Music


Welcome to the Music Department of the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook

Music Picture

The Royal Hospital School has a long tradition of musical excellence which has been enhanced with a purpose-built state-of-the-art Music School housing a 200-seat recital hall as well as practice and specialist rooms for learning. More recently, a £1/4 million investment in new Bechstein pianos throughout the School and a stunning Fazioli Grand for the Recital Hall has demonstrated a commitment to enriching what is on offer for young musicians. Situated beside the Music School is the magnificent 1930s Chapel which is of cathedral proportions and has seating for over 1000 people. It is famed for its exceptional four-manual "romantic" organ and the smaller two-manual "classical" instrument. When 700 pupils and a further 100 teachers and other members of staff sing together each morning in Chapel it is often referred to as the "Holbrook Sound". The Chapel Choir has become one of the most important and prestigious ensembles within the music department. The School Band represents another music department "flagship". Apart from the ceremonial duties unique to the Royal Hospital School accompanying the impressive parades and sunset ceremonies, it has performed at many national events. The Band has also recorded several CDs and toured abroad to the USA, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Lent Term Student Music Calendar

DEPARTMENTAL STAFF PROFILE

WILLIAM SAUNDERS – DIRECTOR OF MUSIC

William Saunders is an accomplished musician with a growing reputation as an organist and conductor. He is currently Director of Music at The Royal Hospital School, Holbrook and prior to this was Assistant Director of Music at Ipswich School, one of his responsibilities being Director of the annual Festival of Music. He is engaged in an extensive organ recital programme which has recently taken him to Westminster Abbey, Wells Cathedral and St Paul’s Cathedral. He annually tours Northern Germany, and has given recitals in Hamburg and Cologne Cathedrals and at St. Marien zu Lübeck.

At school in Suffolk, he won the Chamber Music Ensemble Class in the National Festival of Music for Youth. While being taught organ by James Parsons, he took up organ scholarships at Sheffield Cathedral and Sheffield University where he read music and graduated with first class honours in 2003. During his time at Sheffield, he conducted the University Choral Society. On his return to Suffolk, he was appointed Organist of St Mary-le-Tower Ipswich and Deputy Organist at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Recitals at the Cambridge Summer Music Festival and Oundle International Festival were followed by his first performances in Germany. This exposure led to recordings on the Regent Records label: Dignity and Impudence (St Mary’s Redcliffe), Tower Power (St Mary-le-Tower), and Animal Parade (Brentwood Cathedral).

The Organists Review made Dignity and Impudence Editor’s Choice – “William’s playing is quite astounding: musicality, flawless technique and mind-boggling organ management.” The Gramophone Magazine wrote that William’s latest CD had “rhythmically vital and athletically inclined playing…exudes bright cheer and happiness; and you can’t say that about every organ recording”.

He is regularly organ tutor for the Royal College of Organists and in July 2011 established the Keys, Hands, Feet and Pipes Education Organ Project which played to 1300 primary school children in one day.

In November 2012 he conducted the Chapel Choir at The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance in the Royal Albert Hall, in the presence of HM The Queen and members of the Royal Family, which was broadcast on BBC radio and television.

ALICE REIDY – ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF MUSIC

Prior to her appointment as Assistant Director of Music at Royal Hospital School Alice taught music at Northgate High School in Ipswich for six years. During her time at Northgate she developed a strong culture of singing in the school, directing the Chamber Choir and other vocal groups, with performances at a variety of events and venues such as Snape Maltings Concert Hall.

Alice grew up in Suffolk and went to Woodbridge School. Following this she attended The University of Nottingham and graduated with a BA Honours in Music. She then studied for a PGCE at The University of Cambridge. During her time at Nottingham she was a choral scholar at St. Barnabus Cathedral and a regular soloist, performing at the cathedral and alongside the university Chamber Choir and Choral Society. Past solo performances include Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’, Stravinsky’s ‘Les Noces’, Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and Rossini’s ‘Petite Messe Solennelle’. Alice Reidy has studied singing with Pamela Cook, director of the world renowned choir ‘Cantamus’ and has more recently received tuition from Claire Weston, former soloist with English National Opera. Alice was a member of ‘The National Youth Choir of Great Britain’ for six years and participated in the world tour of 2003, travelling to Australia, Samoa, New Zealand and Singapore. She also plays clarinet, alto saxophone recorder and piano, obtaining Grade 8 in four of these instruments whilst at school.

ANDREW CANTRILL – SCHOOL ORGANIST

Andrew is one of the UK’s most experienced and versatile church musicians. His career has taken him to three continents, working in schools, churches and cathedrals, and he has appeared in some of the world’s most prestigious venues as conductor, organist and singer. He is a Fellow, prize winner, and Trustee Council member of the Royal College of Organists, tutor for the RCO Academy Organ School, and an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Andrew was educated at Reigate Grammar School, Barnard Castle School and Durham University, and has studied the organ with Lady Susi Jeans, Peter Wright, James Lancelot and Gerre Hancock. Appointed Master of the Choristers at Grimsby Parish Church at the age of just 23, Andrew went on to hold similar positions at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, New Zealand, St Paul’s Cathedral, Buffalo, NY, USA, and Croydon Minster, London. He now freelances from his home in Suffolk and enjoys a busy career of concerts, teaching and examining.

During his time in New Zealand, Andrew broadcast on Concert FM (Radio NZ), and appeared regularly as soloist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. His recording of virtuoso French organ music from Wellington Cathedral ‘Fete’ attracted much critical acclaim: “This is music to convert the stoniest of hearts to the cause of the French organ school and Cantrill presents it all so fetchingly… he is a formidable musician, and his feeling for timbre and texture makes the CD just so inviting.” (NZ Herald)

As a conductor, he has appeared with The Parley of Instruments, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Wellington Sinfonia, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, and the London Mozart Players. As a choir trainer, he has worked extensively with children’s choirs, community ensembles, and symphonic and professional groups, and has been in demand as a guest conductor and choral clinician in Australasia and the United States. The Yorkshire Post described the Choristers of Grimsby Parish Church as: “a revelation – the only parish church choir in Britain able to take on the big hitters of the International recording market and leave them all standing” and The Diapason judged the choir of Wellington Cathedral “to be ranked among the finest exemplars of the Anglican choral tradition anywhere in the world”.

Andrew is an experienced consort singer, and was a member of the celebrated New Zealand early music group Baroque Voices. Since returning to the UK, he has sung with many London professional ensembles, and deputised in cathedral choirs around the country.

His professional life in Suffolk encompasses teaching across the region for the Royal College of Organists, and at Framlingham College and Ipswich School. He is the Musical Director of The Phoenix Singers, Framlingham, and a regular deputy at Chelmsford and Ely Cathedrals. His recital career takes him throughout the country – with concerts in 2014 as far apart as Shetland and Sherborne!

ROGER JONES – BANDMASTER

Started playing the piano at the age of seven. On joining the Royal Marines Band Service in 1967 was taught the clarinet and violin, achieving a grade V on violin in 18 months. On completion of the Bandmasters course in 1980 and gaining an ARCM in Military Band Conducting was appointed to HMS Invincible as the Volunteer Band Bandmaster when the ship travelled to the Far East on an eight month deployment. Attained the rank of Warrant Officer 1st Class at the age of thirty four in 1986 and Corps Bandmaster in 1988. Was appointed Bandmaster at the Royal Hospital School in 1991. Since that time have taken the school band on nine overseas tours to the Netherlands, France, South Africa twice, Canada, Malta, Sri Lanka and the USA twice in addition to many high profile venues in the UK.

DOMINIC PECKHAM – HEAD OF SINGING

Dominic is regarded as one of the UK’s finest young conductors and an ambassador of choral music both in performance and through his critically acclaimed educational work. He is Artistic Director of The Royal Opera House’s ‘RM19’, Assistant Musical Director of The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, Artistic Director and Founder of iSingUK – The Schools Workshop Programme, Director of The Ulster Youth Training Choir and Patron and Principal Guest Conductor and Adjudicator of The Voice Festival UK. In demand at home and abroad as a conductor, choral specialist, adjudicator, workshop director, presenter, vocal collaborator and consultant for a variety of ensembles and choral training programmes, he was guest Vocal Director BBC Choir of the Year, Consultant of Trinity Guildhall Teaching Programme and Guest Speaker for ‘Sing Up’. Dominic’s previous conducting positions include Musical Director of The Edinburgh Singers (with which he recorded extensively), The Merchant Voices, Edinburgh Youth Choir, Chorusmaster and Associate Conductor of 2×2 Opera, Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Youth Chorus, Guest Musical Director of The National Youth Training Choir of Scotland and Assistant Chorusmaster for The Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In recent years Dominic has been commended by reviews haling him “a lithe and modern Handelian..” and “a latent star..”. Subsequently he has worked with The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, The British Federation of Youth Orchestras, Scottish Opera and marked his debut at The Royal Albert Hall, The Barbican, Birmingham Symphony Hall, The Usher Hall, The Bridgewater Hall and The Wigmore Hall. He has prepared performances for Stephane Deneve, Richard Hickox OBE, Bernard Labadie, Simon Halsey, Christopher Bell, Vassily Sinaisky, Sir David Willcocks, Lorin Maazel, Stefan Bevier and John Rutter CBE. Keen to promote and support new music, Dominic has conducted several world premiers, most notably Oliver Searle’s “Pride, Poverty and Pianos” for The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Himself a composer and arranger, Dominic’s own pieces have received attention across the globe. His most recent premiers including ‘Mash’d’ for The National Youth Jazz Collective and The National Youth Training Choir of Great Britain (The Barbican) and “Star Spangled” for The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain’s ‘WorldSong!’ (The Royal Albert Hall). In recent years Dominic has appeared as Guest Director of Londinium Voices (Natural History Museum, London), Chorusmaster for Howard Goodall’s ‘Eternal Light’ (Birmingham Symphony Hall) and Mahler’s Symphony No.3 for Vassily Sinaisky (Bridgewater Hall), Director and Presenter of ‘Olympic Voices’ (Ipswich Corn Exchange) and since 2009 he has been Director and Arranger of ‘The Big Sing’ events for Music for Youth National Festival. Dominic relishes the chance to collaborate, whatever the occasion and has worked in partnership with Pete Churchill, Cleveland Watkiss, The Swingle Singers and Suzi Digby. In 2012 he was invited to develop ‘Fused’ – The Royal Opera House Inaugural Choral Festival which is to return this year.

Recent engagements include: Musical Director of “DownBow” - a collaboration with World Beat-Boxing Champion ‘Schlomo’ in a unique compositional project as part of the “Hitchcock Season” from The British Film Institute (RichMix Theatre), The Coca-Cola Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival Awards, Monteverdi’s ‘Vespro della Beata Vergine 1610’ for the 30th Anniversary celebrations of The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (The Royal Albert Hall), and Workshop Director for The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain’s Winter Residency. Future engagements include a centenary recording of Benjamin Britten’s Choral and Organ works (Delphian Records), Visiting Director for The 2013 Eton Choral Courses, The National Music for Youth Festival 2013 (Southbank Centre), a vocal collaboration with The Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne and The Chris Brubeck Jazz Quartet and a unique choral celebration of Verdi and Wagner for The Royal Opera House ‘Deloitte Ignite’ Festival with The BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Symphony Chorus.

VISITING MUSIC TEACHERS

Lesley Cherry

What is your instrument?
Piano

What do you do musically outside of RHS?
I am involved musically in my local church, accompanying for exams and occasionally accompanying for concerts. Also singing in local choirs.

What is your favourite piece of music?
Rachmaninoff Piano Sonata no 1 in D minor op28

What famous person inspires you and why?
Myra Hess, for her prowess as a pianist but mostly for her intelligence, determination and razor-sharp wit.

What is the best thing about working at RHS?
So many to choose from, the facilities, great colleagues and enthusiastic students.

What are your interests outside School?
Organise badminton for a group of players, treasurer for local cricket club, member of a book club and walking with Mutley our dog.

Rod Caird

What is your instrument?
The great highland bagpipe

What do you do musically outside of RHS?
Weddings, funerals, birthday parties, anniversaries; competitions, folk nights, more teaching, lessons for myself.

What is your favourite piece of music?
Freedom Come all Ye - based on The Bloody Fields of Flanders or possibly Lament for Mary McLeod

What famous person inspires you and why?
Gordon Duncan, virtuoso piper and composer, an inspiration to any piper

What is the best thing about working at RHS?
That it really cares about music

What are your interests outside School?
TV production, piping...!!!

Helen Sharp

What is your instrument?
Harp

What do you do musically outside of RHS?
Member of CHROMA and freelance with most of the UK Symphony and Chamber Orchestras

What is your favourite piece of music?
This is a very tough question! But probably Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky, with Gurrelieder by Schoenberg and Tristan und Isolde by Wagner as the runners up.

What famous person inspires you and why?
Darcey Bussell – a true artist

What is the best thing about working at RHS?
All the cakes the music staff bring in!

What are your interests outside School?
Crewing for my husband’s gliding competitions, walking and coxing

Christine Tinker

What is your instrument?
Piano

What do you do musically outside of RHS?
Piano recitals and recordings; I give masterclasses, examine for the ABRSM and am a Director and tutor at the Summer School for Pianists; I teach at other schools in Ipswich and in the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music in London; I blog about piano music.

What is your favourite piece of music?
Lever du jour from Daphnis et Chloé by Ravel; music's most beautiful sunrise

What famous person inspires you and why?
Beethoven - triumph through adversity

What is the best thing about working at RHS?
The potential for excellence

What are your interests outside School?
Horticulture and Tudor History

Tom Bell

What is your instrument?
If you don't know that by this stage, Mr Saunders, things are pretty desperate. – Organ!

What do you do musically outside of RHS?
I have a busy and diverse career as a soloist, recording artist and teacher, which over the next year will take me to Australia and Europe as well as around the UK. I teach in London at the church where I am organist and choirmaster - St Michael's Chester Square.

What is your favourite piece of music?
Variations on a Recitative by Schoenberg. Second place goes to Bach. His E Minor Prelude and Fugue is mind-blowing. Is it parochial of me to list organ pieces?! I also love the Brahms Symphonies, Kasabian and Muse!

What famous person inspires you and why?
Anybody honest, talented and possessed of integrity. So not Simon Cowell.

What is the best thing about working at RHS?
Being part of a community. And the fact that the chapel organ is really famous - teaching on it is a bit of an honour.

What are your interests outside School?
The outdoors, food, steam engines.

George Double

What is your instrument?
Drum Kit

What do you do musically outside of RHS?
Freelance career as a touring player. Also working as an examiner and consultant for Trinity College London.

What is your favourite piece of music?
Too many to choose from!

What famous person inspires you and why?
Well, in drumming terms Steve Gadd, Buddy Rich and John Bonham from Led Zeppelin have given me plenty to think about.​

What is the best thing about working at RHS?
Good coffee in the staff room, oh and the Music School's alright I suppose!

What are your interests outside School?
Cricket and Real Ale

Mary-Kate Ingram

What is your instrument?
Viola and violin

What do you do musically outside of RHS?
Play in a string quartet, local orchestras and recording sessions in London

What is your favourite piece of music?
Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante

What famous person inspires you and why?
Yuri Bashmet - one of the best viola players who has inspired many people to explore the viola and its repertoire

What is the best thing about working at RHS?
The musical opportunities for students, facilities and the general community and atmosphere at the school.

Mary Pells

What is your instrument?

cello and piano

What do you do musically outside of RHS?

I perform widely on baroque cello and viola da gamba, 40 -50 gigs per year, I examine for ABRSM and I work as a mentor for other music teachers.

What is your favourite piece of music?

Impossible to say, I listen to everything from Buxtehude to Bluegrass, but the greatest piece of music ever written is probably J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor

What famous person inspires you and why?

Pope Francis because he is challenging and unafraid

What is the best thing about working at RHS?

Excellent facilities

What are your interests outside School?

Running

Anna Ter Haar

What is your instrument?

Flute/Piccolo/Alto Flute/Whistles/Folk Flute

What do you do musically outside of RHS?

Freelance Musician - Perform with orchestras, chamber ensembles, folk bands. Lead workshops in outreach settings (currently musician in residence at a school for children with autism spectrum disorder).

What is your favourite piece of music?

Too hard to pick one! Stravinsky - Rite of Spring, Flook – Pod, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong - any of their duets!

What famous person inspires you and why?

Katie Piper - her strength and determination following the brutal attack she suffered when sulphuric acid was thrown in her face, and the way in which she now supports other burns survivors.

What is the best thing about working at RHS?

My pupils! And the nurturing environment for music making at the school.

What are your interests outside School?

Music Therapy and travelling

Clem Cocker

What is your instrument?

Clarinet and saxophone

What do you do musically outside of RHS?

I belong to Suffolk Concert Band and give the occasional recital

What is your favourite piece of music?

Italian girl in Algiers by Rossini. It has a cracking lively finale Jack Brymer. I initially first heard him play Weber’s Clarinet Concertino at age 14.

What famous person inspires you and why?

David Campbell is someone to aspire to now

What is the best thing about working at RHS?

I enjoy the setting and helping young people explore their chosen instrument.

What are your interests outside School?

Family and grandchildren keep me busy as well as the study of local history.

David Bolton

What is your instrument?
Trumpet

What do you do musically outside of RHS?
Musical director for theatre groups and eighteen piece Jazz Band and also play in various groups and ensembles.

What is your favourite piece of music?
Impossible to say a specific piece but listen to either a wide range of Big Band music, especially Latin Big Band, and also musicals.

What famous person inspires you and why?
Again no particular individual but various Jazz band leaders over the years e.g. Basie, Ellington, Maynard Ferguson, Arturo Sandoval and also people who take a different slant on musical interpretation - Lester Bowie and more recently Mnozil Brass group.

What is the best thing about working at RHS?
The pupils!

What are your interests outside School?
Theatre, Jazz and golf to get away from it all

Sharon Maxwell

What is your instrument?

Classical, Electric and the Bass guitars

What do you do musically outside of RHS?

Outside RHS I play and sing in a Carpenters tribute band. I also take on freelance work including playing in the band for local amateur musical productions.

What is your favourite piece of music?

My favourite piece of music is Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto

What famous person inspires you and why?

I admire Audrey Hepburn because as well as being a film and fashion icon she was also an ambassador for UNICEF with wide humanitarian interests.

What is the best thing about working at RHS?

I really enjoy working at RHS because the students are a pleasure to teach, the working environment is very friendly and the facilities are great.

What are your interests outside School?

I enjoy interior design, cooking, eating out, gardening , keeping fit by playing badminton. I also love travelling and water sports including scuba diving and sailing.

Lewis Andrews

What is your instrument?
Voice, guitar and bass guitar. I also play a little drums and keyboard.

What do you do musically outside of RHS?
My work involves being a producer, song writer, professional bassist/guitarist, and guitar teacher.

What is your favourite piece of music?
Changes from week to week. At the moment it is a piece called Aeons, by a band called Karnivool from their album Asymetry.

What famous person inspires you and why?
As pretentious as it may sound I generally stick to "ordinary people" to draw inspiration from. I feel you get a more unadulterated insight into their motivations. If I actually knew any famous people I'm sure it would be different!

What is the best thing about working at RHS?
Being given the freedom to work to your own strengths and agenda and being granted the amazing spaces in which to facilitate a great working and learning environment.

What are your interests outside School?
Pretty much all music. I very much take my work home with me.

Lindsay Blay

What is your instrument?
Singing

What do you do musically outside of RHS?
I also teach at Ipswich School and I perform regularly as a soprano soloist.

What is your favourite piece of music?
Oooh - too many to choose from but I love Mozart, Grieg, Britten and I also loved Queen as a teenager, especially Bohemian Rhapsody !

What famous person inspires you and why?
Ipswich Town and England football manager, the late Sir Bobby Robson; a hugely charismatic but so humble man - he never knew how to give up on anything - the sort of person who made others better people just by knowing him.

What is the best thing about working at RHS?
The students of course!

What are your interests outside School?
Following lots of sports (tennis, football, rugby etc...); going to Cornwall as often as possible; spending time with my family and just recently getting used to walking our labradoodle puppy !

Katie Smith

What is your instrument?

Singing

What do you do musically outside of RHS?

I teach, practice, attend masterclasses and run development days. I also run the largest Trinity Music Examination Centre in Norfolk.

What is your favourite piece of music?

Elgar Cello Concerto- Jaqueline Dupre/ Barbirolli recording Porgi Amor - Kiri Te Kanawa E Lucevan le Stelle - Pavarotti Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix - Marilyn Horne

What famous person inspires you and why?

Kiri te Kanawa- completely inspirational soprano technically and musically.

What is the best thing about working at RHS?

The children, colleagues and facilities.

What are your interests outside School?

Interests: travel, anything foodie including cooking and foraging, swimming.

Trevor Brown

What is your instrument?

Piano / Clarinet / Saxophone / Percussion / Music Tech

What do you do musically outside of RHS?

Percussionist with Suffolk Concert Band.

What is your favourite piece of music?

Too many great works to be able to choose a particular favourite.

What famous person inspires you and why?

Pianist / Composer Dave Grusin. He is a wonderful jazz pianist as well as superb and versatile film composer.

What is the best thing about working at RHS?

The best thing about working at RHS, apart from the staff and music facilities, is it's countryside location.

What are your interests outside School?

Composing for corporate videos, walking, cycling, and country life in general.

Roger Jones

What is your instrument?
Clarinet, Saxophone, Violin

What do you do musically outside of RHS?
Conduct a local orchestra and play saxophone in the Ipswich Musicians’ Union Big Band

What is your favourite piece of music?
I have many favourite pieces of music, as I play a wide variety of repertoire from all genre of music.

What famous person inspires you and why?
Bobby Charlton. A gentleman who knew how to play the game (football!) fairly with humanity and humility, and still be a winner. From the music world Yehudi Menuhin. A brilliant violinist who I saw in the sixties in concert, who later tried the jazz world with the great jazz fiddler Stephane Grappelli, with much success too.

What is the best thing about working at RHS?
The opportunity to work with enthusiastic children and making music with them.

What are your interests outside School?
Music, Shrewsbury Town FC, travel and fine food and wines.