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Patrick McCarthy has been a notable figure on the local area musical scene for over twenty years

He was trained as a singer at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the London Opera Centre. His operatic and singing career has taken him all over the British Isles and Europe. Music lovers may remember his dramatic rescue of a Prom performance of Carmina Burana back in 1974.

He is currently Musical Director of the Dovercourt Choral Society the Colchester and Ipswich Bach Choirs, the Colchester Philharmonic and the Ipswich Chamber Orchestras, the Harwich Festival and, of course, the Witham Choral Society. He was for a time also conductor of the Clare and Maldon Choral Societies.He has conducted many of the major choral works with the WCS amongst them repertoire such as Sir Arthur Sullivan's Festival Te Deum (available on CD), Haydn's Creation and Te Deum, Bach's St. Matthew and St. John Passions, and the less traditional Coleridge-Taylor's Hiawatha's Wedding Feast. Patrick has also guest-conducted the Essex Symphony Orchestra.

In the 2004/2005 season with WCS he conducted Elgar's Caractacus. This rarely performed work was a considerable challenge to both choir and orchestra and was sponsored and supported by The Elgar Society. The performance was much appreciated by those members of the Society who attended and received enthusiastic reviews from local press.

A highlight of 2006 was a concert at the renowned Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh, where Patrick conducted the combined forces of the Witham Choral Society, the Ipswich Bach Choir and the Colchester Philharmonic in a memorable performance of Elgar's Dream of Gerontius where it was reported that the choirs were truly magnificent and the success of the production was surely down to Patrick McCarthy. Local press review.

Ashley Thompson, Director of Music

We are delighted to introduce our new Director of Music, Ashley Thompson.

Ashley is an experienced, ALCM-qualified repetiteur, who currently acts as Accompanist to Anglia Singers (Chelmsford) and Gale Singers (Dagenham.) Additionally he has previously played for Maldon, Ingatestone and Billericay Choral Societies, as well as Canvey Island Community Choir, Essex Police Music Society, Eastwood Chorale, United Singers (Hornchurch), Southend Operatic and Dramatic Society and Billericay Operatic and Dramatic Society.

Ashley is also Director of Music to Maldon Choral Society and The Triple H Community Choir, which serves Hockley, Hawkwell and Hullbridge in South Essex. He is also accompanist for the Anglia Singers

Tony Mortimer  BA(Hons), Dip Mus, L.G.S.M., A.R.C.M.  

After completing his music education in London and Birmingham, studying piano and organ, Tony embarked on a teaching career, becoming Head of music in several large Secondary Schools in East Anglia and Director of one of the first Performing Arts Colleges in Essex.
With his keen interest in musical theatre, Tony has directed many stage shows involving young people, and has written and published musicals designed for schools and youth theatres.
In addition to his role as rehearsal pianist for Witham Choral Society and piano teaching, he works extensively as a soloist and accompanist in a wide variety of musical genres, including jazz, theatre, chamber music and church services.



Chair: Stephen Northfield Tel:01245 380958 srnorthfield@aol.com

Emma Nash, Accompanist, May 2022

Spring 2022: we are delighted to announce our new accompanist is Emma Nash.

Emma Nash BMus MMus

After obtaining a Masters with distinction in performance and related studies from Goldsmiths University London, Emma returned to her home town of Colchester and began her career as soloist, accompanist and piano teacher.

Emma’s career highlights include two concertos with St Botolphs Orchestra and many lunchtime concerts as soloist and with her Piano Trio.

Emma has enjoyed musically directing many shows for Witham Operatics and Colchester’s youth CO2 at the Mercury theatre and has played in the pit for over 40 shows around Essex. She is also the official accompanist for Colcheser Rotary festival.

Emma is currently touring the UK playing ‘grand piano’ with the Tubular Bells tribute band.

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