Montogmery County Music Festival

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Patrick Larley – Music Director

Patrick LarleyThis is Patrick's 9th season as conductor of the Montgomeryshire County Music Festival, having been invited to conduct the choir's performance of Bach's St. John Passion in May 2008. He is also Music Director of Ludlow Choral Society and Birmingham Festival Choral Society and is the founder and director of a professional vocal ensemble, Chudleigh's Company, and an early music group, The Gallery Players.

As an organist, Patrick, a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, has given recitals in many of the country's cathedrals and major churches and also performed as a tenor soloist with choral societies around the UK - notably as Evangelist in the Bach Passions and in works of the Baroque era. As a member of two professional choirs - Wells Cathedral Choir and the BBC Northern Singers - he has featured in numerous Radio 3 broadcasts and music festivals, including Aldeburgh, Chester, York, Three Choirs and the BBC Proms. Various styles of improvisation, including jazz, feature prominently in his concerts, both at the organ, piano and harpsichord.

Patrick's compositions encompass a number of styles including choral, orchestral, instrumental, theatre and advertising (for a very famous luxury car company). His choral works have been recorded on CD, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and performed widely throughout the UK, across Europe and in America. His Memento Mori score for the award winning Aerial Theatre company Ockham's Razor has received performances throughout the UK and Europe and in the Sydney Arts Festival.

The Gentle Earth of Wales, a choral cantata based on traditional Welsh melodies, was performed in May 2011 at the Montgomeryshire County Music Festival to mark the 90th anniversary of the festival, and The Birmingham Spirituals, commissioned by BFCS and inspired by the words and melodies of African / American spirituals, was premièred in the summer of 2014.

Patrick's String Quartet, Iona Sound, was recently premiered at the Gateway, Shrewsbury in February 2016 in a programme of Scottish music, and his cantata, The Tree of Peace, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the link between the Paul-Gerhardt-Kirche in Berlin and St. Paul's Chichester, received its first performance on 30th April 2016. Patrick's A Girl for the Blue was one of the winners in the Ortus International New Music Competition, receiving a performance in New York on June 27th 2015 by Khorikos, the outstanding NYC young chamber choir.

To soak up the Celtic inspiration he has been a regular visitor to the Hebridean Islands for many years and once performed an impromptu recital with a vocal quartet in the 'cathedral acoustic' of Fingal's Cave on Staffa to an appreciative audience of people...... and puffins.

For further information, see www.patricklarley.com.  

Stella Gratrix: Llanidloes Choral Society

Stella has been involved in Choral singing from schooldays, being a composer, arranger and folk singer before moving to Llanidloes in 1997, shortly afterwards joining Llanwnog Mixed Voice Choir with whom she is now deputy conductor as well as an alto.

When the previous conductor of Llanidloes Choral Society resigned in 2003, Stella was invited to become conductor, and now rehearses Llanidloes, as well as singing alto in the County Festival.

Stella is also the conductor of the Wesley Singers based at Longbridge Street Methodist Church in Llanidloes, with whom Stella has brought her musical experience to bear in winning Eisteddfodau. The Wesley Singers have produced a double CD of 24 hymns to accompany a hymn book published in September 2009, and sang on the Glanfa Stage at the Millennium Centre, Cardiff on Oct 2nd 2010.

Stella has also given great support to the committee in the organisation of the Festival.

Beryl Jones: Welshpool Choral Society

Beryl studied for a Music Degree at Aberystwyth University which led to a career in teaching music. She became Head of Music at Welshpool High School in the 1960s, and continued there until leaving to bring up her family. She assisted various amateur musical groups, and was one of the accompanists for Buttington Operatic Society for 20 years.

In 1977 Beryl became conductor of Welshpool Choral Society, where she is able to impart her immense knowledge of music and inspire singers, and for which she enjoys composing items. She also conducts the mass rehearsals of the Montgomery Music Festival Choir when the conductor Patrick Larley is unable so to do. Welshpool Choral Society not only participate in the County Festival, but have their own Christmas Concert conducted by Beryl.