Michael is a ‘Man of Kent’ having been born in Tenterden and brought up near Ashford. His love of music, particularly of choral and organ music, developed whilst singing as a boy in his local church choir. This eventually led to a thirty year career as a school music teacher. Whilst also Organist and Choirmaster at Ashford Parish Church, he gained the F.R.C.O. in 1975 and was the prize-winner in the Royal College of Organist’s Choir Training Diploma later that same year. Michael is a widely experienced choral director, having worked with various school and church choirs as well as with Kent Youth Choir, Kent Youth Singers and several local choral societies. In 1997, following his retirement from teaching, Michael took over the musical directorship of the Snowdown Colliery Welfare Male Voice Choir. During his 300 plus concerts with them he has directed the choir in visits to France, Holland, Cornwall and Wales. In 1999, the Choir were runners-up at the Miners’ Eisteddfod in Porthcawl. From 2005 until 2012, Michael was also Musical Director of the Dover Choral Society. In addition to his conducting commitments, he is a freelance organist and prolific composer. In 2007, he completed a Master degree, working with the composer Paul Patterson. The Snowdown Colliery Welfare Male Voice Choir performs several of his compositions and arrangements.
Aileen has been an accompanist for Snowdown Colliery Welfare Male Voice Choir since 1994. Throughout her career in education she has been involved in a wide range of musical activities. Currently her interests include studying contemporary piano pieces in order to expand her repertoire of music by modern and post modern composers; accompanying adult choirs; leading social singing groups for elderly people and performing in a local folk band.
Gerard studied the piano, organ and violin while at school in Canterbury, before doing an Honours degree in Music at St. Anne’s College, Oxford University. He has subsequently performed in orchestras and string ensembles, worked for many years as a church organist, given organ recitals and arranged music for theatre and dance schools. He has also accompanied soloists and numerous singing groups and choirs mainly in the Canterbury area.