Introducing Kathryn Ridgeway – our new MD

We are pleased to announce that from the beginning of 2017 our new Musical Director will be Kathryn Ridgeway. Kathryn has long been a friend of the choir and helped us out with some of our rehearsals in the early weeks after the death of Jeffrey Vaughan Martin.  She is a friendly and fun personality and has a vast experience in directing choirs both in the UK and touring abroad and the choir are very much looking forward to her injection of enthusiasm to take the choir forward.

 Kathryn graduated with a BMus (Hons) from Sheffield University where she also trained as a violinist under the Lindsay String Quartet and Martin Milner. She pursued her playing and teaching career in the Southeast as Head of Instrumental Studies for Mid-Kent, performing with local orchestras and chamber ensembles; she later became Head of Strings at Trent College.

 Kathryn is an enthusiast in making music accessible to all and was a key player in the creation of a Residential Summer Holiday Music Course for young string players in Kent which was held at Repton Preparatory School in Derbyshire. She has worked with the Kent County Youth Orchestra and toured Brazil, Holland and France and conducted at the Benenden Summer School.  She extended her experience and expertise within music education in schools, re-energising music departments, improving results and extra-curricular provision and making the subject engaging and successful at all levels; an excellence which was recognised nationally by Chris Woodhead and Ofsted.

 She has organised Choir Tours to destinations in Europe and wider afield including very successful tours to China and the USA. She directed choral concerts in major London venues with repertoire including The Armed Man, Mikado, Showboat, Noye’s Fludde, Songs of Sanctuary, Fauré Requiem, Pergolesi Stabat Mater, The Creation. School productions were highly successful including My Fair Lady, Hairspray, We Will Rock You, Guys and Dolls, Grease, Oliver, Forbidden Planet; she produced the first performance in the south-east of the school edition of Les Miserables.

 As part of Bromley High School’s 125th Anniversary celebrations, under her direction the whole school community performed Carmina Burana in the Royal Albert Hall with a choir of 200, an orchestra of 100, choreographed for 100 dancers. Kathryn continues to perform regularly in the Southeast and is closely involved in music in local primary schools. She is also the Musical Director for the Maidstone Singers.

Kathryn led her first rehearsal this Tuesday as we returned to choir after the festive period and we enjoyed a great session.  We are now rehearsing for a memorial concert for Jeffrey Vaughan Martin which takes place in March and so watch this space for more information!

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