Meet our Musical Director and Pianist

    A note from our Musical Director , Jane Thedham.

“The concept of a community choir was my idea when I was approached by adult education several years ago to run a singing class – (it was at the time when Gareth Malone was on tv setting up community choirs and I thought we should give it a go in this area). The class ran for 2 terms with a smallish group of keen and enthusiastic singers.  When this came to an end a few of us decided we could start up a community choir and we began to meet regularly to organise, plan and advertise.  The name Bay Community Singers was chosen to reflect a wider area to source members and to reflect a less formal approach than the word ‘choir’ implies.  Our first rehearsal took place at the Grange Institute in September 2013, but as numbers increased we quickly had to seek alternative rehearsal premises and have been based at the United Reform Church Hall ever since.

I had previously been involved in Community music making having worked alongside Judith Pool at Cartmel Music Centre where a range of music activities were offered to young people in the area.  I coached young singers, flute and recorder players as well as working with recorder groups and a range of instrumental groups.  We competed in the local Ulverston Music Festival and took part in the National Festival of Music for Youth.  For several years I conducted the Amici Singers, a youth choir who were also based at Cartmel Music Centre.

Since 2016 I have been the Music Director for Grange Amateur Operatic Society and won a district National Operatic and Dramatic Association Award for South Pacific in 2017.  Since retiring from primary school teaching last summer I am working as a freelance music coach specialising in voice and piano tuition for all ages.”

 Pianist – Ray Booth

Ray is a ‘time served’ Accompanist having played for lots of Amateur Operatic Societies during his working life which has involved living in different parts of the North of England. He had Piano lessons from age 8 – 14 followed by Organ lessons for 2 years after which he was appointed Organist at Bondgate Methodist Church, Darlington. During his Secondary Education he was principal Oboist at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Darlington, and later played in many Orchestras. He also fulfilled an ambition to play in various Brass Bands where he chose the Tuba.

In early 2018 he became deputy Accompanist for Bay Community Singers and was appointed as Accompanist in September that year. He loves playing music from shows as well as popular tunes. Ray is able to play by ear and he has a wide repertoire of pieces.