Bristol Cabot Choir regards getting to know each other as part of the joy of belonging to a Choral Group. The following provides information about our Musical Director and members of the Choir Committee.
Rebecca has conducted choirs since she was 19, in London, Cardiff and Bristol. She has conducted the Bristol Cabot Choir for 7 years, and really enjoys giving energetic and inspiring rehearsals. ‘I love getting the most out of our wonderful singers. Every week we use classical training as part of our rehearsal to really get the best sound. Although we have lots of fun, the choir members work hard with great enthusiasm, which means that by concert day the audience is in for a very special treat!’
In her spare time Rebecca is a vocal coach who teaches many students of different standards, and specialises in singers who are nervous about using their voice, or are anxious performing in front of people. ‘The voice is a real expression of who we are as a human being, and often that can leave us feeling exposed and vulnerable. I use a combination of Neuro Linguistic Programming, advanced learning techniques and many years teaching experience to help a student overcome these hurdles’.
Part of Rebecca’s mission as a vocal coach is to use music to converse with those who find it hard to communicate. ‘Many of my students have disabilities or learning difficulties. I use music as therapy at the Avon Autistic Foundation in Shirehampton every week. We’ve found the sessions enable service users to express their emotions freely, and communicate in ways that are often hard for them in everyday life. We have such a good time together, there is always a huge amount of fun and joy, and of course great music!’
Rebecca previously taught Key stage 3 and 4 music at St Bernadette’s Catholic School for 5 years. She then completed her Masters degree in Choral Conducting at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama whilst teaching A level Music and BTec Musical Theatre at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College.
‘People are always shocked at how busy professional musicians are. We tend to have careers that span teaching during the day time and performing at evenings and weekends in far flung places. This is why I practise Qi Gong every day, it helps me keep a feeling of peacefulness and balance, and a real sense of humour! I love what I do, sharing music with people every day is a real privilege and such a joy!’
In her spare time, Rebecca regularly gigs in Bristol, and sings with the BBC National Chorus of Wales in Cardiff. ‘The standard of the choir is so high, and we get to sing with the National Orchestra of Wales on a regular basis. Singing in the BBC Proms during the summer is a real highlight of this work, the promise of bumping into famous musicians in the green room at the Royal Albert Hall is far too enticing!’
For more information on singing or piano lessons with Rebecca, please visit her website: rebeccaholdeman.co.uk or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rupert began his musical career as a chorister at St. Paul's Cathedral; this was followed by music and choral scholarships at Uppingham School and Tewkesbury Abbey respectively. He went on to study piano and piano accompaniment at the Royal Northern and then the Royal College of Music, graduating with a Bachelor of Music with Honours degree, along with the RCM's Diploma in Piano Teaching, in 1999. For the next few years he focused on pursuing his other vocation, the Alexander Technique, and qualified as a teacher, after three years of full-time training, in 2004.
As a pianist, Rupert has a wide background in performing, both as soloist and accompanist, at venues around the country, including St. John’s Smith Square and Snape Maltings. Past prizes include the Sheila Mossman Award from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, the Douglas Fox Memorial Prize from the Music Masters' and Mistresses' Association, 2nd prize in the Royal Northern College of Music's 'Prix Scarbo' competition, and the Rotary Club of Banbury's 'Young Musician of the Year' title.
For a number of years he worked with musically-gifted children at the Purcell School in Hertfordshire as a residential tutor, houseparent, and accompanist. He is an experienced teacher of piano and singing, and has been a deputy Alexander Technique teacher at the Junior Royal College of Music for over ten years.
Between 2008 and 2012 Rupert set up and directed a choir in Hainault, Essex, for adults living with neurological/sensory special needs; they gave several well-received concerts. He moved to Bristol in 2012 to study Music Therapy at UWE, and has been active as an accompanist and singer with two local choirs. Most recently, he has joined the staff at King Edward’s School, Bath, as Senior School Accompanist and Performance Coach.
After belonging to several other choirs in Bristol, Kathy came to Bristol Cabot and quickly realised she had found the choir for her. She is a Soprano and enjoys singing choral music. Her career has included working in the theatre and in medical education. As the Chair of the choir, she sees her role as helping each member to achieve their full potential thus enabling the choir to reach its collective best.
When she isn’t working on choir matters, she travels and is currently working on her first novel. “Singing weekly with our group under the talented ear of our musical director is a total joy”.
John returned to choral music two years ago and joined the Bristol Cabot Choir on the recommendation of his singing teacher. He finds both the discipline and emotional charge of the music completely absorbing. As Vice-chair John supports the work of the Musical Director and Chair, maintains the Choir’s newsletter and hopes that its fortieth year will see it move onto the next stage of its development.
‘Monday evening rehearsals have become an important part of my life and a place of calm in a sometimes chaotic world’
Rosie started singing at a young age and joined the Bristol Cabot Choir when she moved to Bristol to study for her PhD in cancer research. Rosie now works for the Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council but loves singing and getting involved in choir activities in her spare time. Rosie sings soprano and has regular singing lessons with musical director Beccy. As the Choir Secretary Rosie takes care of the choir membership, attendance, new members, and record keeping. When not working or singing Rosie enjoys road cycling, gardening and reading.
Angela has enjoyed singing from an early age & has regularly sung solo in amateur productions and choirs. Her love of dance led to her choreographing amateur shows , including at the Bristol Hippodrome & Colston Hall. Now retired from a career as a Headteacher, University Lecturer & Researcher in Education, she spends her time singing, volunteering at Westonbirt Arboretum, learning german & as a Trustee of local charities.
She says that singing in The Cabot Choir is both a pleasure and a privilege & she would recommend it as an antidote to any 'blues'!