Musical Director: Olly Lees
Olly studied piano with Clifton Helliwell and singing with Sylvia Jacobs at the Royal Manchester College of Music. This was followed by a Cert. Ed. at London Institute of Education and many years later by an MA with the Open University. She has taught in schools, colleges and university and has inspected music in schools. Music has always been part of her life coming from a musical family who played and sang in the home, church and concert hall. Her mother’s voice was often compared to that of Isobel Baillie.
She was accompanist for King Edward Music Society in Macclesfield under Simon Johnson and Neil Chaffey and has played continuo in many major Baroque works including the B Minor Mass with the Reading Bach Choir. She has accompanied many singers and instrumentalists for concerts and examinations.
Throughout her life, Olly has made an in depth study of the voice and vocal technique. She has taught singing to many people of all ages. She has sung in major works with various conductors as soloist and chorister. She has been involved in choral direction since she was 16. Having conducted youth group choirs, local church harmony groups and choirs in college, she started Stone Choral Society in the late 60’s directing them for two different periods until 1983. With Stone Choral she conducted many major works with choir and orchestra. She has been involved with choral performances in Yorkshire and coached two of the choirs for a performance of Tallis’s Spem in Alium under the direction of Darius Battiwala. She has introduced children and young people to much fine music including operas and musicals in schools and colleges. In 2013 she was Musical Director for Opera Ingestre for their performances of Dido and Aeneas for Ingestre Festival celebrating 400 years of Ingestre Hall.
It was always her intention to start a chamber choir after she retired and ‘Chetwynd’ is the fulfilment of that wish.
Accompanist: Jennifer Hames
Jenny is an accomplished pianist, violinist, teacher and composer based in Stone, Staffordshire. She has worked with many Staffordshire choirs, including Stone Choral Society, Cantemus Chamber Choir and Cantiamo Chamber Choir.
As a performer Jenny’s recent solo piano recitals have focussed on Czech music, in particular the works of Martinu and Janáček in which she specialises.
Jenny is passionate about education and teaches children and adults of all ages and abilities, also accompanying instrumental examinations, A-Level music assessments and university degree recitals.
Since completing her MA in composition at Keele University Jenny has written music for theatre and television and has had many worldwide CD and vinyl releases as a recording artist.
Chair: Andrew Worrall
Secretary: Carol Burnett
Treasurer: Val Martin