Membership Secretary: Vivianne Austen
07989 093990

Secretary: Barbara Moss

01684 564366

Our Soloists and Musicians

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


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

Mozart's Requiem in D Minor - Sunday 26 November 2017, Malvern Theatres

Soprano Emma Hall
Born in Australia, Emma completed her Bachelor of Music (Performance) degree at the Elder School of Music, Adelaide University followed by postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music under Deborah Rees.

She has extensive choral experience, becoming a member of the Australian Youth Choir at the age of five and ultimately joining one of Australia’s leading chamber choirs, the Adelaide Chamber Singers. She was a performing member of the Adelaide Composers’ Symposium as well as the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of South Australia with whom she appeared in the roles of ‘Ado Annie’ in Oklahoma! And ‘Constance Partlet’ in The Sorcerer.

Emma has also worked with Opera Room Productions in operas by Malvern Festival Chorus musical director, Richard Knight, and Norman Welch, The Invited and All To Play For. Other choral performances include soprano soloist in Haydn’s Creation and in Mozart’s Solemn Vespers and Requiem with the Tewkesbury-based Silurian Choir and Orchestra.
Mezzo-soprano Susanna Spicer
Susanna Spicer was one of the first female choral scholars at Trinity College, Cambridge, subsequently studying at the Guildhall School of Music in London.

A highly experienced concert singer, her solo engagements have included appearances at the Royal Festival Hall with Simon Rattle and the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Stravinsky's Mass and with Kurt Masur and the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Debussy's Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien (both for Radio 3), at the Royal Albert Hall with David Willcocks in Messiah and Elijah, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in Vaughan Williams's Serenade to Music with the English Chamber Orchestra and at the BBC Proms in Schubert's Die Verschworenen with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Nicholas McGegan. She sang in Trevor Pinnock's performances of J.S. Bach's St John Passion and St Matthew Passion in Europe, Japan and Turkey and has performed all the major works of the oratorio repertoire in the UK's principal concert halls and cathedrals. These include Mahler's Symphony No.8 at Edinburgh's Usher Hall, Verdi's Requiem at the Barbican and Winchester Cathedral and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis at The Snape Maltings. She has also sung for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Kent Opera and Opera de Lyon.

Susanna’s recordings include Patterson's Missa Brevis with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Poulenc's Le Dialogue des Carmelites with Kent Nagano, as well as Benjamin Britten with The Finzi Singers, Beethoven's Choral Fantasia and works by Percy Grainger with John Eliot Gardiner, and Biber's Missa Christi resurgentis for Andrew Manze and The English Concert.
Tenor James Oxley - President of Malvern Festival Chorus
Bass James McKelvey
James McKelvey read Music at Durham University, has sung with professional and amateur choirs throughout the country and has performed as soloist in a number of oratorio performances and song recitals. A former Bass Lay Clerk at Gloucester Cathedral, he was employed by Nimbus Records in Monmouth as a recording producer, engineer and editor, making fifteen recordings for the company before moving to London to work for BBC Radio 3. For the last ten years he has been working in education, firstly as Assistant Director of Music at Rendcomb College, then as Director of Music at Our Lady's in Abingdon where he was Associate Conductor of the Abingdon and District Music Society , and examiner of A-level composition. He has been Director of Music at Bromsgrove School since 2013.
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

Walton's Belshazzar's Feast - Saturday 24 June 2017, Malvern Theatres

Mezzo-soprano Alexandra Tiffin
Born in Liverpool, Alexandra is a professional freelance opera singer and singing teacher. She was a member of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain before entering the Royal Northern College of Music followed by the Royal Academy of Music where she received a Distinction for her Postgraduate Diploma in Performance. She has sung opera roles and chorus for many UK opera companies including English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North and Scottish Opera. She also teaches singing at Wrekin College in Shropshire and at Little Voices North Manchester.
Alexandra has sung professionally for opera companies and oratorio concerts. Recent engagements have included Alto solos in the Messiah (Handel), Bach Magnificat and Mozart Requiem. She has also played the roles of Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte for Heritage Opera, Rosina in Il Barbiere Di Siviglia and Third Lady in Die Zauberflote for Dartington Opera. Alexandra is also a regular guest singer for Swan Hellenic Cruises, giving concerts of Classical and Music Theatre songs.
Baritone Stewart Kempster
Stewart Kempster was born in Chirk, North Wales and he began his musical life as the parish church organist. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music winning many prizes and awards and took part in several master classes and concerts. Upon leaving college, after a brief spell with Scottish Opera, he has since performed much of the Bass operatic repertoire with many different opera companies both at home and abroad. He received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Porgy Porgy and Bess and the four villain roles in Tales of Hoffman for Wexford Festival Opera. Stewart is an accomplished oratorio singer and he has sung with all the major choirs and orchestras in Scotland in the works of Handel, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s Creation, and the requiems of Mozart, Fauré and Verdi. He has sung all the major works of J.S. Bach and many of his church cantatas in the City of London Bach Cantata Series. He has met and performed for Prince Charles on four occasions most recently singing Simone in Gianni Schicchi in a gala performance at the Italian embassy in London in the presence of the Italian Ambassador. Stewart appears on a number of CD recordings, including Leighton’s Hymn to Matter and the Duruflé Requiem with the National Youth Choir and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and he recorded the roles of Die Wirt Die Drei Pintos by Weber and Migalo Maria del Carmen by Granados for Wexford Festival Opera. He has also appeared on Lyric FM and BBC Radio 3 in various broadcasts from Wexford and from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He worked on the academy award winning soundtrack of the Lord of the Rings series of films working with the composer Howard Shore and he also worked with John Williams on the Star Wars soundtracks. In 2012 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and when not performing, Stewart is an examiner to the Associated Board.
Visiting choir The 1885 Singers
Conductors Alison Hunka and Richard Knight
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