Our staff

James Morgan, Music Director

James Morgan became Music Director of Brighton Festival Chorus in 1998. He is one of the most versatile musicians of his generation, combining careers as conductor, record producer, and as one half of the composing partnership Morgan Pochin.  James studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, and has a background in opera, working as Chorus Master at English National Opera from 1994-8, followed by further chorus master and full conducting roles at Glyndebourne Opera House, English National Opera, English Touring Opera and Raymond Gubbay Ltd.

James has conducted and recorded many of the UK’s leading orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony, Philharmonia and London Philharmonic Orchestras. Abroad, he works regularly with the Danish National Chamber Orchestra and City of Prague Philharmonic amongst others. Specialising in contemporary music, including world premieres at the South Bank and the Barbican, his repertoire varies widely from renaissance polyphony to arena pop concerts, with artists as varied as Alfie Boe, Jamie Cullum, Andrea Bocelli, Katie Melua, and in particular the BBC Singers, for whom James is a regular guest conductor.

As part of the Morgan/Pochin partnership James has worked in a huge variety of fields, from an EMMY award winning TV series to UK album chart successes, and, more recently, feature films. Their first feature film First Night (Richard E Grant, Sarah Brightman), was released in 2012 with the soundtrack album on Sony. They were the music producers on the film Quartet released in 2013 which marks Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut and stars Dame Maggie Smith, Sir Tom Courtenay and Billy Connolly.

Production and writing credits include a number of chart successes, with over a million albums sold by artists such as Alfie Boe, Collabro, Dame Vera Lynn and Alexander Armstrong.  Their choral piece Kyrie was premiered on BBC R3 with the BBC Singers, and their compositions and arrangements have been broadcast on BBC R2 and 3, Classic FM and on BBC TV and ITV, including the Classical Brits, and performed by most of the major UK orchestras, including recordings by the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Danielle De Niese, Diva). As orchestrators and arrangers, credits include scores for BBC, ITV and C4, Tangier Tattoo for Glyndebourne, and Gaddafi for ENO. Future plans also include a number of recording projects for Decca as well as two further feature films currently in pre-production.


Sue Graham Smith

Sue Graham Smith, Accompanist

Sue has worked for many years in Hertfordshire and the South-East as a freelance piano accompanist/music director. She relocated to West Sussex in 2017 and has worked as accompanist to Brighton Festival Chorus since 2019. She also works as accompanist to Chichester Singers and West Sussex Youth Choir, and has launched a dementia-friendly singing group called ‘Singing Memories’.

Previous work experience involved being Music Director of Opera Brava, QC Chamber Choir and two Anglican churches. Sue has also been Assistant Music Director/Pianist to Cantate Youth Choir, who were Sainsbury Children’s Choir of the Year 2000.

Sue has examined for ABRSM, coached over 30 operas and worked with BBC Symphony Chorus, English National Opera, D’Oyly Carte, Kent Opera and many other choirs & opera companies, as well as having been a ‘Singing for the Brain’ Leader with Alzheimer’s Society.

On TV and Radio, Sue has played on BBC Songs of Praise, the Gloria Hunniford Show, and Maestro (with celebrity conductors).


Fergus Marr, General Manager

Fergus joined Brighton Festival Chorus in the Spring of 2019, his role of General Manager complementing a freelance portfolio that includes Orchestra and Concert Management, music arranging and music performance. Orchestras that he currently works for include The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Heritage Orchestra, The Little Orchestra and The London Concert Orchestra (Raymond Gubbay). He has managed events in all of the UK’s major concert halls and arenas, and has toured internationally to the United States, Europe and South East Asia. Notable recent projects include working a break-dancing concert at the BBC Proms 2019, and touring with the actor/singer Hugh Jackman around Western Europe.

Outside of his professional “people-shepherding” responsibilities, he enjoys cycling, playing big band music and drinking real ale in old pubs.