Hallé Children’s Choir Profiles
Hallé Children’s Choir Director
Shirley Court was appointed as Director of the newly established Hallé Children’s Choir in September 2008. Shirley is nationally known for her ability to motivate and inspire young singers of all ages and capabilities. In September 2006 she was awarded with an Honorary Degree of DMus for her work as a conductor of Youth Choirs and Music in Schools from the University of Leicester.
Whilst working in Leicestershire as Vocal and Choral Specialist her award winning girl’s choir, The Chanterelles, won the Llangollen International Eisteddfod Youth Choir section and were runners up in the Sainsbury’s Choir of the Year Competition 2000. In February 2009 the Chanterelles re-formed as a ladies Choir and returned to the Eisteddfod in July 2010 and won the Ladies category. The choir is now made up of 50 young ladies who will perform three or four times a year in concerts up and down the country.
She regularly conducts massed choirs of primary school children and has conducted the Massed Choir of 600 voices at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Music for Youth’s School Prom on 3 occasions.
Shirley was the conductor of both the Senior Girls and Junior CBSO Youth Choruses from 1995 until July 2009. In this role she has worked alongside many world famous conductors preparing the Youth Chorus for many prestigious events.
Shirley was privileged to be one of the three adjudicators for the BBC Choir of the Year Competition held at The Bridgewater Hall and is a regular adjudicator at the Manchester Choral Competition. She also acts as a consultant on many National Singing initiatives and delivers INSET courses for teachers. Shirley is delighted to be the Programme Leader for the Hallé Mentoring Scheme for Vocal Leaders in the Greater Manchester Music Hub.
She is also the co-author of the best selling Boosey & Hawkes Singing Sherlock Books for Key Stage 1 and 2.
Hallé Children’s Choir Assistant Conductor
Matthew was appointed as the Assistant Director of the Hallé Children’s Choir in September 2014 after completing the Hallé mentoring scheme. Since finishing university Matthew has worked as a music and vocal teacher around the North West area most significantly with Wigan music service taking on the role of assistant conductor of both the Wigan Youth and Junior Youth Choirs. He has also delivered full school opera and musical workshops with Lancashire Music Service.
Matthew’s choral background with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain helped him to develop an extensive and strong knowledge of choral repertoire and techniques which have enabled him to progress to the directing of choirs. In his time with NYCGB Matthew performed in many of the country’s leading venues. He has performed at the Royal Albert Hall on a number of occasions as part of the BBC Prom series under the direction of conductors such as Daniel Barenboim and Gustavo Dudamel, as well as touring the west coast of America with the composer and conductor Eric Whitacre.
As a singer, Matthew has performed all over the country having featured in nationwide tours with the band James, BBC radio performances with the Pet Shop Boys, providing backing vocals for Andrea Bocelli and studio recordings with Peter Hook. Matthew is a keen performer of musical theatre taking on a variety of roles most notably featuring as a soloist on BBC Radio 6 music in the fringe musical cast performance of Elegies.