After another rigorous selection procedure, Chorale
chose Tom Williams
as its conductor from January 2005.
As the senior choral scholar at King's College Cambridge he had been musical director of Collegium Regale.
combines a successful singing career with Exaudi, Polyphony and SIX8
, with singing teaching at Uppingham School
It has taken him very little time to come to terms with the expectations and needs of a successful amateur choir, perhaps not surprising when he his
father has been a well known choral conductor in Derbyshire and his
further not only sings but accompanies choirs.
direction the Chorale
has already won the prize for the Best Classical Performance of the Year awarded by the Mercury.
The photograph below shows Tom
singers at an informal summer concert in 2005.
Leicestershire Chorale with Tom Williams 2005
has had some success in addressing the major problem facing most choirs, which is an ageing membership.
has benefited from an influx of younger voices in all parts and with its current youth programme, which includes choral scholarships for students; it hopes that the process will continue.
It is already clear that he
intends to expand the choir's repertoire even further.
The Church of Holy Cross Priory
has an acoustic to rival that of St James, and it was ideal for "A stirring performance of the Vespers" of Rachmaninov.
The Mercury went on to describe the performance as "sonorous, passionate and colourful - a tour de force of choral agility".
It reported that all eyes were on Tom Williams
who produced a superbly balanced tapestry of sound, with wide-ranging dynamics, good attack and glowing tome - underpinned by the splendid basses who came near to the 'organ pedal' sonority of their Russian counterparts.
It is most pleasing that the Bass section has doubled in number.
In the short period of two years Tom
has conducted works by composers as varied as Handel (Messiah), Lauridsen, Whitacre, Britten (Ceremony of Carols), Skempton, Sullivan, Vaughan Williams, Gabrieli
has been thoroughly involved in the work with schools and has plans for recordings, tours and new works, including commissions.