Bernard West (Musical Director) began his musical life as a pianist, before adding the cello and the organ to his repertoire. As an accompanist, he worked with a range of choral groups in North Yorkshire from an early age, going on to win an organ scholarship to Girton College, Cambridge. Whilst reading for his music degree in Cambridge, he was in demand as recitalist, accompanist, repetiteur and conductor for the award-winning college choir and a host of college and University music societies, leading to his involvement in European and South American tours, radio broadcasts and CD recordings.
Bernard settled with his family in the Cotswolds in 2002. On his arrival, he took over the position of Director of Music at St Mary the Virgin, Shipton-under- Wychwood. He has developed and extended this choir, one of the few remaining church choirs in the area, which now regularly performs further afield and deputises at cathedrals. He is also Musical Director of ‘Eight in a bar’, a vocal octet who were chosen as a ‘Choir of the Day’ in Choir of the Year 2012, and Assistant Musical Director for the Chipping Norton Choral Society.
Aside from his conducting work, Bernard is in great demand as an accompanist and as a conductor, working with various choirs, choral societies and theatrical groups in the Cotswolds. He also tries to keep some free time to spend with his two young sons!
Mike Bardsley (Accompanist) Following a Junior Exhibition to Trinity College of Music, Mike read Music at Dartington College of Arts where he studied piano and harpsichord with Roy Truby and John Wellingham. Whilst at Dartington he was able to take advantage of master classes with several eminent visiting harpsichordists, including Christopher Hogwood and more recently he has studied with Penelope Cave.
After teaching music in County Durham and Oxfordshire he moved into Adult Education and worked in that field until 2015. He performs as a piano and harpsichord accompanist and recitalist with a variety of soloists. Over the last few years Mike has worked with the ensembles 4’s Company and Good Company as a piano accompanist and with The Compton Chamber Ensemble, which concentrates on the Baroque repertoire. As a soloist he has given harpsichord recitals in Chelmsford Cathedral, Sulgrave Manor, Chastleton House and Chipping Norton Theatre.
The Wychwood Chorale
Site design, build and photography
(unless credited otherwise) © Howard Sherwood