Membership Secretary: Joy Black
01684 892435
joy.i.black77@gmail.com

Secretary: Barbara Moss

01684 564366
moss.thomas@btopenworld.com

Our Soloists and Musicians

Darkness and Light:
Goodall - Eternal Light, Janacek - Otcenas, Vaughan Williams - Five Mystical Songs
Saturday 16 March 2019, Great Malvern Priory

Soprano Alison Ponsford-Hill
Alison Hill began singing as a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral under Dr Richard Seal. In 2006 she graduated from Trinity College in Cambridge and continues to study with Ashley Stafford and Philip Doghan in London. Over the last five years she has recorded and toured extensively with The Monteverdi Choir under Sir John Eliot Gardener, Polyphony under Steven Layton, The Sixteen for Harry Christophers, Tenebrae for Nigel Short, Retrospect Ensemble for Matthew Halls, Stile Antico, La Grande Chappelle, and Alamire.

Alison’s solo performances include Monteverdi Vespers in Salisbury Cathedral, Milton Abbey and Winchester Cathedral, Faure’s Requiem with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Mozart Requiem in St Martin’s in the Field, Handel’s Messiah at St John’s Smith Square and Salisbury Cathedral, Cambridge Early Music Festival with The Parley of Instruments and more unusually, folk singing for the Irish show Riverdance in arenas across Europe and America. In 2008, Alison performed Rutter’s Requiem in Winchester Cathedral for the Bach Choir and toured with Sir John Eliot Gardener and The Monteverdi Choir performing and recording as a soloist in venues such as The Royal Festival Hall and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Last year she made her solo debut at The Wigmore Hall for Retrospect Ensemble. Alison is also a member of Galán; a soprano vocal trio with harpsichord and theorbo who have recently been made Brighton Early Music Festival’s Young Artists.

Future performances include ‘Pie Jesu’ from Fauré’s Requiem with The Bach Choir, ‘Der Freischütz’ by Weber at Opéra Comique with The Monteverdi Choir and a recital of Handel’s Nine German Arias at the Tower of London.
Tenor Richard Coxon
Richard was born in Nottingham. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and made his professional operatic debut with Scottish Opera singing Flavio in Norma, subsequently spending three years with the Company as Principal Tenor under Sir Richard Armstrong where his roles included Nemorino L'elisir d'amore, Don Ottavio Don Giovanni and Alfredo La Traviata.
Richard frequently performs at the ROH and Glyndebourne Festival and in recent years has been a regular guest artist for the summer Proms Concerts. He was the original Bill in Jonathon Dove's Flight at Glyndeborne Festival Opera, which was recorded for Channel 4 and released on CD the following year.

Amongst many international engagements Richard has sung with Opera Zuid, Maastricht, Nationale Reisopera, Spoleto Festival, Italy and New Israeli Opera where he performed the title role in The Rake's Progress. He has sung Flute in A Midsummer Nights Dream at the La Monnaie Brussels, and made his American and Canadian debuts in 2004 with Opéra de Montréal and Florida Grand Opera singing Kudrjàs in Katya Kabanova later returning to sing Monostatos in Magic Flute.
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Richard is a regular artist on Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night and his film credits include Sam in Lucia, by Don Boyd and Dashwood Fox on the DVD of The Cunning Little Vixen under Kent Nagano. He has also worked extensively with Opera North and English National Opera as well as with Richard Hickox on a number of CDs for Chandos. He released his debut solo album, Quanto Amore, in 2005, followed by My Passion in 2010.
Baritone Quentin Hayes
Quentin first studied singing as a pupil at Malvern College and he last sang with Malvern Festival Chorus in Elijah in 2011.

Since winning the VARA Dutch Radio Prize in 1993 at the Belverdere Singing Competition, Vienna Quentin has sung roles with all the leading UK Opera Companies including Glyndebourne, Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, English National Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden where he was on contract as a principal for five years from 2000 – 2005.

His concert engagements have been diverse, ranging from Purcell’s ‘Ode for St.Cecilia’s Day’ in St.Petersburg, to Purcell’s ‘Come ye Sons of Art’ with Philippe Herreweghe in Lyon, Finzi’s ‘In Terra Pax’ in Rio de Janiero, Dvõrák’s ‘Requiem’ in Valencia, Brahms’ ‘Requiem’ with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in the Usher Hall Edinburgh, ‘Messiah’ in Trondheim Cathedral, Norway, opera galas in Zimbabwe, Ghana and Nicaragua and Britten’s ‘War Requiem’ in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.

He has sung with many prestigious orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra (with the late Richard Hickox), Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra (Japanese premier of Elgar’s Light of Life).

As well as television appearances Quentin has recorded for Hyperion, Deutsche Gramophon, Decca Argo, Chandos and Naxos. He has just completed a recording of Edward Loder’s ‘Raymond and Agnes’ with maestro Richard Bonynge, with whom he has previously recorded Balfe’s Satanella.

Recent engagements include ‘Messiah’ (Worcester Cathedral), Elgar’s ‘Dream of Gerontius’ (Winchester and Gloucester Cathedrals), ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’ (Chester Cathedral), Shylock (‘Merchant of Venice’) with WNO, Scarpia (‘Tosca’) and Michele (‘Il Tabarro’) for Wexford Festival Opera, Nachtigal (‘Meistersingers’) with ENO.

Quentin is currently singing in Shostakovitch’s ‘Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk’ with the CBSO and Birmingham Opera Company. He is also a teacher of singing at the Royal Northern College of Music.
Piano Penny Vere
Penny Vere studied piano and violin at the Royal Academy of Music. Since then, she has combined teaching and performing throughout her career.

She came to Malvern as Director of Music at the Abbey School, and later at St. James and the Abbey. She has continued to work as a professional accompanist and has also performed widely with chamber groups.

Musical theatre has also been important to her; she has conducted a wide range of stage works from Britten to Rogers and Hammerstein, including four productions at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow, during the five years she lived there.

She has joined a number of choirs but always seems to end up at the keyboard!
Organ Julian McNamara
Julian was born in Hull and received his early musical training there and as a music scholar at Ampleforth College. Three organ scholarships followed: at St Michael’s College, Tenbury, New College, Oxford (where he read Music), and Manchester Cathedral. While at Manchester he undertook post­graduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, winning the prestigious Alice Shawcross Prize for his final recital. He concluded his post-graduate organ studies at the Geneva Conservatoire, at the same time holding posts as Organist and Choirmaster at the English Church and as Musical Director of the Geneva Amateur Operatic Society.

Returning to Manchester, he became Assistant Organist at the Cathedral. In addition to the usual assistant’s duties, he founded the Manchester Cathedral Girls’ Choir and was organ tutor at Chetham’s School of Music.

Performance engagements as organist or conductor have taken him throughout western and eastern Europe as well as to South Africa and Russia. He has made several broadcasts on BBC Television and on Radios 2, 3 and 4. Having been Director of Music at St Edward’s School, Oxford and the Oratory School, Woodcote, he is now Director of Music at Downside School, Somerset. He is also active as an organist, conductor, composer, arranger and ABRSM examiner.

Julian so enjoyed his return to Great Malvern Priory last year, after a gap of 20 years, that he is delighted to be joining Malvern Festival Chorus there again this year.
Harp Ruth Faber
Ruth Faber studied the harp at the Royal College of Music with Marisa Robles. Since then she has worked with the Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, London Symphony and BBC Symphony Orchestras, along with the English Chamber Orchestra and London Mozart Players. Regional orchestral work has included Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh Opera and Birmingham Royal Ballet, a post she held before moving to the West Country.
Ruth’s busy solo schedule has featured recitals all over the UK and abroad, notably concerts at the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. She has played concerti with the English Chamber Orchestra and Bournemouth Sinfonietta. Performances for television have included appearances on BBC 1 and BBC
2 and she has also appeared on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4.
Teaching is an important part of Ruth’s life and she currently teaches at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Wells Cathedral School, Junior Guildhall, Bristol and Bath Spa Universities. Ruth also holds her own residential children’s harp courses each summer.
On a lighter note, Ruth has travelled the world playing for British Airways Promotions.

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J. S Bach Magnificat in D major (BWV 243) - Sunday 25 November 2018, Malvern Theatres

Soprano Alison Ponsford-Hill
Alison Hill began singing as a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral under Dr Richard Seal. In 2006 she graduated from Trinity College in Cambridge and continues to study with Ashley Stafford and Philip Doghan in London. Over the last five years she has recorded and toured extensively with The Monteverdi Choir under Sir John Eliot Gardener, Polyphony under Steven Layton, The Sixteen for Harry Christophers, Tenebrae for Nigel Short, Retrospect Ensemble for Matthew Halls, Stile Antico, La Grande Chappelle, and Alamire.

Alison’s solo performances include Monteverdi Vespers in Salisbury Cathedral, Milton Abbey and Winchester Cathedral, Faure’s Requiem with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Mozart Requiem in St Martin’s in the Field, Handel’s Messiah at St John’s Smith Square and Salisbury Cathedral, Cambridge Early Music Festival with The Parley of Instruments and more unusually, folk singing for the Irish show Riverdance in arenas across Europe and America. In 2008, Alison performed Rutter’s Requiem in Winchester Cathedral for the Bach Choir and toured with Sir John Eliot Gardener and The Monteverdi Choir performing and recording as a soloist in venues such as The Royal Festival Hall and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Last year she made her solo debut at The Wigmore Hall for Retrospect Ensemble. Alison is also a member of Galán; a soprano vocal trio with harpsichord and theorbo who have recently been made Brighton Early Music Festival’s Young Artists.

Future performances include ‘Pie Jesu’ from Fauré’s Requiem with The Bach Choir, ‘Der Freischütz’ by Weber at Opéra Comique with The Monteverdi Choir and a recital of Handel’s Nine German Arias at the Tower of London.
Soprano Louise Wayman
Louise Wayman studied at Birmingham Conservatoire and the Wales International Academy of Voice and continues to study with Dennis O’Neill. Roles have included Zerlina Don Giovanni (Moon Little Theatre), Melpomeme Nisbet’s Ant & Cleo and Scyllar/Calypso Nisbet’s Troy Story (Talking Birds), Giannetta The Elixir of Love (Midland Opera), Soprano solo 3 Mittwoch aus Licht (Birmingham Opera Company), Belinda Dido and Aeneas (Operamus).

Louise has also sung for theatre productions including incidental chorus for Escorial (Transparant, Belgium), Voice/Demon Bloed en Rozen (Toneelhuis/ Festival d’Avignon) and created the role of The Singer Trauerzeit (Johan Leysen/Théâtre Bouffes du Nord/ Théâtres de la Ville Luxembourg).

She regularly appears on the oratorio platform with ensembles such as the Orchestra of St John’s and the Blenheim Singers and was a finalist in the 2015 London Bach Society Singing Prize.
Countertenor Simon Ponsford
Simon performs as a soloist and recitalist throughout the UK and abroad and also sings with several international ensembles, most frequently the Monteverdi Choir. As a soloist, he has performed with choral societies and chamber choirs from far and wide in venues including St John’s Smith Square, King’s Place, Westminster Abbey and Hong Kong City Hall. Simon is a Lay Vicar in the choir of Westminster Abbey, a role that combines daily service singing with performing at significant national occasions, on radio and television broadcasts and in concerts as soloist and choir member.

Coming from a musical family in Gloucestershire, Simon started singing at a young age in Gloucester Cathedral Choir. He studied at King’s College, Cambridge, reading English Literature whilst being a Choral Scholar in the College’s famous chapel choir. From Cambridge, he moved to Windsor Castle, spending five years singing in the choir of St George’s Chapel, before moving to Westminster Abbey in 2013.
Tenor James Oxley - President of Malvern Festival Chorus
Bass Jamie Hall
Jamie is a versatile musician occupying multiple roles on the concert platform. Foremost a soloist with a wide repertoire of oratorio and song, he is also an experienced consort and choral singer working with leading ensembles including the BBC Singers of whom he became a full-time member just six years after his first singing lesson. In addition he is a choral director, coach, and chorus master as well as a composer of choral works which have been performed worldwide, recorded and broadcast on radio.

Having left the Nottinghamshire mining village where he grew up, Jamie now lives in Hampshire with his wife and two sons and in his limited spare time enjoys gardening, painting, running and playing the grumpy northerner on far too many social media sites.

He has a secret desire to star in a stage musical, try out radio presenting and be painted by a famous artist or, failing that, an obscure one!
Orchestra Musical & Amicable Society
The original MUSICAL AND AMICABLE SOCIETY was founded in 1762 by James Kempson, who directed the choir at St Bartholomew’s Chapel, Birmingham. Together with fellow musicians from St Philip’s Church (now Birmingham Cathedral), Kempson and his singers gathered on a regular basis at Cooke’s tavern in the Cherry Orchard “for practice and recreation”! In 2003, Kate Fawcett and Martin Perkins decided to revive this historic society as a collective of professional period-instrument specialists, performing in combinations ranging from small ensembles to full orchestra. Their presiding ethos is one of chamber music – however large or small the formation – where each and every performer has a significant role to play.

Individually, their members maintain successful freelance careers throughout Europe. Collectively, alongside programming bespoke recitals for a variety of contexts, including the Three Choirs Festival and Worcester Cathedral, we particularly enjoy performing with choirs across the country. This year they continue collaborations with Gwent Bach Society, Birmingham Bach Choir, Coventry Philharmonic Choir and Cheltenham Bach Choir.



Brahms's Ein Deutsches Requiem - Saturday 23 June 2018, Malvern Theatres

Soprano Louise Wayman
Louise Wayman studied at Birmingham Conservatoire and the Wales International Academy of Voice and continues to study with Dennis O’Neill. Roles have included Zerlina Don Giovanni (Moon Little Theatre), Melpomeme Nisbet’s Ant & Cleo and Scyllar/Calypso Nisbet’s Troy Story (Talking Birds), Giannetta The Elixir of Love (Midland Opera), Soprano solo 3 Mittwoch aus Licht (Birmingham Opera Company), Belinda Dido and Aeneas (Operamus).

Louise has also sung for theatre productions including incidental chorus for Escorial (Transparant, Belgium), Voice/Demon Bloed en Rozen (Toneelhuis/ Festival d’Avignon) and created the role of The Singer Trauerzeit (Johan Leysen/Théâtre Bouffes du Nord/ Théâtres de la Ville Luxembourg).

She regularly appears on the oratorio platform with ensembles such as the Orchestra of St John’s and the Blenheim Singers and was a finalist in the 2015 London Bach Society Singing Prize.
Baritone Edward Robinson
Based in the North West of England, Edward is currently studying for his Master of Music postgraduate degree at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM). He is under the tutorship of the internationally acclaimed baritone, Quentin Hayes.

As a soloist, Edward has performed at venues such as the Opéra Comique, Paris, Birmingham Symphony Hall and The Sage, Gateshead. Recent concerts as guest soloist, include Faure’s Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, Handel's Messiah and Alexander’s Feast, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs and a staged performance of his Songs of Travel with the RNCM Chamber Orchestra. Edward also premiered a solo work at the Leeds Lieder Festival, 2017.

On the concert and oratorio platform, Edward’s ensemble experience includes a performance of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder at the Grieghallen, Norway and at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, He has performed in the UK premiere of Penderecki's Seventh Symphony and Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with the RNCM Symphony Chorus.

When not performing Edward is a facilitator for educational and outreach opera. Leading vocal workshops and assisting choirs, Edward has worked with Chango Music, Clonter Opera and Chant Productions.
Visiting choir The 1885 Singers
Conductors Alison Hunka and Jonathan Brown
Orchestra
Cheltenham Regency Sinfonia
The Regency Sinfonia comprises musicians who have busy schedules as freelance musicians in the Midlands and West of England, playing in a variety of different orchestras and in a myriad of musical styles. Their versatility and knowledge of the repertoire means that they are much in demand, playing for more than a dozen choral societies in the area in addition to their other commitments.
Enquiries concerning the orchestra should be made to:
Diggory Seacome, 7a Queen's Parade, Cheltenham, Glos. GL50 3BB

01242 230794 or 07976 278301 diggoryseacome@btinternet.com



Handel's Messiah, Parts 2 and 3 - Saturday 24 March 2018, Great Malvern Priory

YOUNG VOICES COMPETITION

In November 2017, Malvern Festival Chorus launched a new initiative to hold auditions for any young singer interested in joining us to sing Handel's Messiah Parts 2 and 3 on 24th March 2018.

The applicants had to be aged 20 or under and to live, work or study in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire or Warwickshire. Advertisements were sent to all relevant schools, colleges, independent teachers and others in these areas. Applications were received and auditions held.

The successful applicants, listed below, are now busy practising their relevant arias and are soon to have a Masterclass with the internationally renowned tenor James Oxley, President of Malvern Festival Chorus.

The choir is anticipating a hugely enjoyable and successful evening for this forthcoming collaboration.

Conductor Jonathan Brown
Jonathan was a chorister at New College, Oxford, a music scholar at Sherborne School and a choral scholar at Royal Holloway College from where he embarked on a professional singing and teaching career. He has toured, recorded and broadcast extensively with a number of choirs, touring Australia, the USA and across Europe and has sung with the BBC Singers in two Promenade Concerts with the late Richard Hickox and Jukka-Pekka Saraste. As Director of Music at Pangbourne College, he conducted a service from the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel in June 2007 in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen, the Prime Minister and assembled dignitaries, commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Falkland Islands conflict, which was broadcast live globally on BBC1 and on national radio. He is currently the Director of Music at Malvern College.

As Musical Director of Pangbourne Choral Society, Jonathan conducted numerous performances ranging from Mozart’s Requiem and Solemn Vespers to Janacek’s Otcenas. He works regularly with professional orchestras and international soloists such as Clare Rutter, Carys Lane, Richard Coxon, Lynton Atkinson, Stephen Gadd, Quentin Hayes and Giles Underwood and is building on his reputation as a creative and challenging programmer.

Jonathan is married to Rebecca who as a singing teacher, is increasingly in demand , and they have two daughters - Jessica and Helen - who are both musicians and, between them, play an eclectic mix of violin, percussion, piano, cello and saxophone whilst holding university choral scholarships when their PhD studies allow. Molly, the Cocker Spaniel, was a most promising vocalist in her younger years, whilst her daughter - Saffy - has yet to declare her musical intentions, but seems, increasingly, to be following in her mother’s footsteps and particularly enjoys brass music…
Organist Julian McNamara
Julian was born in Hull and received his early musical training there and as a music scholar at Ampleforth College. Three organ scholarships followed: at St Michael’s College, Tenbury, New College, Oxford (where he read Music), and Manchester Cathedral. While at Manchester he undertook post­graduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, winning the prestigious Alice Shawcross Prize for his final recital. He concluded his post-graduate organ studies at the Geneva Conservatoire, at the same time holding posts as Organist and Choirmaster at the English Church and as Musical Director of the Geneva Amateur Operatic Society.

Returning to Manchester, he became Assistant Organist at the Cathedral. In addition to the usual assistant’s duties, he founded the Manchester Cathedral Girls’ Choir and was organ tutor at Chetham’s School of Music.

Performance engagements as organist or conductor have taken him throughout western and eastern Europe as well as to South Africa and Russia. He has made several broadcasts on BBC Television and on Radios 2, 3 and 4. Having been Director of Music at St Edward’s School, Oxford and the Oratory School, Woodcote, he is now Director of Music at Downside School, Somerset. He is also active as an organist, conductor, composer, arranger and ABRSM examiner.

Julian is very much looking forward to returning to Great Malvern Priory – after a gap of 20 years!
Trumpet Richard Powell
Soloists Molly Stokes
Emily Evans
Amy Heptinstall
Holly Gowen
Beth Rabjohn
Michael Burgess
Tim Emberson