Soloists

Performing in our current season
Tamsin Coombs
Catherine Futcher

Catherine Futcher

Soprano

Catherine Futcher was runner-up in the BBC Radio Two Choir Girl of the Year competition in 1994, beating a then unheard of Katherine Jenkins! She also won Opera Opportunity in that year. She was a member of the National Youth Music Theatre from 1995-1997 performing at the Edinburgh Fringe, The Lyric in Hammersmith and The City Center Theater, Broadway, New York.

As an undergraduate at Royal Holloway, University of London, she held a soprano Choral Scholarship and performed in Masterclasses given by Susan Bullock and Nancy Long. Catherine is equally at home singing Classical Opera and Oratorio as Musical Theatre, and her solo roles include Rossini’s Petit Messe Solenelle, Chilcott’s Jubilate, Fauré’s Requiem, Haydn’s Missa Sancti Nicolai, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Bach’s St. John Passion, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Haydn’s Creation, Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Galatea in Handel’s Acis and Galatea. Gilbert & Sullivan lead roles include Rose Maybud in Ruddigore, The Plaintiff in Trial By Jury and Mabel in Pirates of Penzance.

With Canterbury Cathedral Garden Opera Catherine has so far performed the roles of Marcellina in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Blonda in The Abduction from the Harem and Valencienne in The Merry Widow.

Perhaps her most unique performance to date was recording the first soprano part of a music installation in a graveyard for the Folkestone Triennial last year – each voice part is triggered when a visitor approaches its gravestone!

www.catherine-soprano.co.uk

Samuel Sytsma

Samuel Sytsma

Alto

Sam grew up in a musical family in the state of Maine in the USA. His first degree (BMus) is from Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio where his focus was solo singing. He subsequently studied harpsichord and early music singing in The Netherlands for a year at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. Finally he obtained an MA in ensemble singing at the University of York.

He has sung with professional choirs in the USA, The Netherlands, Ireland and the UK where he has sung with the cathedral choirs of York Minster, Lincoln, and Canterbury since 2016. Over the past year he has given recitals of French songs from the Impressionist period, accompanying himself on the piano. He also recently sang as an alto soloist for the Friends of Canterbury Cathedral concert of Messiah.

Aside from performing as a singer, he is also a peripatetic teacher in two schools in Canterbury and teaches from home.

 

Paul Young

Paul Young

Tenor

Paul read music at Exeter University, where he was a choral scholar at the cathedral. He ran the Exeter Early Music Group, developing his interest in medieval music. On leaving Exeter he joined the Music staff of Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire. He also sang frequently in the choir of York Minster. In 1993 he moved back to Kent to become Director of Music at the Junior King’s School, Canterbury. He also became a Lay Clerk at the cathedral. Here he took part in BBC recordings, tours to the USA and around Europe. With his family he spent a year living in Andalucía in Spain, enjoying the relaxed way of life, climate and culture, before returning to England to take up a new post of Director of Music at Dover College in Kent.

Throughout his career he has sung professionally as a soloist, mainly in oratorio roles, specialising in repertoire of the Baroque. However, his performances have ranged from music from the early church to 20th century works such as Britten’s ‘St Nicolas’ and Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’. Opera roles have included Orfeo (Monteverdi) for North East Early Music Forum, all the major tenor roles in Mozart’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’,‘Cosi Fan Tutte’,‘The Magic Flute’, ‘Don Giovanni’ and ‘Die Entführung’ for Canterbury Cathedral Garden Opera, Mean in Ridout’s ‘The Pardoner’s Tale’ and Henchman in Matthew King’s ‘Pied Piper’ for Stour Music.

Recent performances have included Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’ (Ashford Choral Society), Handel’s ‘Messiah’ for the Friends of Canterbury Cathedral, Monteverdi’s Vespers (Ripieno Choir) and with Cantuar a sequence of readings and music to mark the Translation of Thomas Becket (Fairfield).

Forthcoming concerts include Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ with CCGO and a solo recital of Romantic song, ‘With Myrtles and Roses’ (Folkestone parish church).

Jon Williams

Jon Williams

Baritone

Jon is a Lay Clerk of Canterbury Cathedral. He was born in the North East and grew up in Manchester. He holds two music degrees from Durham University where he was a Choral Scholar in the Choir of Durham Cathedral and Director of Durham University Chamber Choir. Jon has lived in Kent for rather more years now than he cares to remember, during which time he has also been a Lay Clerk at Rochester Cathedral. As well as appearing regularly as a soloist with choirs and choral societies across the South East, Jon has participated in many commercial CD recordings, has broadcast regularly on radio and TV (most recently in David Starkey’s Music and Monarchy for BBC2 and Canterbury Cathedral for BBC1) mainly in the UK but also abroad and has performed in concerts and festivals throughout the UK, Northern Europe, the USA and Canada. In recent years, Jon has collaborated with Canterbury Cathedral colleagues Dr David Flood and Chris Price (‘Good GNUs’) in highly acclaimed concerts featuring humorous songs by Flanders and Swann and others. He is also a regular member of the ensemble Cantuar who have revived, in concert and recordings, the music and mayhem of the celebrated Canterbury Catch Club.

Jon is a qualified classroom teacher and has worked in a number of Kent schools including as Director of Music at Simon Langton Girls’ School in Canterbury and Head of Music at Sir Roger Manwood’s School in Sandwich, where he was also a Governor. He is a pianist, organist and jazz enthusiast and has enjoyed cycling for charitable causes, including riding from Canterbury to Rome in 2007. Jon is also a Sessional Lecturer in the Music and Performing Arts Faculty of Canterbury Christ Church University and has just commenced a second year of study towards a PhD with Professor Robert Rawson and Dr David Allinson specialising in English bass singing of the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

For further details about booking Jon or Good GNUs for concert work contact: troilus@btinternet.com.

Spencer Payne

Spencer Payne

Organist

Spencer is currently Director of Music at St. Edmund’s School, Canterbury. He is an accomplished performer, accompanist, teacher and examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and Trinity Guildhall.

Spencer studied piano with the international concert pianist Ronald Smith; he holds a Master of Arts degree which he gained with distinction, a PGCE and diplomas in piano performance and organ from the Royal College of Music and Trinity College, London, and the Royal College of Organists. He is much in demand as an accompanist, recitalist and organist, and has provided organ and piano accompaniment on many recordings. Spencer also conducts the School Symphony Orchestra and recent performances include the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2, The Wasps Overture by Vaughan-Williams, Mont Juic by Britten/Berkeley, Haydn’s Horn concerto in E flat, the Havanaise by Saint-Saens, Beethoven’s Romance in F, Mozart’s Requiem and the Haydn Nelson Mass.

Spencer is particularly interested in the study of Baroque Harmony and Counterpoint techniques, and the performance of Romantic piano repertoire. Although trained as a soloist, Spencer spends a large proportion of his time accompanying, rehearsing, coaching and examining in the UK and Far East. In addition to performing, Spencer has directed many musicals and productions. He is also chairman of the Kent Festival Senior Piano Section, a committee member of EPTA, an examiner for A level performance for the EdExcel examinations board in London and sings as an occasional deputy Lay Clerk in Canterbury Cathedral Choir.