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MAX BARLEY - MUSICAL DIRECTOR

Max Barley was a chorister at King's College, Cambridge and Organ Scholar at St John's College, Oxford, where he read Modern Languages. He studied conducting in Munich, where he was a scholar at the Stiftung Maximilianeum.

He now pursues a busy freelance career as choral conductor and accompanist. He is Director of Music at St Mary's, Wimbledon, Music Director of Eltham Choral Society, Wimbledon Youth Choir (www.wimbledonyouthchoir.com which he founded in 2015) and West Barnes Singers, and Organ Scholar at Trinity Laban, for whom he regularly directs and accompanies the choral scholars at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel, and whom he led on a tour to Malta in April 2016.. He works regularly on courses for National Youth Choir of Wales, National Children's Choir and Eton Choral Courses. www.maxbarley.com

 

CHARLES ANDREWS - ACCOMPANIST

Charles Andrews is Accompanist of Eltham Choral Society and Hertfordshire Chorus. He studied at the Royal College of Music with the aid of a Douglas & Kyra Downie Award. The RCM awarded Charles the Harold Darke Memorial Prize for organ.

Charles was Associate Director of Music at All Saints, Margaret Street from 2011-16. Before studying at the RCM, he held the Michael James organ scholarship at Rochester Cathedral.

Recently Charles has performed at Newbury Spring Festival with the London Symphony Chorus, Bridgewater Hall with Roger Sayer, and Christopher Summer Festival, Vilnius. He has given the first performances of works by David Briggs and Philip Moore. In 2017 Charles will perform in the International Organ Festival of Ivan Sokol in Slovakia..

 

PETER ASPREY - PAST MUSICAL DIRECTOR (2009-2016)

Peter Asprey is in demand as a conductor, singer and singing teacher. He is the Musical Director of St Sepulchre without Newgate, the National Musicians' Church in the City of London, Berkshire Youth Choir, Eltham Choral Society and a Choral Director in the Junior department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He also works with other choirs and orchestras both in the UK and abroad and has an ongoing relationship with the Belgian choir and orchestra, Vox Amicorum. He works as a Chorus Master, most recently for the London Symphony Chorus with Michael Tilson Thomas, the Brighton Festival Chorus with Sir Andrew Davis and he was Assistant Chorus Master at the St Endellion Festival, Easter 2014.

Away from conducting, Peter works as a singer. He was a Choral Exhibitioner at Clare College, Cambridge and has since sung with various choirs including The Cambridge Singers and Philharmonia Voices. A founder member of the award winning Renaissance vocal ensemble Stile Antico, he recorded with them for Harmonia Mundi usa, toured with Sting, and won a Gramophone Award, two Grammy nominations and a Diapason D'Or for the recordings.

He is also involved in musical education. He has started a series of talks on Music History at the Royal Academy of Art in London. He has given masterclasses in Renaissance Music as part of the International Course for Early Music and Dance at the Luka Sorkocevic Music School in Dubrovnik, Croatia as well as workshops in Choral Music at Royal Holloway University. He collaborates with the BBC Singers on educational projects with the Berkshire Youth Choir, recently conducting a world premiere by Orlando Gough live on BBC Radio 3. He is a singing teacher at Eton College, a member of staff on the Eton Choral Courses for young singers and has initiated singing lessons and song performance evenings at UBS Investment Bank. He recently adjudicated the Music Competition at Wetherby Preparatory School in London and was recently Chorus Master for a performance of Carmina Burana involving over 1000 schoolchildren from the county of Berkshire at the Royal Albert Hall under the baton of Ben Parry.

 

THOMAS WILSON - PAST MUSICAL DIRECTOR (2009)

Thomas Wilson has been Assistant Organist at Westminster Cathedral since October 2004. In addition to working with the Cathedral choir he has specific responsibility for music at non-choral services. He was previously Assistant Director and Organist for the choir of Ealing Abbey.

Thomas moved to London from New Zealand in 2003 to begin postgraduate studies in organ and musicology at the Royal Academy of Music where his research interests included the organ music of Dieterich Buxtehude and the choral music of J.S. Bach. Whilst at the Academy he won prizes for organ playing and improvisation and performed in several high profile concerts, accompanying ’cellist Stephen Isserlis at the Wigmore Hall and giving a concerto performance in Neresheim Abbey with the Royal Academy Baroque Orchestra.

Prior to moving to the United Kingdom Thomas was Organist and Director of Music at Wellington Metropolitan Cathedral. His work with the Cathedral Choir gained national attention through a busy schedule of services, recordings, broadcasts, tours and concerts, most notably during the Cathedral’s Centennial Festival, during which he conducted performances of Bach’s Mass in B minor and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Wellington Sinfonia, as well as Poulenc’s Organ Concerto with organist David Titterington. Under Thomas’ direction the choir toured Italy, singing at services and concerts in Rome, featuring as guest choir at the Epiphany Mass in St Peter’s Basilica. His final engagement with the Cathedral Choir was New Zealand’s first period-instrument performance of Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, presented as a liturgical reconstruction.

 

CHRIS EASTWOOD - ACCOMPANIST TO JULY 2008 and acting MD Spring term 2009

Chris Eastwood began his musical career as a chorister at Westminster Cathedral, under the direction of James O'Donnell.

Christopher read music at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he was also Senior Organ Scholar with responsibility for the choir and the music in the college chapel. Christopher toured with the college choir throughout England and Europe, as well as producing several recordings on the Guild label. During his time at Oxford, Christopher maintained an active interest in singing, especially with an early music group, Magdala, directed by David Skinner, and on recordings of the music of Orlando Gibbons, and for the soundtrack for the BBC's Blue Planet series, with Magdalen College Choir, Oxford.

Since his graduation from Oxford, Christopher has held organ scholarships at Portsmouth Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral. During this time he has performed on Songs of Praise, Radio 3 & 4, and, in 2005, for the live television broadcast on the occasion of the Requiem Mass for Pope John Paul II from Westminster Cathedral. As a soloist, Christopher has given recitals at Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, Magdalen College, Oxford, and many other venues.

Christopher is Director of Ealing Abbey Choir and teaches music at St Benedict's School, Ealing. Under his guidance, the Abbey Choir has performed at the Royal Albert Hall (September 2007), and regularly gives concerts, including recent performances of Rutter's Gloria, Handel's Messiah and Lassus's Missa Bell' amfitrit' altera .

 

NICHOLAS JENKINS - MD FROM 2001 UNTIL 2008 AND CURRENT VICE PRESIDENT

Nicholas Jenkins is establishing a reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting young conductors and has wide experience in conducting operatic, orchestral and choral repertoire. 2014/15 engagements include conducting Mesdames de la Halle (Opéra de Lyon), Oberon, Mignon (New Sussex Opera), Idomeneo (Blackheath Halls), and a staged Petite Messe Solennelle (Perpignan, Antibes). He is Chorus Master for Platée (Opéra de Paris), Die Fledermaus (Opéra-Comique), Mazeppa (Netherlands Radio Choir), Aïda (Opera Holland Park), L’Étoile and Die Zauberflöte (Dutch National Opera). He is also assistant conductor to Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic for Der Rosenkavalier (Baden-Baden).

Opera conducting includes L’Ile de Tulipatan, Der Jasager (Opéra de Lyon), Don Quichotte (La Monnaie), Edgar, Hugh the Drover, Idomeneo, Mireille, Oberon, The Poisoned Kiss, Die Rheinnixen, Tobias and the Angel (New Sussex Opera), Cendrillon, Le Comte Ory, Eugene Onegin, L’elisir d’amore, Macbeth, Nabucco, Noye’s Fludde (Blackheath Halls), The Lily of the Valley (ROH Linbury), Così fan tutte (Théâtre Besançon), The Turn of the Screw (Dartington), as well as Dido and Aeneas, The Seven Deadly Sins, and a staged Petite Messe Solennelle (Berlin, Bregenz Festival, Opéra de Dijon, Luxembourg Grand Théâtre, Paris Opéra-Comique).

He has worked extensively as assistant conductor to Marc Minkowski at Opéra de Paris, Théâtre du Châtelet, Opéra Comique, Opéra de Lyon, La Monnaie, Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg Festivals. He has also been assistant conductor to Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, Dutch National Opera, Opera North, Opera Rara, Théâtre du Châtelet, Salzburg Festival, assisting conductors including Sir Mark Elder, David Parry, and Sir Simon Rattle (Carmen, Manon Lescaut).

Nicholas Jenkins studied at Merton College, Oxford, Trinity College of Music, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. A trained singer, he has been guest chorus master to Chœur du Châtelet, English National Opera (Benvenuto Cellini), Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Grange Park Opera, Netherlands Radio Choir, and Philharmonia Chorus. During 2012-13 he was Interim Chorus Master to Dutch National Opera with whom he has prepared Die Zauberflöte, La Traviata, Armide, and L’Étoile.

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TONY BALDWIN - ASSISTANT MUSICAL DIRECTOR UNTIL APRIL 2003

Tony Baldwin was born in London in 1957, Tony received his early education there and was a chorister at Southwark Cathedral. He gained the A.R.C.O. diploma with a major prize at 17 and became F.R.C.O. a year later. In 1975 he became organ scholar of Trinity College, Oxford, where he read for a degree in music, trained the chapel choir and conducted the college orchestra. Postgraduate studies at Durham followed in 1979 and, during the time spent there, Tony undertook a considerable amount of recital work and choral conducting.

Tony holds the choir-training diploma of the Royal College of Organists and has conducted groups in several cathedrals and parish churches. Since 1992, he has undertaken annual recital tours of the U.S. where he has his own chamber choir.

In 1996, he won the annual composers' competition of the Royal School of Church Music. Principal publishers are Oxford University Press, RSCM, Sacred Music Press (U.S.) and National Music Publishers (U.S.). His main musical interests are the choir and organ works of Herbert Howells, choir-training and improvisation.

 

MIRIAM COE - PAST MUSICAL DIRECTOR (1975 - 2001)

Miriam Coe retired as Musical Director of Eltham Choral Society in March 2001. She conducted her first concert at Christmas 1975 at Our Lady Help of Christians in Mottingham, since when she has led the choir on over a hundred occasions in works ranging from folk songs to major oratorios, in venues as varied as round the Christmas tree in Eltham High Street, the Old Royal Naval College Chapel, Greenwich, and Chartres Cathedral.

ECS would like to thank Miriam very much for her great enthusiasm and hard work over all these years. During this period, the choir has developed from a relatively small evening institute class, to one of the leading independent choral societies within south east London, culminating in Millennium Year in the Society's first-ever commission, Edmund Jolliffe's Missa Cum Jubilo; an enjoyable singing tour to Chartres and Paris; and a memorable performance, together with The Ascension Choir, Blackheath and Trinity College of Music, of Tippett's masterpiece A Child of our Time.

We wish Miriam well in all her future endeavours, and welcome her as one of our Honorary Members.

 

EDMUND JOLLIFFE

Edmund Jolliffe is a British composer of music for the concert hall, television and theatre. His music has been performed in many prestigious venues, including the Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room, the Old Vic Theatre, Westminster Abbey, Jermyn Street Theatre, the National Portrait Gallery, the Red House at Aldeburgh and the Tate, Liverpool. It has also been performed as far afield as Michigan, Dallas and France. He has written television music for all the terrestrial channels in the United Kingdom and many of the Satellite Channels. His music for the Imagine programme 'Fantastic Mr Dahl' is now an added extra on the DVD to 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and is an in flight movie on American Airlines. He studied music at Oxford University and completed a Masters in Film Composition at the Royal College of Music under Joseph Horovitz. He also studied on the Advanced Composition Course at Dartington International Summer School under Pavel Novak in 2004 (supported by the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust).

Further information at (www.edmundjolliffe.com).

The 'Missa cum Jubilo' was first conceived two years before the millennium end. Predominantly tonal, it explores unusual rhythms which provide the piece with a vibrant energy. The upbeat pace constantly drives the music forward, whilst also providing a framework for the calmer, slower movements. The inspiration for the music comes from an eclectic mix of composers such as Bernstein, Stravinsky, Faure, Britten and Haydn, but also from the words of the Mass itself. These often dictate particular rhythms and the emotional content of the music. The result is a work that is challenging yet accessible and rewarding to both performers and audience alike.

 

TREVOR GRACE

How the Sun Rose - T. Grace. 1998 was written for the Eltham Choral Society. The work is the first of three on a series of letters and poems by Emily Dickinson. The movement captures, in words and music, the break of day.

The composer brings to this choral piece a piano accompaniment written especially for concert pianist David Battersby, who performed the new work with Eltham Choral Society on the 27th June 1998

Trevor Grace studied composition at the Sydney Conservatoire of music and later as a protegé of Richard Meale, one of Australia's leading orchestral composers.Trevor has written music for television over a number of years and his library theme music is used in many countries around the world.

The composer lives locally and sings with the Eltham Choral Society.

 
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