Our choir is led and supported by
Chair Alan Parsonson
Treasurer Tony Stanton
Membership Sue Lees
Concert Management Keith Nightingale
Communications Dinah Ashcroft
Director Keith Clark
Accompanist Kate Jones
Secretary Judy Smith
Minutes Secretary Charles Bazlington
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, including an adult a cappella chamber choir where he learned to enjoy madrigals and motets of the 16th and 17th centuries. 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, working with the Kodaly System of musical education, based upon unaccompanied singing.
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 35 years. A very successful and enjoyable spell as Head of Music at the Minster School in Southwell, was followed by an appointment into to advisory work as the Inspector for Music in Surrey. He founded the Surrey County Youth Choir, 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 and was also directly involved with a county ensemble on a weekly basis. Alas, Ofsted Inspections diminished the ‘hands-on’ part of his work and Keith realised that he was spending far too much time observing others in their work rather than being engaged in that work himself. 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. 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!
After 18 years, Keith has 'retired' from his role as Director of the Hampshire County youth Choirand now currently directs only three choirs, the Winchester Cathedral Junior and Youth Choirs, and the wonderful Alresford Community Choir. He is passionate about enabling all people, who wish it, to become confident and talented members of a choir, no matter age, previous experience or ability.
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.
Since ending his day-to-day responsibility for running a school, Keith has delighted in having more time to enjoy being a granddad, researching choral music for his work, and in developing his woodworking and gardening skills.
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.
The choir will be re-starting on September 14th
All live rehearsals and workshops are cancelled until further notice but we do have a busy schedule of webinars, vlogs, online workshops, and Zoom meetings planned for all m,embers for the Autumn!
Although we are not meeting for our usual practices, workshops and concerts at the moment, if you want to know more about how to join, and for up-to-date detailed information, including about our membership subscriptions, please go to Join Us!
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