Bristol Chamber Choir

under the auspices of Bristol  Madrigal Society

People



Musical Director

Gordon Pullin

A distinguished tenor soloist, Gordon Pullin has sung all over the United Kingdom, in many European countries and in the USA. He has given a number of solo broadcasts on Radio Three and on various local Radio Stations, mainly of English Song.

His interest in English Song began at school in Norwich, where his Maths master (a friend since schooldays of the accompanist Gerald Moore) accompanied him singing Warlock and Purcell, as well as Schumann. When he was awarded a Choral Scholarship to St John’s College, Cambridge, his Norwich choirmaster gave him his own bound collection of Parry’s English Lyrics.

Apart from his wide knowledge of the standard tenor repertoire in all fields, he has given first performances by modern composers of opera, oratorio, songs and song-cycles. Philip Wilby, Carol Barratt, John Jeffreys, Roy Teed and Tony Noakes are among composers who have written songs for him, several of which he has recorded in his eight CDs of English Song. He has devised programmes around such poets as Blake, Blunden, Clare, Graves, Hardy, Housman, Shakespeare, Edward Thomas and Tennyson. He has also edited a volume of settings of Hardy and Volume VII of ‘A Century of English Song’, both of which are available from the publisher William Elkin.

A Past Warden of the Performers and Composers Section of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, he is also an Honorary Life Member of the City Glee Club in London. In the past he was a member of the choirs of Coventry Cathedral, York Minster and St Paul's Cathedral, and of the BBC Northern Singers.



President

Raymond Warren


Raymond is a renowned composer and teacher, having held posts at Queen's University, Belfast, where from 1966 he held a personal Chair in composition. From 1966-72 he was Resident Composer to the Ulster Orchestra, writing for them a number of orchestral works and also conducting the Orchestra in a series of concerts of contemporary music. In 1972 he was appointed Professor of Music at the University of Bristol, a post from which he retired in 1994. He is the composer of numerous operas, oratorios and three symphonies. Recent works include his Symphony No. 3, a commission from the Brunel Ensemble. He is also author of the book Opera Workshop (Scolar Press, 1995).


 


 


Chairman

John Merriman


John was born in Swansea and studied at Bristol University but after graduating moved away for 29 years.  When he returned he joined Bristol Choral Society, also occasionally singing with the BBC National Chorus of Wales.


However in 2008 he left behind large choral forces and symphony orchestras for the more intimate pleasures of Bristol Chamber Choir. “I love the challenge of singing in a smaller group and the less formal – but more intense – environment of Bristol Chamber Choir” says John.




Secretary

Rae Ford



Rae is a retired music teacher. Studying and working in London and later Germany, she has sung both in large and small choirs, perhaps enjoying most of all one-voice-to-a-part singing for fun with friends at weekends. Love of early music has recently led her to attempt viol playing, but she is reminded that learning to play any instrument really well is never easy.







Treasurer

Sue Caporn


Sue has sung in a wide range of choirs throughout her life - classical and community, large and small - and over the years has sung very diverse types of music, from the great choral works to gospel music, from Gilbert and Sullivan to sacred music.


A love of singing madrigals and early music led Sue to join the Bristol Chamber Choir, where she enjoys the intimacy of singing in a small choir. Sue likes managing budgets and spreadsheets and has learnt more about performing rights and HMRC gift aid regulations than she ever thought possible.





Librarian

Jessica Bruno


Jessica has been involved with musical groups for most of her life, starting her formal musical education at the age of five and progressing to various local and regional choirs and orchestras as her technique improved.


After walking grade 8 singing during sixth form and playing of the Oxford Symphony Orchestra in her gap year she first moved to the city to read music at the University of Bristol in 2003, being  a member of the University Singers, Choral Society and the Opera Society  and a founder member of The University of Bristol Barbershop Singers.


A break in singing after university to focus on work and bands (playing the bass guitar) she returned to the world of choral singing with the Bristol Chamber Choir in 2018.




Publicity Secretary

Rod Coomber

Rod was born and brought up in Coventry.  He started singing when in the 6th form when a new music master decided to form a choir to sing Haydn’s Creation. He read chemistry at Imperial College where he met a metallurgist called Donia (2nd soprano and flute) who persuaded him to join Imperial College Choir. They got married immediately after graduation and started work at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough.  In 1970 they joined the Aldershot Choral Society (later known as the Rushmoor Choir) and it wasn’t long before he was ‘persuaded’ to take responsibility for publicity.  This set a precedent for every choir he has sung with since!
By the 1990s both of them were working in different Ministry of Defence offices in London and in 1995 were part of the huge MOD exodus form London to Abbey Wood.  Once settled in they joined Portishead Choral Society and Bristol Cathedral Special Choir.  After the Special Choir closed down they joined Bristol Chamber Choir in 2016.
When he isn’t busy with choir matters he paints in water colour and acrylics and is on the staff of two demanding cats.



Assistant Secretary

Faye Taggart-White

Faye has sung in choirs since childhood. Prior to joining Bristol Chamber Choir she sang with the Hibiscus Coast Singers in Auckland, New Zealand where she lived for a short time.


Faye runs a 'sing for fun' lunchtime choir at her workplace and has recently been involved in composing and performing a song for a short film by a local film maker.