RALPH BARNES - Musical Director
Ralph Barnes was born in Cheltenham in 1979. He studied at Rendcomb College in Gloucestershire and is a BA Honours Graduate of Roehampton University, London. Throughout his college education Ralph enjoyed Drama, Theatre, Art and Music culminating in a Degree in 2001 majoring in Music with Drama and Theatre Studies.
Ralph has acted, sung, conducted and performed in plays, concerts and solo recitals in London, across the UK and abroad. His work has taken him to America, Spain, Germany, Italy and France and he has performed with many of Gloucestershire's leading choirs including Cheltenham Choral, The Bach Choir, The Capella Singers and The Philomusica.
In London, Ralph sang with The London Philharmonic Chorus and The Goldsmiths Choral Union Choir performing at The Royal Albert Hall and The Festival Hall. He also sang with The Barnett Choral Society in St Alban's Cathedral and in Barcelona.
Ralph has competed in major festivals such as Cheltenham Performing Arts, Bath, Hereford & Oxford Music Awards and has worked with some of the country's leading musicians such as Wynn Evans, James Gilchrist, Gareth Malone and the late Sir Neville Marriner.
Ralph has attended the prestigious Ardingly Opera Course in West Sussex, performing the roles of 'Le Dancaire' in Bizet's Carmen and the tenor solos in Mozart's Requiem.
Ralph's solo work has been mainly performing with Charlton Kings Choral and Churchdown Choral Societies including Handel's Messiah, Haydn's St Theresa Mass,Creation, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Jenkin's The Armed Man, Gounod's St Theresa Mass and Rossini's Stabat Mater and Pettit Messe Sollenelle.
Ralph is currently the Musical Director of Churchdown Male Voice Choir and his achievements with them include conducting the Massed Male Choirs in Tewkesbury Abbey, The Bands of The Blues and Royals in Cheltenham Town Hall and The Morriston Orpheus Male Choir in South Wales.
He has also directed The Young Workers Music Association Symphony Orchestra, The Halesowen Chamber Orchestra of Birmingham, The Military Wives Choir of Innsworth & Benson, The Roehampton University Choir and The Wide Valley Singers.
In 2010 Ralph recorded his first CD titled "Reflections" in order to raise money for the charity Winston's Wish.
Ralph performs with The Cotswold Savoyards and has recently played the part of 'Freddie' in My Fair Lady at The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham.
JAMES QUINN - Accompanist
An award-winning pianist, James was self-taught from a young age before he attended school. He studied with Linda Parsons and Mary Cope. Some of his previous teachers include Connie Garforth, Maria Garcia and Charles Wiffen. Subsequently he read music at Bath Spa University, where he was awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Performance.
At Bath Spa James had many solo, accompanying and conducting opportunities and was able to work with leading musicians such as Gavin Carr, Joanna MacGregor, Nigel Perrin, Jason Thornton and Peter Donohoe. He took part in several workshop events, performing the music of contemporary composers such as Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Gavin Bryars and Howard Skempton in their presence.
James has also taken part in summer schools at Birmingham Conservatoire and Chethams in Manchester, where he took part in masterclasses and lessons with a number of leading pianists including Steven Osborne, Bryce Morrison, Douglas Finch, Jeremy Siepmann, Malcolm Wilson and David Quigley. At Bath Spa University, James acted as accompanist to the Bath Spa University Choir and Chamber Choir for three years as well as a répétiteur for opera productions of The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni.
He continues as Accompanist for the Churchdown Male Voice Choir and the Innsworth Military Wives Choir and has also worked with other choirs including Churchdown Choral Society, Cheltenham Youth Choir, Tewkesbury Chamber Choir and Philomusica of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. James has also recently accompanied young musicians for a number of competitions such as the RIBI Rotary Music Competition, Gloucestershire Young Musician and the Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts.
He is also active as an arranger as well as a composer. Many of his arrangements have been used by the Federation of Military Wives Choirs, and has recently composed a new Christmas song with Gita Wymer for all of the Military Wives Choirs. In addition he sings as a Bass with Philomusica, where he has recently performed as a soloist in Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass and Handel’s Messiah. James made his conducting debut in Philomusica’s 2014 Christmas concerts where he premiered his own composition O Magnum Mysterium.
James has recently been sought by the Cotswold Players in their production of Cinderella, and more recently has worked with the Cotswold Savoyards in their productions of Cox & Box and HMS Pinafore with David Manifold and with Musical Magic with Ralph Barnes. James has very recently toured with the Churchdown MVC to Southsea and Llandudno, and has accompanied a range of soloists including Kathryn Skipp, Sue Black, Kate Bennett, Ralph Barnes and most recently, Danielle Smithson.
James is also highly sought after as a private piano teacher, teaching a wide range of pupils from complete beginners to teaching advanced pianists for Grade Exams with a high pass success rate. James also works as an Accompanist at Wynstone’s School for Eurythmic classes and choir rehearsals and performances.