Our Musical Director is Cole Bendall

Our inspirational new MD Cole joined us in January 2020 and we are looking forward to a productive and positive musical journey with him.

Cole was educated at Aberdeen University (BMus First Class Honours) and Edinburgh University (MMus Musicology), where he co-founded the Reid Consort, dedicated to the development of aspiring Scottish professional choral singers, and where he is nearing completion of his PhD thesis on the choral music of the Estonian composer Veljo Tormis. He studies conducting with Gregory Batsleer and Neil Ferris and is also active as a tenor singer, composer, and speaker. He is based in Edinburgh and Guildford.

Cole has developed a strong reputation for his work with choirs across Scotland and overseas:  he was ranked in the Top 16 conductors at the International Gheorge Dima Choral Conducting Competition, Romania in 2018. Also in 2018, he debuted with the Berlin Radio Choir as part of the Berlin International Masterclass series and has assisted with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus.

In recent years, Cole has worked with Byre Opera, Le Petit Verre Opera, North London Chorus, the Athenaeum Singers of Warminster, the British Sinfonietta, Hallé Youth Orchestra, the Universities of Scotland Symphony Orchestra and others. In 2017, he was awarded the Andrew Potter Bursary for emerging conductors by the Association of British Choral Directors. In addition to his conducting work, Cole is a Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Open Learning at the University of Edinburgh, coaching musicianship, music history and performance.  He is currently Chorus Master of Haslemere Musical Society and Conductor of Surrey Youth Choir.

Accompanist – Marion Lea

Marion LeaMarion Lea studied at the Royal Academy of Music. As a freelance pianist and accompanist she has performed in recitals and concerts with many singers and instrumentalists and broadcast on both television and radio. She also works as an orchestral pianist, accompanies auditions for the BBC, plays for choral societies and operatic companies and coaches singers.