Brought together in 1975 by John Sloboda, we draw our members from the local area and beyond and are based at Keele University. We are about 40 members.
Our eclectic repertoire is a mix of sacred and secular music, and ranges from the Renaissance to contemporary composers, including pieces commissioned for the choir. The format of our concerts is varied: a cappella, with piano/organ accompaniment, and also with professional ensembles and soloists. We give three major concerts a year and have also collaborated with other choirs to perform larger works.
Since January 2017 the choir has thrived under the accomplished directorship of Neil Taylor, ably supported by our talented accompanist Ian Riddle. In Summer 2019 we undertook our first tour for several years, on this occasion to France. Our performances there met with great success, and we were overwhelmed to receive a standing ovation and demand for an encore from one capacity audience!
Neil is also Music Director of St George’s Singers, Manchester, and of The Sheffield Chorale. He appears frequently with the BBC as Musical Director and Organist on BBC Daily Service and Sunday Worship.
In his spare time he enjoys reading and walking. A keen cook, he is also an enthusiast of real ales and good wines.
Ian was born and educated in Newcastle, and was church organist at the age of 14! He studied at Huddersfield University and at Bretton Hall College.
As a distinguished accompanist Ian has worked with many opera companies, choirs and soloists both nationally and internationally. He has toured in the US and in France.
Ian has also been the accompanist to the Ceramic City Choir and the Audley Male voice Choir for many years. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, a Fellow of Trinity College London, and a Fellow of the London College of Music.