Programme 2017-18

Saturday, April 28th, 2018 at 7.30pm in Ambleside Parish Church

Mozart Requiem


Mozart: Regina Coeli
Haydn: Little Organ Mass; Insanae et Vanae Curae

accompanied by the South Cumbria Ensemble

Meet the soloists:

Julie Harvey  Soprano
Growing up in Lancashire, Julie’s first musical studies were in piano and flute. Deciding to pursue a vocational career, Julie qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist (BSc. Hons, University of Manchester), often incorporating her musical skills therapeutically in her work with people with communication difficulties. Julie later qualified as a primary teacher (P.G.C.E, Homerton College, Cambridge) and enjoyed teaching for several years. Singing in choirs/ensembles and her work fuelled her interest in the human voice and she began her own voice training in her early twenties.

Julie has appeared as soloist with many choral societies in North and South Cumbria singing a wide range of repertoire. She was a founder member of the Herdwyck Consort, sings regularly at Bassfest and with Wordsworth Singers.

Having moved to the Scottish Borders in 2013, Julie has a busy teaching practice in voice and piano and with community singing projects incorporating her teaching, therapeutic and singing skills into a unique blend.

She has worked as a musical director on Lion King Jr, Anything Goes, Oliver and loves her role as director of Traquair Community Choir, which started in 2014 and has grown to over 50 members. In 2015, she cofounded the Scottish Vocal Ensemble.

Julie has most recently become involved in starting a Singing for Breathing project in the Borders affiliated with the Cheyne Gang in Edinburgh. The singing groups help people to manage breathlessness caused by health conditions and have fun socialising through singing and making music together.

When not singing, Julie loves hiking and sailing reading and film.

Amy Shaw  Mezzo

Amy is a mezzo-soprano born in South Cumbria. She  graduated from the University of Manchester in 2014 with an honours degree in music. She is currently studying voice with John Powell.

She has performed as a soloist for many societies and groups in the North of England including the choral societies of Preston, Fleetwood, Ambleside, Bolton, Salford, Sedbergh and Arnside. The varied repertoire has included Elgar’s The Music Makers, Handel’s Messiah, Dvorak’s Mass in D major, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem and Rossini’s Petit Messe Solennelle.

Amy became a member of the Manchester Opera Ensemble in Autumn 2016 and performed in their December production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica at Manchester Central Library in support of the Women’s Equality party.

Amy has been a finalist of the David Clover Festival for the past two years. She was awarded the Andrew Colt French Song prize in January 2017 and won the Lesley Garrett Opera Prize and the Gold award for British Song in January 2018. She has attended the Arran Summer school where she received vocal tuition from Peter Wilson, Patricia McMahon, Alec Crowe and John Fisher.​

Amy is currently the Head of Music at Settle College in North Yorkshire. She is also a singing tutor in schools around Cumbria. Amy has recently accepted a place to study her postgraduate in singing at the Royal Academy of Music, London, from September 2018.

Robert Thompson  Tenor

Robert Thompson studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He sang in the choir of Saint Paul’s Cathedral as a Deputy before moving north first to Yorkshire then to Cumbria from where he travels throughout the country to perform.

His oratorio experience is wide-ranging, recent engagements including works by Handel, Rossini, Dvorák and Britten. He has recorded Stainer’s “The Crucifixion” and Francis Jackson’s “A Time of Fire”.

Opera roles have included Tamino The Magic Flute, Vašek The Bartered Bride, Nemorino L’Elisir d’Amore, Gherardo Gianni Schicchi, Frederic The Pirates of Penzance, the Narrator in Carl Orff’s The Moon, Florestan Fidelio and the title roles in Britten’s Albert Herring and Peter Grimes. He has played Bob Boles in a workshop production of  Peter Grimes at Covent Garden and recently appeared as Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) in a Robert Hayward masterclass. He has sung for Flemish Opera (Lohengrin and Billy Budd), for Scottish Opera (Fidelio) and for Opera North (Tannhäuser, Aida, Don Carlos, Gloriana, La Gioconda and Genoveva). As a founder member of the European Festival Chorus he has appeared in Tristan und Isolde under Claudio Abbado at the Salzburg Easter Festival

As a member of Scotland’s highly-rated Cappella Nova he has appeared on BBC2 in a first performance of James MacMillan’s “Seven Last Words” and also took part in a radio play with the actor John Sessions. He has worked with other professional choirs including the Finzi Singers, the Britten Singers  and London Voices.

Jonathan Millican  Baritone

Jonathan Millican is a local choral musician and has been working in the North of England for over 20 years. He studied a Music Degree at Lancaster University and holds a Masters Degree specialising in Vocal Performance and Musicology. Jonathan has performed as a Solo baritone singer around the North of England, including performances of Samson, Judas Maccabeus, Mozart Requiem, Brahms Requiem and Messiah among many others.

Jonathan began his musical career as a chorister under Andrew Seivewright and Jeremy Suter and resumed his commitment to choral music by serving as Bass Lay clerk since moving back to the Carlisle area in 2008. Jonathan currently works as Senior Lecturer in Singing at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle and is the community liaison for the Performing Arts Department, which involves working with local Primary and Secondary Schools to promote the integration of music and singing into the curriculum.

Jonathan became interested in directing and composition at University when he took on the directorship of the University Choir, and has recently renewed this interest after conducting the Solway Singers and Gretna Choral Society and starting up the Carlisle Cantate Childrens Choir with Edward Taylor as part of the Cathedral Outreach Program. He currently directs The Abbey Singers, where his mission is always to instill the great passion for all music he has had the pleasure of experiencing with the many talented people he has worked with.

His compositions include Mass Settings, Canticles and motets, but also children’s songs and choral arrangements of Popular Music.

Ian Thompson  Organ

Ian Thompson was born in Bradford and was a chorister at the Cathedral under Dr Hooper.  His first organ lessons were at Bradford Grammar School and he went on to study with Francis Jackson, John Dykes Bower and Geraint Jones. Whilst Organ Scholar at Queens’ College, Cambridge, he also studied harpsichord with Thurston Dart.

Ian was Organist of Beckenham Parish Church for 2 years, before becoming a professional singer, having a diverse and fulfilling career, culminating in roles at Covent Garden, La Scala Milan, Paris, Naples, Los Angeles et al.

Since moving north in 1996 he has revisited his earlier skills, performing regularly on the harpsichord alongside such distinguished musicians as James Bowman and recorder player John Turner.

Ian was until recently Musical Director of Kendal South Choir and Cockermouth Harmonic Society, which recently celebrated its 150th anniversary.