Sarah Gallop - Musical Director
Sarah joined the choir as our Musical Director at the start of the Autumn season in 2017. She has an excellent musical background teaching singing in school, giving private singing, piano and music theory lessons and can teach the flute. She "absolutely loves singing" and has "always loved performing" and currently is part of a trio, with clarinettist and pianist and studying for two operas; Die Schone Galatia and Carmen. She enjoys working with choirs and "particulary likes the Hadleigh Community choir's inclusive attitude and the broad spectrum of music" and aims to develop not just the choir's technique but the "connection you have with the music, and how you then give that to the listener". "I want you all to enjoy yourselves as well as push yourselves to achieve the next level".
Simon Thompson - Deputy Music Director / Music Arranger
Simon has been singing for as long as he can remember and has performed in operettas, musicals and choral concerts all over the country. He has played parts as diverse as Curly in Oklahoma and Escamillo in Carmen but his favourite role as a performer has to be Robin Oakapple in Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore, as it was whilst playing in this show that he met his wife.
Since moving to Hadleigh in 2008 Simon has been involved in producing musicals in the United Reformed Church, playing on stage for HADS Whatfield Players. After a request from Peter Finch, Simon helped with the founding of the choir and has been involved ever since, taking over the baton 4 times before handing it to our current MD in 2017 and going back to singing.
Simon is involved with many other projects around Hadleigh but the choir will always be his first love (apart from his wife of course!). Simon’s other hobbies include reading, other musical projects and sleeping!
Graham Holmes - Accompanist / Music Arranger
Graham was born in 1958 in South London. He began learning the piano at the age of 5, and was privileged to have the opportunity to play Mozart's 23rd concerto and Rachmaninoff's 2nd concerto with his school orchestra.
He moved to Suffolk in 1980 to pursue a technology career in the Post Office, where he became involved in local amateur musical theatre. Since then, he's made over 400 appearances in concerts and shows, and has acquired a reputation as both an accompanist and an orchestral player. His portfolio includes many big titles such as Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story, and 42nd Street, and several well-known local musical theatre groups. He particularly enjoys playing for small ensembles and soloists in more intimate venues.
Graham has been with Hadleigh Community Choir since its launch in 2012.
The Choir Committee
Chair: Sarah Thompson
Vice Chair: Simon Thompson
Treasurer: Hilary Gallo
Secretary: Veronica Partridge
Membership Secretary: (vacancy)
Front of House Manager: (vacancy)
Librarian: Andrew Chilton
First Aider: John Turnbull
Sopranos: Clare Wilson
Altos: Kate Horn
Tenors: John Turnbull
Basses: Andrew Chilton
Peter Finch - Choir Founder, Organiser and first Chairman - April 2012 to January 2016
Peter's involvement with choirs started in 1995 with Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir, one of East Anglia's largest and most successful male voice choirs. During his 10 years with LOMVC he held various roles, ultimately becoming the choir's Chairman. With the choir he toured France, performing in Notre Dame, Amiens Cathedral and others. In the UK his highlights included performances at the 1100-seat Cliffs Pavilion with other invited male voice choirs to raise funds for the RNLI, and in London by invitation before the Princess Royal, Princess Anne at the Merchant Taylors Hall. As part of its normal schedule, LOMVC performs some eight to 10 UK concerts a year, raising considerable funds for local and national charities.
In 2005 Peter moved to Hadleigh and became a member of two choirs:Hadleigh Choral Society and Just for Fun. He has also performed on-stage with Hadleigh Amateur Dramatic Society and Whatfield Players, and continues to do so. He launched Hadleigh Community Choir in April 2012 and was its Organiser until January 2015 when he set up the current Committe structure and became the choir's first Chairman. At the 2016 AGM Peter stood down from his role as Chairman, having achieved his ambition of successfuly creating a choir in which he could comfortably and happily sing, and so that he can spend more time with his ukuleles.
Simon Thompson - our first Musical Director
Simon was our MD at the launch of the choir in April 2012, and again when Julia Miller left us to go to Oman in December 2012 (see below). While Andrea King was our MD, Simon took on the role of Assistant MD, but after Andrea's departure, he again assumed the role of MD. At the start of 2016, Simon handed over the baton to Alan Humphrey, who joined the Community Choir initially to lead the Junior section, but subsequently accepted the role of MD of the main Choir as well. Alan left in October 2016, and Simon has once more resumed the role of MD.
Julia Miller - our second Musical Director - August 2012 to December 2012
Julia joined as our first permanent MD in August 2012 and guided us through two public concerts in December of 2012. In January 2013 she resigned to take up the position of MD and singing teacher in the vocal department of the newly formed Royal Academy of Music in Muscat, Oman.
Andrea King - our third Musical Director - September 2013 to July 2014
After a couple of very successful sessions as guest MD Andrea joined as our permanent MD in September 2013. She took us through five concerts before standing down from the choir. During her term of office she introduced a number of new ideas and successfully encouraged many of our shy and reluctant singers to discover their inner songster, and even sing solo parts in concert.
Alan Humphrey - our fourth Musical Director for both the Choir and the Junior Choir - January 2016 to October 2016
Alan started as Musical Director for the Junior Choir in September 2015, and introduced not just the love of singing, but some musical terminology too. The Junior Choir performed at the Christmas Concert in December 2015 with the main Choir, and staged their own mini-concert for parents and friends in May 2016. Unfortunately, due to lack of numbers, the Junior Choir has since been disbanded.
Alan took over the baton from Simon as Musical Director for the main Choir in January 2016 - this allowed Simon to step back into his singing role as Baritone/Tenor while still remaining part of the musical team. Alan was particularly pleased to be able to take part in the Choir's 2015 Christmas Concert, and subsequently led us through our 2016 Summer concert and the Mayor's Civic Service in September. He introduced us to new musical ideas, particularly encouraging us to listen to the words, and feeling where the music was taking us, rather than just simply singing the notes. Alan stepped down in the Autumn Term 2016.