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Our President

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Described by the Observer as “a contemporary hero of British Choral Music”, our President Bob Chilcott works tirelessly as a composer and choral conductor.  He has over 125 pieces published by Oxford University Press, two acclaimed recordings on Signum, Making Waves (The Sirens) and Man I Sing (BBC Singers),and he wrote the title tracks for the King’s Singers albums, Swimming over London and High Flight.  His Irish Blessing featured on the multi-platinum debut album of The Priests in 2008.  In March 2012 his Requiem was released on Hyperion, performed by Wells Cathedral Choir and the Nash Ensemble, conducted by Matthew Owens, and in November two complete discs of his music will appear, one by the BBC Choir of the Year, the Wellensian Consort, and the other, on Signum, on which he conducts the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir.

In 2002 he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC’s acclaimed professional choir, the BBC Singers, and he has conducted other distinguished choirs including RIAS Kammerchor, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Jauna Musika, The World Youth Choir, Tower New Zealand Youth Choir, Taipei Chamber Singers, Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir, and the Kyoto Echo Choir.  Since 1997 he has conducted in 23 countries, and in 2012 he has invitations to conduct in Poland, Denmark, Spain, Germany, China, Japan, USA, and Canada.

Chilcott maintains a busy schedule of commissions.  5 August 2012 saw the first performance of The Angry Planet in the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, commissioned for The Bach Choir, BBC Singers, National Youth Choir of Great Britain, and a children’s choir taken from education projects in two London boroughs.  2013 saw the completion of an hour-long setting of the St John Passion for Wells Cathedral for SATB choir, soloists, and instruments, and Five Days that Changed the World, a 20-minute work setting words by Charles Bennett for youth choirs, brass, and organ, which was premiered in Worcester Cathedral as part of Europa Cantat and Sing UK’s Worcester International Festival for Young Singers in July 2013.

Past President Jamie Lonsdale – Biography

Jamie Lonsdale was educated at Ludgrove school, joining the choir at the age of 7. Then he attended Pangbourne College where he became Head of Choir, before joining the Royal Navy. Jamie served in various ships as a Seaman Officer (responsible for bridge watchkeeping, diving, and gunnery) during his 5 year naval career, including HMY BRITANNIA in which he sailed around the world.

On leaving the Navy, Jamie did a 3 year Land Agency course at
Cirencester and has for the last 20 years been involved in running an asset management business, and restoring listed properties near Wantage, where he created the Kingston Lisle Business Centre.

Jamie started taking singing lessons in 1997 from the late Betty Bleakley, and became hooked on performing after joining Wantage Choral Society!

His debut opera role was in 2004 as Gherardo in Gianni Schicci (Opera Anywhere), later going professional performing in South Pacific, Thais, and The Elixir of Love (Grange Park Opera) and a local production of Tosca (O4opera). Jamie currently trains with Arwel Treharne-Morgan, and Lyndall Dawson. Jamie currently lives in London.

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