About

Brighton Festival Chorus is ‘one of the country’s leading symphony choruses..’ (The Times) and in our home town of Brighton considered ‘one of the jewels in the city’s musical crown’ (The Argus).

BFC has performed with all the major British orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra. BFC also has a long-standing relationship with the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra.

BFC has made 10 appearances at the BBC Proms and been nominated for two Grammy awards.

BFC is independent and develops its own creative programme which includes off-book, semi-staged, and dawn chorus events alongside live film performances & TV commercials. We have supported artists as diverse as Armstrong and Miller, Pete Townshend, Katherine Jenkins, Dame Edna Everage, Chris de Burgh and Alfie Boe.

Our vision is to reimagine the symphony chorus of tomorrow, through extending the breadth of our work and embracing new possibilities, through the passion and commitment of our members, the brilliance of the Brighton Festival Youth Choir and our outreach workshops and school events.

Music Director

James Morgan

James studied at Trinity College Cambridge, and then joined the staff of English National Opera, before conducting operas for Glyndebourne, ENO, ETO and Raymond Gubbay at the Royal Albert Hall.

He has worked with the LSO, Philharmonia, RLPO, LPO, CLS, the LCO at the Classic Brits and the RPO, which he conducts regularly both in the studio and in concert. He is also a regular guest conductor of the BBC Singers.
 
Abroad, he has worked with the City of Prague Philharmonic, Danish National Chamber Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Odense Symphony Orchestra and Aalborg Symphony Orchestra.

His repertoire varies widely from Renaissance polyphony to arena pop concerts, with artists as varied as Alfie Boe, Jamie Cullum, Andrea Bocelli, and Nicola Benedetti.

James conducts the albums he produces, including albums for Classic FM, and for artists such as Cliff Richard, Dame Vera Lynn and Ella Fitzgerald. Film scores include First Night (Richard E Grant) and Dustin Hoffman’s film directing debut Quartet.

Passionate about music education, James has also conducted education projects for Glyndebourne, the Royal Albert Hall, and Channel 4.

James Morgan combines careers as conductor and as one half of the composing and producing partnership Morgan Pochin.

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.

Sue Graham Smith

Accompanist

Sue works as an accompanist/music director and recently relocated to West Sussex. She is currently Accompanist to Brighton Festival Chorus, Chichester Singers and West Sussex Youth Choir. She also founded ‘Singing Memories’, a dementia-friendly singing group.

Sue’s varied career has involved being Music Director for an opera company and churches and Assistant Music Director/Pianist to Cantate Youth Choir (former Sainsbury’s ‘Children’s Choir of the Year’). She has examined for ABRSM, coached over 30 operas and worked with BBC Symphony Chorus, English National Opera, D’Oyly Carte and Kent Opera. TV appearances include ‘Songs of Praise’ and ‘Maestro’ with celebrity conductors.

SIR MARK ELDER, CH, CBE

PRESIDENT

Sir Mark Elder has been Music Director of the Hallé since September 2000. He was previously Music Director of English National Opera (1979–1993) and Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

He is Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and has appeared at the Proms for many years, including, in 1987 and 2006, in the internationally televised Last Night.

He has enjoyed a long association with the Royal Opera House, Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Paris and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He was the first English conductor to conduct a new production at the Bayreuth Festival..

Sir Mark Elder was appointed a Companion of Honour in 2017, knighted in 2008 and awarded the CBE in 1989. In May 2006 he was named Conductor of the Year by the Royal Philharmonic Society and he was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2011.

PATRONS

We are grateful for the support and inspiration we receive from our Patrons

Edward Gardner OBE – Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir John Rowland Tomlinson CBE – English Operatic Bass
Katie Derham – BBC Radio 3 Presenter
Gus Christie – Executive Chairman of Glyndebourne Opera

THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Brighton Festival Chorus is a registered charity run by a Board of Trustees elected by its members. Volunteers from the membership carry out all the day-to-day functions of the Chorus’ administration. Professional staff engaged are the Music Director, Accompanist, and General Manager.

Richard Blows
(Chair)
Lucy Brett
(Vice Chair)
Christine Miller
(Treasurer)
Nigs Digby
(Secretary)

Ann Berkovitch
Alastair Deighton
Tim Rounding
Emily Smith
Fiona McNae