Andrew Thomas studied flute, composition, singing and conducting at City University London, GSMD, St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge and completed his PhD in composition at Birmingham Conservatoire under the supervision of Richard Causton, Joe Cutler and Edwin Roxburgh. He has performed throughout Europe as an orchestral musician and soloist, choral singer/conductor and performed much of the solo bass/baritone oratorio repertoire. Andrew has conducted productions of numerous musicals and opera and is currently conductor of the Merriman Concert Orchestra. His keen interest in the music of today is reflected in his compositional activities that has seen his music commissioned and performed by ensembles including London Sinfonietta, London Chamber Orchestra and Chroma as well as being performed and broadcast internationally. He is currently Head of Choral Music and Vocal Studies at Cranleigh School and musical director for both Cranleigh Choral Society and Rushmoor Choir.
Jonathan Willcocks, the renowned conductor and composer is our president. Jonathan Willcocks was born in Worcester, England, and after early musical training as a chorister at King’s College Cambridge and an Open Music Scholar at Clifton College he took an Honours degree in Music from Cambridge University where he held a choral scholarship at Trinity College.
As a composer, Jonathan’s music is published by Oxford University Press, the Lorenz group of companies, MorningStar and Prime Music (represented in USA/Canada by MorningStar). His published music includes major choral works, music for children’s choir, many shorter
pieces (including anthems and secular choral music), orchestral and instrumental works. There are now many recordings of Jonathan’s music (see ‘Recordings’), and his music is frequently performed and broadcast in many parts of the world.
Jonathan is currently Musical Director of the Guildford Choral Society, the Chichester Singers and the professional chamber orchestra Southern Pro Musica, and freelance conducting and workshop engagements in recent seasons have taken him to many parts of the world including USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, China and most of the European countries as well as the United Kingdom. These engagements have seen him conducting concerts in many of the world’s finest concert halls, including the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Perth Concert Hall, Australia as well as closer to home in the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall in London and Symphony Hall in Birmingham. In May 2016 he also took on the position of Conductor of the Leith Hill Musical Festival.
Jonathan’s extensive choral and orchestral conducting experience results in many invitations to take choral workshops and adjudicate competitions. Although his career now focuses principally on his conducting and composition work, he has in past held major posts in general and specialist music education – most recently at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Margaret Roberts studied at the Junior Department of the RNCM, winning the Associated Board’s Gold medal for piano grade 8. From early on in her career she has specialised as an accompanist, playing for some of the first BBC Young Musician of the Year competitions, and working with choirs and vocal and instrumental soloists. She graduated with first class honours from Brasenose College, Oxford before pursuing postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music.
As pianist in a number of ensembles Margaret has made many recordings and has performed at major venues including London’s South Bank and the Wigmore Hall. She has toured for the British Council and recorded for the ABRSM graded examinations.
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