Emily Hodkinson

Mezzo-Soprano, Soloists

Emily is a Nottingham-born mezzo-soprano. She studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on
the MMus Vocal Performance Course, studying with Clare Shearer and is supported by a
scholarship. She is the winner of the John and Barbara Beaumont Bursary and the Liz Chant
She holds a First Class Honours Degree in Music from the University of York and was a Fellow
of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain in 2017-18. She sang with Genesis Sixteen from
2016-17 under the direction of Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan.
Recent and forthcoming appearances include Elgar’s The Music Makers with Nottingham
Festival Chorus in February 2019, Sara (Tobias and the Angel, Dove) for Nottingham Cathedral
and Streetwise Opera and recitals in the Southwell Minster and the Nottingham Classics preconcert
recital. Alongside oratorio with the European Union Chamber Orchestra at St John Smith
Square and with Aldeburgh Voices at the Snape Maltings Easter Weekend.
Emily had the honour of being the first Female Alto to sing with the Men and Boys Choir at
Southwell Minster in February 2018, a landmark moment in the Minsters 900+ year history.

Carris Jones

Mezzo-Soprano, Soloists

Born in Surrey but largely raised in Southeast Asia, Carris Jones studied at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with a DipRam, the Academy’s highest performance award.

On the operatic stage, Carris has performed and covered roles at English National Opera, Iford Arts, Garsington Opera and Bury Court Opera. Carris made her Royal Festival Hall debut as Renee in the European premiere of Shostakovich’s Orango, with Esa Pekka-Salonen and the Philharmonia.

Carris’ concert  highlights include Britten Phaedra with members of the Philharmonia, Bach Magnificat for Laurence Cummings and the English Concert, and performances of Elgar Sea Pictures and Mahler Kindertotenlieder. As a consort singer, Carris has sung across five continents. She was a founder member of Stile Antico, and collaborated with Sting on his Dowland project, Songs from the Labyrinth.

In 2017, Carris joined the Choir of St Paul’s Cathedral, the first female Vicar Choral ever to be appointed.

Matthew Keighley

Soloists, Tenor

Matthew Keighley is currently a master’s student at the Royal College of Music. He is a Soirée d’Or Scholar and working under the tutelage of Tim Evans-Jones. He is also supported by the Josephine Baker Trust. Prior to his studies at the Royal College of Music, Matthew was a Lay Clerk at Gloucester Cathedral.

Matthew is in growing demand across the UK and Ireland as a concert soloist. Recent performance highlights include Handel’s Messiah with Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum and Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D in Southwark Cathedral with London Oriana. Matthew was also recently involved in an Irish tour of Handel’s Theodora with the Irish Baroque Orchestra. Further afield, Matthew performed last summer in Corfu and Italy singing as a soloist for the Ionian University Choir.

Since starting music college in September, Matthew has been gathering experience on stage. He was delighted to be involved in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, directed by Sir Thomas Allen and looks forward to the College’s summer opera production where he has been cast as Errand Boy in Lennox Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement.

Ruth Massey

Mezzo-Soprano, Soloists

Ruth Massey mezzo sopranoBorn in Nottinghamshire, Ruth Massey was educated at Worksop College and Cambridge University, where she held a Choral Scholarship at Clare College. She has performed with many of the UK’s foremost consorts, specialising in Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music. She has toured the world with The Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen, The Eric Whitacre Singers and The Gabrieli Consort. European concert highlights include Haydn Harmoniemesse at the Festival de Musique de La Chaise Dieu, France, Handel Dixit Dominus at Santa Maria di Montesanto, Rome, Italy (the church where this majestic piece was first performed in 1707), and Ockeghem Missa Prolationum in the Conzertgebouw Amsterdam.

Closer to home, London performances include Mozart Vesperae Solennes de Confessore at The Barbican, Rachmaninov Vespers at Cadogan Hall, Buxtehude’s seven-cantata cycle Membra Jesu Nostri at Kings Place, Pärt Stabat Mater at the Wigmore Hall, and Britten Ceremony of Carols in the City of London Festival. With The Sixteen she gave an acclaimed performance of two solo-voice Bach Cantatas at the Edinburgh Festival, of which The Scotsman said: ‘especially memorable was Ruth Massey’s alto aria in BWV146. … Its shapely phrasing was illuminated from within by warm persuasiveness and a desire to reach heaven that no God could refuse.’

Ruth has appeared on over 100 commercial CDs, several of which have won Gramophone Awards. Hollywood soundtrack recordings have also featured prominently in Ruth’s work, from the mighty Harry Potter films to DreamWorks’ animation Flushed Away!

Ruth lives in North Nottinghamshire and is Director of Music at Ranby House School. Her greatest loves are the music of Poulenc and long muddy walks in Clumber Park with her two hounds.

Peter Nicholson

Soloists, Tenor

Peter Nicholson: TenorPeter, currently a Lay Clerk at Southwell Minster, is a freelance tenor, pianist and composer. He is closely involved with the professional choral world, having sung with renowned groups such as Ex Cathedra, the Armonico Consort and the Chapterhouse Choir, York. He studied at Birmingham Conservatoire, and focused primarily on early performance practice and keyboard improvisation. When not singing, he can be found working on restoring one of the multitude of harmoniums, accordions or melodions he has collected over the years.

Michael Overbury

Continuo, Soloists

Organist and harpsichordist Michael Overbury’s early musical influences centred on Farnham and London, where he was introduced to the glories of the English liturgical tradition, and it was here also that his organ teacher Stephen Thomson inspired in him a love of the harpsichord.

Horizons broadened with an Organ Scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. After graduating he held a number of posts including deputy organist and choir master at the Cathedral and Abbey Church at St Alban’s. After winning First Prize in the 1982 Manchester International Organ Competition, he appeared twice as soloist at the Royal Festival Hall and has continued to play with many choirs and orchestras.

He is currently accompanist to Ruddington and District Choral Society, and to Sinfonia Chorale.

Robert Parker

Instrumentalist, Soloists

Originally from Bath, Robert is a Graduate and Fellow of the Trinity College of Music, London.  He studied horn with John Burden, former principal horn of the London Symphony Orchestra and top session player – the John Burden Horn Quartet can be heard at the start of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album!

Robert has appeared as a soloist across the country including in London, Somerset, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, and the East Midlands.  He has performed concerti by J S Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Telemann, Schumann and Richard Strauss, and also Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, becoming something of a champion of the horn and new music for the horn along the way… He has had music written especially for him, including Andy Evans’ Horn Concerto which he premièred in 2009 at the Albert Hall, Nottingham. Andy said that he wrote the piece ‘to showcase Robert’s lyrical and sensitive playing, that I have listened to over many years’.  Robert was invited to play the horn obbligato in A Celebration of Psalms, a new choral work composed in 2013 by Burton Joyce based David Machell, who then wrote a Horn Concerto for him.  Robert gave a “bravura performance” at its première in St Mary’s Church, Nottingham in July 2018.   He is looking forward immensely to playing the horn obbligato part in Guy Turner’s Lux Aeterna with the B&DCS on 17th November 2018.

As a busy freelance musician, Robert plays principal horn with the English Pro Musica, Lincolnshire Chamber Orchestra British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, National Festival Orchestra (including ten years with the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival at Buxton’s Opera House), along with numerous other professional orchestras, and has been a member of the Southwell Festival Sinfonia since its inception in 2014, under the baton of artistic director Marcus Farnsworth.  Robert enjoys chamber music, performing with the Hough Ensemble (a piano and wind group) at a variety of venues, including Nottingham’s Theatre Royal, Worksop College as part of their Worksop Music Concert Series, Grantham Music Club and Bingham Community Arts. He also regularly gives horn and piano recitals with Antony Clare.

The year 2018 heralds Robert’s 25th anniversary as Music Director of the Nottingham Concert Band, a thriving community band based in West Bridgford.  They are fresh from their tenth season of Proms in the Park, having celebrated Armed Forces Day in Bridgford Park on 30th June 2018 in collaboration with Rushcliffe Borough Council.  He is currently grants and donations officer for the British Horn Society as well as being a member of the executive committee, and has been active in co-organising a number of BHS national festivals, most recently in 2017 in Glasgow: this year’s festival is on 21st October 2018 in Cardiff.

For relaxation, Robert and his wife Ann enjoy walking their greyhound Mr Piper by the River Trent, and tending their allotment.


Elizabeth Paul

Mezzo-Soprano, Soloists

Elizabeth Paul: Mezzo-SopranoElizabeth is a graduate of Royal Holloway, University of London, where she gained an honours degree in Music whilst specialising in solo performance. Alongside her studies, she sang as a choral scholar with the college’s highly acclaimed chapel choir, and also sang regularly as a soloist with Royal Holloway’s Early Music Society and the college’s ‘Undergraduated’ Big Band. Now based in London, Elisabeth enjoys a busy career as a freelance soloist, choral singer and choir administrator. She sings regularly with a number of ensembles including St Martin’s Voices, The Erebus Ensemble, The Portrait Choir, Sansara, Eboracum Baroque, the Choir of St Peter’s Church Eaton Square, The Echoris Ensemble, and the National Youth Chamber Choir of Great Britain, and she is one 5th of the classical-crossover girl group Celeste. Elisabeth is an alumna of the Genesis Sixteen choral training programme, which is generously supported by the Genesis Foundation and run by Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan, and she held a choral scholarship at St Martin-in-the-Fields for the academic year 2013-2014. Choral singing has taken Elisabeth on tours of Sweden, Italy, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Malaysia, and the US, as well as all over the UK, and she has sung for world renowned conductors at the BBC Proms including Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Simon Rattle, and Daniel Barenboim. She has had the opportunity to sing on several live radio and television broadcasts including BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship, BBC Radio 3’s In Tune and Choral Evensong, BBC One’s Songs of Praise, The Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance, and services at The Cenotaph and St Martin-in-the-Fields to commemorate the 70th Anniversaries of VE Day and VJ Day. She has also recorded critically acclaimed discs for Hyperion.

James Savage-Hanford

Soloists, Tenor

James read Music at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and Royal Holloway, University of London, before undertaking postgraduate training in vocal performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, studying with Adrian Thompson.

James made his international debut as Ferrando Così fan tutte with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra at the Birgitta Festival, Tallinn, in 2016. Other operatic highlights include Don Ottavio Don Giovanni, Bardolfo Falstaff (Black Cat Opera Company) and Remendado Carmen (OperaUpClose). Earlier this year, he made his solo debut at St Martin-in-the-Fields, in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem alongside the Brandenburg Sinfonia.

When not singing, James is also active as a musicologist, and is currently studying for a PhD on the music of George Enescu at Royal Holloway, where he is also a visiting tutor. www.jamessavagehanford.com.

James Williams

Baritone, Soloists

James Williams was born in London and studied at the Royal Academy of Music. Since graduating, James has distinguished himself as a successful artist on the operatic stage as well as in concert and recital.

In 2015-16, James completed the trilogy of the Mozart/Da Ponte operas, performing the title role of Don Giovanni, Don Alfonso/Così fan tutte and Il Conte/Le nozze di Figaro in fully-staged productions across the UK with Dulwich Opera Company and Opera Seria.

In oratorio, James has performed as baritone soloist in: Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, Finzi’s In Terra Pax, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, and Jonathan Rathbone’s Christmas Truce.