our choir leaders
claygate and cheam choir leader
Tom grew up singing in church choirs and in the world-renowned choir at Trinity School in Croydon. He confesses that his early love of rock has been largely overtaken by his passion for classical music. He has a BA in music and an MA in composition from The University of York. As a professional tenor, Tom sings as a deputy in the choirs of Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral.
Tom started working with the Vocality choirs in Claygate and Cheam in April 2016. He also directs The Downland Chorale in Old Coulsdon and Euphonix in Kingston.
what tom says about vocality:
“I love the camaraderie between the members and me. The singers just love being there and bring such a sense of fun to the rehearsal, and this makes my job a total joy.
The most important thing for me is that choir members come away from rehearsals having had a great time. I'm full of energy in rehearsals and always try to keep things moving forward. I like to draw upon my own singing training too, to really help get the best out of the choir and its individual singers.
I especially enjoy the progression that occurs throughout any given term and how we're able to craft a superb finished product in time for the performances, when we get to share what we've done with friends and family. I love seeing the members’ elation and sense of achievement.
Vocality is much more slick than other choirs. It is managed by someone who is a choir member and really takes on feedback from members. Her years of experience in running these choirs has led to a perfectly oiled machine. It's great for the members and the leaders. The professional-quality learning tracks are such a great tool for learning the songs, so the standard Vocality can achieve is a level above other amateur groups.
Vocality Claygate is a unit. It's one of the friendliest and most dedicated groups I've ever worked with and it's so much fun to be a part of.
Vocality Cheam are a choir that relish a challenge and always manage to pull a great performance out of the bag. They're so dedicated and hard-working, and rehearsals are always a pleasure for us all.”
surbiton and teddington choir leader
Ben has always sung in choirs, and singing has been his passion since the age of 10. He studied music at York University and believes that there’s nothing quite like singing in a choir for a musical education. Ben says he has the iPod generation’s eclectic taste in music. He has worked with groups of all ages and levels of experience, including schools, community groups and professional choirs, and has been involved with Vocality since 2011.
what ben says about vocality:
“Vocality has a brilliant process and ambitious framework. The sheer ambition makes it something very special, as we achieve an amazing amount every term, and this is very satisfying. We learn a great selection of new songs each term, and the teaching tracks mean that singers can access the music in between rehearsals and not feel guilty about missing the occasional session.
I have a relaxed teaching style, focused on making the music accessible and enjoyable. We work hard, and enjoy singing to a high standard, but the main priority is to have fun. The camaraderie and community that comes with singing in a group makes it a very special thing to do.
Vocality Surbiton is a welcoming and enthusiastic group who sing to a really high standard. We are lucky to rehearse in a wonderful acoustic and our sound has been shaped by the amazing reverb in the church. The members are supportive and friendly, and there is always a lovely atmosphere.
Vocality Teddington is a vibrant and bouncy group who enjoy singing together and making a good sound. There are some colourful personalities and a great sense of community. We always have a good time.
Both choirs are friendly and fun, and we want you to enjoy singing with us!"
twickenham choir leader
Sally grew up in a very musical household. She spent a lot of time around orchestras, with some prominent musicians to encourage her with her music. She also enjoyed being a part of church choirs and singing in harmony around the family piano. A huge jazz and rockabilly fan, her passion for music and her talent for the piano led to her study for a BA in Music Performance at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.
Sally has had a varied career. She has worked in music management and for a national newspaper. She has travelled to New Zealand as an accompanist and has played in theatre pit bands. In addition Sally directed a "Pram Chorus" choir for parents of infants and has run toddler music classes for many years. After directing a community choir in Streatham for 5 years, Sally began working with Vocality in 2010.
what sally says about vocality:
“I love the wide variety of repertoire we cover in Vocality and the challenge of the new songs each term. I never thought I’d be able to conduct a Serbo-Croatian song in 7/8 time, but I can!
My teaching style is enthusiastic, unconventional, hard-working, energetic but fun. Singing together is proven to help with mental health and I can say it’s helped me through some very challenging times. To me, music is about collaboration and having fun together. I want to enable rather than criticise, but also work to create something amazing.
Vocality Twickenham is the most gorgeous group of people. Even when I’m feeling exhausted, I always leave choir with a spring in my step. We all come together to let our hair down, focus, have fun and create something bigger than the sum of its parts.”
barnes choir leader
Josh’s early musical influences began when he joined a boys’ choir in his hometown of Norbury when he was ten years old, and that’s what first sparked his interest in singing and music in general. Soon after that he started playing the piano and clarinet and writing choir music too.
Whilst growing up, Josh started listening to acid jazz, which he still enjoys these days. He also likes psychedelic soul, dream pop, funk, folktronica - and “pretty much anything with interesting harmony”.
Josh has a BA in Music from the University of York and, whilst there, he became involved in running choirs of all shapes, sizes and styles, from those concentrating on serious sacred material to a cappella, gospel and musical theatre groups. He describes his choir leadership style as relaxed but focused.
Josh is really excited about this opportunity to develop a new Vocality choir in Barnes and we are thrilled to welcome him into the Vocality team.