. She has sung with touring companies in the UK and Ireland, appeared with Opera North and sung at major festivals including Aldeburgh and Buxton where she also gave a lunchtime recital. Her solo roles include Cornelia (Giulio Cesare), La Cieca (La Gioconda) and Britten's Lucretia. Concert performances of opera include the title role in Carmen and 3rd Lady in The Magic Flute. She sings with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Concerts this season include J.S.Bach`s Mass in B Minor in Peterborough Cathedral
 

Jeremy Dawson, tenor

began studying singing with Charles Corp whilst a pupil at Christ's Hospital School, Sussex. He continued his education at Durham University, where he sang in the cathedral choir and also studied singing with Peter Alexander Wilson. In 1997 he moved to Sheffield and joined the choir of Sheffield Cathedral, with whom he has recently toured the USA. He has become a regular soloist with choirs throughout South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, as well as further afield. Recent solo performances include Handel's Chandos Anthems, Haydn's St Nicholas Mass and Maunder's Olivet to Calvary. Future plans include performances of Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise and Handel 's Messiah.

Joanne Boddison, soprano

was born in York and educated at Easingwold School and then at Bretton Hall College of Higher Education in West Yorkshire. In addition to singing with St Peter's Singers in Leeds, Joanne is a member of the Britten Singers (formerly the BBC Northern Singers) undertaking with them recordings for Radio Three and Chandos Records. She has travelled extensively with the international touring choir Sine Nomine formerly under the direction of the late James Wild and, presently, Susan Oliphant. Joanne is also a member of Chores Amid who were awarded the prestigious and overall title of Sainsbury's Choir of the Year 2000 at the Royal Albert Hall in December of last year.

Jo Dwyer, contralto

was born and educated in Doncaster. She studied singing at the Birmingham Conservatoire from 1984-1988, graduating in performing and teaching singing. At college she studied with Pamela Cook and was a leading member of the opera school working with well-known producers and repetiteurs of national opera companies. Since leaving college Jo farther studied with Norma Proctor and continues to study with Pam Cook. She has appeared extensively as a soloist with choral societies and a number of male voice choirs throughout the country. Her wide oratorio repertoire encompasses works by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Dvorak and Saint-Saens but she also specialises in recital work, English, German and Italian. She made her singing debut in 1997 at the Birmingham Symphony Hall with the British Police Orchestra. Private teaching occupies much of Jo's time. She shares her work between Birmingham and Doncaster. Future engagements include Brahm's Alto Rhapsody.

John Dunford, tenor

John Dunford

The invitation at the age of 11 to join the choir of Birmingham Parish Church inspired and determined John’s future musical career. He earned a place at Trinity College of Music in London studying organ, singing, piano, harpsichord and conducting. He won the Choral Conducting prize and was appointed Senior Student of the College in his final year.

John is Director of Music at Ashville College. He is the conductor of Wetherby Choral Society and Ripon Choral Society. He has also conducted Cantores Olicanae of Ilkley, enjoyed a long association with Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra and has been guest conductor of Doncaster Choral Society and deputy conductor of Sheffield Bach Choir. One of his most recent projects has been the Harrogate Festival Choral Course and the Massive Messiah concert programme which raises money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

One of John’s trademarks is his vocal dexterity. While professionally he sings most frequently as a tenor soloist, he also has engagements as a bass and a counter-tenor. As well as previous engagements with this society he has sung with Sheffield Bach Society and Sheffield Oratorio Chorus and other performances in Wakefield Cathedral, with the Yorkshire Chamber Choir, and a number of local choral societies. His most recent engagements have included the Evangelist in Bach's St John Passion, the title rōle in Britten’s St Nicolas and the extraordinary swan solo in Carmina Burana in performances in Sheffield, Ely and Harrogate.
 

John Lofthouse, bass

 graduated from Durham University and then taught Religious Studies. Currently, after completing a two-year course as a post-graduate at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he is in his second year of the opera course studying with David Pollard. Recent oratorio performances include the Requiems of Brahms, Faur' and Durufl', Bach's St Matthew and St John Passions and the Mass in B minor, Haydn's Nelson Mass and Harmoniemesse, Mozart's Solemn Vespers and Requiem, and Vaughan Williams' Mystical Songs and Sea Symphony. Recitals have taken him from his native Cumbria to Turkey, Lebanon and the Baltic on cruises with Swan-Hellenic. Last year, John won the Association of English Singers and Speakers Patricia Routledge English Competition and he also made his debut at the Wigmore Hall in Songbook 2003. Among his operatic roles are Figaro and Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Demetrius (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and Jack Point (The Yeomen of the Guard). Future plans include Junius (The Rape of Lucretia) and Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte). John will commence a year of study at the National Opera Studio in September.

Jonathan Gooing, piano, organ

graduated with a B.Mus (Hons.) from Sheffield University in 1996 where he studied piano with Yolande Wrigley and was awarded the Sir Thomas Beecham Music Scholarship, the Julian Payne Scholarship, the final year recital prize and the piano accompaniment award.

Well known throughout the north of England as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist he often plays as a piano duo with Keith Swallow. Jonathan teaches piano and is the departmental accompanist at Sheffield University; is senior lecturer in music at Bishop Grosseteste University College, Lincoln. He is also completing an M.Mus. degree at Sheffield University.

Recent appearances include recitals in the Isle of Man, Sheffield Cathedral Arts Festival, and the Royal Naval College Chapel, Greenwich. A performance of the rarely heard Quartet for Piano, Clarinet and Strings by Walter Rabl was described in 'Clarinet & Saxophone' magazine as 'brilliant and stimulating'. As organist, Jonathan has recently performed in services and concerts in the cathedrals of Sheffield, Ripon, Lincoln and Durham. In 1999 Jonathan won the Incorporated Society of Musicians/Yamaha 'Birmingham Accompanist of the Year' Award, held in the Adrian Boult Hall of the Birmingham Conservatoire, and adjudicated by David Owen Norris.

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Kathryn Woodruff, contralto

graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and taught in Leeds' schools for a number of years whilst continuing to perform as a solo singer in many parts of England and Wales, to much acclaim. Since giving up teaching, Kathryn's performances in oratorio have taken her around the UK, most notably in Elgar's Dream of Gerontius ("high notes which were particularly thrilling"). Her singing in Bach's St Matthew Passion has been described as "piercingly sublime", in Mendelssohn's Elijah as an "immensely venomous Jezebel" and with "velvet tone" in Handel's Messiah. She has sung and recorded with the Britten Singers on Radio 3 and has featured on the Amphion recording of Dr. Francis Jackson's A Time of Fire. This season's engagements include performances of Handel's Messiah and Bach's St John Passion. Kathryn is also principal mezzo soprano/contralto soloist with St. Peter's Singers.

Karina Lucas, mezzo soprano

trained at the Royal Northern College of Music where she received a first class honours degree and a distinction for her Post Graduate Diploma, before pursuing further studies at the National Opera Studio, supported by the Peter Moores Foundation and Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Among her many operatic roles are Flora The Enchanted Pig (Royal Opera House), 3rd Lady The Magic Flute and Pinocchio Pinocchio (Opera North); Witch Macbeth, cover Rosina Il Barbiere di Siviglia and cover Zerlina Don Giovanni (Scottish Opera) and Dorabella Cosi Fan Tutte and Leila Iolanthe (Grange Park Opera).
She sang the role of Sara in the opera Tobias and the Angel at the personal request of the composer Jonathan Dove for the reopening of the Young Vic Theatre. Her performance was subsequently recorded for commercial release in July.
She also appears regularly on the concert platform. She made her debut at the Purcell Room in 2007 with Simon Lane which led to many recitals including the Wigmore Hall, St John's Smith Square, Leeds Lieder Festival, The Brighton Festival and Oundle International Festival. With Rebecca Jones on viola, Karina and Simon are due to release a disc on the new record label Sonimage later this year. She has appeared at St Martin-in-the-Fields with her duo partner, Dimitris Dekavallas.

Other concert performances include works by Le Fanu with the group Okeanos (Gloucester Three Choirs Festival), Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music (Wigmore Hall); Berkeley's Four Poems by St Teresa of Avila (Lake District Summer Music); Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer (Stockport Symphony Orchestra) and Elgar's Sea Pictures (Bath Philharmonia).

Her wide experience in oratorio ranges from Rachmaninov's Vespers to Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb, Mozart's Requiem, together with the Durufl' Requiem, Rossini's Stabat Mater and Elgar's Music Makers.
Future engagements include Flora The Enchanted Pig at the New Victory Theatre on Broadway followed by a tour of the United Kingdom.

Kevin Spence, reader

graduated from Bristol University and then did postgraduate teacher training at Nottingham University. Early notable theatrical successes include Henry II in The Lion in Winter, Astrov in Uncle Vanya and a professional tour of David Storey's In Celebration. Based in Doncaster he helped found the Doncaster Little Theatre ten years ago. He has directed a number of musicals in particular Oklahoma, Grease and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Plays he has produced include The Vortex, Julius Caesar, Teechers and Billy Liar. Amongst his favourite acting roles are Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, Maxim de Winter in Rebecca, Sir in The Dresser and Prospero in The Tempest. In addition he has written and directed two revues The British in Love and Laughter Lines and enjoys adapting work for the stage most notably a stage version of Kenneth Branagh's film Midwinter, which achieved national recognition. Kevin has set up a drama training and consultancy company, a highly successful youth theatre, and has just completed a new piece of street theatre Night Fright.

Kristina James, soprano

Originally from Lincolnshire, Kristina graduated from the Leeds College of Music with Distinction at Degree and Postgraduate level in 2003.

Kristina's operatic roles include Susanna in the LCM's full production of The Marriage of Figaro, Pamina in The Magic Flute and Amahl in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors. More recently, she has toured throughout the UK and Ireland with Opus 1 Opera as Ines and chorus in Verdi's Il Trovatore, Shepherd Boy and chorus in Puccini's Tosca and chorus in La Bohčme. Kristina has also appeared as a member of the fairy chorus in Opera North's production of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream and as 1st Witch and chorus in Skipton Camerata's production of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas.

Kristina's concert and oratorio performances include Mozart's Vespers and Exsultate Jubilate, Handel's Messiah and Utrecht Te Deum, Bach's St John Passion and Christmas Oratorio, Mendelssohn's Elijah and Lauda Sion, Haydn's Nelson Mass, Stabat Mater and Theresa Mass and Edward German's Merrie England with choirs such as Morley Music Society, St. Peter's Singers, Horsforth Choral Society, Overgate Hospice Choir, Otley Choral Society and the LCM Choral Society. She has also performed lunchtime recitals at Leeds City Art Gallery and Wakefield Theatre Royal.

Whilst at LCM, Kristina received awards in singing, opera, postgraduate study, outstanding performance and the Rotary Scholarship. Since graduating, she has enjoyed success at Yorkshire singing competitions.

Kristina teaches singing and musical theatre in Yorkshire and enjoys her regular performances with Ecclesia Ensemble and St. Peter's Singers, both based in Leeds.

 

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 Lucy Appleyard, contralto

Lucy Appleyard, contralto, grew up in the North Yorkshire village of Great Ayton where she began her singing career in the Christ Church children’s choir Throstle Nest before progressing to the Church Choir where she sang until leaving school

Lucy completed an MMUS in 2006 at Leeds College of Music. She sang as a soloist for many of the college ensembles. With The New Music Ensemble she performed works by Morton Feldman, John Cage, Arvo Pärt, Louis Andriessen and Igor Stravinsky amongst others. From this grew a passion for performing contemporary music culminating in a performance of Maxwell Davies’ Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot for her final recital.

Lucy has performed countless operatic roles on the local and national stage and has worked professionally for Scottish Opera. Her love of Gilbert & Sullivan led to her singing at the Buxton International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival for the last five years. Her most recent roles include Little Buttercup (HMS Pinafore). Other operatic roles include Dido (Dido & Aeneas), Madam Flora (The Medium) and Mrs Lovett (Sweeney Todd).

She is currently principal alto for The St Peter’s Singers directed by Dr Simon Lindley and sings with the new up and coming chamber choir Ecclesia. Lucy sings regularly for many choral societies in Yorkshire and beyond. Recent performances have included Stabat Mater (Rossini & Dvorak) and Israel in Egypt (Handel) at Leeds Town Hall. Future engagements include Duruflé Requiem and Bach St Matthew Passion.

Away from performing Lucy conducts the Choir of St Aidan’s Church in Leeds and teaches singing in schools throughout Yorkshire.

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Margaret McDonald, mezzo-soprano

Margaret McDonald, contralto, is a renowned international singer and voice-coach. She sings regularly in major venues and cathedrals in the U.K. and abroad. She works with many leading conductors, encompassing an extensive repertoire of oratorio and concert work, opera, contemporary and light music. As well as singing with numerous choral societies nationwide, she has sung on the operatic stage for Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Opera, ENO, Opera North, CBTO, Chelsea Opera Group, Scottish Opera and Scottish Opera Go Round. She has recorded a variety of works for Nimbus, Marco Polo and the BBC, including Maxwell Davies' The Jacobite Rising and Sea Elegy.
She now combines a busy singing schedule with her Vocal Consultancy work, being in demand for master classes, workshops and examining. She has taught at the RSAMD and RNCM, where she indeed studied. She is vocal coach for the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and the Hall' Choir. She was also the vocal coach for the production of Amadeus at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. 
Her concert work has ranged dramatically from Mahler's Third Symphony in Huddersfield Town Hall to the Good Old Days at the City Varieties, Leeds!  In recent years she sang Elgar's The Music Makers and Rachmaninov's Vespers with the Hall' choir, in the previous year sang Child of our Time with the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, recorded a CD with the Fairey Brass Band, sang a specially commissioned piece by Phillip Lawrence in Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, as part of the City of Culture Celebrations, performed the World Premiere of Equiano's Lament by Borthwick and sang with the Manchester Camerata in the Leeds International Concert Season. In 2008 she sang the Sheffield United Football Club Anthem in Bramall Lane Stadium for a documentary about the club, and before the final match of the season in front of 30,000 fans!  
Concerts this year have included Elgar's Sea Pictures and The Music Makers, Tippett's Child of our Time, Mozart's Mass in C, Saint-Sa'ns' Requiem and Verdi's Requiem as well as a number of recitals with pianist Jan Swynnoe.
Future performances include Mendelssohn's Elijah, Handel's Messiah, Elgar's The Music Makers and The Kingdom, a recital tour as 'Classic with a Q' with Jan Swynnoe and 'ClassiCabaret' with Gavin Meredith. 

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Mark Chaundy , tenor

sang as a chorister in the choir of St David92s Cathedral, whilst studying piano and organ. He later won an award through the South Glamorgan Youth Choir for singing lessons at the Welsh College of Music and Drama before gaining a choral scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, In 1999 he studied at the Royal College of Music as baritone with Ryland Davies. Concert appearances include Bach92s St John Passion, Kurt Weill92s Seven Deadly Sins with Cleo Lame and concerts with the London Mozart Players. Recital highlights include a Britten programme with Roger Vignoles and a performance with Ned Rorem of his songs at Tanglewood. He is also developing an opera repertoire and roles to date include Cadmus (Handel92s Semele) and David (Mascagni's L 91amicoFritz). Mark recently decided to move into the tenor repertoire and future engagements include Mendelssohn's Elyah and a return to Glyndebourne Festival Chorus in April.

Martin Hindmarsh, tenor

graduated from Birmingham University with a first class honours degree in music and later an M.Mus. in Opera Studies. He studied singing with John Cameron and with Joseph Ward OBE. He sang with the BBC Northern Singers, often as soloist and has broadcast as soloist with the BBC Philharmonic, the Northern Sinfonia and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. Martin gave the first broadcast performance of Walden, a cantata by David Gow and has performed a number of times with the Lindsay String Quartet. Recordings include songs by Alan Rawsthorne, Philip Wilby's Unholy Sonnets and songs by John McCabe. During 2002 Martin gave the first performances of the scena for tenor and piano by John Joubert, On Offa's Back. He has a wide oratorio repertoire and has performed in venues throughout the UK, including the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London and the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester as well as across the world. Recent performances have included The Dream of Gerontius and the Evangelist in the Bach Passions. Martin is married to the mezzo-soprano Jennifer Westwood and they often appear together; each summer they sing at the Bayreuth Festival and in 2004 they gave joint recitals of songs to mark the centenary of the death of Dvor'k. He maintains interests in conducting, composing and arranging in addition to lecturing on music.

The McAuley Chamber Choir

is made up of sixth form students and music staff of the school, and is one of the eighteen extracurricular ensembles that rehearse weekly at this Specialist Performing Arts College. They have built up an extensive repertoire and reputation over the years under their conductor Rachel Shenton. This has included participating in English Touring Opera's large-scale community opera entitled One Breath which featured adult and school choirs from Doncaster and Sheffield.

Monica Law, piano

was educated at Stafford Girls' High School. She graduated with a BMus from Birmingham University and an MA from Sheffield University. She has a lifetime of involvement in choral music and accompanies a choir and soloists in Sheffield. She also holds music sessions with pre-school children.

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National Festival Orchestra , Leader Sally Robinson,

has a brilliant reputation as one of the country's leading theatre and concert orchestras. Based in the North of England, with members drawn from all over the UK, the musicians combine a breadth of professional experience that ranges from playing for top symphony, chamber and opera orchestras to West End and Broadway shows. Many of the players are solo performers in their own right and their great versatility is apparent in the orchestra's ability to play in many different styles - from Bach to Baccarach - from Strauss to Sondheim.

As the orchestra of the outstandingly successful 'Sing Live UK', the NFO regularly plays to sell-out audiences at leading UK concert venues, including the Bridgewater Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and The Sage, Gateshead. Through BBC radio and television broadcasts and its critically acclaimed performances as resident orchestra for the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Buxton, the orchestra has established an outstanding national ' and even international - reputation. In addition the orchestra covers a busy round of concerts, shows, and choral performances with some of the country's finest choral societies. Highlights have included appearances at the London Palladium, The Royal Albert Hall, and also at huge festival events with stars such as soprano Lesley Garrett
 

Nick Sales, tenor

was born in Staffordshire in 1968 and since moving to South Yorkshire in 1997. he has since been a pupil of Swinton-based Margaret Duckworth. He made his grand opera debut in January 1999, playing Alfredo Germont in South Yorkshire Opera's production of La Traviata. He was invited to participate as guest international soloist in the 1998 Carols for Christmas Concert in the Palais Des Beaux Arts, Brussels and was delighted to be invited back for the 1999 concert. He also enjoys amateur operatics, having taken the leading tenor roles in most of the Gilbert & Sullivan operas, and appearing at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival each year since 1996. In 1998 and 1999, he won the coveted "Best Male Voice" award. Future engagements include Handel's Messiah.

Link to Nicks 'English Tenor' website.

Nicola Mills, soprano,

Nicola Millsoriginally from Lancashire, Nicola studied at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with Patricia MacMahon. Whilst there she won prizes including the Vocal Ensemble Prize, made recordings under the direction of Sir Philip Ledger, toured the UK with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and was supported by The Countess of Munster Musical Trust and The Lawrence Atwell Charity.

Nicola broadcasts regularly with the BBC Radio 4 Daily Service Singers, and also sings with Ex Cathedra. She has performed for Prince William, and in many of the leading venues throughout the UK including The Bridgewater Hall, St Martin in the Fields, The Albert Hall and The RNCM, including the Scottish Premiere of Handel's Gloria, Messiah, Haydn's Creation and The Seasons, Vivaldi Gloria and Laudate Pueri, along with Orff's Carmina Burana to name a few.
She also gives concerts as part of the Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now! scheme both in London and the North West. Future engagements include Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise in Wetherby, Carmina Burana in Frodsham, Brahm's Requiem in Macclesfield and Haydn's Nelson Mass at Manchester University. She is also looking forward to touring Vienna later in the year with Blackburn Cathedral.
 

Nigel Boucher, bass

was born in Walsall and his interest in music stems from being part of a very musical family. He began singing in his father's male voice choir at the age of twelve and then continued in church choirs. Nigel's instruments include piano, guitar, euphonium and organ. His main interest now is singing. His medical career brought him to Sheffield and from 1990 he has been a regular soloist with Sheffield Bach Society. His repertoire includes Handel's Messiah, Haydn's Creation and Mendelssohn's Elijah but he has sung many other works including those by Faure, Britten and Finzi. 

Nigel Gyte, piano

is a very experienced and versatile musician, well known in South Yorkshire and the Midlands. Highly sought after as an accompanist, he is also regularly called upon to play with orchestras, both in the concert hall and the theatre. Recent excursions have included appearances with the National Festival Orchestra at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham, the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester and the Sheffield Arena. He has played keyboard for the professional touring production of Blood Brothers and just completed a run of Jekyll and Hyde at the Derby Assembly Rooms. Nigel is a busy free-lance musical director with a long list of credits, which include; West Side Story, Grease, The Wiz, Follies, Gypsy, Annie, Carousel, Hello Dolly and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. For a number of years he has been resident accompanist for Rotherham Choral Society and in 2005 was inaugurated as an Ambassador for Rotherham, for his services to music in the Borough. Nigel is Director of Music at Rudston Preparatory School in Rotherham.

Noah Nazir

is a healer and by trade is an acupuncturist. Following the Sufi mystical path under the guidance of Sheikh Nazim of Cyprus he is always journeying towards the Divine Presence – ‘the activity of the God within us all’.

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Paul Dutton, tenor

 was born in Leeds. Music has been a part of his life since he sang as a treble in the Choir of Leeds Parish Church. As a soloist with this choir and numerous other choral societies he made television and radio broadcasts as well as a number of recordings, touring in Britain and Europe. His career has encompassed major operatic roles and oratorio. Paul continues to work with Opera North and is a member of the Britten Singers. Recent solo performances include the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 and Britten's St. Nicolas, with CD recordings of Stainer's Crucifixion and Mozart's Mass in D. Future engagements include Bach's Mass in B minor and St John Passion, Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle and Mozart's Requiem Mass. He is now Director of Music at Gateways School, Harewood.

Paul Tidd, bass

Paul Tidd, bass, started his musical career as a chorister at Emmanuel Parish Church, Southport, and where he first studied the organ with the then Organist, Stephen Attwater. He continued his organ studies with Dr Noel Rawsthorne, Organist Emeritus of Liverpool Cathedral. Paul took up his first appointment as Assistant Organist of Emmanuel, Southport, in 1987 and then in April 1993 Organist and Director of Music of St Luke’s Parish Church, Southport, famous for its ‘high ceremonial’. In the summer of 1996 Paul came to Leeds and in the September joined the Choir of Leeds Parish Church where he continues to sings as a Bass Lay Clerk and during this time has undertaken vocal tuition with James Griffett. In July 2011 Paul also took up the appointment of Organist of St John and St Barnabas, Belle Isle, Leeds. In connection with his musical endeavours Paul was elected a Fellow of the Guild of Musicians and Singers in June 2001. In Paul’s professional life he has held the position of Director of Business and Finance of West Leeds High School since 1996 that in 2009 became Swallow Hill Community College. Other interests include: running, travel and railways.

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Peter Heginbotham, organ

was a music scholar at Solihull School. In 1994 he was appointed to the organ scholarship of Truro Cathedral. In 1995 he become the Sir Henry Coward organ scholar at Sheffield Cathedral and University where he gained the degree of BMus. He ran the student orchestra and played continuo for the 'Operaworks' production of Dido and Aeneas at the 1997 Edinburgh International Festival. Following a year at Chester Cathedral he returned to Sheffield as Assistant Master of the Music at Sheffield Cathedral. Whilst on a tour of eastern USA he mastered the 180 stop organ of the National Cathedral in Washington DC. Each August he plays at Notre Dame, Paris, for the Vierne Singers and has frequently played for the Commemoration Service for the Liberation of Paris, in the presence of Jacques Chirac. He has made six recordings with the Cathedral choir. He also performs each year with Sheffield Oratorio Chorus.

Philip Steel, tenor

hails from the West Midlands and was a boy chorister in the famous Choir of St Columba’s, Sutton Coldfield. As an undergraduate, he read English in the University of Leeds and sang with the University Union Music Society’s Chamber Choir and later as a Lay Clerk at Leeds Parish Church. After graduation, he has held a major administrative post at Leeds Trinity University College and is currently Head of Alumni Relations in the University of Leeds. He sings regularly at Ripon Cathedral and at Leeds Parish Church (where he is Choir Treasurer). Philip also sings with Ecclesia based at St Aidan’s Church in Leeds. His general interests including running, on which he is very keen.

Philip Wilcox

Philip Wilcox
Phil’s vocal training began in Dorset where he sang with the Chapel Choir. He obtained a BA (hons) Degree at Leeds College of Music. On graduating from the LCM Phil won the Douglas Robinson memorial prize for opera and continues to study singing with Paul Nilon. Other musical interests include jazz and traditional music and accordion playing.

His performances as soloist in many of the country’s greatest cathedrals include Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Victoria’s Requiem, Weill’s Mahagonny Singspiel, Handel’s Messiah and Samson, William Lloyd-Webber’s The Saviour and Monteverdi’s Vespers

Operatic roles include Il Conte di Almaviva and Papageno in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute; The Earl of Dunmow in Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement and Peter in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.

 

Philippa Hyde, soprano,

commenced her singing studies with Ann Lampard and continued under the tuition of David Johnston and Yvonne Minton CBE at the Royal Academy of Music. She graduated with the coveted Dip RAM in 1993. In 2001 she was awarded the ARAM, an honour granted to past students of the Academy who have achieved distinction in their profession.
Philippa is an experienced recording artist. In 1995 she became a regular soloist for Hyperion, for whom she created the role of Semira in the first performance for nearly 200 years of Arne's Artaxerxes, which was also broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

Her busy and varied concert, operatic and oratorio career has taken her all over Europe and to many of its major concert venues and festivals. She has performed with many of the leading period orchestras and ensembles and regularly appears at the South Bank and Wigmore Hall as well as in cathedrals throughout the United Kingdom.

Recent engagements include a tour of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas to Libya and China, with the Academy of Ancient Music, and a performance of Handel's Messiah in Valetta with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since 1991 Philippa has been a member of the chamber group The Musicke Companye. She also teaches Period Performance practice at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Philippa is married to Richard Tanner, Director of Music at Blackburn Cathedral. They have two sons, James and Ben, the elder of which is a probationer in the cathedral choir. In her leisure time, Philippa enjoys reading, walking and travel.
Jeanette Ager, mezzo-soprano, was awarded an Exhibition to study at the Royal Academy of Music where she won numerous prizes. She is now continuing her studies with Linda Esther Gray.
Jeanette has won the Gold Medal in the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition, the Richard Tauber Prize for Singing and an award from the Tillett Trust Young Artist Platform.
Jeanette's concert and oratorio work has included: recitals and other appearances at the Wigmore Hall; Handel's Messiah at St David's Hall, Cardiff; Elgar's Dream of Gerontius at the Queen Elizabeth Hall; Tippett's Child of our Time at Salisbury Cathedral; Beethoven's 9th Symphony at the Barbican Concert Hall and the Missa Solemnis at York Minster, Truro and Exeter Cathedral. In addition to performances at many of the leading venues in the United Kingdom, Jeanette's concert work has taken her to Bermuda, the Czech Republic, Spain and China
Her operatic roles have included Cherubino in the Marriage of Figaro, (Mozart); Dido in Dido & Aeneas, (Purcell); The Marquise of Birkenfield in La Fille du Regiment (Donizetti); Rosina in The Barber of Seville (Rossini) both for Swansea City Opera and Thea in The Knot Garden (Tippett). With the Royal Opera House she appeared as one of the Apprentices in Wagner's Meistersinger at Covent Garden.
Jeanette has recorded for Hyperion, Deutsche Grammophon and Philips. Future events include Elgar's Sea Pictures with the RPO; Mahler's 2nd Symphony at the Bridgewater Hall and Elgar's Dream of Gerontius in Eton College.
Jeanette is part of the Artists in Residence Scheme at Queens University in Belfast where she regularly visits to perform recitals and to work with the students.

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Quentin Brown, bass

began his musical life as a chorister at Rochester Cathedral and continued to sing while at school and University. An Oxford graduate, he completed his studies at Cambridge, before moving to Leeds where he became Principal Bass in the choir of Leeds Parish Church and began a solo career which has taken him all over the UK and abroad. Recent performances include Purcell's King Arthur, Bach's St John Passion, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Beethoven's Choral Symphony, Vaughan Williams' Five Mystical Songs, and a recital of Operatic arias and duets with his wife Hazel Turner. He recorded all of the diverse bass roles in the St Peter's Singers' recently released CD recording of Francis Jackson's A Time of Fire. Quentin is Principal Bass soloist for the
St Peter's Singers of Leeds and is a member of the Britten Singers

Rachel Anne Oakes, soprano,

was born and educated in Halifax.  She gained an MA in English at St Andrews University and, whilst there, was a member of the renowned St Salvator's Chapel Choir touring with them throughout Europe, including a performance for United Nations Heads of State. Rachel later gained a post-graduate advanced diploma in singing. She has won joint first prize for soprano solo, in the 'Lancashire Evening Telegraph Rose Bowl' competition at Blackburn Festival. Rachel's oratorio engagements include: Coleridge-Taylor's Hiawatha, Handel's Messiah and Bach's Magnificat in D. She has also been a regular guest soloist for the ladies' choir 'Vocal Expressions', Holme Valley and New Mill Male Voice Choirs in Huddersfield. Rachel has toured with 'Opus 1 Music' in their production of Puccini's La Boh'me and performed with 'Opera Elan' as part of Blackley Festival, recorded by Northern Broadcasting.  Latterly, she has sung soprano in Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace with this Society, and Purcell's The Fairy Queen.  Forthcoming engagements include Handel's 'Messiah', 'Vocal Expression's' 10th Anniversary concert at Huddersfield Town Hall and a number of performances with 'Opera Elan.'

Rebekah Coffey, soprano

graduated from Queens University, Belfast, with a B Mus. (First class), later graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music with a postgraduate vocal diploma.

As a result of winning the 2004-2006 Young Artist Platform Scheme, Rebekah's career is developing on both the operatic stage and the concert platform. She sang the role of Gretel in Hansel und Gretel (2003), Peaseblossom in A Midsummer Night's Dream whilst covering the role of Susannah in The Marriage of Figaro for English Touring Opera (2004).  Her prestigious joint award from the Arts Council Northern Ireland and the BBC has provided her with '5000 for further study and two BBC engagements; a BBC broadcast recital and a debut appearance with the Ulster Orchestra in June 2006. This year she performed recitals of songs at the Downpatrick Fringe Festival and at the Belfast Festival. Her broadcasts for the BBC include Schubert's Mass No. 4 in C major and a recital of song for Radio Ulster.

Future oratorio engagements include Bach Magnificat, Bruckner Te Deum, Vivaldi Gloria and Handel Dixit Dominus; concert performances with the Manchester Camerata and the Ulster orchestra and the role of Amore in The Coronation of Poppea at the Buxton Festival.

 

Ronald Law, piano

was born and educated in Sheffield. He graduated from Birmingham University with a degree in music and after obtaining a teaching diploma at Sheffield University began a long career teaching music in Sheffield schools; King Edward VII and Silverdale, where he was Head of Music. His musical experience has been varied. He founded and conducted the Fossdale Singers (now called Escafeld Chorale) for sixteen years. He was conductor of Sheffield Male Voice Choir for four years and has been guest conductor on many occasions of orchestras, including the Sheffield Youth Orchestra. A keen keyboard player he played with a 'big' band called 'Sounds 40' and for a number of years was co-director of 'Late Arrivals' - a seven-piece jazz band. Ron has been an organist and choirmaster for over thirty years and although having retired from this he remains an itinerant organist, playing at various churches, including Sheffield Cathedral. Throughout his career Ron has written music for all the groups he has been involved with. He and his wife are members of Sheffield Oratorio Chorus, who recently performed his cantata God and Man. Details of his music can be found on www.musicbusinessplus.com. We are pleased to welcome Ron to the Society as our accompanist.

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Samantha Hay, soprano

completed postgraduate studies at the R.C.M with Margaret Kingsley after graduating from the Birmingham Conservatoire.Among her awards are the Great Elm Competition, the Cecil Drew Oratorio
Competition and the Reginald Vincent Lieder Prize. At college she developed her interest in opera, which included roles in Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld, Monteverdi's Coronation of Poppea and Puccini's Suor
Angeiwa. She has also performed with Mid Wales Opera and Haddo House
Opera. Since leaving music college she has performed in The Yeomen of the Guard for the British Youth Opera, Britten's The Rape of Lucretia in the Hungarian premiere (2001) and undertaken tours of Latvia and St. Petersburg
(2002), both for Opera Europe. Also in 2002 she understudied and performed Elsie (The Yeoman of the Guard) and Yum-yum (The Mikado) with D'Oyly Carte and Josephine in H.MS. Pinafore for D'Oyly Carte for three months at

 

Sarah Potter, soprano

Originally from County Durham, Sarah gained her BA Music degree at the University of Leeds (First Class Honours), and also holds the MMus Musicology qualification (Distinction). Sarah’s solo performances to date have included live BBC Radio broadcasts and appearances in venues throughout the UK (Royal Academy of Music, Durham Cathedral, Harewood House, Leeds University Great Hall, amongst many others). A former member of Durham Cathedral Consort of Singers (dir. James Lancelot), Sarah currently sings as a soloist and chorus member of both Leeds Baroque Choir (dir. Prof. Peter Holman) and St. Peter's Singers (dir. Dr. Simon Lindley). Sarah was awarded third prize in the Musica Britannica Sir Anthony Lewis Memorial Prize competition, adjudicated by Catherine Bott and Prof. Julian Rushton at The Royal Academy of Music, London (2010).

In October 2010 Sarah began her PhD research into Changing Vocal Style and Technique in Britain, 1750 – 1850: The Role of the Singer in Historically Informed Performance, which will culminate in a written thesis and a portfolio of recordings. Sarah has been very fortunate to receive the University of Leeds Stanley Burton Research Scholarship for her PhD studies, and will complete her research under the supervision of Prof. Clive Brown and Dr. Bryan White. She is continuing her vocal studies with Hilary Thomas.

 Sarah very recently performed Vivaldi’s Laudate Pueri (RV 601) for Leeds Baroque, and regularly sings oratorio for choral societies throughout Yorkshire and beyond. Engagements in the near future include J.S. Bach’s Freue dich, erlöste Schar (Cantata 30) with St. Peter’s Singers, and oratorio performances in the local area, including Handel’s Messiah for Sheffield Bach Choir. Sarah is an avid tea drinker, and between concerts enjoys a cup or two of Betty’s Tea Room Blend.

Simon Lindleyalison hudson mezzo soprano and simon lindley pianist

Simon Lindley is Organist of Leeds Parish Church and of Leeds Town Hall.

(photo shows Simon with Alison Hudson at a Choral Society reception)

Almost exactly a decade after first appearing as the choir’s Guest Conductor for a performance of Messiah in December 2001, Leeds-based musician Dr Simon Lindley was in November 2010 appointed Conductor of Doncaster Choral Society.

Dr Lindley has played the organ for a number of the Choral Society’s concerts over the years, including memorable contributions to two carol concerts and a third concert comprising the Requiems of Fauré and Duruflé accompanied by organ alone.

Speaking of his appointment to Doncaster Choral Society, Simon said:

I am absolutely delighted to be associated with this very fine choir on a permanent basis, and look forward to much enjoyable music making in and around Doncaster and, where opportunity offers, further afield.

Simon Lindley was educated at Magdalen College School, Oxford and the Royal College of Music. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, serving as College President from 2000 to 2002, and also of Trinity College of Music. Simon holds Honorary Fellowships from the Royal School of Church Music, the Guild of Church Musicians, the Guild of Musicians and Singers and from Leeds College of Music

In Autumn of 2001, an Honorary Doctorate of Leeds Metropolitan University was conferred upon him in recognition of his contribution to the musical and civic life of Leeds, where he is Organist and Master of the Music at historic Leeds Parish Church and also City Organist at Leeds Town Hall. He has held both posts since the mid 1970s, and moved to Yorkshire following service at Westminster and St Albans Cathedrals and at St Albans School.

Dr Lindley retains very strong links with the City of London where his career began well over forty years ago during his student days. He is a Freeman of the City, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and a long-serving Churchwarden of the National Musicians’ Church, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate. He has since 2003 served as Chairman of the Friends of the Musicians’ Chapel at St Sepulchre’s and is the current Grand Organist to the United Grand Lodge of England and to the Masonic Province of Yorkshire West Riding.

Active in many aspects of Yorkshire music, Simon is Conductor of Sheffield Bach Society and directs community choruses in Leeds and Halifax. He is also Director of St Peter’s Singers, the acclaimed Chamber Choir based at the Parish Church of Leeds since its formation in 1997.

His home is at Fulneck Moravian Settlement, just South of Pudsey at the confluence of the West Riding rural and urban heartlands.

As a Director of the English Hymnal Company, Dr Lindley was on the editorial board of the supplement to the New English Hymnal, New English Praise, issued in 2006; he is Chairman of the Company’s charitable arm, the Ecclesiastical Music Trust and a long-serving Trustee of the John Pilling Trust. For twenty years he has been Secretary of the Church Music Society.

 

Dr Lindley comes from a musical family – his sister Ruth has just retired after many years’ service in the professional choir of the London Oratory and their great-grandmother, Marie Brema, sang the role of the Angel in the first performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius at the 1900 Birmingham Festival. Simon’s own family comprises three sons, a daughter and two American granddaughters.

His interests include cooking, walking, rail travel, local history, church architecture, printing and typography.

Stephen Brown, tenor

 studied at the Royal College of Music, London graduating in 1999 with seven major recital prizes.  His career has led to roles with companies such as Almeida Opera, Kent Opera, Buxton Festival, English National Opera, Opera Della Luna, The Carl Rosa Opera Company and Castleward Opera, Raymond Gubbay at the Albert Hall, Garsington Festival Opera, The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and Glyndebourne.  Recent performances include Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance in New Zealand and Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville.  He has also made two commercial CDs of oratorios by Arthur Sullivan.  Stephen has sung most of the major oratorio repertoire and recent concert performances include Verdi's Requiem at the Barbican, Handel's Messiah in Romania, Rossini's Stabat Mater in Norway, Stradella's San Giovanni Battista in Jerusalem, Beethoven's 9th Symphony in Spain and Bach's St Matthew Passion with Peter Schreier in London and Iceland. He is currently on tour with Carl Rosa Opera as Ralph in HMS Pinafore.

Stephen Liley, tenor

 studied singing with Neil Mackie at the Royal College of Music. There he was awarded the Margot Hamilton Prize, the Bertha Taylor-Stach Prize for German, the John Rogers Prize and the French and German Language Prizes.

Stephen has performed oratorio throughout Great Britain and on the continent, and has sung at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields and the Aldeburgh Festival. Recital work includes his special interest in the repertoire for voice and guitar, and he made his German recital debut at the Allensbach Festival.

Stephen took part in the Berlin International Tippett Festival and also sang in a production of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas which toured Japan. He has sung at Llandaff & Sheffield Cathedrals, the inaugural concert at the Cath'drale d'Evry in Paris, and as Evangelist travelled to Australia for a performance of Bach's St. John Passion in St. George's Cathedral, Perth.

Future engagements include Evangelist in Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Sheffield Bach Society. 

South Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra

 was founded in 1969 and became an all-professional freelance ensemble when Paul Scott took over the reigns in 1978. Under his baton it has appeared in many concerts throughout South Yorkshire and beyond. A number of these were in Sheffield City Hall, including a string of G&S concerts with Gilbert & Sullivan For All, which led to SYSO playing for them in three all-professional full G&S productions. One of these was a spectacular and lavish production of The Yeomen of the Guard in Newark Castle. In recent years choral music has become its speciality playing regularly for choral societies in Sheffield, Doncaster and Bakewell and occasionally in Leeds, Ripon and Harrogate.


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Terence Ayebare, bass

 turned to full-time vocal training after graduating with Honours in Electrical Engineering from Makerere University, Uganda, in 2004, and graduated with First Class Honours from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) in July 2007 where he studied with Alan Watt. He has sung as a chorus member in conservatoire opera productions at the RSAMD and RNCM in Manchester and at the Rouon Festival in France. Other opera excerpt roles include Riccardo (I Puritani), Pelleas (Pelleas et Melisande) and Mr. Redburn (Billy Budd).

He is a regular oratorio soloist in England with choral societies including Southport Bach Choir and Gainsborough Choral Society and has performed in Handel's Israel in Egypt, masses by Gounod, Haydn and Schubert, the Requiems of Faur' and Durufl' and Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs and Fantasia on Christmas Carols. He frequently performs in song recitals, including two appearances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He recently gave a lunchtime recital here in Doncaster. Thanks to awards from the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), the Kathleen Trust and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, he is now working towards a MMus under the tuition of Peter Alexander Wilson, and is preparing the role of Dr. Falke for the RNCM's upcoming production of Die Fledermaus.

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