Latest News

  • Lancaster Singers Sing Together At Last!
  •  Date Posted: Thu, 3 Jun 2021
    Lancaster Singers Sing Together At Last!
    Lancaster Singers Sing Together At Last!

    On 1st June 2021 Lancaster Singers met for the first time in 448 days to sing together in person. The rehearsal was in the playground of Bowerham Primary School. This was a long-awaited and joyful event which was evident from the smiles on members’ faces as they sang. The pandemic has prevented the choir from singing together in person but they have met almost weekly on Zoom to learn and rehearse and keep in touch with one another.

    Throughout the past year, the Director of Music, Duncan Lloyd directed the Zoom singing and has created rehearsal tracks to help members learn their parts. The Chair, Chris Haughton organised the sessions, as well as social events

    The singers had not heard each other sing since March 2020 and it was wonderful to hear their voices joining together. They were accompanied on piano by Ian Tate.  The weather couldn’t have been better and there was a lovely background of bird song in the evening sunshine.

    A small committee had taken great care to ensure all the Covid security guidelines were observed and although this meant that singers had to be seated appropriately distanced and had to avoid singing loudly, it didn’t take anything away from the enjoyment. The Director of Music, Duncan Lloyd was unable to attend so members of the choir stepped up to the podium to conduct familiar pieces that were mostly already known to the choir.

    It is as yet uncertain when the Lancaster Singers will be able to meet in person indoors but at least this gave us one opportunity to sing together.

    Michele Allen
    To see the photo album:  > CLICK HERE <

  • The First LS X Factor - via Zoom!
  •  Date Posted: Fri, 5 Mar 2021
    The First LS X Factor - via  Zoom!
  • Our First Zoom Concert!
  •  Date Posted: Sat, 5 Dec 2020
  • Jean Wangermann
  •  Date Posted: Fri, 4 Dec 2020
    We are sorry to report the death of former Lancaster Singer Jean Wangermann who passed away peacefully on the 3rd December 2020. Jean had not been well since last Christmas and spent several weeks in hospital before moving to Laurel Bank just before the start of [Covid] lockdown. She developed pneumonia and was admitted to hospital for the last few days.
    Many of us will remember Jean’s enthusiasm for the choir as an alto and, of course, an extremely energetic committee member. Following her retirement as a Singer, she was a regular and ardent support of the choir at our concerts.
    Lancaster Singers express its sadness and sends condolences to Jean’s family.
    Chris Haughton
    Chair, Lancaster Singers
  • Rehearsals are also postponed until after Summer
  •  Date Posted: Tue, 16 Jun 2020

    Rehearsals are also postponed until after Summer

    In the meantime, we are continuing fortnightly meetings / rehearsals online via Zoom. You can find our latest lockdown recording on YouTube:


    For all singers, whether currently a member of Lancaster Singers or not, our director Duncan Lloyd has made available some new warm-up videos which should be useful to keep us all going! Here's where you will find them:


  •  Date Posted: Sun, 9 Feb 2020

    Lancaster Singers Deputy Director Mavis Fletcher, along with her husband Len, were awarded jointly the 2019 ABCD Chairman's Special Award at a Come and Sing day run by Will Todd in Preston. This is in recognition of the many years of stalwart service they have given for many years. Lancaster Singers is very proud of its association with Mavis and Len and we send our hearty congratulations!

  • Tony Guénault
  •  Date Posted: Sat, 2 Nov 2019
  •  Date Posted: Thu, 7 Feb 2019



    It is with shock and great sadness that we report the sudden and unexpected death of Lancaster Singers’ tenor and Choir Vice Chairman, John Falkingham.

    John collapsed and died, we understand, late on Friday 1st February 2019 while on holiday in the Caribbean with Liz, his wife.

    John, the former Head of Garstang High School, was an accomplished musician and had been a stalwart member of Lancaster Singers for many years. He was closely involved back-stage in the running of the choir as well, of course, as a Singer. Last November, he was largely responsible for 18 months’ worth of LS involvement which led to the hugely successful Armistice Concert of Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man in Lancaster Priory. He will be missed grievously.


    Lancaster Singers would like to extend its deep sympathy and condolences to Liz and family.

    Chris Haughton

    Chair, Lancaster Singers

  • Choir Walk, November 2018
  •  Date Posted: Thu, 15 Nov 2018
    We had another successful choir walk this November, on a bright sunny day in Elterwater, raising £80 for choir funds!
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 18 Apr 2018

    Lancaster Singers present a Choral Voice Workshop focussing on Mozart’s Requiem Mass to be conducted by eminent, professional soloist and voice-coach

    Christopher Steele. Saturday 7th July 2018    9.30 a.m. –  4.30 p.m. The Baptist Church | Nelson Street | Lancaster | LA1 1PT

  •  Date Posted: Thu, 25 Jan 2018

    Lancaster Singers’ two December Carol Concerts in the Ashton Memorial have long been one of the highlights of the choir’s annual season, and a joyful highlight of Lancaster’s Christmas festivities. For  Christmas 2017 however a group drawn from the choir embarked on a new venture: on the afternoon of 21 December we were the guests of Moorside Care Home, Wyresdale Road, where for an hour or so we entertained staff and residents with a programme of well-known and well-loved (as well as a few less familiar) carols.

    From start to finish the carollers were made to feel welcome, and it was thrilling for us to experience the response that our singing of Christmas favourites evoked in the audience gathered in the Care Home lounge. Many of the residents responded positively to familiar words and music, even when through age or infirmity they were unable to sing or read the words. We felt that we helped them connect with happy Christmas experiences they had enjoyed in the past. The success of this new initiative encourages the Singers to repeat it in 2018, and possibly on a somewhat larger scale, in two or three Care Homes rather than just one. And why only carols, why only at Christmas? Bringing good music to as wide an audience as possible is a vital part of our mission as a Charity – as well as a thoroughly enjoyable experience for the music-makers involved.

  • Lancaster Singers at the 2017 Music Festival!
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 16 Oct 2017

    We were delighted to be invited to join in the 2017 Lancaster Music Festival at the Storey Institute. We performed on Sunday afternoon to a modest but highly appreciative audience. Restricted by the performance space meant we were only about a third of the total choir but the blend and sound quality was excellent. We performed, under the baton of our Director, Duncan Lloyd, an eclectic range of songs from our recent repertoire. This included participation from some of the audience who produced an ethereal accompaniment using the rims of tuned wine-glasses. The choir was fortunate to be accompanied on the piano by local virtuoso Andy Plowman while Monty McMorrow and Martha Lloyd (aged 9) both sang beautiful solos. Martha’s rendition of the Vicar of Dibley theme tune was received very well indeed. The concert ended in an uplifting medley of numbers from West Side Story with an exciting full-throated and emotional finale.

    This was our first appearance in the amazingly successful Lancaster Music Festival which is fast attracting regional, national and even international acts. We hope it won’t be the last and we extend our thanks to Russell and his staff at The Storey who facilitated the event.

  • Sponsored Walk: Saturday 30th September 2017
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 2 Oct 2017

    All Members, FoLS, LS + families and friends welcome. We’ll be starting from The Britannia Inn, Elterwater, Langdale, at 12 o’ clock sharp and completing a 6½ mile loop taking in rivers, quarries, woods, bridges, caves, waterfalls – oh, and cake at Chesters. Should be back at The Britannia around 4-ish.

    Easy/moderate terrain on well-marked paths with one mild ascent. Dog- and child-friendly. Bring a packed lunch (or eat in the pub first). I’ll arrange a mini-bus (at cost) if there’sdemand.

    If anyone wants a day out but prefers not to walk – how about meeting us at Chesters (Skelwith Bridge) for tea and cake? (That’ll be sponsored ‘n’ all). More details in September. Everyone will be invited to donate on the day whatever they can afford.   
    FoLS: leave a message on 07976 875 586 or, preferably, email me at Let me know how many, and the names of, people in your party and leave a contact mobile number in case there are any last minute snags.

  • Lancaster Singers Walk - May 1st 2017
  •  Date Posted: Tue, 2 May 2017

    A chance to get together to socialise, enjoy the Cumbrian scenery and eat cake – what’s not to like!

    A group of 15 or so (including Daisy the dog!) gathered in Arnside on the May Day bank holiday for the purpose of climbing Arnside Knott – I know – not exactly Mount Everest but we weren’t going for records just to enjoy some exercise and raise some funds for the Choir Orchestra fund.



    The adventurers set off!


    Fortified by tea/coffee and cake, we set off along the edge of the Kent Estuary to be greeted with one of the sights of Arnside – the Arnside Bore came in just as we were walking along – an unexpected treat for those who had not seen it before – and who were amazed by the legendary speed with which the water came in.



    Along the Estuary


    Leaving the Estuary, we walked up through the woods to come out just below the top of the Knott – a quick – if breath-taking – step and we had conquered all 160 metres to be treated with the tremendous views that are seen from the top. Unfortunately, although it was a glorious day, weather-wise, it was hazy – so although we could see the distant fells we could not make them out very clearly. It didn’t diminish the enjoyment though!



    Enjoying the view


    Back down through the woods for more tea, cake and flapjack – a great walk – lots of chat and fun – a chance to get to know one another a bit more – £55 raised for choir funds – but any calories lost in walking up the Knott were more than fully replaced by the cake eaten!


    Annie Garden

  •  Date Posted: Thu, 9 Jun 2016

    Lancaster Singers rehearse every week in the Anglican Chapel at Lancaster University, where we’re extremely grateful to have the use of the beautiful grand piano. This is on loan to the Chaplaincy from its owner, Alice Rosser, who is pleased the piano is in regular use. Unhappily, the constant shifting of the piano took its toll and one of the castors became loose. This meant the piano couldn’t be moved at all.

    To rectify this situation, Lancaster Singers is delighted to have procured and donated a specially made ‘A’ frame. This lifts the piano off the floor and gives it a whole new set of wheels! The frame was fitted without a hitch on 2nd June 2016 and was an immediate and huge improvement. The piano may now be moved easily by one person and we hope it will continue to give much pleasure for many years to come.

    Bill and Eric, from Promenade Music in Morecambe, are pictured fitting the frame, followed by the finished job.

    Chris Haughton

  •  Date Posted: Mon, 17 Aug 2015

    Duncan Lloyd , Director of Lancaster Singers and Marco Fanti, LS Principal Guest Conductor are
    leading a Come and Sing day at Christ Church, Wyresdale Road, Lancaster, LA1 3EA, to explore
    the Hummel Mass in B flat plus Lloyd´s arrangement of a folk song and a short piece by Morten

    Come and Sing
    Hummel Mass in B flat
    Duncan Lloyd
    Director Lancaster Singers
    Marco Fanti
    LS Principal Guest Conductor

  •  Date Posted: Fri, 19 Jun 2015

    As of 14th June 2015over £1000 has been raised for the Nepal earthquake appeal .

    Donations are still welcome by clicking on the link below the May 18th news item.


    If you wish to purchase a CD of the recording of Allegri’s Miserere, or buy it from iTunes, contact Katharine Howell on for details.

  •  Date Posted: Mon, 18 May 2015


    Choir member Katharine Howell asked if anyone was prepared to take part in a recording of Allegri’s Miserere to raise funds for the DEC Nepal earthquake appeal. There was a good response and members of Lancaster Singers assembled in St Peter’s Cathedral on May 11th to make a recording to sell for the appeal. Katharine says:

    This time last year I was living in the lowlands of Nepal, by day measuring rice leaves for my Master's fieldwork and by night eating and dancing with the wonderful community I was living in. Nepal is a special place for me: it's where my parents met, as volunteers in the eighties, it's where we lived for part of my childhood and a place I keep coming up with research-based excuses to visit. Already a desperately poor country, Nepal has been devastated by the earthquake which hit it on 25th April, and its recovery will take a lot of time and support.

    The wonderful choir I sing with, Lancaster Singers, have kindly agreed to record our rendition of Allegri's beautiful Miserere as a charity single in aid of the DEC Nepal Earthquake Appeal. It will be available soon for you to download in exchange for a donation. In the meantime, please feel free to give generously to the appeal, and in the words of my friends in Nepal (fortunately all safe): 'pray for Nepal' - and sing too!

    The link, if you want to donate is:

  •  Date Posted: Thu, 5 Feb 2015

    As part of Lancaster University’s 50 Anniversary celebrations, Lancaster Singers, the Lancaster University Music Society and the Haffner Orchestra are performing in a concert for Comic Relief in the Great Hall on March 21st at 7.30pm. The conductor is the brilliant musical comedian, Rainer Hersch (an alumnus) who has brought hilarity to the world of classical music all over the globe. Expect a blend of stand-up comedy, witty orchestral arrangements and audience favourites within this Comic Relief Concert - and some very red noses of course!

    For more details, go to

  •  Date Posted: Thu, 8 Jan 2015

    Lancaster Singers are delighted to announce the appointment of a new Musical Director, Duncan Lloyd, whose biography is below.

    Duncan Lloyd began his musical career as a chorister at Southwell Minster under the tutelage of Kenneth Beard. As a violinist, he played with the internationally renowned Nottingham Orchestra directed by Christopher Adey and read Music at Manchester University. He has a PGCE from Durham, a Diploma in Education Management from Sheffield Hallam and his NPQH.

    Duncan has thirty years teaching experience, most recently as Director of Music at The Minster School Southwell. He co-wrote the School’s successful bid for Specialist Music and Humanities status and ran the very successful Chorister Outreach Programme. During his sixteen years as a Tenor Lay Clerk, he founded The Ensemble of Southwell and the Djanogly Community Orchestra and Jazz Band, typeset the New Southwell Psalter and, with Simon Bell, founded The Minster Girls’ Choir. He composes and arranges and has recently had works performed by musical groups in Nottinghamshire and North Yorkshire.

    Duncan has extensive experience as a conductor of both choral and orchestral groups and has led extremely successful concert tours throughout Europe. He played viola in the Pollyanna Quartet and has played both viola and violin in many leading ensembles in Nottinghamshire.

    Duncan and his family relocated to North Yorkshire in August 2014 and he is very much looking forward to taking up his new role with the Lancaster Singers in 2015. He continues to work as a freelance instrumental and vocal teacher and has been acting Music Director at Kendal Parish Church since December 2014.

  •  Date Posted: Thu, 11 Dec 2014

    This apology concerning the Nov 15th concert was printed in the Westmoreland Gazette on Nov 20th and appeared as an item on the Radio 4 ‘News Quiz’ on Friday Dec 5th 2014.

    ‘The Westmoreland Gazette apologises to the Haffner Orchestra and Lancaster Singers for the wrong advert placed in last week’s paper. There were a number of errors, including the date of the concert, the soloist and the works being performed. These errors were not the fault of the orchestra or choir. We apologise unreservedly, and hope that the concert was a success in spite of these problems.’

  •  Date Posted: Mon, 20 Oct 2014

    October 2014

    Acting Musical Director of Lancaster Singers awarded prestigious prize.


    Mavis Fletcher, who has been acting director of Lancaster Singers for the past 3 seasons, has been given a Special Commendation ‘For her outstanding contribution to music in the community’ as part of the Making Music Lady Hilary Groves Prize 2014.

    The Lady Hilary Groves prize is awarded each year by Making Music, which is the national charity which looks after all kinds of amateur musical activity –orchestras, bands, groups as well as choirs. They have 3,000 plus members. Lancaster Singers is a member of Making Music.

    This year there were 42 nominations for the prize and some were of such an exceptional calibre that for the first time ever the Making Music committee decided to award 3 additional commendation awards as well as the main prize, one of which was to Mavis.

    The presentation was made on October 11th at the Making Music conference.

    The award recognised Mavis’ work with music-making in the NW generally and in particular with Lancaster Singers, the Children’s NW Honour Choir and Bob Chilcott (who had sent a lovely letter in support, which was read out).

    Congratulations to Mavis from the Lancaster Singers! 

  •  Date Posted: Tue, 29 Jul 2014


    Marco Fanti, principal guest conductor of Lancaster Singers, is leading a Come and Sing Day on Saturday October 18th 2014 in the Anglican Chapel at Lancaster University, to explore

    Haydn’s Paukenmesse and Brahm’s Nänie and Schicksalslied


  •  Date Posted: Fri, 14 Mar 2014
    It is with great regret that Lancaster Singers have accepted the resignation of our musical director Marco Fanti, due to his ill health. He will complete the 2013-2014 season, culminating in the concerts in June. The co-director, Mavis Fletcher, will then lead the choir until a new musical director is appointed.
  •  Date Posted: Thu, 6 Mar 2014


    The following is an interview with the first Musical Director of Lancaster Singers, Ian Hare.

    ‘Although the first record I have of a concert involving the Lancaster Singers dates from 1975, the idea of forming a choir was conceived soon after my arrival as a Lecturer in Music at the University in September 1974. A meeting with Dr. Eric Sharpe, of the Department of Religious Studies, and his Swedish wife Birgitta led to my being introduced to a small group of singers based at St. Paul's, Scotforth, and we went on from there. Concerts and services took place mainly in Lancaster and Morecambe, with occasional excursions to Cartmel Priory, Carlisle Cathedral and the Lune valley. Among the highlights were several events in St. Peter's Cathedral, notably a performance of the Berlioz Te Deum, directed by our President and my successor, Prof. Denis McCaldin, for which I played the organ.

    It is gratifying to find that the Lancaster Singers are still going strong under their third musical director, Marco Fanti, who is ably assisted by Mavis Fletcher. This concert will be a celebration both of our long association and also of the fine organ in the Great Hall, which has added an important dimension to music making there, since its installation in 1979. I hope that both will continue to enrich Lancaster's cultural life for many years to come.’

  •  Date Posted: Tue, 17 Dec 2013

    A new study by Oxford Brookes University has found that singing in a choir can boost your mental health, reports the Daily Telegraph . Researchers carried out an online survey of 3745 people who sang in choirs, sang alone, or played team sports. All three activities yielded high levels of psychological wellbeing, but choristers stood out as experiencing the greatest benefit. Nick Stewart, who led the study, said: “These finding suggest that feeling part of a cohesive social group can add to the experience of using your voice to make music.” The feel-good effects of singing have long been recognised, and there is growing evidence that it can have a positive impact on a range of physical and psychological conditions.

  •  Date Posted: Mon, 2 Dec 2013
    Looking ahead to next year, Marco Fanti will be conducting a ‘Come and Sing Day’ on Saturday February 22nd to study the Dvorak’s Mass in D, which Lancaster Singers will be performing on March 22nd 2014 in the Great Hall, Lancaster University.

    The ‘Come and Sing Day’ will be held in the Chaplaincy Centre at Lancaster University from 11am to 3.45pm. It is open to any interested singers, at a cost of £15. These events are very enjoyable and popular, so sign up as soon as possible!
  •  Date Posted: Mon, 2 Dec 2013

    Thoughts on the Verdi concert on Saturday November 23rd 2013 from members of Lancaster Singers:

    ‘I think the Verdi Requiem sounded marvellous, and Marco did such a magnificent job at keeping us in line and bringing the best out of the piece. He brought it to life with such emotion and dramatic contrasts. I thoroughly enjoyed singing it; it was a treat for me, especially singing with the fantastic orchestra and soloists. I will never forget it.’

    Helen Sayers (soprano)

    "I was fortunate to be sitting on the back row of the main stage from where I had a superb panoramic view of the magnificent assembly of chorus, orchestra, soloists and conductor, backed by the audience. As the trumpets rang out from the far heights of the gallery in the "Dies Irae", followed by the thunderous majesty of the orchestra and chorus the most enormous beam spread across my face! It was just thrilling to be a part of such drama!"

    John Falkingham (tenor)

    "We had an amazing experience at the Verdi Requiem! What a great privilege to be part of such a powerful and professional concert. It was, in our opinion, world class. A day to remember and treasure."

    Angela Rubio (soprano) and Simon Halliday (tenor)

  •  Date Posted: Thu, 21 Nov 2013

    We’re now on the countdown to our Verdi Concert next Saturday in Bolton. Final rehearsals this week and there is a great sense of excitement building up. If you haven’t already booked tickets, then there will be some for sale on the door and, of course, you can contact any of the three choirs. Coaches have been organised from Lancaster and Preston – see the side bar for details – and there are still a few seats available. £25 combined concert/coach ticket (no concessions).


    We hope we see you on Saturday – 7.30 pm at the Victoria Hall in Bolton – this will be a night to remember!

  •  Date Posted: Tue, 22 Oct 2013

    The dream was to perform the Verdi Requiem in Verdi’s 200th anniversary year and to make it especially memorable by combining three choirs and a professional orchestra and soloists.
    For those unfamiliar with the costs of such a project the sum is eye-watering and the logistics scary!
    Imagine combining three choir committees for a start……..

    BUT on November 23rd in the Victoria Hall, Bolton 2013 the dream becomes a reality.

    Based in Bologna  MARCO FANTI – young, gifted and dynamic is the conductor of two of the participating choirs, Lancaster Singers and Preston Cecilian Choral Society and has connections with the third choir, Prestbury Choral Society.
    All three choirs are working with chorus masters and conductors in preparation and on October 19th we met for a joint rehearsal day with Marco.

    The atmosphere was electric! The sound is already magnificent and under Marco’s compelling direction it became even more dramatic and thrilling. It was an unforgettable day which gave us all such a buzz of anticipation for the concert when with the orchestra it will be even more exciting.

    The Lancashire Sinfonietta has worked with Marco Fanti before and the players are in turn interested and eager to join in this unique experience of combining forces.

    The soloists Laurie Ashworth, Janet Shell, John Upperton and Stephen Holloway are experienced in opera and concert work and come with outstanding reviews so what a treat it will be.

    A group of supporters from Bologna is coming over especially to hear the concert. It is unlikely ever to happen again so please don’t miss it!

  •  Date Posted: Mon, 3 Jun 2013

    Sunday June 16th 7.30pm

    Lancaster Singers are proud to present a concert of music inspired by the East; Japanese music, both traditional and modern, and excerpts from the Mikado. Marco Fanti, our dynamic Italian Director, and Mavis Fletcher, Associate Director and experienced Choral Director in her own right, feature the choir in Furusato-Songs of the Japanese Homeland-with arrangements by Bob Chilcott (of Kings Singers fame) and Rikuya Terashima, the latter being the U.K. première.

    Ian Tate provides solo piano pieces by Toru Takemitsu and Tan Dun. The first half of the concert includes the rousing Three Hungarian Folk songs by Matyas Seiber which are great fun. The concert ends with well known excerpts from Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado.

    Mavis Fletcher writes 'it has been an exciting challenge to prepare and learn to sing in Japanese these Terashima settings of lovely Japanese songs. The composer has given us great help and is very excited about their first performance in the UK.'

    Tickets £10, including strawberries and cream and lemonade pressé, may be obtained from the Ashton Memorial (01524 33318), online at, by phone 01524 68481 or on the door (though space in the Memorial is limited so pre-booking is advisable.

  •  Date Posted: Thu, 9 May 2013

    Over the years Lancaster Singers have sung in many languages as well as English. Works in French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and, of course, Latin, have all featured regularly over the years.
    But this season has taken us one step further on our linguistic journey – into Japanese! With magnificent assistance from Mrs Yoshiko Rowe, the boss of one of the Singers, some beautiful Japanese folk songs have been transcribed into Roman text to enable us to sing them. We are working on our pronunciation and Mavis Fletcher, our Associate Director, has burned much midnight oil producing copies we can sing from.
    The seven short songs complement the Japanese theme of our next concerts in Bowness on the 15th June and the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster on the 16th June. The programme will also include five more Japanese songs arranged by the internationally-renowned and LS friend, Bob Chilcott.
    By way of counterpoint we will also be singing some Hungarian folk-songs (translated into English), before returning, in a somewhat lighter vein, to the Japanese theme by performing some extracts from the Mikado by the incomparable Gilbert and Sullivan.
    A programme with a difference – and we do hope you can join us in June!

  •  Date Posted: Tue, 6 Mar 2012

    This prestigious award was made at the final of the competition in Edinburgh by renowned composers James MacMillan, Bob Chilcott & Simon Woods Ch. Exec. of The Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

    The Lancaster Singers are proud to have included Hermione’s composition in their annual Carol Concerts programme on Tues 14th & Frid 17th December but additionally delighted that it was also sung by the BBC Singers and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 20th Dec – on the ‘Carol a Day’ series and published in the new Carols for Choirs – 50th Anniversary Edition (OUP).

  •  Date Posted: Tue, 6 Mar 2012

    Marco Fanti, 34, has taken the post of director and conductor of the historic Preston Cecilian Choral Society.

    The only sticking point is that it comes with a 1,800 round trip from his hometown of Bologna, where he lives with his wife Cristina.

    It costs the Italian-born musician approximately £100 a week and takes seven hours, two train journeys, a cross-continent flight and a car ride just to get to weekly rehearsals every Monday night at St Augustine's Primary School in Avenham.

    Despite spending most of his pay for the part-time post on the long-distance commute, he says he is loving the pace of his new job because the classical music scene in Preston is more vibrant than in his hometown.

    He said: "For me the travel is a pleasure. I wouldn't want to do it forever but for now I am enjoying it. I get to listen to music, read and things like that.

    "I am happy to do it just to be here. The opportunities for me here are very good. There aren't many opportunities in Italy, especially in choral music. Here people see music as important for life and the scene is very exciting and well organised with lots of events and concerts."

    Mr Fanti, who is also musical director of Lancaster Singers, has conducted the Romanian State Orchestra, the Orchestra Sinfonica del Lario and the Coro and Orchestra Athena. He is also a professor of music at the University of Bologna and teaches literature at public high school.

    He plans to move to Preston if he can find full-time work as a teacher.

    John Bird, media officer for the Preston Cecilians', said the appointment represented one of the most "exciting" periods in the choir's 83-year history.

    He said: "It is great news for us. We've never had an Italian conductor before and he is certainly very vibrant, emotive and lively. He's breathing new life into the choir and hopefully will help us branch out and attract new people.

    "It must be a tough commute though. It is a very big undertaking for him."

Brought to you by Making Music
Copyright © 2024 Lancaster Singers