Craig is the musical director of Young Voices UK and has directed and arranged choirs for many broadcasts and shows, working with such artists as Beverley Knight, Mavis Staples, Paul Jones, Alexandra Burke, Joss Stone and Laura Wright. He is also the director of Milton Keynes Community Choir.
Gitika has been a renowned community choir and workshop leader for over 20 years. Highlights of her career include: teaching a song to 5000 people at the Royal Albert Hall; writing, singing, producing, recording and touring with her band ‘3 Bucket Jones’; teaching over 3000 inner London teenagers music; and publishing 4 a capella songbooks.
Abi’s passion lies in contemporary a-cappella singing and where possible, she arranges to allow the tune to move across different parts of the choir, keeping each part singable and fun, using patterns for ease of learning and with syncopated rhythms for a funky edge.
She lives in Nottingham and is Musical Director of her acapella choir Totally Vocally, based in Lincolnshire. They recently performed in New York for a sell-out 3,000 people at the Lincoln Center, singing with stars from the Pitch Perfect films and Pentatonix, under the direction of Deke Sharon. Abi also runs The Acapella Workshop- a monthly workshop for everyone wanting to sing in harmony, and leads many online training courses for choirleaders. Abi was Guest Soloist for the Desmond and Leah Tutu Peace Choir, which saw her singing solo for Thandeka Tutu and 1,000 UN delegates at the UN HQ and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and on the Flanders fields and Menin Gate in Belgium.
For all Abi’s choirs, courses and workshops, please visit www.acapellawithabi.com
Alison is an 80s pop freak obsessed with transforming pop and rock tunes into learnable, singable a cappella arrangements for community choirs. She believes in staying true to the original (for that ‘Ah, YEAH! I love this one!’ moment from the audience), and knows that the harmony is working when it makes you cry. With musical director Liz Powers, she runs Take It To The Bridge, Hebden Bridge’s very own pop choir, taking 80 local singers from scratch to a sell-out gig in twelve weeks every spring.
Alison’s been commissioned to arrange for the award-winning White Rosettes barbershop chorus, Manchester Community Choir, Three Valleys Gospel Choir, Wigan Community Choir and Halifax Workplace Choir, as well as for smaller groups and quartets. She sings bass with the White Rosettes and is always on the lookout for a good 80s tune (preferably one with a key change).
As well as teaching school music full-time, Richard is the arranger for a leading community choir in Birmingham called Notorious, which celebrated its 20 year anniversary in 2017. Richard's arrangements are modern and adapted perfectly for different styles of a capella voices.
Doug is a conductor and arranger based in the South-West of England. He currently directs a number of choirs, including The Posset Singers, The Raff Pack, Penny Brohn Community Choir, and Blackbird Early Years Music Choir. In 2017 he co-founded the fabulous Bristol Show Choir, which has since sold out venues throughout the South-West, toured and has just begun recording.
He trained as a Choral Scholar at Hereford, studied conducting under Jonathan James, and trained in composition under David Bednall at Bristol University. Doug arranges in a multitude of styles, from pop, rock, folk, musical theatre and everything in between!
Wendy directs the 250 strong “Gordano Gorgeous Chorus” plus a large and lovely pop/rock choir and directs and sings with 16 piece a cappella group “The Chandeliers”. She is well-known in the Bristol choir scene and her arrangements of songs for community choirs are well-loved for being fun and easy to sing while having the power to thrill singers and audiences alike.
Find out more about Wendy's singing groups on her website here
Sam grew up in Bristol, had an unremarkable education & failed to complete 6th form. He claims to be the most useful wheelbarrow labourer of all Bristol's choir leaders.
....He also started the Gurt Lush Choir in October 2009, which swiftly grew to the 200+ members it has today. It is popularly considered to be the handsomest choir in the world (see YouTube).
Val Regan has worked as a community musician since 1993 and is driven by the belief that singing is a life affirming activity we can all take part in.
She leads choirs and singing workshops all around the U.K. and her songs for community choirs are sung far and wide. Val is also a multi-instrumentalist and arranger, whose work includes music for BBC Radio Four.
She has taught in Australia, Norway, Germany, Romania and Cuba and leads four regular choirs at home in Sheffield. One of these is the 70 strong LGBT+ choir Out Aloud, which she co-founded in 2006 and which has performed in Paris, London, Cardiff and Dublin, mixing beautiful singing with a passion for social justice. www.valregan.com
Jane has been creating fun and singable arrangements for choirs for over 30 years. She directs Gay Abandon choir which she co-founded in 1997, making her the longest serving MD of an LGBT+ choir in the country! She also leads women’s performance ensemble Harissa and mental health and wellbeing singing groups in Leeds. She has worked in iconic concert halls including the Munich Gasteig, Berlin House der Kulturen and the Sydney Opera House.
Jennifer John is the Music Manager and Creative Director of Sense of Sound Singers, a renowned cross-culture choir established in 1992, which has collaborated with some of pop music’s finest and has released two disco-house tracks with music label Duo-Tone in the past year. Sense of Sound Singers was the choir of choice when Yoko Ono curated the Meltdown Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary. They performed with Sean Lennon, Patti Smith, Siouxsie Sioux, Lene Lovich, Peaches. They were also chosen to feature in Damon Albarn’s opera Monkey: Journey to The West. Other highlights include opening for Nile Rodgers and Chic, backing Take That and Lulu at Anfield Stadium, and being the featured singers for the Cream Classical annual concerts in Liverpool’s Neo gothic Anglican cathedral. Sense of Sound Singers also featured in Gareth Malone’s series The Choir on BBC2. In 2013, Jennifer John broke a Guinness World Record of the biggest number of people (1,631) singing Love Me Do in a round. She was the recipient of a Pioneer of the Nation award from Her Majesty the Queen, in acknowledgement for her contribution to community choir development on Merseyside.
Jennifer has a YouTube series called Creative Conversations For People Who Love To Sing and is inviting you to join her there. The link is here.
Dominic is a singer, choir director, arranger and group singing advocate. Since 2009 he has worked in community centres, schools, offices & prisons encouraging a wide variety of people to use their voice for expression. After founding Chaps Choir in 2013 he has become a unofficial spokesperson and advocate for men’s community singing.
Dominic has delivered workshops and collaborated with The Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Spitalfield's Music, The Orpheus Centre, The Good Life Experience, Wilderness Festival, The Choir With No Name and other events & organisations in London and the UK. Artistic & educational collaborations have included artists as diverse as Shlomo, Huutajat (Finnish Shouting Men's Choir), Omar, Voices Now, Samantha Whates, Joe Stilgoe & Hattie Webb.
In 2013 he founded Chaps Choir in an attempt to get more men singing and to challenge the traditional male choir presentation. Chaps Choir has toured the UK, sung on prime time TV and collaborated with recording artists, filmographers & raised money for mental health charities. The choir's live shows, diverse repertoire, recordings and videos have been recognised around the world in offering an alternative example of the male choir presentation and encouraging men to use their voice for positive expression.
Paul Ayres was born in London, studied music at Oxford University, and now works freelance as a composer & arranger, choral conductor & musical director, and organist & accompanist. His music has been awarded, or shortlisted for, composition prizes in Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Paul has received over one hundred commissions for new works, and he particularly enjoys “re-composing” classical works (Purcell, Bach, Handel, Fauré) and “classicizing” pop music (jazz and show tunes, The Beatles, Happy Hardcore).
Paul has worked with choirs of all shapes and sizes, and his choral arrangements combine musical sophistication with ease of learning for amateur singers. Please visit www.paulayres.co.uk to find out more about his work..
Ian Riley is British composer and pianist living in the UK near Milton Keynes, he studied Jazz piano and composition at Leeds College of music. Ian has written and arranged music for a wide variety of styles and genres including Pantomimes, Musical theatre The Moscow State Circus, a telephone answering system and a ukulele book.
Ian has been working with community choirs for the last 10 years as a musical director, accompanist and arranger. Ian’s compositions are contemporary and designed to be easy to learn and enjoyable to sing.
Anna Tabbush is a choir director, composer & choral arranger, singer and multi-instrumentalist with a passion for bringing people together through community music making. She runs choirs and singing events across West Sussex and Surrey including Guildford Vox Community Choir, Horsell Community Choir & SingFest, all with an ethos of inclusivity and accessibility.
During her 20+ year career conducting, composing and arranging Anna has set up over 20 community choirs, conducted over 40 across the South-East and inspired, trained and mentored many aspiring community choir conductors into taking up careers in conducting. Her compositions and arrangements of folk and contemporary songs from Britain and around the world have been sung by choirs across the country and abroad..
Kate has vast experience of conducting a range of choirs. She currently directs Romulus Singers, Cheshire A Cappella and Vocal Expressions. Kate is Creative Director of Singing In… an organisation based in Sheffield that brings communities together to sing and make music. The Singing In… community choirs and singing holidays that she runs are perfect for trying out her arrangements and compositions, many of which are inspired by the times she spent singing with her mum when she was little.
As well as directing choirs and writing and arranging music, Kate also delivers coaching to choirs and their leaders. She is passionate about enabling directors to get the most out of their choirs and giving groups the tools and freedom to create exciting, moving and powerful performances.
In her (very limited) spare time, Kate sings Alto in Sine Nomine International Touring Choir, lead in Revolution (a barbershop quartet) and is one of the vocalists with the Northern Collective Big Band.
For more information about Kate visit www.singing-in.com.
Jake is a Cornish musician who studied composition at Trinity College of Music, and now lives and works in South East London. He directs several local choirs, including Quaggy Community Choir, based in Lewisham, and Raised Voices, a political protest choir.
He specialises in writing accessible, three-part, a cappella arrangements of folk songs, pop songs and sea shanties. One of his favourite musical activities is to create interesting new rounds and canons for his choirs as warm-ups, usually basing them on fragments of poetry or pithy quotes from famous figures.
Jake also plays the electric cello, and composes music for contemporary dance. A selection of his work can be found on his website, jakealexander.org.
Timothy Allen has been working with amateur voices for thirty years. Although his past experience includes writing for and/or conducting some big names (such as Brian May, The City of London Philharmonic, Jane McDonald, The National Festival Orchestra, and Sheffield's contribution to the 2012 Cultural Olympiad), for the last eleven years he has focussed exclusively on community choirs - they are his passion. His arrangements have been performed across the UK and internationally, in venues from train stations to the Royal Albert Hall.
Rooted in a belief that with the right support, amateur singers can achieve incredible things, Timothy's arrangements don't shy away from complexity, but they are all completely achievable by singers with no formal training. His own 300-strong community choir, BeVox, regularly performs these arrangements, both en masse, and in smaller groups of 25-50 singers. As the founder of the Choir Leaders' Choir, he's also thoroughly enjoyed hearing his own arrangements (and those of other arrangers and composers) being sung by choir leaders across the UK.
Timothy accepts commisions for composition and arranging work, and he regularly arranges for male voice choirs, upper voice choirs and other ensembles in addition to his mixed voice choir repertoire. To find out more, see www.timothyallenmusic.co.uk.
If you buy any of Timothy's arrangements, he has a simple request - he'd love to hear your choir singing them! Please contact him via his website to share recordings, videos, or details of concerts - he'd be only too happy to support your choir.
Ben is a singer, composer and choir leader from London.
Ben is passionate about community singing and believes everyone has a voice. He works with groups of all ages and levels of ability, with the aim of getting as many people singing as he can. Ben leads several community choirs around London, as well as delivering singing projects and vocal workshops with groups all over the UK. Recent collaborations include leading choirs and running workshops at the Southbank Centre, Roundhouse, Aldeburgh Young Musicians, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Union Chapel, Barbican, Cadogan Hall and The Foundling Museum.
Ben’s teaching style is relaxed and inclusive, with the aim of supporting singers and sharing a love for singing.
Ed is a Barcelona-based choir leader, arranger, pianist and musical director.
After graduating with a degree in Music from Cambridge University, Ed went on to train as a community musician at Sage Gateshead, where he worked in a wide variety of settings delivering many diverse musical projects - including the The Big Sing, a large-scale schools’ singing event involving thousands of students from across the North East. During his 6 years at Sage Gateshead, Ed led large-scale choirs of up to 450 singers, covering classical, pop/rock, musical theatre, folk and world music repertoire. He took part in collaborations with Streetwise Opera, The Shout, Ian McMillan and Luke Garver Goss, and also travelled to South Africa as part of a multi-disciplinary arts delegation exploring cultural connections between the Eastern Cape and the North East of England.
In 2011, Ed and his wife Ally decided to go on a sabbatical to Barcelona. Ten years and two kids later, it’s still ongoing…
In 2012, Ed saw an opportunity to offer an open-access singing group that gave people the chance to practice their English and improve their singing at the same time - and so the Barcelona English Choir (BEC) was born. Now with over 250 singers and 30 nationalities represented, BEC have held sell-out concerts at prestigious venues across Barcelona and beyond, including L’Auditori, the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya and the iconic Razzmatazz nightclub.
Ed feels passionately that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in high-quality singing sessions, regardless of previous experience. What motivates Ed as a choir leader is the joy of bringing people together, the glorious sound of voices in a room and the wonderful feeling that comes from seeing his singers achieve things that they never dreamt they could achieve.
Fiona studied composition with Alan Bullard at Colchester Institute and spent the first ten years of her career teaching music in Secondary schools in East Anglia. She now works freelance as a peripatetic music teacher, composer and arranger as well as running three choirs in Tynedale, Northumberland. Fiona has had a number of songs published and commissioned by Sing-Up and is becoming well known around the world for her striking choral arrangements. She has been commissioned to write works for Newcastle chamber choir Voices of Hope (BBC Choir of the Year 2017) Hexham Orpheus Choir, Tynedale Community Choir and two children’s songs for Newcastle City Holocaust Memorial Day. She has created songs for local schools and the wider community to perform at special events and loves to bring people together in a creative way.
Fiona has no shortage of performing and recording experience, having co-written and produced 7 studio albums with her partner Paul as the folk/jazz duo LANDERMASON.
Their most recent album, recorded in 2021 is a collaboration with Fiona’s ladies choir Dark Sky Voices, who were taught the all arrangements via zoom during Lockdown!
Find out more about Fiona’s work at www.fionalander.com
Keely is a composer and choir leader based in West Yorkshire. She studied music at Durham University and trained in composition with the British composer John Casken. As a contemporary composer she has had professional performances of her works, many for voice and small ensembles, including a commission from soprano Patricia Rozario and a commission for BBC2, music for percussion quartet, featuring Dame Evelyn Glennie. In recent times she has collaborated with poets, setting their words to music, or writing music to marry with the spoken word.
Twenty years ago, whilst living in the Lake District, she was drawn into the world of community singing and music-making. This has shaped her subsequent music-writing and inspired her to share the joy of singing with people who may not have sung before, or who believe that they can’t sing. Since moving to West Yorkshire she has worked as a Music Specialist in a Primary School, leading whole school singing and encouraging children to compose their own music and songs. She has also worked in Special School settings, witnessing the power of music and song to stimulate emotional and physical responses from students with profound and multiple disabilities.
She leads four informal choirs in her local community: Heart & Soul Singers, AcaBella, MOSS (Men Only Singing Songs) and Ben Rhydding Community Choir – all non-auditioning. In recent years she has enjoyed arranging songs for these groups of singers. She also runs Heart & Soul Singing Retreats three or four times a year where anyone is welcome to come along and enjoy the sense of well-being that singing in harmony with others can bring.
Keely is also a guitarist and cellist. She plays with the Bring Me Sunshine Trio, arranging and writing new music for them and bringing interactive themed workshops to residential care homes and schools: “Strings and Songs for Health and Well-Being”.
Aled is regarded as one of today’s most successful and ambitious British choral conductors. He has gained international and national acclaim from prestigious adjudicators and critics from all over the world. His extensive knowledge of the choral repertoire, superb understanding of choral technique and sheer passion for choral singing has led to incredible success.
Working with male, female, mixed gender and children’s choirs he has gained many awards, including multiple first placements at the National Eisteddfod of Wales; Llangollen International Eisteddfod; BBC choir of the year; School Choir of the year and Choir of Wales, where he was also named ‘Best Conductor’ . In 2019, he conducted the first ever British male choir to be awarded the prestigious ‘Luciano Pavarotti Choir of the World’ prize/trophy at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod; a truly unique achievement.
Aled has conducted in many of the UK’s major concert venues, working with their orchestras in residence and leading solo artists. Concert performances include appearances at the Royal Albert Hall, Festival Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Symphony Hall, Birmingham and the Millennium Centre Cardiff. His choral arrangements are frequently heard on TV and radio programmes, including Last Night of the Proms, Britain’s Got Talent, BBC Sunday Morning Worship, various Netflix shows, the BBC World Choir Concert, Noson Lawen and Only Boys Aloud Christmas Day special.
Aled is currently director of music at Oswestry School and he’s also a choir leader for Only Boys Aloud and their Academi/ Academy Choir.
In his spare time, Aled thoroughly enjoys clearing up after his son!
Having shared the stage with luminaries including Odetta and Mavis Staples, Lea is a singer-songwriter who is returning to her roots by composing multi-layered chants and grounding a community singing experience in Braunschweig, Germany, where she currently resides.
Lea Morris is a very exciting addition to our featured composers. Her basic approach is in the Natural Voice Style – that is most of her songs can be taught be ear without the need for scores. We have a number of songs already that can be learned in this way, but these are usually traditional songs whose writers are unknown. Lea has the talent and skill in being able to compose songs which sound like they’ve been around for ages, having a timeless quality and an ease of musicality. People recognise their own identity in the lyrics, and the fluid nature of their arrangements (you can choose who starts and the order of the voices being added) make them alive and fresh whenever they are performed.
Find out more about Lea's work at www.thisisLea.com
Thomas Chapman enjoys a lively career as a freelance musician and can most regularly be found directing choirs, singing tenor and teaching. He currently directs four choirs; Vocality Claygate, Vocality Cheam, Euphonix (Kingston) and The Downland Chorale (Old Coulsdon). Thomas has been directing choirs since his Undergraduate Music degree at the University of York where he also went on to complete a Masters degree in composition.
When he's not directing choirs he sings as a choral tenor with the Choirs of Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral, amongst others, or conversely uses up his excess energy by teaching music at Westminster Under School.