12 MDs, 12 Videos, 12 Weeks
WEEK 11: Pete Churchill helps us to find our groove.
Originally trained in Canada, Pete has been based in England since 1985. Having completed almost twenty years teaching at the Guildhall School of Music, he is now Professor of Jazz Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London whilst running the jazz choir at Trinity College of Music.
His busy freelance career has included work as diverse as a year in the West End as a Musical Director of Five Guys named Moe, almost a decade and a half as the British accompanist for the legendary jazz-singer Mark Murphy and the conductor of the Kenny Wheeler Big Band.
As a performer Pete has been featured at many festivals internationally working as a singer, pianist and conductor. He has been a member of both Kenny Wheeler’s and Abdullah Ibrahim’s vocal projects, travelled extensively as Mark Murphy’s accompanist and has collaborated with, amongst others, Norma Winstone, Stan Sulzmann, John Taylor, Cleveland Watkiss, Julian Arguelles, Bobby Wellins and Tina May. He has also released several critically acclaimed jazz albums under his own name and recently conducted the 80th birthday tour of the Kenny Wheeler Big Band - culminating in a critically acclaimed new album, The Long Waiting.
As an educator and choral director, Pete is very much in demand abroad - teaching regularly in Australia (Perth, Sydney, Melbourne), including a spell as visiting Professor at the Kodaly Summer School at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. He has given Jazz workshops for the ABRSM in the Far East (Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore) and closer to home he has been a guest lecturer at the Sibelius Academy in Finland. Each summer brings regular courses in France, Spain and Italy.
Nearer to home Pete is recognised as being at the forefront of Jazz education in this country – he received the Parliamentary Award for Services to Jazz Education in 2007 and this year he has been nominated yet again. Pete has also established a national reputation for his work with Primary schools all over the country. He develops strong relationships with Music Services over several years and this results in regular performances of his ‘Groove’ Oratorios at the Albert Hall - combining massed Primary school choirs with Youth Orchestras and guest soloists from the worlds of Jazz and Musical Theatre.
Much of Pete’s time now is taken up with directing his own choir ‘The London Vocal Project’. In addition to high profile performances with Cleo Laine, Norma Winstone, Kenny Wheeler and, most recently Bobby McFerrin, this seminal ensemble of young singer/workshop leaders regularly join Pete on his massive educational projects and they are fast gaining a reputation, under his guidance, as the next generation of gifted educators.
Originally trained in Canada, Pete has been based in England since 1985. Having completed almost twenty years teaching at the Guildhall School of Music, he is now Professor of Jazz Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London
WEEK 10: Sandra Oberoi teaches us a Bollywood tune.
WEEK 9: John Fisher shows us some of the love and energy around how Gospel music gets you moving and to a spiritual level!
In his long and fruitful career John has been a drummer, keyboard player, song writer, music producer, event organizer, production manager, technician, group leader, radio DJ, TV presenter, vocal arranger, music director, choir director, mentor, youth leader and now vocal tutor.
For the past 18 years he has been the leader of one of the UK’s top gospel choirs IDMC (www.idmcgospel.com). He has led the choir in many high profile events and engagements such as singing for the wedding of Luciano Pavorotti in 2003, in Trafalgar Square at the announcement of London winning the 2012 Olympic bid, and many more events of this nature.
As a songwriter and producer he has successfully released 12 recording projects including 4 live DVD recordings.
Under his direction, We Sing U Sing has expanded from working with just 1 school in October 2007 to 35 schools across 5 boroughs, building the confidence and mentoring over 3000 children.
“My aim is to effect change in the mindset of young people through my many efforts, and to ensure that young and old who come into contact with me, have a memorable and positive experience.”
A well-known and respected face in the British gospel and secular music industry, John has been creating music for over 25 years.
WEEK 8: Camilo Menjura brings us two tunes from Latin America.
Award winning musician Camilo Menjura is a Colombian Guitarist, Choir Leader, singer and arranger based in London. His distinctive approach to leading and performing, reflects his passion for sharing and creating a safe space for everyone involved.
Award winning musician Camilo Menjura is a Colombian Guitarist
WEEK 7: Craig McLeish brings us back to his classical choral music roots with these songs.
Craig began his musical life as a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral under Barry Rose and winning composition prizes while at school. Craig was Head Chorister at the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Service in 1977.
He has been musical director of Young Voices for 20 years, choosing, arranging and working on repertoire for the annual national arena concert tour for school choirs to sing with a live band and solo artists. He has MD’d for many artists including Beverley Knight, Candy Staton, Mavis Staples, Alexandra Burke, Miss Dynamite, Katie Melua and Lemar.
As a composer Craig has recently had some choral works published by Novello, notably “I’ve Known Rivers” to words by Langston Hughes, and “Gaelic Blessing” for upper voices. In 2020 a new work “Beyond The Horizon” was commissioned to be performed in both Plymouth UK and the USA to mark 400 years since the sailing of the Mayflower.
Craig launched a website to enable community choirs to access affordable arrangements in large numbers called ChoirCommunity.net. Locally he directs the Milton Keynes Community Choir and Milton Keynes Youth Choir and a new Friday morning classical venture entitled TGI Choir!
Craig began his musical life as a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral under Barry Rose and winning composition prizes while at school. ...
WEEK 6: Mairéad Duffy takes us to Ireland to teach us the wonderful Irish folk song Molly-o-Cullinane.
Mairéad Duffy graduated from the University of Ulster with a BMus Hons and a PGCE in Music Education. During her university years in Belfast she was a member of the Belfast Harp Orchestra, who recorded and toured with The Chieftains. She was the featured vocalist in many of these performances, performing at Milwaukee Irish Fest and Carnegie Hall. She won the Nancy Calthorpe Memorial Prize for Irish Harp and Voice at Dublin Feis Ceoil. She returned to Carnegie Hall in January 2016 with members of the Senior Choir of St. Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon to perform in Karl Jenkins’ The Peacemakers. She is a past chair of TOSINI-Teachers of Singing in Ireland and is in great demand as a vocal coach/leader and musical director. Following a successful fundit campaign and support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland she released her debut album ‘Silver Tin House’ as a singer songwriter in 2016. She has studied choral conducting with Dr Doreen Rao, holding an Artist Teacher Diploma in Choral Music Education with Choral Music Experience. She is artistic and musical director of Gathered Voices, a community choir based in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone. Mairéad is currently on a career break from St. Patrick’s Academy where she has been Head of Music for the past twenty-four years. This career break has enabled her to become the Music Development Officer for Music Generation Cavan / Monaghan. She has extended her career break to pursue the role of LMEP Support Manager with Music Generation National Development Office.
Mairéad Duffy graduated from the University of Ulster with a BMus Hons and a PGCE in Music Education. During her university years in Belfast ...
WEEK 5: Tinu Craig teaches us a set of "American folk" warm ups and cheerful songs.
Tinuke Craig teaches community choirs and youth groups. She founded the women's a capella choir Electric Belles.
Theatre includes: Crave, random/generations (Chichester Festival Theatre), Hamlet for young audiences (National Theatre), Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith), Vassa (Almeida), The Color Purple (Leicester Curve/Birmingham Hippodrome), I Call My Brothers (Gate Theatre), dirty butterfly (Young Vic).
Theatre as assistant director includes: wonder.land (National Theatre), Hamlet, All's Well That Ends Well (RSC), The Changeling (Young Vic).
Tinuke trained at LAMDA and in 2014 received the Genesis Future Director Award. in 2015-2016 Tinuke was the Gate's Associate Director and she is currently an Artistic Associate at the Lyric Hammersmith.
Tinuke Craig teaches community choirs and youth groups. She founded the women's a capella choir Electric Belles.
WEEK 4: Lizzy Renihan takes us through her experience of emotion, lyrics and teaching, of a couple of musical theatre songs.
Elizabeth Renihan grew up in her all-singing, big, Irish family. She trained at LAMDA and performed as a West End, Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre lead.
Credits Include: The King and I, Cats, Starlight Express, Joseph, Les Miserables. Concert soloist for BBC and RTE Concert Orchestras and Friday Night is Music Night.
Lizzy is now based in East London where she has founded and led her Natural Voices Choirs for hte last 11 years and now has 10 community adult and youth choirs. She is also Co-founder and leader of the professional vocal group, East London Soul Choir.
Elizabeth Renihan grew up in her all-singing, big, Irish family. She trained at LAMDA and performed as a West End ......
WEEK 3: Marta Mathea Radwan "swings" into action with this jazz warm up song.
WEEK 2: Michael Humphrey takes us through some exercises to help us get back in touch with our voices.
Michael Humphrey is a Northern Irish choir director, teacher and songwriter working in South East London. He has directed award-winning a capella group In The Smoke, community choir Popchoir Chislehurst and given numerous workshops and masterclasses on ensemble singing and arranging for voice. He has released 5 albums of his own songs, and is developing his second musical - to hear more go to mdhmusic.com
Michael Humphrey is a Northern Irish choir director, teacher and songwriter......
WEEK 1: Ben Sawyer teaches a super warm up song that has been a hit with all his choirs!
Ben Sawyer is a conductor, countertenor and educator based in Gloucestershire. He regularly works with Community Choirs, Youth Choirs, Choral Societies and Chamber Choirs and sings in the male voice a cappella group, The Songmen. Ben leads workshops around the UK and in 2017 he was a judge on Sky One’s ‘Sing: Ultimate A Cappella’.
Ben Sawyer is a conductor, countertenor and educator based in Gloucestershire...
Over the next 12 weeks, 12 inspiring MDs will be providing videos especially for you! Each video will explore content that you can use as a part of your online choir rehearsal, either to kick it off with a bang, finish with a flourish or joyfully jazz up the middle of your session.
We will be posting a new video every Monday for the next 12 weeks. The idea is that once the video has been posted, you are free to use it in any way you wish. It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring a new face to your choir and present something a little bit different.
The MDs are experts from every walk of choral life, so you can use their videos to embed something you work on every week, or see it as a chance to get a taste of something fresh. One thing’s for sure, the videos will give you a fantastic sprinkle of inspiration and joy!