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New Musical Director

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Helen Swift

Thame Choral Society (which rehearses in Haddenham) is delighted to welcome the soprano Helen Swift as its new Musical Director from September 2013 when she will begin rehearsing the choir for its Christmas Concert — which, this year, includes the very popular A Ceremony of Carols for soloists, chorus and harp by Benjamin Britten.

Helen started her singing career in Liverpool as a member of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain at the age of fourteen and had early success in the BBC Choir Girl of the Year competition. She then went onto win a choral scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge where she studied music, and then opera in London and Dublin. She now studies with Michelle Wegwart, artistic director of Magdala Opera in Nottingham.

Helen has performed in many of the major concert venues including St Paul's Cathedral, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and Domplatz in Salzburg. Recent opera roles include Pamina in The Magic Flute with the Magdela Opera Group, Oberto in Alcina with Cambridge Handel Opera Group, and Susannah in Figaro.

Helen has worked with many distinguished artists, including Sir David Willcocks, Stephen Cleobury and John Rutter. She has appeared as a soloist on many CDs including Lesley Garrett's album Travel into Light, Palestrina's Missa Assumpta Est Maria, Tippett's Negro Spirituals, and Motets of the Bach Family. Recently, she has worked on a Max Richter film score and a DVD for comedian Lee Evans.

In addition to Thame Choral Society, Helen is also the musical director of Towcester Choral Society, Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir and the Singing for Pleasure Choir in London, and teaches singing at Rugby School. She is in great demand as a vocal coach, arranger and holds workshops both for children and adults. Outside her musical world Helen loves travel and enjoys sport from marathon running to kick�€�boxing, salsa dancing and running around after her two young children.

Thame Choral Society, founded in 1961, is an informal, friendly, non audition choir committed to the enjoyment of music and has performed a wide range of choral works from baroque through the classical and romantic composers to modern pieces by Britten and Poulenc at its two major concerts each year at St Mary's Parish Church in Thame. Rehearsals for this year's Christmas concert begin on 11 September with an open evening of fun songs, rounds etc. for everyone, whether or not they can read music or have sung in a choir before, and refreshments will be provided. This, and subsequent rehearsals, are at the Methodist Church, Haddenham on Wednesday evenings from 7.30 to 9.30 and new and former singers are always made welcome.

More information about the choir can be found on their website, or by sending an email to: thamechoralsociety@hotmail.co.uk.

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