Our Musical team

Musical Director

Mike Summers

Michael is a leading figure in Music and Music education in the North East and became Musical Director of Durham Choral Society in 2012. He is manager of Music Education for Durham Music Service (lead partner in the Durham and Darlington Music Hub) and Schools Improvement Advisor working across the north of England. As a choral conductor he has been musical director for Felling Male Voice Choir, Guisborough Choral Society and Prudhoe Gleemen and has also held posts with The National Youth Choir of Great Britain and Northern Spirit Singers.

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Alison Frances Gill

PGDipRAM LRSM DipABRSM BMus(Hons). Alison studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, specialising in piano accompaniment under the guidance of Andrew West and Daniel-Ben Pienaar. Whilst at the RAM she made her Wigmore Hall debut, filmed for Channel 4. She was chosen as one of ten pianists to perform alongside Michael Nyman and Gavin Bryars in Satie's 19 hour work Vexations, which tool place in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern, and also appeared at the Spitz Jazz Club, London, with the Ossian Ensemble. Before her move to the RAM in London, Alison studied at the University of Huddersfield for her Bachelor in Music (Honours), receiving the Rodwell Prize for pianist of the department.

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Assistant conductor

C. Elizabeth Woods

Elizabeth studied Music at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she was a Choral Scholar under the direction of Professor Lionel Pike, and specialised in vocal performance with Elaine Pearce. In 2000 she was awarded the prestigious J. W. Pearce prize for the Young Musician of the Year in her home town of Huddersfield.

Elizabeth is in demand as a Soprano soloist, and sings with the acclaimed, Yorkshire-based vocal group The Mastersingers, with whom she has taken part in several television and radio broadcasts. She is also a member of the recently-formed, Durham-based vocal quintet “Quintessential Voices,” and features regularly at Lumley Castle, both as a violinist and vocalist.

Elizabeth recently started teaching Singing for Durham Music Service, and is Musical Director of the Durham County Youth Choir and Durham Youth Training Choir.

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Assistant accompanist

Edward Cheeseman

Edward has taught piano to children, students and adults since 1994 and is a regular accompanist for examination candidates from around the county. He has provided accompanying music for a number of study tours, has lectured on “The Grand Tour” at Durham University and has performed at a variety of events including Durham Book Festival and a concert in the Mosel-Museum, Traben-Trabach in Germany. Edward has been a member of the Choral Society since 1990.

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