Our Musical Director is Viv Cairns G.R.S.M / A.R.C.M.
Viv studied violin and piano at the Royal Academy of Music for 4 years, where she received her G.R.S.M and A.R.C.M qualifications. She later studied the viola and cello having always had a great love for the mellow tones of these instruments. She began her teaching career in a boarding school as Assistant Director of Music. This excellent experience gave her a love of teaching and a respect for pupils of all abilities.
She teaches the theory of music believing it to be an integral part of learning any instrument. “Performing is also a vital part of music and I have played violin with many orchestras and bands. I also love piano accompaniment and enjoy the shared experience in performing”. “The Aylsham Singers present a new challenge but it is rewarding to see people conquering and performing music and enjoying the experience”.
The Aylsham Singers were formed in October 2011 for the Christmas concert two months later. Formerly called “The Musical Friends” the choir invited former BBC Singer Geoff Davidson to take the helm and a new era with a new name began.
The mixed-voice choir presently comprises about thirty-five singers. There are no formal auditions but a good ear and a strong voice are excellent attributes! The conductor was particularly taken by the warmth and enthusiasm of the choir and young and old are warmly welcomed.
The choir’s “real” inaugural concert took place in May 2012 and was hailed by a big local audience with a standing ovation (For programme details see “Past concerts”)
Their second concert was equally successful and included a world premiere specially written for them by Geoff Davidson. Again, a big audience showed their utter delight. There is much to come from this now highly popular choir (Please see “Forthcoming concerts”).
Their repertoire is broad and interesting and challenges singers to reach their best potential. Programmes include a vast range of music from Classical pieces to Musicals, Christmas music, “Thirties” songs, Carl Jenkins’ “Mass for Peace”, medieval part-songs as well as humorous songs and other unusual items. Something for everyone! From time to time the choir also invites special guests to perform.
Accompaniments are often performed on electrical keyboards, giving a new dimension to sound and presentation.
For seven years we were led by the incomparable Geoff Davidson, who developed the Singers into a competent mixed voice group and gave us some very enjoyable times.
Geoff Davidson studied at the Royal Scottish Academy Music, graduating with honours in singing and piano. He was for seven years a staff member of the BBC Singers touring extensively and appearing as soloist in London’s major venues working with some of the world’s great conductors. He was also a regular singer with Sir John Eliot’s World-renowned Monteverdi Choir.
One of Scotland’s most distinguished and versatile singer/musicians, Geoff has appeared as soloist in virtually every European Capital as well as Poland, Scandinavia, the Ukraine, Canada and the USA where he appeared at the Lincoln Center, New York, and the Kennedy Center, Washington.
For ten years Geoff was Musical Director of Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society, raising the standards to new heights and steering them through huge productions such as “Titanic – the Musical”, “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “West Side Story”. He was also Music Director of Claxton Opera and founder and Conductor of Norwich Pops Orchestra.