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Director of Music

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Paul Burke — Director of Music from September 2012

Paul Burke

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Born in London, Paul is a graduate of Worcester College, Oxford, where he studied with Robert Saxton; he has recently completed studies with Paul Patterson at the Royal Academy of Music.

Paul writes for a wide range of situations and performers, from amateur to professional. His music has been performed by the London Sinfonietta in the South Bank Centre, by the Manson Ensemble, and by the Dubai-based Youth Orchestra of the Middle East. He has appeared on BBC Radio 3 and has also worked with animators and directors, including a collaboration with artist Oliver Beer on an award-winning submission to the Saatchi ‘New Generations’ competition; this led to a performance in the Brighton sewer system and was subsequently broadcast on Channel 4. Short films on which Paul has collaborated have also been included in the Encounters Animation Festival and the Puma Peace Festival.

Work for choir has been a significant part of Paul’s output. Whilst still at school he had pieces sung by choirs in Portsmouth Cathedral and Sherborne Abbey, and as an undergraduate he benefitted from a workshop with the BBC Singers. More recently he has written for the Chapel Choir of Hertford College, Oxford, the choir of the Douay Martyrs School, the Royal Academy of Music Chaplaincy Choir, and Salisbury Cathedral Choir. His music was also selected for inclusion in the 2011 London Festival of Contemporary Church Music.

Forthcoming projects include a set of preces and responses for upper voices, and a commission to work on a music, dance, and drama piece for use in schools.

Paul also works as a pianist, organist, and musical director. He is currently Choirmaster at the Douay Martyrs School, Director of Music at All Saints’ Church in Headington, Oxford, and accompanist and assistant musical director for Bicester Choral Society. From April 2012 he will be conducting the chamber vocal ensemble London Contemporary Voices, and from September 2012 of Wantage Choral Society too.

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We had hoped that Paul would be able to start with us for the Summer term, but this has not proved possible. So we were grateful to Andrew Walker (Head of Performing Arts at St.Birinus School, Didcot and conductor of the Didcot Festival Chorus)  for agreeing to cover the post for the Summer term.

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Richard Smith

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Richard Smith – Musical Director of Wantage Choral Society from 2005 until March 2012
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