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We enjoy ourselves too

The choir has been fortunate to enjoy the musical leadership, creative direction and support of a succession of talented and able Directors of Music.

Stephen Manning - January 2012 to December 2014

Stephen Manning

Stephen was appointed Director of Music of Aughton Male Voice Choir in January 2012.  He has a busy working life as a freelance professional musician and has a deep interest and track record in developing a number of choirs, their repertoires and their reputations. 

He is very well qualified, a gifted and experienced accompanist, and enjoyed a fabulous and fruitful two years with Aughton Male Voice Choir.

He has previously worked with Warrington Male Voice Choir, going on tour with them to the Isle of Man in 2011. He was also the accompanist for the choir’s subsidiary young-men’s choir, “Harmony In Blue.” Stephen has always had an interest in music and works regularly as an accompanist and sessional recording pianist with students from the Royal Northern College of Music, LIPA and Liverpool University. 

In 2011 he travelled to Inverness to play in the band for Bill Kenwright’s touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.   He has performed at events in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, St. Georges Hall, New Brighton Floral Pavilion, and the Villa Marina, Isle of Man. 

Over the last five years, Stephen has worked extensively in primary schools across Liverpool and has a rich history of enthusing and motivating young voices. Each Christmas, Stephen works with the UK-based Charity “Action for Children” as MD for its Annual Christmas Concert at Liverpool Cathedral. The concert involves over 500 young singers, instrumentalists and dancers and culminates with the renowned “Children’s Chorus” of 400 voices.

The Liverpool concert is the largest “Action for Children” concert in the UK. Stephen studied at Bangor University for a BA (Hons) in Business Studies & Marketing and an MBA in General Management before studying for a MMus at the University of Liverpool. and holds (or has held) the following positions: Crypt Organist & Director of the Youth Choir at the Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool (2008-Present); Outreach Coordinator at the Metropolitan Cathedral (2009-2011); Music Director of the Wirral Community Choir (2009-Present); Rehearsal Pianist for the Bentley Operatic (G&S) Society (2010-Present); Deputy Accompanist for the Warrington Male Voice Choir (2010-Present); College Exam Accompanist at St Edward’s College, Liverpool (2010-Present); Piano & Music Theory Tutor at St Julie’s Catholic High School, Liverpool (2008-Present); Parish Organist at All Saints RC Church, Liverpool (2006-2008), and; Parish Organist at St Charles RC Church, Liverpool (2008-Present.)  In April 2012, Stephen will take up a position at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral as Assistant Choral Director and Choral Animator with specific responsibility for the Cathedral Schools Singing Programme.

Neil Williams - June 2007 to December 2011

Neil Williams

Neil took up the position of Musical Director on 4 June 2007. Born in the one time mining village of Haydock. Neil moved to St.Helens. He is a retired local government officer, who has over the years 'taxed' a number of choirs with his arrangements.

Music has played a major part for most of his life. As a youngster he was taught to play the piano.

He was a member of the Grange Park MVC and the founder conductor of the Nutgrove MVC, a position he held for 15 years.

It was during his time as a singing member with the Highfield MVC that he first became interested in doing arrangements for male voice choirs.

From 1990 to 2002 he was Musical Director of the Parkside Colliery MVC. Neil is a scout leader and is organist at his local church.

Claire Morris - January 2007 to June 2007

The committee and members of Aughton Male Voice Choir are very grateful for the contribution that Claire Morris made during the six months as Director of Music. Clare stepped into the breach at the request of the committee to cover a six months gap when the choir was without a Director of Music. Clare laid particular emphasis on performance and drawing out the emotion and meaning of our singing and is fondly remembered by members of the choir.

Liam Owens BA MA

Liam Owens

At a youthful 24 years of age, Liam is probably the youngest conductor Aughton Male Voice Choir. His full time job is in Student Recruitment and he is also studying for an MA in Music for which his research is based around Leonard Bernstein and American National Music. Born in Wolverhampton, gained his music degree from the University of Liverpool in 2002. 

Whilst studying at Liverpool Hope University, Liam was the conductor and Musical Director of Hope Musical Theatre where he staged works including Cabaret and a version of Romeo & Juliet for which he composed and conducted the music. 

Before graduating, Liam was awarded the Sue Willis Memorial Prize for contribution to the Musical Life of the University.  He was also active in the Universities Chapel Music group and was awarded the CND Music Bursary in 2001.  He is also Musical Director of the Oriel Singers in Liverpool. 

Derek Sadler FGMS (Fellow of the Guild of Musicians)

Derek Sadler

Derek Sadler FGMS (Fellow of the Guild of Musicians) Derek was awarded the Fellowship as an honour when he completed 25 years as the Organist of Liverpool Parish Church, and for his further involvement in music generally in and around Merseyside. 

His musical career began at the age of 7 with piano lessons and he was awarded a Liverpool Education Committee Studentship at 14, studying piano with Joseph Greene.  Organ lessons inevitably followed at St. Andrew’s Clubmoor, Liverpool and on completion of National Service with the Royal Air Force, Derek was appointed Organist & Choirmaster at the Parish Church of St. James, West Derby in 1962, where he served for 9 years. 

Having resigned from his post, and hearing of the impending retirement of Harry Weatherall as Organist of Liverpool Parish Church, Derek applied for the post and was appointed in 1971, where he still presides 31 years later. The William Morris Singers was founded in 1964 and continued for 19 years with Derek as accompanist.  When the choir folded in 1983, this coincided with the retirement of Ernest Pratt as accompanist of the Liverpool Welsh Choral Union.

After an audition with Edmund Walters, Chorus Master to the L.W.C.U at the time, Derek was appointed.  He served the choir for 19 years manfully tackling unplayable piano reductions of works originally written to be played by 80 orchestral players! Away from the organ stool, Derek has been Musical Director, Chorus Master and Accompanist ( and even for short time performer) with many of the amateur operatic societies on Merseyside, and for 15 years was Musical Director of the Liverpool Male Voice Choir until his resignation in 1999.

Derek has served for the last 21 years as official accompanist at the Crosby Music Festival.  He also accompanies the Crosby Gilbert & Sullivan Society and was appointed Musical Director of the Aughton Male Voice Choir in October, 2002.

Eric Silk

Eric Silk