In 2008 Neil Jenkins, internationally known tenor, recording artist and musical director was elected President of the Basildon Choral Society. Neil has performed on many occasions with Basildon Choral Society and with its partner choirs in the Sussex Festival Chorus. One of the founding members of the King’s Singers, he has had a long and illustrious musical career as a performer, conductor, musicologist and recording artist.
In 2004 his contribution to music was celebrated by the Worshipful Company of Musicians with the presentation of the ‘Sir Charles Santley Memorial Award’ for his singing and his work on producing new and scholarly Bach editions for the Novello Choral Series.
In 2007 Neil celebrated the fortieth anniversary of his London debut. It is a considerable honour to have Neil as our president and we look forward to working with him regularly in future.
You can read Neil Jenkins full biography here.
Geoffrey Mitchell retired as President of Basildon Choral Society in 2008. His career in music began at the age of 8 as a chorister at Exeter Cathedral and at the age of only 18 he gained a place as a counter-tenor in the Renaissance Singers, soon after the start of his National Service in the Royal Navy. Immediately afterwards he was appointed a lay clerk at Ely Cathedral, whence he took up posts successively at Westminster and St. Paul’s Cathedrals. A past-Chairman, he is now Vice-President of the National Federation of Cathedral Old Choristers’ Associations whose main objective is to help secure the continuation of the great heritage of Cathedral choirs and their music.
His singing both as a soloist and with numerous ensembles – the Purcell Singers, The Schütz Choir, Cantores in Ecclesia, Pro Cantione Antiqua and the John Alldis Choir – gave him the opportunity for worldwide travel, and conducting of several of those groups from time to time projected him into more concentrated conducting, including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s early recordings of Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita and concerts with Pink Floyd. Under his direction the New London Singers won major overseas awards as well as the title of ‘Outstanding UK choir” in the BBC’s Let the Peoples Sing competition. He is now Chief Guest Conductor of Carillon, a St Albans-based chamber choir, and Director of the London Festival Singers.
For the past 30 years the Geoffrey Mitchell Choir has made numerous recordings and broadcasts, to international acclaim. 19th century Italian operas, hitherto unrecorded, have been the focus of the choir’s attention under the aegis of Opera Rara, in concert and recording studio, and a new association with Chandos Records guarantees a continuing place in the record market.
Whilst Professor of Counter-Tenor at the Royal Academy of Music he established its Chamber Choir to national press acclaim, and received both an honorary Diploma from the Academy and the licentiate of Trinity College of Music for his choral work.
He spent fifteen years managing the BBC Singers and Symphony Chorus, and in 1990 was appointed Guest Conductor of the Camerata Antigua of Curitiba, Southern Brazil.
Basildon Choral Society was honoured, nearly 20 years ago, when Geoffrey agreed to become its president. He has attended many of its performances over the years and has given of his time to support its work in workshops and rehearsals.
Our heartfelt thanks to Geoffrey for all he has done for Basildon Choral Society.