We are very fortunate to be able to work with some of the best soloists, orchestras, conductors, choir trainers and other musical professionals in pursuing the aims of the Choir.
Our permanent team of professionals are as follows:
Martyn Brabbins is Music Director of the English National Opera. An inspirational force in British music, Brabbins has had a busy opera career since his early days at the Kirov and more recently at La Scala, the Bayerische Staatsoper, and regularly in Lyon, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Antwerp. He is a popular figure at the BBC Proms and with most of the leading British orchestras, and regularly visits top international orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw, DSO Berlin and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony (all of whom he conducted last season). Known for his advocacy of British composers, he has also conducted hundreds of world premieres across the globe. He has recorded over 120 CDs to date, including prize-winning discs of operas by Korngold, Birtwistle and Harvey. He was Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 1994-2005, Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic 2009-2015, Chief Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic 2012-2016, and Artistic Director of the Cheltenham International Festival of Music 2005-2007. He is currently Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music and Music Director to the Huddersfield Choral Society alongside his duties at ENO, and has for many years supported professional, student and amateur music-making at the highest level in the UK.
Martyn Charles Brabbins (born 13 August 1959) is a British conductor. The fourth of five children in his family, he learned to play the euphonium, and then the trombone during his youth at Towcester Studio Brass Band. He later studied composition at Goldsmiths, University of London. He subsequently studied conducting with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory.
Brabbins first came to international attention when he was awarded first prize at the Leeds Conductors Competition in 1988. Between 1994 and 2005, Brabbins was Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He became principal conductor of Sinfonia 21 in 1994. He was artistic director of the Cheltenham Music Festival from 2005 to 2007. During his Cheltenham tenure, he established a new ensemble, the Festival Players. In Leeds, he created a new chamber music series called "Music in Transition". On 17 July 2011, Brabbins conducted the 6th live performance of Havergal Brian's Symphony No. 1 "The Gothic" at The Proms, which was later released on a Hyperion commercial recording. Brabbins was subsequently named president of the Havergal Brian Society. Brabbins is also conductor laureate of the Huddersfield Choral Society. In 2002, Brabbins founded a training course for aspiring conductors at the St Magnus International Festival in Orkney, which he continues to co-direct.
Outside of the UK, Brabbins became principal guest conductor of deFilharmonie (Royal Flemish Philharmonic) in 2009. In December 2011, Brabbins was announced as the next chief conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra. He held the Nagoya post from 2012 to 2016.
Brabbins first guest-conducted at English National Opera (EMO) in 2012, in a production of Vaughan Williams' The Pilgrim's Progress. On 21 October 2016, ENO named Brabbins its next music director, with immediate effect. His initial ENO contract is through October 2020.
Brabbins has conducted commercial recordings of music for such labels as Warner, Chandos, Hyperion, NMC, Nimbus, and Deutsche Grammophon.
Brabbins and his wife Karen (née Evans) met at Goldsmiths. The couple married in 1985, and have three children. In January 2013, the University of Bristol awarded Brabbins an honorary degree, of Doctor of Music honoris causa.
Gregory Batsleer is one of the UK's most dynamic and in demand choral conductors and chorus masters. In addition to his role of Choral Director with the Huddersfield Choral Society, Greg is also Chorus Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus (since January 2015) and of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus (since 2009). He is also principal conductor of the National Portrait Gallery’s Portrait Choir. He has previously held the position of Director of the Hallé Youth Choir (2008-11) and Director of Choirs at Manchester University (2009-13).
Gregory is also heavily committed to work outside of the classical music world and is Artistic Director of innovative live music company Pencil Presents. He has worked as music supervisor and consultant on performance and recording projects with artists including Elbow, James, Clean Bandit, Damon Albarn and New Order. He has a close working relationship with composer Joe Duddell and has premiered works by composers including Colin Metters, Uri Caine and Ben Parry.
Gregory began choral singing at the age of nine as a member of the Manchester Boys Choir and later went on to hold scholarships at Princeton University and the Royal College of Music. He has received tuition and support from leading musicians including Baldur Brönniman, Martyn Brabbins, Sian Edwards, Simon Carrington and Simon Halsey. On his return to the UK in 2008 and co-founded and directed the Manchester Consort as well as taking up the role of Director of the Hallé Youth Choir(2008-11) and went on to direct and lead the Manchester University Chorus (2009-13). He graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2012, where he majored in vocal studies.
He has also previously held successful associations with the Amadeus Orchestra and RNCM Outreach Department. As a guest conductor, highlights include performances with the Hallé, Academy of Ancient Music, New Century Baroque, Brandenburg Sinfonia, Royal College of Music Baroque Orchestra, members of Florilegium, Rodolfus Choir, the chapel choir at Royal Naval College Greenwich. He has appeared at festivals including Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Three Choirs Festival and the Latitude festival. He has been guest chorus master for orchestras including Northern Sinfonia, English Chamber Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic, working with leading international conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Markus Stenz, Adam Fischer, Louis Langrée, Sir Roger Norrington and Robin Ticciati.
Gregory Batsleer’s outstanding work as a choral director was recognised with the 2015 Arts Foundation’s first-ever Fellowship in Choral Conducting.
Joyce Tindsley is an experienced vocal tutor as well as being a working professional singer. She has been employed by the BBC for nearly 30 years, firstly as a member of the BBC Northern Singers and latterly the Daily Service Singers, as well as being an acclaimed mezzo-soprano soloist. She was Professor of Voice at Lancaster University 1988-93, has led masterclasses at Chethams School of Music, courses for organisations such as the Chapter House Choir of York Minster, Preston Arts, Kirkham Singers, LGN Choir St. Helens, the W.I. and has been the vocal tutor on courses for the Association of British Choral Directors. She also runs a private teaching practice at home. Joyce has led weekly adult singing classes in the Preston area for over 25 years.
Associate Choral Director
Associate Choral Director
In addition to her position as Associate Choral Director of the Huddersfield Choral Society, Frances Cooke is also Associate Choir Director of the Hallé Choir. In that role she has prepared the choir for numerous critically acclaimed performances, including that of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, under the direction of Sir Mark Elder and Andris Nelsons, and Elgar’s ‘The Apostles’, which won both the Choral category and the overall Recording of the Year in the 2013 BBC Music Magazine awards and the coveted Gramophone award for “Best Choral CD of the Year.
For 27 years Frances was Chorus Director for the Chester Festival Chorus, preparing them in a diverse range of works, including world premières by John Tavener and John Harle, performed under eminent conductors including Yan Pascal Tortelier, Vasily Petrenko, Harry Christophers, Martyn Brabbins, John Wilson and the late Richard Hickox CBE. During Frances’ tenure the Chester Festival Chorus was invited on four occasions to sing at the BBC Proms, an exceptional accolade for an independent, amateur regional choir.
Frances is Chorus Master for the St Endellion Festival in Cornwall, for both the Easter and Summer Festivals. She is a tutor for the Association of British Choral Directors, has taught in the vocal faculty at the Royal Northern College of Music, and is in demand nationally as a leader of choral workshops. Frances has also worked with the BBC Symphony Chorus, the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus and the Manchester Chamber Choir.
Frances read music at Clare College Cambridge where she was a choral scholar under John Rutter. She subsequently studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Marjorie Thomas and then enjoyed a busy career performing and recording with the leading chamber choirs in the UK, including The Sixteen, Tallis Scholars, Choir of the Enlightenment and the BBC Singers. She also sings with and directs BBC Radio 4’s Daily Service Singers.
Associated Choral Director
Associated Choral Director
Ellie is a conductor based in the North West. She graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with a Masters degree with distinction in conducting after studying music at the University of Manchester.
Ellie is the Musical Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra, Radius Opera, Chester Festival Chorus and Stafford Choral Society and the Associate Conductor of Manchester Chamber Choir and Huddersfield Choral Society. In 2015 she founded Kantos Chamber Choir. With Kantos, Ellie has been the director and chorus master for numerous recordings and performances including with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic on labels including Decca Classics. Ellie regularly directs for the BBC Radio 4 Daily Service and Sunday Worship broadcasts and directed Kantos in Rome and Assisi for special edition broadcasts.
In the 2019-20 season, Ellie made her debut with the Hallé Orchestra. She also toured the major UK theatres with Matthew Bourne’s new production of Romeo and Juliet as the Young Associate conductor. In the 2020-21 season she will make her debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir for a world première performance and will conduct Northern Ballet’s production of The Great Gatsby.
Alison North MBE
Youth Choirs MD
Alison North MBE
Youth Choirs MD
Alison grew up in Harrogate in a very musical family.
Her love of music and a long held desire to teach led her to study at Bulmershe College, Reading where she sang with the award winning Bulmershe Girls’ Choir directed by Gwyn Arch. Her love of singing continued when she moved back to the north and became the top voice in the successful vocal quintet, Quintessential.
She began her teaching career in Leeds but it was the move to Lindley Junior School in 1997 that really ignited her passion for children’s choirs. The Lindley Choir was formed in 1999 and it wasn’t long before the choir were winning competitions both locally and nationally. The first major success was in 2001 winning BBC North Choir of the Year in Bradford’s St George’s Hall. The choir’s major successes since have included winning Songs of Praise Choir of the Year 2008 and 2016, finalists in 2014 and 2015, “Choir of the Year’s Children’s Choir 2012”, first prize at the International Eisteddfod at Llangollen in 2012 and 2017. The choir has also had many exciting opportunities, including performing alongside Aled Jones in a BBC Children in Need CD and sharing the concert platform with many excellent choirs and bands. Alison also runs three other choirs at Lindley Junior School. The Training Choir, a Boys’ Choir of 125 and the Lindley Community Choir which has a membership of 130 ranging from 6-80+ years old.
She joined the Huddersfield Choral Society Youth Choirs in September 2016 and has achieved success with the groups. Both the Young Voices and Vocalise won their classes at the Mrs Sunderland Music Festival 2017 and Young Voices also won at the Holmfirth Music Festival 2017. The Youth Choir were invited to appear on the CBBC programme “Creeped Out” which aired in November 2017.
In recognition of her work, primarily at Lindley, Alison was awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year Honour’s list.
Assistant Chorus Master
Assistant Chorus Master
Daniel is also the Senior Teaching Fellow in Performance and Repetiteur at the University of Leeds' School of Music (part-time).
He is also Conductor of the Huddersfield Singers, and Choir Master / Deputy Organist of St John the Baptist, Adel.
Daniel has worked with Black Dyke Band (piano/organ), the CBSO Chorus (repetiteuring), Manchester Camerata (harpsichord), Opera North, Leeds Festival Chorus, et. al. He is the voluntary Music Director for the Leeds NHS Trust. He was accompanist of the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus for nine years and is an Honorary Life Member of the Chorus. He is a pupil of Darius Battiwalla.
Before working in music, Daniel taught computing to postgraduates, and created software for researchers in potential-field geophysics.