In September 2014 Thetford Singers were delighted to welcome Mr Chris Parsons as our new Musical Director.
Chris Parsons is a Music graduate from the University of York and holds a Masters in Performance from the Royal College of Music in London. His conducting has been described as ‘quite brilliant’ – Planet Hugill August 2014.
He began conducting choirs at the age of 18, directing a number of choral concerts at Bury Parish Church where he sung regularly with the church choir. During his time with the choir he was fortunate to sing on a number of cathedral tours including at Liverpool and Edinburgh Cathedrals.
Whilst studying Music at the University of York he sang with the auditioned Chamber Choir in many varied concerts across many different styles of music. In his final year at York he formed his own choir, Eboracum Baroque which now doubles as both a choir and orchestra specialising in the performance of Baroque music in a historically informed style on period instruments.
He has gained a lot of experience with Eboracum Baroque conducting a number of major works in high profile festivals and venues. These include Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Handel’s Messiah in St John’s College Chapel, Cambridge. In 2014 he has conducted Handel’s opera Acis and Galatea at the Grimeborn Opera Festival in London. He regularly conducts later music not from the Baroque period including most recently in the Brandenburg Choral Festival in London featuring an all English programme including works by Mealor and Stanford.
He has led a number of ‘Come and Sing’ workshops across the UK working with a wide range of singing abilities from professionals to those who don’t read music. He’s passionate about making singing and classical music as accessible as possible and most of all an enjoyable experience for both performers and audience!
Chris’s other passion is playing the Trumpet professionally and more can be read about his trumpet playing exploits at www.eboracumbaroque.co.uk
Our rehearsal and concert pianist Pip Jepson has been involved in music making in Thetford and the wider local area for many years. An associate of the Royal College of Music, Pip has entertained audiences in East Anglia as both a violinist and a pianist —accompanying singers and musicians, playing duets and as a solo performer.
It was as a violinist that Pip’s connection first began with Thetford Singers in 1977 when she led the orchestra which accompanied the choir for Handel’s The Messiah. Since 2000 Pip has accompanied Thetford Singers as our rehearsal and concert pianist and is a great encouragement to all our members.
Why join the Thetford Singers?
It has always been my belief that no matter what the performance is, be it in the Royal Albert Hall or standing singing carols on a cold street corner, it must be enjoyable and fun!
I always try to make rehearsals a relaxing and enjoyable experience for everyone and believe with this approach the end goal is always a success! Thetford Singers is open to anyone who is keen to sing even if you can’t read music. Come along to a rehearsal and see what you think!
It is wonderful to work with the Thetford Singers and even in my short time with them have had many rewarding experiences. I am very excited about working with them going forward and have lots of ideas of improving the choir even further and performing a wide variety of repertoire from Handel to The Beatles! It is a great feeling on a Wednesday evening to hear the progress at the end of rehearsal and I can’t wait to put all the choir’s hard work into a public performance.
– Chris Parsons