Our accompanist Fiona was born in Haslemere, Surrey and educated at Christ’s Hospital School for Girls, Hertford; Trinity Hall, Cambridge (as organ scholar, studying with Gillian Weir), and Homerton College Cambridge. She gained the LRAM (studying the piano with Allan Schiller) and FRCO (helped by David Sanger). Her full-time teaching posts, at Repton School and then the Cheltenham Ladies’ College, were combined with concert work on organ, harpsichord and piano, including work with the Dolmetsch ensemble at the Haslemere Festival, Brandenburg Concerto no.5 – Bach in Repton Parish Church and organ recitals in Gloucester, Ely and Derby Cathedrals.
Since becoming a mother in 1989, Fiona has combined part-time piano and organ teaching at the Ladies’ College with her post of Director of Music at St Peter’s, Winchcombe, where she is organist and choirmaster of a 40-strong choir of children and adults. Her most exciting event there so far has been directing and conducting Noye’s Fludde – Britten. Concert work has continued, including Concerto for organ, timpani and strings – Poulenc in Monmouth Parish Church, Organ Symphony – Saint-Saens in Cirencester Parish Church, Cheltenham Town Hall and Brecon Cathedral; recitals of music by Colin Decio and other Gloucestershire composers in the University of Gloucestershire and All Saints, Cheltenham, and the organ part of his Gloucester Symphony in Gloucester Cathedral; Requiem – Faure and other French music in Annecy and Megeve, Requiem – Durufle and Chichester Psalms – Bernstein for Charlton Kings Choral Society; and Messiah – Handel, The Creation – Haydn and Stabat Mater – Dvorak for Fairford Choral Society. Piano accompanying for exams etc,, and for the Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts, keeps Fiona particularly busy in May each year!
Fiona also regards her playing for numerous funerals and weddings, where the organist has such a capacity to bring solace or joy, as a highly important part of her work.
Fiona has lived in Charlton Kings in Cheltenham for 30 years, and is really pleased to be able to play for her local choral society.