OUR CONDUCTOR: Helen Grand
Helen is a graduate of the University of London where she studied piano with Audrey Ayliffe, voice with Jane Gregson and conducting with Arthur Davison. Whilst training in London as a singer, she sang with the St Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Choir and the vocal group 'Octopi', performing in St Paul's Cathedral, the Royal Festival Hall and for Prince Charles.
Helen has conducted choirs at The Anvil, Basingstoke and at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. She also conducts the Guernsey Chamber Choir, and in 2009 conducted the first performance on the Island for 35 years of Bach's St Matthew Passion. Her association with the Guernsey Choral and Orchestral Society began as a singer and accompanist until she was invited to become conductor in 2006. She has since directed the choir in the Brahms Deutsche Requiem, Orff's Carmina Burana and in 2009 the choir undertook the first performance on the Island of Walton's Belshazzar's Feast
Guernsey Music Centre Conductor: Rachel WrightRachel Wright grew up in Guernsey and was educated at The Ladies' College. She then continued her studies at Trinity College of Music in London before beginning her teaching career in South West London. Rachel moved to The Sultanate of Oman in 1999 where she was Director of Music at The British School - Muscat teaching pupils from Reception to Year 13. She also was musical director for a number for shows including 'The Dracula Spectacula', 'Grease' and 'Guys and Dolls' as well as directing the school choir in the International Choirs Festival in Muscat. Upon returning to Guernsey in 2006 she taught music at The Ladies' College and Melrose until July 2011. During this time she has visited Paris, Florence and Venice with the Ladies' College Choir and Orchestra and conducted the choir in St Mark's Basilica, Venice. In May 2011 Rachel was appointed Head of Vocal studies for the Schools' Music Service and began this post in September. She is now responsible for directing six choirs ranging in age from 7 years to 18 years. The Junior and Intermediate choirs have combined together for the Christmas performances with the Guernsey Choral and Orchestral Society. The children really enjoy singing in St James and being accompanied by an orchestra. It is a highlight of their year.