Leading The Music
Our new Musical Director, Edward Taylor, is a Cathedral musician, British concert organist and Choral conductor. He is currently Assistant Organist and Youth Choral Director at Carlisle Cathedral.
Edward holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Leeds and is an Associate of the Royal College of Organists. He has studied the organ with Nicholas Kynaston, David Sanger, Simon Lindley and Henry Fairs and attended master-classes with Naji Hakim, Thomas Dahl, Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin, David Briggs and Gillian Weir. Edward has also studied at the Strasbourg Conservatoire in France with Parisian organist, Christophe Mantoux.
Edward is active as a choral conductor and specialises in choral workshops for children, youth choirs and ‘Come and Sing’ events for adult choirs. He has conducted many large scale works. Edward is also a Musical Animateur for the Government’s Singing Out Project, in which he leads singing in Primary Schools throughout Cumbria and hosts choral workshops for children, working with over 500 children each year. He is the Musical Director to the Penrith Singers in Cumbria.
Edward has been our Musical Director since August 2015.
Assistant Musical Director
Geoff Davidson studied at the Royal Scottish Academy Music, graduating with honours in singing. He studied piano with Michael Matthews (later to be head of the Royal college of music) and was for seven years a staff member of the BBC Singers touring extensively and appearing as soloist in London’s major venues working with some of the world’s great conductors. He occasionally acted as chorus-master for Sir John Eliot-Gardiner and his world-famous Monteverdi Choir and regularly sang with the choir especially in the Bach Pilgrimage of the year 2000. Geoff was principal bass at the Tower of London chapel, St Peter ad Vincula, for a number of years as a full-time chorister.One of Scotland’s most distinguished and versatile singer/musicians, Geoff was, for a number of years, musical director for Scots singer Moira Anderson and later Anne Lorne Gillies both for whom he played piano and guitar and toured extensively. He has appeared as soloist in virtually every European Capital as well as Poland, Scandinavia, the Ukraine, Canada and the USA where he appeared at the Lincoln Center, New York, and the Kennedy Center, Washington.
His countless BBC broadcasts have included an astonishing variety of music from English lute songs to works by Britten, Schumann and himself and for 10 years he was “Star” singer in Radio 2’s “Friday Night is Music Night”. Radio 2 brought out a CD of highlights from the programme’s 50-year history and two of Geoff’s tracks were included.
Geoff has been conductor of the London University Choir, The Alexandra Choir of London, The Mid-Norfolk Singers, the Aylsham Singers and a substantial number of amateur Operatic Companies as well as founding and conducting the Norwich Pops orchestra which he conducted for ten years.
His large-scale choral Requiem for Richard III was performed in Leicester on the day of the re-interment of the king (March 2015) in the presence of the Duke of Gloucester.
Margaret was a pupil of Mary Moore in Edinburgh and also a member of the Edinburgh University Singers under the direction of Herrick Bunney. A well-known Dumfries musician, she has been accompanist of Dumfries Male Voice Choir and is a former official accompanist to the Dumfries and District Competitive Music Festival. She is organist of Irongray, Lochrutton and Terregles Churches.
As accompanist to the Dumfries and Galloway Chorus and in a similar role with the former Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival Chorus, Margaret has worked, to acclaim, with internationally known conductors including Christopher Seaman, Philip Ledger, Owain Arwel Hughes, Takua Yuassa and Christopher Bell.
In 1996, Margaret was honoured by Dumfries and Galloway Council with an Artistic Achievement Award in recognition of the very great contribution she makes to the artistic life of our community as an accompanist. At the Dumfries and Galloway Life People of the Year 2012 Award Ceremony, Margaret, a culture champion nominee, was presented with a Special Award commendation for her services to music.
Margaret was awarded the British Empire Medal for Services to Music in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List. She has been accompanist to Dumfries Choral Society since 1975.