Ellen West - President
“My name is Ellen West, a third year International Development and Chemistry student (a mouthful I know) and president of University Exeter Singers. The first thing to say is that I absolutely adore this choir. Having been a member for two and a half years, I feel so privileged to be able to sing with those who produce such a beautiful sound. We’re much like a family, and it’s this feeling of belonging that I really cherish. I recently organised a series of recordings to be taken of Singers, which are available to view on this website. I want to show people who we are and what we can do – I hope you’ll see a lot from us this coming year!”
Jonathan Lucas Wood - Conductor
“As a former member of Exeter University Singers as an undergraduate student, it was an absolute pleasure to be asked to return to the choir as one of their Conductors in September 2015. I have always been interested in musical direction and this role provides the perfect opportunity to gain experience and bounce ideas off a choir that has the most wonderful vibrant and blended sound.
The role of Conductor is particularly exciting in a society such as Exeter University Singers because there is a real opportunity to pass on experience to the next generation of choral singers and conductors and this educational side of the job is the aspect which excites me the most. Aside from this, the role encompasses many of the typical aspects of conducting such as designing fresh and exciting programs for services, concerts and recordings, working with the committee to identify appropriate new members, and sourcing exciting collaborative projects which are appropriate for the choir.
On top of my role with Exeter University Singers, I play an active role in professional music around the South West. I am currently a Tenor Lay Clerk at Buckfast Abbey, Musical Director of Exeter Bach Society and am regularly engaged as a Tenor soloist with a number of other local choral societies. Furthermore, after training as a choral scholar at Exeter Cathedral for 4 years, I always enjoy returning as a Deputy Lay Clerk when needed.
Outside of the South West, I am heavily involved with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, both as a regular member of the professional chamber choir, as Tenor 2 Section Leader of the main choir on one-off projects such as the recent BBC Prom performing William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and as an alumni ambassador for the organisation at educational outreach projects around the country.”
Daniel Maw - conductor
“I am a 3rd year student studying Classics and English. A 1st tenor, and choral music enthusiast, I am a choral scholar at the University and co-MD of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. My favourite choral music is liturgical, rather than secular, which is apparent in my music choices! I am a keen conductor and really enjoy the challenge of bringing clarity and shape to the choir and it’s music. I can’t wait to tackle the incredible music choices next term!”
Anna Sharman - Treasurer
“My name is Anna Sharman, a second year History undergraduate and treasurer of Exeter University Singers. My job is to budget for any choir expenses, whether that’s putting on concerts, going on tour or buying new music, and to make sure we pay any money on time! I have to work through the Students’ Guild to make sure this happens. One of the best things about the choir is the opportunities it gives everyone, even the newest member.
As a fresher last year, I was thrilled to get a solo in one of our pieces during second term which was a great experience for me, performing the piece both around Exeter and on our tour to Amsterdam, and reflected the choir’s welcoming and inclusive nature. If you’re keen to get involved, you’ll always have the chance!”
Anna Cooke - Publicity Secretary
“I’m Anna and I am a second year student studying Psychology with Anthropology at Exeter. This year, I will be in charge of publicity for the choir, and am looking forward to conveying my passion for what we do to our new members and audiences. I joined Singers because I wanted to surround myself with music as I had done at school and on my gap year, and to continue developing my voice and understanding of choral music. Singers has given me the most fantastic support in doing both, and I continue to be amazed by the beauty of the sound of our blended voices; something we are especially known for.
Singers has also presented me with some amazing opportunities (like going on tour to Amsterdam and singing a solo in the Cathedral?!) which have been defining moments in my first year. It is a genuine pleasure to be surrounded by people who work hard together, have fun together and perform together and I cannot wait to see what the next year brings for us!”
Gaby Christian - Social Secretary
“I’m Gaby, and I’ve just completed my first year at Exeter studying History. I’m a second alto in the choir, and as one of Singers’ social secretaries for the next academic year, I’m looking forward to planning all sorts of activities for members of the choir to get involved in (I’m especially excited for another Rameoke social!). The gorgeous sound the choir consistently produces and the hard work in rehearsals that goes into perfecting our repertoire really does make you feel part of something special.
One of my favourite things about Singers is the existence of a genuinely friendly atmosphere: one that was obvious from my very first rehearsal last year. The closeness of the choir means time spent together – be it in rehearsals or socialising- is always really enjoyable.”
Kate Quillin - Social Secretary
“I’m Kate Quillin, and I’ve just finished my first year studying Biological Sciences. As a member of Singers, I am a second soprano and one of our two Social Secretaries, responsible for planning and running our choir social events, from dinners to pub crawls! What I really enjoy about Singers is our versatility; the challenge of singing such a wide range of acapella repertoire. We perform secular and sacred pieces, from early to 21st century music, and in a variety of languages.
This requires the whole ensemble to pull together to create a wonderful sound. The real beauty of Singers is that we’re like a family; a genuinely wonderful group of people united by a love of singing choral music – I think this is quite special, certainly for people of my generation.”
Miranda Giddens - Librarian
“I’m Miranda and I am the current music librarian for Singers. My role involves looking after and preparing all the music and keeping the all important library (and cupboard) tidy. I love how inclusive the choir is and though I joined only two terms ago, everyone talks to each other like we have known each other for years.”