The Academy of Great St. Mary’s embraces a wide range of musical activities taking place at the church. This includes orchestral and choral concerts, organ recitals, workshops, 'come and sing' and other music education activities.
You may be an instrumentalist or vocalist who would be interested in joining us. If so please contact us (by clicking here or on 'Become a Member' under the contact tab on the menu) and send your details to our orchestral manager using the online form or contact him directly.
We operate a network of the ‘Friends of the Academy of Great St. Mary’s’. If you wish to join and receive regular information about our concerts and projects, please submit your email address on the Become a friend section to the left or click on 'Become a Friend' under the contact tab of the menu.
The Orchestra of Great St. Mary’s was formed in 2008 and has already gained a reputation for its excellent and diverse performances. Some of the most notable performances have been the third symphony of Brahms, the ninth symphony of Dvorak and the symphonies of Beethoven. In the summer of 2008, the orchestra gave a special concert as part of the ‘Berkeley and Friends’ festival. The programme on this occasion featured the Sinfonietta by Lennox Berkeley and his celebrated orchestration of the Poulenc Flute Sonata performed with much character by Dinah Pounds.
Our Choral tradition is well-established. We offer opportunities for singers of all voice types from the age of five. Entry to the main choirs (for singers aged eight and above) is normally by short and friendly audition. No audition is needed for our youngest singers in the Junior Choir, nor for moving to the main choirs from the Junior Choir. The Director of Music, Sam Hayes, is always keen to hear from keen and committed singers interested in joining our community of music makers here.
One of the features of our concerts is that we include a choral work with the Choirs of GSM. Again, the repertoire has been varied and has included music by Faure, Bach, Haydn and Mozart. We also work with the Stapleford Singers, a local well-established choir. Our 2010 collaboration was a performance of A German Requiem by Brahms. The programme also included the Martyrdom of Latimer by our conductor Adam Pounds following its highly successful premiere in Ely Cathedral in October 2009.
Sam Hayes is the Director of Music at Great St. Mary’s and he is responsible for the development and direction of the church choirs who often join us in performances. Sam also plays the French horn in the orchestra.
Adam Pounds is the conductor and founder of the orchestra and is responsible for the overall artistic direction of the group. He ensures that rehearsals are enjoyable and purposeful and that the context as well as the techniques of the music is explored.
|David Carter is our orchestral manager. David makes sure that things run smoothly and that members are kept informed about rehearsal requirements and repertoire. He is often the first contact for new or prospective members of the group. David plays the clarinet.|
|Dinah Pounds is the concert co-ordinator. As well as the full scale concerts at Great St. Mary’s we also put on smaller performances at Michaelhouse where the Classical and Baroque periods are explored. Some concerts are diverse and may include a theme such as ‘English music of the 20th century’ Dinah plays the flute.|
|David Richmond is our orchestral leader. A former RPO player, David has worked with Adam, our conductor for many years. The strings and indeed the whole orchestra benefit tremendously from his technique and experience as a performer.|