Musical Director

Bernard West

Bernard began his musical life as a pianist, before adding the cello and the organ to his repertoire. As an accompanist, he worked with a range of choral groups in North Yorkshire from an early age, going on to win an organ scholarship to Girton College, Cambridge. Whilst reading for his music degree in Cambridge, he was in demand as recitalist, accompanist, repetiteur and conductor for the award-winning college choir and a host of college and University music societies, leading to his involvement in European and South American tours, radio broadcasts and CD recordings.

Bernard settled with his family in the Cotswolds in 2002. On his arrival, he took over the position of Director of Music at St Mary the Virgin, Shipton-under- Wychwood. He has developed and extended this choir, one of the few remaining church choirs in the area, which now regularly performs further afield and deputises at cathedrals.  He is also Musical Director of  ‘Eight in a bar’, a vocal octet who were chosen as a ‘Choir of the Day’ in Choir of the Year 2012.

Aside from his conducting work, Bernard is in great demand as an accompanist and as a conductor, working with various choirs, choral societies and theatrical groups in the Cotswolds. He also tries to keep some free time to spend with his two young sons!

Chris Brown (Accompanist)  

Chris is an organist, pianist, and tenor and moved to Oxfordshire in September 2017 to become Head of Music at Chipping Norton School.

He was previously in Norfolk for a decade teaching music in Fakenham, as well as being involved with several local musical groups. These included being Organist and Choirmaster at Fakenham Parish Church, Resident Conductor of the Fakenham Town Band, and a stint as Musical Director of Fakenham Choral Society, as well as being the official accompanist of the King’s Lynn Festival Chorus.

Chris enjoys running and cycling, having recently cycled the Land’s End to John O’Groats route, and running his second marathon in Edinburgh.

He is also a qualified bus driver!