The People of Kidderminster Choral Society
Musical Director of KCS
Geoff was appointed Musical Director of KCS in 1987. He established our youth choir, Wyre Forest Young Voices and was their Musical Director 25 years. He also conducts the St. Michael’s Chamber Choir, based in Wolverhampton.
Geoff was the Director of Outreach for the Royal School of Church Music until 2002, and he continues to work for them and for many other organisations on a freelance basis.
He presently undertakes numerous teaching and conducting engagements at home and abroad including Nigeria, the USA, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, Kenya, Poland, Cyprus, the Philippines and Estonia.
Musical Director of WFYV
Benedict is an exciting and enthusiastic young conductor, working with both vocal and instrumental ensembles across Oxfordshire and the West Midlands. Having read music at the University of Birmingham, Benedict sought every opportunity to work with as many musicians as possible as a conductor, singer or french horn player. Studying conducting under Simon Halsey, Julian Wilkins, and Daniele Rosina, Benedict enjoyed directing many of the Universities choirs and instrumental ensembles throughout his years there.
Working as a professional conductor and singer, Benedict currently directs the Telford Orchestra, the Chipping Norton Choral Society, newChoir Oxford, the Wyre Forest Young Voices, and the Oxford University Press Choir. Alongside these ensembles he sings for the Birmingham Oratory, having been a Stipendiary Clerk at Magdalen College, Oxford and a Lay Clerk at Birmingham Cathedral and Coventry Cathedral. He’s regularly engaged as a soloist and as a guest conductor, and enjoys teaching singing and brass to both children and adults.
In 2021 he was a part of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain’s Fellowship Scheme, studying under Ben Parry and working with musicians such as Voces8, Bob Chilcott, and Suzzie Vango.
Mike Elden was brought up in Yorkshire. He became a Junior Exhibitioner at the Royal Northern College of Music before going on to study at the Royal College of Music in London, followed by post-graduate study at Bretton Hall, the University of Leeds.
Mike joined Kidderminster Choral Society as a bass in 1975, becoming its accompanist in 1981 and accompanying the Wyre Forest Young Voices form its in inception in 1997 for 18 years.
After many years teaching music in secondary education, Mike became a freelance accompanist, playing for singers, instrumentalists, choirs, church services, musical theatre and dance school examinations across the Midlands and the South West.
Accompanist to Wyre Forest Young Voices
Charlotte primarily teaches piano, organ and electronic keyboard through her own extensive practice in South Birmingham. Along with her teaching role at St. Jon’s Middle School in Bromsgrove, she is also choral and instrumental accompanist at RGS Dodderhill in Droitwich, supporting young people’s musical development and building their confidence as performers. She has performed in various venues throughout the UK and Europe as both a soloist and accompanist. Her achievements include winning Bromsgrove Music School Festival as the youngest in her category, placing third in the National Electronic Organ Championships and performing at the ICC, Birmingham and recently Orléans Cathedral. When not playing the piano, Charlotte is kept very busy with her two young children.
Chair of Kidderminster Choral Society
Caroline Lee has been recently appointed as Chair of Kidderminster Choral Society. Her family has a long tradition with the Society. Her father John Gaston is the current President and both her children have sung with WFYV and are now Alumni members. Caroline originally trained in law and then moved to teaching and is now a primary teacher in Worcester. She has been a long-standing member of the Society and is passionate about singing and music.
Archdeacon Rob Jones
Archdeacon of Worcester: Chairman Wyre Forest Young Voices
Archdeacon Rob Jones, has been a member of the Society since 1980, when he came to work in Kidderminster as curate at St. John’s and Holy Innocents. He says that the late, redoubtable Peg Jordan was one of the people instrumental in getting him to join – in fact the way she put it he doesn’t think he had much choice, and he’s always been grateful to her for that.
Moves for work have kept Rob within reach of KCS; he moved firstly to Dudley and then to Worcester, where he has very recently been installed as Archdeacon of Worcester. He started off in the back row of the basses, and has stayed there, where there is a good tradition of chairmen skulking! Having served for many years as Chair of the Society, he is now Chairman of Wyre Forest Young Voices.
Musical Director of Primary Chords
Carol, who comes from Lincolnshire, took her degree in Modern Language Studies at Leicester University and a PGCEC in Primary and Middle School Music at Bulmershe College, Reading.
Since then she has taught at Windmill Middle School, Stourport, The Knoll School, Kidderminster, and now teaches Primary Music and French at Heathfield Knoll School, Wolverley. She also conducts the local ecumenical choir ‘New Life Together’ and sings with Kidderminster Choral Society.
Accompanist to Primary Chords
After studying Music and Mathematics at Keele University, Nicci spent two years with an itinerant Christian music group, working in secondary schools across the UK and parts of Europe.
Settling back in the Wyre Forest, she worked in a local church as a worship leader and youth pastor before becoming a full-time mum.
She now teaches piano at the Holy Trinity School as well as co-running ‘Tots Rock’ a music group for toddlers.
Naomi’s decision to pursue a profession in music was due to her experiences, training and support she received as a member of WFYV. Now an alumna, she is a recent graduate of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. During this time, Naomi won the Anna Mansell cup for outstanding achievement, the Leamington music prize, two time winner of the Corton Hyde Early Music prize as well as being a finalist for the Town Hall Symphony Hall prize with her consort, The Brindley Consort.
Naomi has enjoyed being a member of Genesis Sixteen and working with ExCathedra. She has worked with conductors including Harry Christophers CBE, Jeffrey Skidmore OBE and has undertaken masterclasses with Michael Chance, Andrew King and Roderick Williams. Solo performances include the London premiere of Oliver Tarney’s Magnificat and Mozart’s Coronation Mass in Cadogan Hall, Will Todd’s Jazz Mass World Premiere, and ExCathedra’s St Lucia service. Opera roles have included Susannah in the Marriage of Figaro, Galatea in Acis and Galatea and Belinda in Dido and Aeneas.
Fancy joining one of our three magnificent Choirs?