Lewes choir appoints new director

Richard Miller, the new director of Pro Musica. Photograph: Andreea Tufescu
Richard Miller, the new director of Pro Musica. Photograph: Andreea Tufescu

A Lewes chamber choir has appointed a ‘much sought-after’ composer, conductor and arranger as its new director.

Pro Musica has announced that London-based Richard Miller, a graduate of the Royal College of Music, will take on the role from September.

The choir’s committee has been looking to appoint a new director to lead its ensemble forward after co-director Ray Maulkin died in March.

Mr Maulkin and singer and teacher Kathryn Sargent, his wife, were appointed as co-directors of the choir in 2002.

Chair of the choir’s committee Geoff Ellis said: “Ray and Kathryn had developed and expanded the choir over recent years to the high standard we now achieve.

“We are delighted to have found someone of the calibre of Richard to lead Pro Musica and build on their legacy.

“Richard is a much sought-after choral and orchestral conductor and has worked with the Havant Symphony Orchestra, the Hastings Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, the Esterhazy Chamber Choir in Lewes, and Aylesbury Symphony Orchestra.

“I know the choir will enjoy all that Richard can bring to us as an ensemble, and I am sure our audiences will too.”

The choir, which was formed in Rottingdean in the 1990s and moved to Lewes in 2008, opened up the directorial role for applications and the final audition process saw candidates lead the choir in a rehearsal.

Richard Miller said: “I’m delighted to be starting with Pro Musica this September.

“I enjoyed getting to know them as a group throughout the audition process and am looking forward to continuing to build that relationship.”

Mr Miller’s first concert as director will take place on December 8 at St Andrew’s Church, in Alfriston.

It will see the ensemble perform Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, the Cantique de Jean Racine by Fauré, and items from Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols.

Mr Miller added: “I’m especially excited to be kicking off with Fauré’s Requiem, one of my favourite choral pieces to conduct.”

Pro Musica has more than 50 members, from experienced singers to those new to choral music, and meets for rehearsals on Monday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at St Anne’s Church, in Lewes. Its first rehearsal of the next term will take place on September 9 and new members are welcome. For more details, see www.promusica.org.uk