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Musical Director

 

 

 

Geoff Photo

The Yate Choral Society is under the Musical Direction of Geoffrey Wickham BEM. who studied conducting with George Hurst, Louis Halsey and Michael Rose.  

It was whilst studying at Bristol University that Geoff met his wife Hazel who, together with Geoff as Musical Director, was accompanist for the Society for over 47 years until her death in March 2019.   Her friendship, personality and above all musical skill was invaluable to the members of the choir and it is with sadness that we record her passing. 

Geoff has also been conductor of the Mercury Players who gave West Country premieres of several musicals notably two by Stephen Sondheim and of the Bristol Musical Comedy Club for whom he conducted Camelot; Sweet Charity and an award winning production of Mack and Mabel.

He has conducted the Bristol Opera Company on several occasions including concerts for the Bristol Community Festival and prepared them for a concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Stanley Black.  He was musical director of the Bristol Catholic Players for 14 years, in which time he conducted all the standard Gilbert and Sullivan operas.    

 

As Conductor of Bristol Cathedral Choir School Choral Society for over 10 years he has conducted them in concerts in Krakow, Dubrovnik and Budapest. He has also enjoyed conducting them when they have joined with other choirs to form a 200-strong choir in the Cathedral.

He has written and arranged choral pieces; musicals and incidental music for the stage.   Although heavily involved in music he was Head of Chemistry at Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School in Bristol and co-author of a science text book. 

In June 2008 he was a finalist in the BBC Radio 4 music quiz programme “Counterpoint”.

Geoff was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Music in Bristol in the New Year’s Honour list 2020.

 

 

Accompanist

Diana Williams took over as accompanist in March 2019.

Diana was born in Stoke-on-Trent and started piano lessons at the age of seven.   

She came to live in Yate in 1984 and has been a member of the Yate Choral Society since 1986.