Musical gurus: meet some of the UK Choir Festival’s highly acclaimed workshop leaders

Last updated: Oct 9th, 2019

We’ve had the pleasure of meeting just a few of the UK Choir Festival‘s incredible workshop leaders this year – and of course getting stuck into the workshops themselves! Helping all kinds of choirs to learn, develop and perform in a supportive and inspiring environment, the UK Choir Festival has not only brought choirs together, but some of the best workshop leaders in the UK.

These guys have more accolades, choirs and performances under their belts than most, and their years of experience and specialist training make them musical gurus in the eyes of any choir. So why not meet some of them?


Emily Dickens

Soprano & Conductor

An internationally established soprano and conductor, Emily Dickens has performed music ranging from Renaissance England to American pop in some of the world’s most prominent concert venues, including the Royal Albert Hall, Tokyo Opera City, National Concert Hall Taipei and many more.

She began by reading music at Trinity College in Cambridge, before starting a professional career with VOCES8. Emily is currently the Choral Conducting Fellow at St Martin-in-the-Fields, as well as an adviser to the Rhinegold Music & Drama Education Expo. She directs singing and performance workshops for many organisations, and having had 4 albums reach the top of the classical charts, she’s heard regularly on international TV and radio.


Mat Wright

Teacher, Conductor, Composer & Arranger

Having worked in a number of educational roles, Mat Wright is currently the Deputy Director for Education for the Astrea Academy Trust, overseeing 23 schools. In 2009 he founded Barnsley Youth Choir, which has won multiple awards and now has 6 choirs involving over 400 children.

Mat’s worked with a number of renowned choral leaders, including Thomas Caplin, Laszlo Duranyik and more. He’s also acted as a guest conductor for choirs in the UK and abroad. High in demand as a workshop leader, composer and arranger, he’s passionate about using singing as a mechanism to engage, connect and transform communities.


Dominic Ellis-Peckham

Conductor & Workshop Leader

Dominic Ellis-Peckham is known for his inspiring energy and focus when performing and working with groups. Holding a number of different positions – Music Director of London Oriana Choir, Assistant Music Director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Chamber Choir of London, amongst many more – his freshness and vitality gives off an energy like no other.

Dominic is a talented composer, arranger and choral specialist who’s keen to support and promote new music. Having conducted many highly acclaimed world premieres, his recent performances include works for the Globe Theatre, the Royal Albert Hall and the National Youth Jazz Collective. He also regularly appears on TV and radio as a presenter and choral expert, most notably for BBC2, BBC Radio 3 & 4 and SkyArts.


Carla Jane

Vocalist & Choir Director

Carla Jane started her journey in music from the early age of 5, where she soon found her strengths in her unique style that’s earned her a strong reputation. An award-winning vocalist and choir director, Carla offers her own workshops for gospel choirs and church vocal groups across the UK and Europe, as well as works with a number of schools in Manchester and Liverpool.

She was also invited to perform in the first ever BBC Gospel Prom held at the Royal Albert Hall in London 2012. And in 2018, she sang at the first national Windrush celebration service in Westminster Abbey in the presence of Prime Minister, Theresa May. Recognising the power of singing in a gospel choir, she’s been involved in many events with leading gospel artists, such as Mary Mary, Heather Small, Kirk Franklin and more.


Richard Eteson

Singer & Workshop Leader

Richard Eteson started off as a choirboy in his early years at a church in Bingley, West Yorkshire. He later became Head Chorister at King’s College, Cambridge, before partnering with vocal group The Swingle Singers, travelling the world and recording 8 albums. An accomplished tenor, Richard sings with many of London’s finest vocal groups, such as The Gabrieli Consort and Tenebrae, and is a co-founder of the London A Cappella Festival.

He’s also been involved in many varied projects, which has seen him work with artists such as Luciano Berio, Zubin Mehta, Frank Zappa and more. With over 50 CD recordings to his name, he’s sung on numerous blockbuster movie soundtracks, flashmobs and adverts.


Ula Weber

Conductor, Teacher Trainer & Workshop Leader

A former ‘Outstanding’ (Ofsted 2004) primary school teacher, Ula is a leading conductor, teacher trainer and workshop leader, which has enabled her to travel all over the world. As well as singing with the renowned choir Ex Cathedra, she organises conducting and singing courses across the UK and further afield, and has a number of songs and arrangements published.

Ula currently conducts CBSO SO Vocal (a 200-strong community choir), CBSO Young Voices and the Birmingham City Council Choir (as featured in BBC2’s The Choir in 2013). She also often guest conducts for many national and international events and is regularly invited to lead singing or training workshops, such as ABCD, BBC, G4S and many more.


Russell Scott

Producer, Performance Coach & Musical Director

Russell Scott has over 35 years’ experience working within classical and musical theatre. By the age of 9, he discovered his talent as a cabaret organist and made two LPs which sold over 100,000 copies. After several years performing cabaret around the UK, Russell joined the London Philharmonic Choir in 1995; performing many large-scale choral works including Verdi’s Requiem, Aida and Beethoven’s Choral Symphony.

Having performed solo and sung with many of the UK’s leading choirs, Russell soon turned to vocal coaching and runs his own masterclasses and workshops. Specialising in musical theatre, he’s regularly invited to work with schools, music colleges and choirs across the country, including the acclaimed Military Wives Choir. He also runs workshops for the Royal Opera House.

Having achieved great success within numerous areas of the music industry, Russell’s busy life as an adaptable performer, vocal coach, musical director and producer continues to flourish.


Get involved in the UK Choir Festival 2019

There’s still time to secure your place for the St Albans event on 19-20 Oct 2019!

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