The Musical Director
John Wilderspin was born in Royal Leamington Spa and later studied chemistry at Durham University where he was also Organ Scholar of University College. He moved to Worcester in 1980 to take up a teaching post at RGS Worcester and since that time has been actively involved in music making in and around the Worcester area.
For over twenty years he has maintained a very close association with the Cathedral Voluntary Choir at Worcester, playing regularly for the choir as well as acting as its secretary. On occasions he has also directed the choir and has had the privilege of working with four of the cathedral's assistant organists. In October 2001 John was the Festival Organist for the meeting of the "Cathedral Voluntary Choirs Association" which met in Worcester. Some twelve other Voluntary Choirs from cathedrals up and down the country sang for services in the cathedral during the weekend festivities.
John also plays regularly for the Oakville Singers, a locally based "a capella" choir, which sings frequently in cathedrals for services. Over the years John has played for the choir in such prestigious places as Winchester and Salisbury Cathedrals as well as St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. He has also accompanied the choir for their weeks in residence at Truro, Durham and, most recently, St. David's, while a few years ago John travelled with the choir to Kleve in Germany where they took part in several concerts. John also gave an organ recital at the Stiftskirche in Kleve on the newly built organ.
Over many years John has had wide experience of playing the organ for many of the well known oratorios in churches throughout Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire and also undertook the solo organ part in the Te Deum by Hector Berlioz at Gloucester Cathedral in the late 1990s. More recently John has conducted orchestral performances of Verdi's Requiem at Cheltenham Town Hall, Haydn's Creation at Worcester Cathedral, and Mendelssohn's Elijah at Pershore Abbey, as well as several other smaller orchestral and choral works.
John has given several organ recitals in the Midlands, including Worcester Cathedral, and during the Three Choirs Fringe at RGS Worcester where he had the privilege of premiering the organ Rhapsody written for him by Ian Venables, a local composer of some repute and renown. John currently holds the ARCO diploma and is an examiner for the Worcester Diocesan Chorister Awards scheme.
Ruth is in her 2nd year as Chairman and takes on the day to day running of the choir. She is there every week to provide updates for the choir and look into any requests for our members. Ruth is also the Music Librarian, this is a key role to provide all members with music for rehearsals and concerts.
Jan is the often unseen but important link in the chain when it comes to ensuring that we have adequate funding for all our planned activities. Performing choral works is an expensive business but of course the planning for these has to take place way in advance of the actual event. By keeping on top of our income and expenditure allows us the confidence to forward plan.
It is vital that Madge is able to publicise the concerts we are performing in a way that attracts good audiences from as far afield as possible. This entails the design, printing and distribution of posters and flyers in the towns and villages near to the venues we will be using. Press coverage is also essential if residents are to be made aware of what entertainment is available in the areas in which they live.
Diana coordinates the instrumental players for the choir's orchestral concerts, and the soloists that perform in all our concerts Diana has spent a lifetime making music singing as a mezzo soprano soloist with many professional and amateur orchestras. During that time she built up a number of valuable contacts and is pleased that many of these now play in 'The Silurian Orchestra' including the popular and talented leader George Ewart.Diana is always pleased to hear of new interested musicians and the society gives special encouragement to young/up and coming players. For further details see our orchestral page.
Mike and Dorothy Plant
Mike and Dorothy swing into action in the lead up to all our concerts. They are responsible for liaising with each venue we use over matters such as access times and arrangements, health and safety etc. and for ensuring that everything that will be required on the day will be available. Undertaking their roles efficiently ensures that our Musical Director can concentrate on the delivery of a quality performance by choir, orchestra and soloists.