Graduates of Trinity College Choir play a tremendously important part in the musical life of this country.
On this page you can find brief details of a few of the musical institutions to which your fellow TCCA members contribute. Please do contact us if you have news of your own to share.
A slideshow of members’ photographs is at the foot of this page.
- Stile Antico (Kate Ashby)
- The Sixteen (Simon Berridge, Zoë Brown)
- Trinity Baroque (Julian Podger)
- Chester Cathedral (Philip Rushforth)
- Fulham Opera (Ben Woodward)
- London Philharmonic Orchestra (Thomas Blunt)
- The Dowsing Sound Collective (Andrea Cockerton)
- Gothic Voices (Catherine King, Julian Podger)
- Voces8 (Emily Dickens)
- Galàn (Ali Hill)
- Huddersfield Choral Society (Joseph Cullen)
- Opera North (Edward Thornton)
- Cambridge Early Music (Selene Webb)
- Richard Marlow – a link to the RKM memorial page
The hugely successful early music vocal ensemble Stile Antico began life with several TCCA members in its ranks, including Oliver Hunt, Tom Herford and Ali Hill. Now only one, Kate Ashby (along with two of her prodigiously talented sisters), remains, but in spite of this the group is as brilliant as ever. They have made eight recordings, won handfuls of awards, and toured the world. They still return to sing in Trinity Chapel each August, as part of the series run by Cambridge Early Music (q.v.). See www.stileantico.co.uk for details
TCCA members Simon Berridge and Zoë Brown sing with The Sixteen, recognised as one of the world’s greatest ensembles. The Sixteen’s total commitment to the music it performs is its greatest distinction. A special reputation for performing early English polyphony, masterpieces of the Renaissance, bringing fresh insights into Baroque and early Classical music and a diversity of 20th-century music, is drawn from the passions of conductor and founder Harry Christophers.
Formed while its members were still students at Trinity, Julian Podger’s vocal ensemble was recognised as ‘Ensemble of the Year’ in the 2010 Prelude Classical Music Awards. They have made six recordings, including ‘Meines Herzens Weide’, a marvellous CD of Bach’s motets. www.trinitybaroque.com Trinity Baroque provided the music for the Sunday morning eucharist at the inaugural event for TCCA in 2006.
Among many former Trinity Organ Scholars who have made a significant impact on church music around the country and abroad, Philip Rushforth is Director of Music at Chester Cathedral. Supplementing the Cathedral Choir, the Nave Choir is the longest-serving voluntary cathedral choir in the country. The Cathedral runs an impressive series of organ recitals.
Fulham Opera is a professional opera company based in West London. Founded in 2009, and directed since 2011 by former Organ Scholar Ben Woodward, the company has presented all four chapters of Wagner’s Ring Cycle to critical and audience acclaim, with TCCA member Oliver Hunt taking leading roles, as well as productions of Gianni Schicchi, Suor Angelica, Tosca and Amahl and the Night Visitors.www.fulhamopera.com
After some years working as Chorus Master at Glyndebourne, Tom Blunt has recently been appointed as Assistant Conductor of the LPO, under Vladimir Jurowski. Tom was Organ Scholar at Trinity from 1996 to 1999.
This categorisation-defying group is run by Andrea Cockerton. Not a choir and not a band, but something somewhere in between, their repertoire ranges from Scandinavian soundscapes, soaring club anthems and indie hits back to plainsong and early polyphony. www.thedowsingsoundcollective.com
Christopher Page’s acclaimed group boasts two TCCA members, Julian Podger (see above) and Catherine King. Singing ‘close harmony’ from the mediaeval period, the ensemble’s debut recording was one of the best-selling recordings of pre-classical music ever made: A Feather on the Breath of God — Hymns and Sequences by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen. Since that time, Gothic Voices has recorded a further twenty CDs on the Hyperion label, three of which have won the coveted Gramophone Magazine Award. www.gothicvoices.co.uk
VOCERichard Marlow influenced the lives of a huge number of people, and many have written touching tributes to him. On this page we record some of these tributes and memories, in thankfulness for the life of this exceptional man.
Thank you for letting me know of the sad death of Richard Marlow. We have been friends since 1970 when I arrived at Trinity as Chaplain. We worked well together and enjoyed each other’s company. Our friendship has continued over the years and I shall miss seeing him. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. The Revd Peter Adams (Chaplain, 1970)
I was a music undergraduate at Newnham from 1971-1974 and sang in the Chamber Choir (this was long before there were female undergraduates at Trinity), which is where I met my husband (Jeremy Tyndall) of nearly 39 years. We have very happy memories of our time in the Chamber Choir and although we have since sung under many different conductors, there’s never been another one quite like Richard. There are so many things that still remind me of him. Firstly the “Marlovian comma” – Richard’s useful invention of the sign for a non-breathing break. Also, whenever I have sung or heard Heinrich Schütz’s 6-part setting of Selig sind die Toten, I remember Richard coming back from a funeral which had included this motet and saying how wonderful it was to have an uplifting, major setting of these words. And then there was his description of the Neopolitan 6th (more delicious than either a Neopolitan ice cream or a Neopolitan lady!), not to mention the way that he compared the music of various composers with different sorts of wines — Chopin was a dry white, Brahms a rich red etc. Lindsay Tyndall (née Aston)
I worked with Richard around 1994 when OxRecs was recording the Organs of Cambridge 4-CD set, as he kindly played the organ on the first volume (OXCD-58). He was a lovely gentle man and I was always very impressed with his administrative efficiency as he responded to my correspondence by return of post. Since that time I have had the pleasure of working with Philip Rushforth who also contributed to the Cambridge project. Bernard Martin (OxRecs DIGITAL)
I sang in Richard’s Chamber Choir from 1971 to 1973 and was its Publicity Secretary for the second of those two years. This is not the moment for me to write a eulogy, but Richard was one of the very few people who had an absolutely determining influence on my life and career (I retired in 2010 after twenty years of headship, having conducted choirs for most of the time since leaving Cambridge in 1973 inspired throughout by what I learned from him). John Dunston
I live in Vermont in the USA but sang in “Ogontz” in New Hampshire with some of the Trinity Choral Scholars and Richard for almost all the years he was there. He and Annette had been to our home. I was very sorry to hear he had died. Peggy Wright, USA
He meant a great deal to all of us who were lucky enough to sing under his direction (and not least to have him as supervisor in counterpoint – fond memories!). Alison Bullock Aarsten (1990)
I was Hilary Elliott and I was Organ Scholar at Girton from 1975 to 1978. I sang with Chamber Choir from ’75 to ’79 and also a small group who went to Japan and did a few other concerts. Girton sang with Trinity at that time and Richard came to Holland when Girton did their first European trip, to support us. Richard came to Australia (Adelaide) in 1988? and conducted my University Choral Society in the B Minor. With my husband we went on a trip up the Outback! He was not only my mentor but also a very close friend. More recently (1996) Richard and Trinity Choir sang my husband’s setting of George Herbert’s H. Baptisme which was also made into a beautiful recording. I love it! Hilary Weiland (née Elliott)
We were in the Chamber Choir under Richard, and despite lots of romances (!) are the only couple to have married because of Richard’s introduction. Richard conducted the choir at our wedding in Clare Chapel in 1986. He is a massive part of our past and we will forever be grateful to him. Julian and Carolyn Godlee
Although my professional involvement with Richard was at one remove from the College, he became a friend who touched my life to a degree that he perhaps he did not realise. I am so thankful for having known him. John Kehoe (Conifer Records)
Great sadness in the Monks household on the passing of a great man. Claire Monks (née Courtney, 1994)
I think we shall all cherish special memories of him and his long-lasting influence on our current musical lives. Bridget Patchett (née Budge, 1982)
I am very sad to hear the news of Richard’s passing. I have many happy memories of him. Perhaps the most touching is when he went out of his way to make my father feel at ease on Graduation Day. He was a kind man and a sensitive musician. Robert Millner (1984)
It is the end of an era to lose someone who was the inspiration for several generations of musicians. Richard Pearce (Organ Scholar, 1987)
Richard’s work has inspired so many. He was not only an inspirational musician and choral director, but also a patient tutor. Richard was a true gentleman and a genius. He believed in me and I will never be able to thank him enough for that. My family were so proud that a working-class girl from Barnsley was able to come to Trinity College, Cambridge, where I had the best four years of my life. Trinity has opened doors that nowhere else could and my whole life has been shaped by those opportunities, for which I am ever thankful. I will always treasure happy memories of singing in that beautiful chapel, wonderful recording sessions, singing on the river, broadcasts, fun-filled choir tours to far-flung places and inspirational choral singing directed by someone who was truly great, yet never sought the limelight himself. Thanks to him I enjoy a lifelong love of sacred choral music and have enjoyed many incredible, precious musical performances. At Trinity I made lifelong friends and experienced music at the highest level – music that that, even as a professional, can never be repeated because what we all shared as the Trinity Choir family was so very special. Thank you, Richard, so very much. Always in my thoughts. God bless. Anastasia Micklethwaite (1987)
I was very, very sad when I received the news – and so were all the people around me whose lives were touched by Richard. Jan Onno Reiners (1994)
I have every reason to be grateful to Richard. Not having done O or A Level Music, I was daunted by the various tests that I was subjected to in September 1969 when I was auditioned for a Choral Exhibition. I did indeed make a mess of some of the sight-singing in particular, but Richard caught up with me and took me to a private room where, in more relaxed surroundings, I was able, I think, to display more accurately such talent as I had. Consequently, I received the place at Trinity that changed my life, and, in due course, I spent two years in the Chamber Choir as well. His high standards and rigorous training meant so much to me and, of course, to many other generations of undergraduates lucky enough to sing in his choirs. Barry Edwards (1970)
I have many happy memories of my time under Richard’s guidance and supervision at Trinity, not only in the choir but also with the tutorials in his room in Great Court. As I was, and still am, a big Wagner fan, we used to have regular jousts about the merits of Wagner and his favourite, Verdi, which of course I always lost. I remember being converted to appreciating the music of Grieg, following one of Richard’s particularly enthusiastic tutorials which, typically, reached this subject in a particularly tangential manner. I also have memories of one particular session with Richard, myself and my contemporary Martin Biggs which had to be abandoned half way through as all three of us were convulsed in fits of uncontrollable laughter. To this day I still can’t work out why! The tutorial was on the music of J J Quantz, though whether this was the reason I can’t say. In short, my life has been enriched immeasurably through knowing Richard and for that I will be forever grateful. My thoughts and best wishes go out to his family. Richard Lewis (1978)
As chaplain at Trinity, I enjoyed working with Richard. As a non musician who found musicians rather daunting I found Richard’s understanding and friendship very helpful and came to appreciate highly his musical contribution to the College and more widely. Jill and I both have happy memories, in particular, of a Midsummer Feast at Trinity and of Richard’s visit to us in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Revd John and Jill Latham (Chaplain, 1965)
He was a towering figure in my life – probably the most profound influence of anyone I’ve encountered on a musical level – and I will miss him a great deal. Mark Williams (Organ Scholar, 1997)
I am still saddened by the fact that he is no longer here. He was the most charming and considerate person I have ever known. Keith Bickle
Richard was a remarkable man, and allowed me to have three of the most rewarding years of my life at Trinity. I have never forgotten the lessons learned from him or the amazing opportunities it led to, not only whilst there but since. It is very sad to think he is no longer with us. Or perhaps he is – playing Bach on an organ in the sky. I’d like to think so. Thalia Grant (née Eley, 1989)
I have to say I have been surprised to find my eyes filling with tears all morning, since receiving the sad news of Richard’s death, although I had not been in touch for many years. I think the experience of being in the choir, and all that Richard gave us, stays with one for life. I am finding it hard to accept that someone I remember as such a vigorous life force can have left us. Like many others I expect, I was singing in a church service yesterday morning, at Pont Street here in London, and still sing regularly 24 years after leaving the choir. What a great legacy he left us all. Francesca Harden (née Freeman, 1986)
I am deeply sorry to hear the news. It seems hard to imagine so remarkable a person gone. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. The Revd Dr Jessica Martin (Fellow in Holy Orders)
He was a great man and many carry on aspects of his influence, musical and human. Joseph Cullen (Organ Scholar, 1978)
Richard was a wonderful man and a great inspiration to me. I treasure the memories I have of my year in the Choir, and especially of recording the Byrd Cantiones Sacrae, and of touring beautiful spots in New England with him, Annette and the rest of the octet, meeting lovely people and singing Bach’s Singet. I made some of my greatest friends and owe so many happy things in my life to that year and to him. He battled bravely with a very horrible illness and it sounds as though his untimely passing has brought necessary relief to his suffering. We are blessed that he left this world with so much very beautiful music (I have the Byrd on as I write this) and with generations of musicians through whom an essence of him will live on. Tasanee Braithwaite (née Smith, 1998)
I fear I was the least musically gifted of the Chaplains Richard had to deal with, but I count it one of the privileges of my life to have worked with him, and for him and Annette to be such friends to my wife and myself. The Revd James Dickie (Chaplain, 1978)
What a wonderful man… the Facebook tributes which have been flying around since only hours after his death are indicative of people’s great respect of and affection for him. From a personal perspective, apart from family, “RKM” was singularly the most significant and influential person to have affected my life and I feel honoured and proud to have had the privilege of knowing him and being taught by him. I live on in the hope that, when Heaven calls me, I will be successful in RKM’s celestial Choral Trials… for that truly would be the best choir in the heavens… and earth… Rachel Bennett (1997)
He was an inspiring figure in so many of our lives and will continue to be. Tom Guthrie (1988)
There was a joy singing for Richard that I only came within a Marlovian comma of finding again. Stephen Jackson (Director, BBC Symphony Chorus; Director, Trinity Laban Chamber Choir; Conductor, Cheltenham Bach Choir)
Memories by Andrew Green (download PDF)
If you have photographs, stories or other memorabilia that you would like to share on this page, please contact the Chapel
Upon graduating in 2009, Emily Dickens didn’t even stop to breathe before taking her place in VOCES8, the international award-winning octet. VOCES8 has established itself as the foremost young British a cappella group. Performing a repertoire ranging from Renaissance polyphony to unique jazz and pop arrangements, the group has been praised for stunning performance, exquisite singing and creating a sound that spans the entire range of vocal colour. Founded in 2003 by ex-choristers of Westminster Abbey, VOCES8 first achieved success in 2005, winning first prize at the International Choral Grand Prix in Gorizia, Italy. Subsequently the group has performed widely in the UK, Europe, the USA, Africa and Asia. www.voces8.com
Alison Hill is one of the three sopranos who comprise Galàn, a spirited young ensemble specialising in the performance of Renaissance and Baroque music, rediscovering the often neglected sound world of three soprano voices. It specialises in Italian Renaissance chamber music, creating programmes of soprano trios interspersed with duets and solo works by composers such as Grandi, Luzzaschi, Mazzocchi and Monteverdi.
Joseph Cullen (Organ Scholar 1978-81) has been Chorus Master of this esteemed choral society since 1999, under Martyn Brabbins. www.huddersfieldchoral.com
As you will remember from a previous TCCA Newsletter, Edward Thornton has been a stalwart of Opera North since 1976. Based in Leeds, this award-winning company is England’s national opera company in the North. www.operanorth.co.uk
This registered charity, which runs summer schools, concerts and festivals specialising in medieval, renaissance and baroque music, is spearheaded by TCCA member Selene Webb (using her maiden name, Mills). The summer schools, held in different Cambridge colleges (including once at Trinity) for the past twenty years, have been attended by other TCCA members including Clare Wilkinson, Helen Deeming, Justin Meyer, Stephen Garner and Will Winning. The courses, tutored by highly regarded ensembles including The Parley of Instruments, Musica Antiqua of London, Sirinu and The Hilliard Ensemble, attract musicians from all over the world; last year the 100 participants came from five continents. For details see www.CambridgeEarlyMusic.org