Ralph Allwood MBE is Director of Music at the Old Royal Naval College in Grenwich, having been Director of Music at Eton College for 26 years. As a freelance choral director he has conducted over 40 live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and has written music that is often heard on the radio and television worldwide. He is Choral Advisor to Novello and to Trinity College, Oxford and teaches at Trinity Laban Conservatoire and Tiffin. In 2015 he co-founded the Pimlico Musical Foundation to enable children from Pimlico Primary Schools to sing in choirs, particularly at St Gabriel’s Church.
Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas has performed across Europe at major venues and festivals, including: the Edinburgh, Canterbury, Three Choirs, Mostly Mozart and Lufthansa festivals, St John’s Smith Square, Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Casa de Musica in Porto, Zurich Tonhalle, and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. She has released five solo albums, and appeared as featured soloist on innumerable discs, for labels such as Universal, Naxos, Chandos, Hyperion, Coro, Signum, Collegium and Sain. Elin is a passionate advocate of music education and has led choral workshops with Eric Whitacre, master classes at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama [RWCMD], University of Oxford.
The Brit Award and Double-Classic Brit Award-winning Welsh composer, Paul Mealor has been described as ‘the most important composer to have emerged in Welsh choral music since William Mathias (the New York Times, 2001). Born in St Asaph, North Wales, Paul was voted as the nation’s favourite living composer during the 2012 UK National Radio Station, Classic FM’s Hall of Fame. He has been a Professor of Composition in the University of Aberdeen’s Music Department since 2003. He is President of Ty Cerdd – Wales’s National Centre for music; Vice-President of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod; Patron of the Welsh Music Guild and Honorary President of the International Choral Festival Wales.
California-born, British-educated Christopher Tin is a two-time Grammy-winning composer of concert and media music. His music has been performed and premiered in many of the world’s most prestigious venues: the Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Hollywood Bowl, United Nations General Assembly Hall and Carnegie Hall. His output is strikingly diverse: ranging from symphonic works to world-music infused choral anthems to electro-acoustic hybrid film and video game scores. He is also an in-demand collaborator, working with artists across a wide-range of musical genres: Lang Lang, Alan Menken, BT and Danny Elfman to name a few. He is Honorary Artistic Director of the United Nations Chamber Music Society.
André Van Der Merwe is a conductor and composer from Durbanville, Cape Town. In high demand as a judge and guest conductor, he has worked in Britain, Sweden, Germany, Japan, China, Austria and Namibia. He studied B.Mus (Performance) at the University of Cape Town and subsequently completed his degree in B.Drama (Directing) at the University of Stellenbosch. During the period 1990-1996 André acted as a director of drama productions for the Grahamstown International Arts Festival as well as the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) in Oudtshoorn. He has received several national awards and prizes as actor and director. André currently conducts three choirs, namely: The Stellenberg Girls Choir (since 1999); The Stellenbosch University Choir (since 2003), The South African Youth Choir (since 2005).