Christopher was appointed Director of Music at St Mary-le-Tower, Ipswich in 2015. In this time the choir has appeared on BBC 1’s Songs of Praise and BBC Radio Suffolk and has premiered works by numerous composers. In addition to the six services a week, the choir tours regularly and gives frequent concert performances. Recent programmes include Pergolesi Stabat Mater, Vivaldi Gloria, Britten Ceremony of Carols and Handel Messiah.
Christopher has conducted much of the mainstream church and choral repertoire, including Handel Dixit Dominus, Judas Maccabaeus, Bach Christmas Oratorio, St John Passion, Monteverdi 1610 Vespers, Brahms German Requiem and Britten St Nicolas.
In addition to his post at St Mary-le-Tower, Christopher enjoys a varied musical career as a freelance bass, having sung with some of the UK’s leading ensembles such as the Marian Consort and the Dunedin Consort. He has led RSCM workshops for the Diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, is a singing teacher at Ipswich School and Framlingham College, and is a published composer with Novello.
Christopher began his musical education at Ampleforth College in Yorkshire before holding choral scholarships at Tewkesbury Abbey and New College, Oxford. As an undergraduate he was conductor of the Oxford New Orchestra and Musical Director of New Chamber Opera. After university, Christopher gained a place on the prestigious Monteverdi Choir Apprenticeship Scheme and subsequently sang with the choir for 7 years.
Organist and Assistant Director of Music: William Baldry
William Baldry has been Organist and Assistant Director of Music at St Mary-le-Tower since 2013. In this role he accompanies the church choir for services and concerts, rehearses and trains the choristers, and directs some services. William is also Assistant Music Director with Ipswich Chamber Choir, Accompanist to Stowmarket Chorale, Visiting Music Teacher of organ at Ipswich School and a busy freelance accompanist.
As an organist, William has performed live on BBC Radio Suffolk, BBC Radio 3 and has appeared on BBC 1’s Songs of Praise. He has toured extensively to the USA and Europe with numerous choirs, performing in the Cathedrals and Churches of Paris, Munich, Salzburg, Prague, New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco. William has performed on recordings on the Hyperion, Convivium and Acclaim labels as well on St Mary-le-Tower’s latest disc, ‘A New Song’.
William studied music, and held an organ scholarship, at Royal Holloway, University of London working closely with the renowned Choir of Royal Holloway. He has previously held posts at Rochester Cathedral, Tewkesbury Abbey, King’s School, Rochester and Dean Close School, Cheltenham.
Regularly in demand as a continuo player, William has performed on harpsichord and organ for many major choral works including Handel Messiah, Four Coronation Anthems, Bach Mass in B minor, Christmas Oratorio, Haydn The Creation, Mozart Requiem and Vivaldi Gloria.
William also enjoys a busy life as an orchestral timpanist and percussionist performing regularly with Ipswich Symphony Orchestra, Wolsey Orchestra, Suffolk Sinfonia and Trianon Music Group.
Singing Teacher: Katie Smith
After reading Music at Royal Holloway College (London University), she took part in the Mayer-Lissmann Opera Workshop and masterclasses with leading performers such as Malcom Martineau, Paul Hamburger & Laura Sarti. She then studied with Rae Woodland over a period of 25 years, whilst gaining a breadth of experience in concert and oratorio work all over the UK.
Since moving to East Anglia, Katie has taught singing privately and in schools, besides giving weekly lessons to the Choristers of Norwich Cathedral and taking part in their outreach programme.
She has successfully prepared numerous pupils for choral scholarships at Oxbridge and other leading universities & cathedrals, as well as for conservatoire entry.
Senior Music Scholar: Matthew Heyburn
Choir Assistants: Lis Rollinson and Matthew Heyburn
Lis and Matt are the glue that holds the whole thing together. They act as choir librarians, look after the choristers, provide much-needed refreshment between services and act as pastoral support for the whole choir.