Principal Conductor – Alexander Berry
The Principal Conductor of the choir is Alex Berry, Organist and Director of Music at Bradford Cathedral. Alex is the Founder and Director of the Mercian Consort and was formerly Assistant Organist to the choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, (2015) and previous to that, assistant organist to the Ely Cathedral Girl’s Choir.
Alex was Organ Scholar at Queens’ College, Cambridge from September 2009 – July 2012 where he played for, conducted and rehearsed the twenty-four-strong choir of choral scholars and volunteers three times a week. He organised tours and cathedral visits, including a collaboration with the choir of Nuremberg Conservatory and a recording for Bavarian Radio. He also worked with Stephen Cleobury and the CUMS Chorus as Assistant Conductor and Accompanist and was King’s Voices Organ Scholar at King’s College, Cambridge in 2011 and 2012.
“The Cathedral Chamber Choir is committed to nurturing the talent of young singers who are keen to learn more about the English choral tradition. The William Wingate scholarships offer the next generation of singers the opportunity to inhabit this tradition in one of our great cathedrals, within a supportive and encouraging environment.” Alexander Berry MA(Cantab) FRCO, Organist & Director of Music, Bradford Cathedral
Associate Conductor – Chris Pilgrim
Chris read Music as an undergraduate at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he was the Organ Scholar, directing and accompanying the College’s Chapel Choir, and also regularly sang with Queens’ College Chapel Choir. On graduating in 2012, he joined the back row of Chichester Cathedral Choir as one of its six professional ‘Lay Vicars’, singing as a countertenor for eight weekly services as well as on BBC broadcasts, commercial recordings and international tours. Chris spent three years as Musical Director of Sandgate Singers, a choral society of 90 members based in Storrington, West Sussex, which he combined with ongoing solo and ensemble work.
Alongside professional musical performance, Chris has found a vocation in full-time classroom teaching, and left Chichester Cathedral Choir in 2017 to pursue this. He currently works at The Prebendal School in Chichester (which educates the Cathedral Choristers) as Head of Maths and ICT. He has been Associate Conductor of the Cathedral Chamber Choir since their visit to Portsmouth Cathedral in 2021.
From 2006 to 2017 the Musical Director of the choir was Matthew O’Donovan. He stepped down at the end of August 2017 when we visited Lincoln Cathedral.
Matthew has toured internationally with the early music group Stile Antico which is well represented in the CD catalogues with some excellent recordings by Harmonia Mundi. Whilst at Merton College Oxford he directed well-reviewed recordings for Lammas Records with the Arcadian Singers of Oxford University.
|The choir’s founder, Musical Director from 1979 to 2006, is Martin Hall (Reigate). Martin was Head of Music at Reigate College from September 1986 until 2005. He holds the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Choirmaster’s Diploma (CHM). After undertaking research into 18th Century music at New College Oxford he is now based at Royal Holloway College.|
Other musicians who have assisted in directing and/or playing over the years include John Keys (former Principal Organist), Tony Henwood (former Principal Organist), Martin Hall (Southampton), David Turner, William Wingate, Ed Yeo, Marcus Reeves, David Quinn, Peter Ward Jones, Kit Downes, Alex Goodwin, Douglas Tang and Graham Bull.
If you are interested in making a charitable donation to assist our scholarship and bursary scheme (UK Registered Charity 296212), please do using our CAF donation page.