King’s Lynn Festival Chorus is pleased to announce the appointment of Ben Horden as Music Director.
Ben has worked with the Chorus since 2017, initially as Accompanist and subsequently as Assistant Music Director. He directed a very successful Christmas Concert in King’s Lynn Minster in 2018 and since the Autumn of 2020, during the long weeks of Coronavirus restrictions, has been central in keeping the choir singing via weekly term-time online rehearsals.
Ben is an aspiring young artist forging a diverse career as an organist, choral conductor and keyboardist with a passion and affinity for seventeenth and eighteenth century repertoires and, in particular, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.
In January 2016, Ben graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of York with distinction (one of the highest marks ever awarded by the faculty). His studies with Professor Peter Seymour focused on Baroque performance practice and, more specifically, the ways in which the music of Johann Sebastian Bach was influenced by French, Italian and German cultures and practices and the work of those countries’ leading composers.
Church music shaped much of Ben’s initial training and early career; he has previously held distinguished positions at several prominent English cathedrals and high-profile parish churches.
In his capacity as a solo artist, Ben’s career to date has taken him to some of England’s most highly regarded instruments. Although specialising in the performance of organ music of the Baroque, he performs from a wide-ranging repertoire best suited to the myriad styles of instruments at which he appears. Recent and forthcoming highlights include the internationally acclaimed York Early Music Festival, the London Handel Festival and The King’s Lynn Festival, as well as performances across the Channel.
Ben often collaborates with singers, instrumentalists and ensembles as an accompanist and continuo player as well as ensembles of varying sizes and abilities as a choral conductor. In addition to his position with the King's Lynn Festival Chorus, Ben is a member of the keyboard department’s teaching staff and regular accompanist at The University of York, as well as an Associate of the Come and Sing Company with whom he engages in a wide-ranging outreach programme.
For more information, visit www.benhorden.com
When KLFC members can meet again face-to-face, arrangements to engage a new Accompanist can be set in motion. Until then our new Music Director, Ben Horden will manage the dual roles.
Between 2006 and 2016, the Chorus was honoured to have Milton Keynes based John Byron as its Accompanist. John's extensive repertoire of concertos includes works by Rachmaninov, Grieg, Poulenc, Schumann, Beethoven, Mozart and Bartok and his piano playing at the 2014 performance of Will Todd's 'Mass in Blue' with the Chorus, demonstrated his versatility as a performer.
From 2017, Ben Horden was engaged as Accompanist and subsequently Assistant Music Director. In 2018, he directed a successful Christmas Concert in King's Lynn Minster and since the Autumn of the pandemic year 2020, he led the chorus in Zoom rehearsals. In April 2021, Ben was appointed as Music Director.
Past Music Directors
Tom Appleton 2010 - 2020
In 2010, the Chorus was very fortunate to engage the services of a talented young musician as its Music Director, taking over the baton from Michael Kibblewhite.
Tom's engaging and informal style made rehearsing fun. Highlights of his time with the Chorus included performances with Dame Emma Kirkby, The English Chamber Orchestra, VOCES8, and Stile Antico. There were tours in Belgium, France and Ireland and memorable Christmas Concerts. His support was also demonstrated in a valiant personal effort to raise funds for the costly but alas, Covid-hit performance of St Matthew Passion.
We wish Tom every success in his future career.
THE MARCHIONESS TOWNSHEND
King’s Lynn Festival Chorus is delighted to announce that The Marchioness Townshend has agreed to be the Chorus’ patron.
Lady Townshend is, by her own admission, a lapsed violinist but hugely enjoys the instrument, having played in the Chamber Orchestra whilst studying at St Andrews University. She has a great love of singing so it is particularly appropriate that she should agree to become the patron of King’s Lynn Festival Chorus. Having lived in Norfolk now for over 25 years, she is actively involved in supporting her husband in the restoration of Raynham Hall and organises the twice yearly Recital Weekends which contribute to funds for this enormous project. (www.raynhamrecitals.co.uk) An active bell ringer, Lady Townshend served on the committee which masterminded the installation of a new ring of 8 bells at East Raynham Church to celebrate the millennium.
Commenting on the announcement, Lady Townshend says “I am delighted and proud to be asked to serve as Patron of the excellent and highly esteemed King’s Lynn Festival Chorus and in particular to support their determination to bring performance out of a comfort zone into the lives of those who live in King’s Lynn and to areas further afield in Norfolk where they also hope to encounter some long unused voices participating in their Workshops and the annual carol-a-thon. The results could be surprising and will certainly be life-enhancing.”
The Chorus is managed by a Committee elected annually
Committee Members for 20212022 are: