Always passionate about singing, about developing the ability to sing in others, and about all choral work at all levels, Keith has a very catholic taste and enjoys vocal music of almost every style and genre, relishing introductions to any music that is new to him. He sang as a treble in a church choir at the age of 8, and by the age of sixteen was rehearsing weekly in three choirs. He trained as a music teacher, taking singing as a specialist study, and was very fortunate to have been chosen for a study visit to the Liszt Institute in Budapest, gaining insights into the Kodaly System of musical education, based upon unaccompanied singing and tonic-solfa.
Whilst woking as Head of Music in a school in West Sussex, Keith formed the Six Village Choir, a Community Choir that is still thriving today, after more than 40 years. A very successful spell as Head of Music at the Minster School in Southwell, was followed by an appointment as the Inspector for Music in Surrey. Leading the "Surrey Sings" initiative, he founded the Surrey County Youth and Boys' Choirs, four area children’s choirs, and also conducted the Youth Orchestra and other county ensembles. He thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of a job in which he was responsible for the development of musical education in such a large area. One of Keith's fondest memories was being invited to be the guest of honour at the Leith Hill Festival and to present the Vaughan Williams' Cup to the Choir of the Year. Those who know Keith will know of his great passion for the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Alas, Ofsted Inspections diminished the ‘hands-on’ part of his work and Keith realised that he was spending far too much time observing others rather than being directly involved himself. Soon after, he was appointed to the Headship of a secondary school in Hampshire and had more than twelve happy years there. He has recently retired from full-time work and commits much more time, once more, to his love for choral mnusic and singing!
Highlights in Keith’s career include seeing some members of his choirs go on to become stars, his own appearances as a soloist in the company of some wonderful, and very encouraging, singing stars, and conducting the brilliant Emma Kirkby in two local concerts. His greatest joy, however, has always been in having the opportunity to help local people blossom in their singing, week-by-week and year-by-year.
After completing 18 years as Director of Hampshire County Youth Choir, Keith is now Director of Winchester Cathedral Junior Choir and the fabulous Alresford Community Choir.
Kate Jones studied music at King’s College, London and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, majoring in accompaniment and composition (with David Lumsdaine and Nicola LeFanu) and was awarded the Music Faculty Jelf Medal. During her time in London, Kate was repetiteur to Kings College gilbert & Sullivan Society and Music Department Opera productions, and accompanied the Kings College Chorus. Solo performances have included Mozart's Piano Concerto No 19 K 458; Kabalevsky's No 3 Op. 50; and J S Bach's D minor Keyboard Concerto and Brandenburg No 5 in D major.
In addition to her private teaching practice Kate is currently accompanist to the Alresford Community Choir and Winchester Cathedral junior Choir. Work with the Hampshire Music Service included concerts in Winchester Cathedral as part the “Hampshire Welcomes the World” project. She has previously held instrumental teaching posts at Boundary Oak School, Fareham and The Atherley School, Southampton. Kate was the organist of St Barnabas, Swanmore for 14 years, and has performed on the Handel organ at Holy Trinity, Gosport in recital and also with the Hampshire County Youth Choir in Fauré’s Requiem.
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