Richard Bloodworth, our MD, has wide and varied musical interests. Early experiences as a singer, 'cellist and continuo player whilst at Cambridge developed into a full time career as Head of Music and Drama in a Leeds Comprehensive School. His contributions to music theatre included productions of Cabaret and Canterbury Tales at Bradford Playhouse as well as Verdi's Luisa Miller and Flotow's Martha with the Bradford Opera Group.
His work with school students ranged from Victorian Music Hall to West Side Story.
In the North East he was Musical Director of Ryton Choral Society for seventeen years performing the most important works of the baroque and early romantic choral repertoire. At the same time he was Musical Director of Northern Opera conducting many fully staged performances of nineteenth century Italian and French opera.
A house move to Sadberge preceded his retirement as headteacher of Durham Johnston School and the start of a new career as an I.T. consultant, with Darlington Choral Society (and Opera Nova) providing the necessary musical stimuli.
What the choir members say:
- Achieved the almost impossible task of keeping such a large choir in tune in unaccompanied singing.
- Richard's hard work and boundless energy always motivates us to set our standards higher.
- Just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed rehearsals for this concert. It was a very ambitious programme, with a tremendous amount for Richard to get us to learn but he did it through wonderful teaching skills, musicality, passion and determination.
- Richard's inspiring leadership is the decisive factor, together with Andrew's accompaniment.
We are extremely fortunate to have Andrew Christer as our accompanist. Andrew was appointed Accompanist and Deputy Chorus Director of the North Yorkshire Chorus in 2007 and joined Darlington Choral Society in January 2014.
As one of the foremost organ virtuoso performers in the North of England, he has been the Director of Music and Organist of St John the Evangelist Church, Darlington, for the past 30 years, and is Sub Organist at St Mary’s, Richmond.
In addition to this Andrew is in demand as accompanist for many regional choirs and choral societies including Tees Valley Youth Choir and Cleveland Philharmonic Choir. He also plays as Organist for the St. Paul's Chamber Choir in London.
Andrew's teachers have included Dr Francis Jackson, David Hill, Ian Shaw, Keith Wright and - “Mr Bach” himself - John Scott Whiteley at York. His own pupils have had recent success in the ABRSM diploma examinations.