“[The Choir] sings with an intensity suitable to the intimately sensuous nature of the work.” (The Observer 5*)
Informator Choristarum, Mark Williams
Mark Williams took up the post of Informator Choristarum, Organist and Tutorial Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford in January 2017, taking over from Daniel Hyde. Previously, he was Director of Music, College Lecturer and Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge from 2009. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge under Richard Marlow, and was for six years Assistant Organist of St Paul’s Cathedral and Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral School. He has appeared as organist, harpsichordist and conductor internationally and on disc with many of the UK’s leading ensembles, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cambridge Singers, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, The King’s Consort, The Sixteen, Arcangelo, Retrospect Ensemble, the Gabrieli Consort and Players and Cantores in Ecclesia. As a conductor he has worked with the Britten Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, Saraband Consort and City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, and he is the Principal Guest Conductor of the City of London Choir.
Mr Williams has given solo recitals and led masterclasses in choral training, singing and organ performance in the UK, the USA, Asia and Africa. He appears on over 30 discs and a number of soundtracks, and his most recent recordings with the Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge have appeared in the top ten of the classical music sales charts. With the Choir of Jesus College, he has toured the world, specialising in projects in India and Sri Lanka, working with underprivileged children. A Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, he is a Freeman of the City of London, and a trustee of the Oundle Music Trust, the Harlton Organ Trust, Cambridge Early Music, Songbound and the Muze Music Trust in Zambia. He is the Honorary President of the Chamber Choir of Erne Integrated College in Enniskillen and the Artistic Director of the William Byrd Festival which takes place in Portland, Oregon each Summer.
Assistant Organist, Alexander Pott
Alexander Pott's musical training started as a chorister at Westminster Abbey and continued at Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood, where he took up the organ with Richard Hobson. After a year as organ scholar at Chelmsford Cathedral, he went to Oxford to study music at the university, and to be organ scholar at Christ Church Cathedral. During his time at Christ Church he toured the USA, Canada and China with the choir, took part in many high-profile services including the Royal Maundy service in 2012, and broadcast evensong live on BBC Radio 3. In his second year he also gained a Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists. Having completed a year and a half as organ scholar of Westminster Cathedral, he took up the position of Assistant Organist and Tutor to the Choristers at Magdalen College, Oxford at the start of 2017. His teachers have included Margaret Phillips and Thomas Trotter (repertoire), and David Maw (improvisation). As a recitalist, he has played at many cathedrals and festivals, recently including Westminster Abbey, Trinity College, Cambridge, and the London Handel Festival. His musical interests include early English keyboard music, the works of Frederick Delius, and he is currently undertaking to learn all of J S Bach’s organ works with some of Europe’s best Bach experts as part of the W T Best Scholarship from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. He is also this year’s winner of the Flentrop Scholarship from the Eric Thompson Trust.
Chapel and Choir PA, Melanie Bennette
Melanie's background lies in music administration, event management, fundraising and primary school teaching. As an arts administrator, she has worked for the Royal Opera House, St John’s Smith Square, the South Bank Centre and Sadler’s Wells Theatre, and, as an events fundraiser, for a number of leading UK charities. As Chapel and Choir PA, Melanie works for the Dean of Divinity in managing the Chapel diary and other Chapel-related matters, and for the Informator Choristarum with Choir activities, events and recordings, the music library, and liaison with Chorister parents. She is also the Choir's designated officer for safeguarding children.