Bach Mass in B Minor – Bedford

Bach Mass in B Minor – Bedford

Bedford Choral Society Bach B Minor Mass

7.30pm 26th March 2022 Bedford Corn Exchange 

Soprano 1 Katherine Crompton

Soprano 2 Rachel Nicholls

Alto Kathryn Rudge

Tenor Ben Johnson

Bass Andrew Slater 


Bedford Sinfonia

Bedford Choral Society

Formed in 1867, Bedford Choral Society is one of the oldest established choral societies in the United Kingdom. A thriving local choir, Bedford Choral Society performs three or four times each year – usually in Bedford’s historic Corn Exchange.  We have nearly 150 full-time members – with singers from other local choirs joining us on occasions for particular concerts.

Conductor Ian Smith 

Richard Shephard Music Foundation – Pickering Music Holiday Club

Richard Shephard Music Foundation – Pickering Music Holiday Club

Richard Shephard Music Foundation - Pickering Music Holiday Club

25th February Pickering Community Junior School

February brought the chance to visit one of my favourite parts of the world, North Yorkshire!  In partnership with Ryedale Festival and The Richard Shephard Music Foundation this was the start of a special project that will see us perform together at the Ryedale Festival during May 2022.   I had a brilliant time joining primary school children from the area and their wonderful music tutors Katie Brier and Oliver Whawell from Sing Education for Pickering Music Holiday Club at Pickering Community Junior School!

I loved speaking with the children who had been enjoying a day of musical warm ups, games and learning new songs. It was great to hear about everyone’s performance experiences and musical interests and to answer the children’s questions.  For many of the children this was the first time that they had heard an ‘opera voice’ live (and I am sure some of the children are bound to have been hoping it would be the last time!:))  I really enjoyed their descriptions after hearing my voice  – ‘LOUD!’ ‘creepy’ and ‘Woooow!’  We enjoyed singing a Disney song together,  and then I had the treat of enjoying rehearsals of their new songs before they gave a final performance and a recording was made for their families and friends. It was brilliant! 

Part of the aim of the Richard Shephard Music Foundation is to offer musical opportunities to local children. As a composer, conductor, teacher and performer, Richard Shephard changed the lives of hundreds of children across York and North Yorkshire and the goal of the Foundation is to extend that legacy and experience to thousands more children across the region. Future plans for the Foundation include the development of junior choirs across Yorkshire.

With schools often lacking the resources or time to develop a truly progressive and challenging music curriculum, the Foundation is aiming to catalyse change. Starting in disadvantaged or isolated communities, the Foundation is subsidising music provision in schools, working with their education partner, Sing Education.


I was so impressed to hear the children’s performances of the songs they had learned during the day and really inspired by their beautiful singing, harmonies and dancing! The special memories and friendships that are made through singing, making music and performing together during childhood stay with you forever – and it was wonderful to see this happening for the children in Pickering

Especially after many months of lockdowns,  this was certainly a day to celebrate seeing the children being able to sing, dance and learn together  – and most of all share their music and individual personalities with us all.  It was a real privilege to meet everyone and to have the chance to play a small part at the beginning of their exciting musical journeys. 

The Richard Shephard Music Foundation is a registered Charity (1189066) established in April 2020 to recognise and build on the work of Dr Richard Shephard. The generous support of donors to the Richard Shepard Music Foundation make it all possible, and the Foundation continues to seek vital funding throughout the year to allow our activities to continue and expand. With plans for further holiday clubs and choirs in the near future.  For further information about the Richard Shephard Music Foundation please see: or twitter: @MusicShephard Support the Foundation:

Some of the feedback received from the children at the holiday club included:

 “I have learnt all about opera and how to sing in harmony and have greatly improved control over my voice and thinking for myself what I need to sing when we had to close our eyes.”

“I learnt that if you make mistakes while singing just keep smiling!”

Cathy Grant, the Foundation’s General Manager commented: “What a great day was had by all! Massive thanks to Kathryn for coming along and to the Ryedale Festival for linking us up with her to get it all arranged. As well as learning so much during the day and having fun, the children were so inspired to meet a professional singer. They asked her so many questions and sat in awe while she sang part of Habanera from the opera Carmen.”

“We hope to keep these sessions running and are looking to develop a junior choir for the local area. Watch this space!”

Cathy Grant - Richard Shephard Foundation General Manager

University of York Song Day 2022

University of York Song Day 2022

York Concerts

University of York Song Day 2022

University of York Song Day, National Centre for Early Music & Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, York, February 19th 2022 

This year’s York Song Day was curated by classical pianist Christopher Glynn and I was thrilled to be a part of it.   It took place a day after Storm Eunice and it was a tricky journey over the top of the Pennines, with strong winds and snow falling on the way. But there was a lovely warm atmosphere waiting for us on arrival in York and it was brilliant to see so many audience members come out to enjoy the events throughout the day.

I was delighted to meet and work with brilliant vocal students from The University of York in a masterclass alongside Chris at National Centre for Early Music.   In the evening we headed over to the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall to perform a programme of Richard Strauss songs with Chris on the piano, and lovely sopranos Rowan Pierce and Siân Dicker. We performed a full programme of Richard Strauss Lieder with songs covering nearly 80 years of his life.  Our final piece all-together was the Der Rosenkavalier trio, Hab’ mir’s Gelobt (I Made A Vow) – Heaven,  and we had clear skies all the way home! 

“Kathryn Rudge began with three songs from Op 10, composed in 1894 and his first to be published. She entered straight into the mood of Zueignung (Dedication), giving its powerful melody a strong line. She never let our attention wander after that either.

Glynn brought bold colourings to Nichts (Nothing), which she amplified, before a wonderfully contemplative Die Nacht (Night), calm, hovering, treasuring the moment. It was a gem.

She later returned with Schlagende Herzen (Beating hearts), capturing the nervous essence of young love with its repeated ‘kling-klangs’. There was no doubt about the depth of her feeling in Sehnsucht (Yearning), and her approach to the final word, Paradise, at the end of Das Rosenband (Rose Garland) was exquisite, once again making time stand still.

These were the work of a singer in her prime, one who knows exactly how to hold an audience in thrall. Spellbinding stuff, the voice beautifully focused throughout its range, right to the very top.”






York Concerts
Junior RNCM Open Day

Junior RNCM Open Day

York Concerts

JUNIOR Royal Northern College of Music Open day

On Feb 12th 2022 it was a privilege to return to Junior Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester to meet vocal students and teach singing – and a joy to have been invited to join in singing with the student chamber choir; Close Harmony Vocals lead by Juan Ortuño for Open Day performances. We performed a beautiful piece called ‘The Road Home’ arr. by Stephen Paulus, and it really felt like the perfect piece to sing coming back home to Junior RNCM. (Track by Kings College Choir, Cambridge) 

It is 20 years (gulp) since I began attending Junior school on Saturdays (2002-04) as a student where I studied voice with Polly Beck.  I loved my time there, it gave me a unique opportunity at that time to immerse myself in music over the weekend, and to meet friends who felt the same enthusiasm about music and performing.  I’ll never forget the feeling of walking along the corridors at RNCM and hearing all of the sounds of different instruments coming from each practise room – and thinking  ‘this is where the magic happens!’ I met brilliant teachers, performers and great friends there – and gained my first invaluable experiences of performing public recitals, singing in ensembles, operas and gearing up for exams and auditions in preparation for ‘Big’ RNCM. 

I owe so much to Head of Junior RNCM Karen Humphreys and Deputy Head David Jones for all of their invaluable support and guidance over all of these years – and for the opportunity to experience the very special Junior RNCM atmosphere again this month – Although so many years have passed, and the magic of Junior RNCM is stronger than ever!    

“I particularly enjoy creating a range of opportunities, enabling each student to flourish in their music making. Everyone at the Junior RNCM is treated as an individual and encouraged to follow their own bespoke path”

Karen Humphreys MBE, Head of Junior RNCM

Beethoven Ninth Symphony Barbican

Beethoven Ninth Symphony Barbican

Beethoven's Ninth 28th December 2021

Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Concerto No 5, Emperor Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No 9, Choral Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with members of Goldsmiths Choral Union and Highgate Choral Society Christopher Warren Green conductor Beethoven’s Ninth
Handel’s Messiah – Royal Festival Hall

Handel’s Messiah – Royal Festival Hall

Handel's Messiah - Royal Festival Hall

Thurs 12 Dec 2021, 7:30PM

Brian Wright – conductor
Rebecca Bottone – soprano
Kathryn Rudge – mezzo-soprano
Oliver Johnston – tenor
William Thomas – bass
Goldsmiths Choral Union
Highgate Choral Society
English Concert Chorus
Philharmonia Orchestra
HANDEL Messiah