Friday, 21 September 2018

Henley choral society news

HENLEY Choral Society opens its new autumn season under a new baton next month, writes Lesley Potter.

HENLEY Choral Society opens its new autumn season under a new baton next month, writes Lesley Potter.

Benjamin Goodson, a professional conductor and singer, has been appointed the new muscial director of the choir. He works in London and Hertfordshire and is also musical director of the Lea Singers and the Solis Ensemble. He is also a tenor lay clerk at St Albans Cathedral.

Henley Choral Society chair, Melissa Ewen, said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled to have Ben join us. We auditioned five extremely talented young conductors but Ben was the unanimous choice. He has an indefinable quality that shines through.”

This quality was confirmed by a reference from Paul Spicer, professor of choral conducting at Birmingham Conservatoire who described Ben as: “Unequivocally one of the most naturally gifted conductors I have encountered.”

Ben, who takes over from previous musical director Will Dawes, said: “I’m delighted to be starting with Henley Choral Society and look forward to building on the great foundation that Will developed.

“My way of working is to focus on vocal technique and sound quality. I am really looking forward to continuing to improve the choir’s technique and to access all the different qualities of sound a choir of this size and quality has at its disposal.”

Future plans for the society include a slot in the town’s Living Advent Calendar at the River and Rowing Museum on Thursday, December 5, the annual Christmas Concert at St Mary’s, Henley, which this year will take place on Tuesday, December 10 and a spring concert of Poulenc’s Gloria and the FauréRequiem.

Ms Ewen continued: “With a new young musical director in place and a wonderful programme to work on, we would love to have new members to start with us this autumn. Anyone joining at this exciting time can expect a very warm welcome and, as always, no auditions.”

Potential new members should contact membership secretary Wendy Hawkins on (01491) 576929 for more information. Rehearsals are held at d:two, 55-57 Market Place, Henley, at 7.30pm every Monday and start again on Monday, September 2. For more information visit www.henleychoralsociety.org.uk

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