An award-winning Schools Singing Programme that encourages children to sing.

An award-winning Schools Singing Programme that encourages children to sing.

The Team

Musicians

Cathy Lamb

Maryanne Standing

Ailsa Cochrane

David Werry

Sarah Croft

Isobel Chesman

Laura Collins

Eilidh Owen

Richard Bateman

Stephen Harrison

Ben Lamb

Cathy Lamb

Animateur & Director (also conductor of Young Voices & Ladies Who Lark)

Cathy Lamb is Director of Music Outreach at Lichfield Cathedral School and is becoming increasingly well-known for her work as a choral animateur.  Until Easter 2017 she was Director of Music at Lichfield Cathedral alongside her husband Ben (who is now full-time Director of Music).  Her role included directing the Lichfield Cathedral Girl Choristers (a choir she took on from their second year and integrated into the Cathedral’s Choral Foundation) and organising MusicShare, which expanded so much under her leadership that the need to focus wholly on this work led to her new role.  MusicShare recently won the TES Independent-State School Partnership Award.  She is also founder and Director of the Lichfield Cathedral Young Voices, which has now expanded to include Youth and Mini sections as you will read on this website.

Cathy enjoyed guest conducting for Lichfield Cathedral Chorus in their Autumn Term 2016, conducting the second ever performance of Paul Spicer’s Advent Oratorio and again at Easter 2019 when they performed the Verdi Requiem.  Cathy’s roots, however, are as an organist and she has held Organ Scholarships at Salisbury Cathedral and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and organist posts at Wells Cathedral and Christchurch Priory as well as Lichfield Cathedral.  Cathy’s recital engagements have included many major venues across the country.

She has tutored on several courses for the RCO (Royal College of Organists), Oundle for Organists and the RSCM (Royal School of Church Music – was awarded the ARSCM for her educational work) and is the main accompanist for Salisbury-based choir, Sarum Voices, and is featured on seven of their CDs.  Cathy has one solo CD recorded on the organ by B.C. Shepherd & Sons at St. Alphage, Burnt Oak (London).  Cathy is proud to be the President of the North Staffs & District Organ Society, Chair of the Lichfield Area RSCM, Lichfield Area Representative (Friends of Cathedral Music) and Trustee on the Board of FOSYM (Friends of Staffordshire’s Young Musicians).

Maryanne Standing

Leader of Mini Voices

Born in Sydney, Australia, Maryanne studied Classical Singing at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, qualifying with a Degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Music. After teaching singing at various local schools, Maryanne moved to the UK in 2007, where she performed in productions and concerts as well as singing solo recitals in the Brighton area. She taught singing privately, and looked after children as a childminder.

Maryanne gained her DipABRSM in Vocal Teaching in 2012 and went on to extend her interest in young children’s development, studying to become a Montessori Early Years Teacher, graduating with a Montessori Centre International Diploma in 2017.  She joined the Music Share team in 2019, directing the newly formed Mini Voices, which combines her passion for singing and Early Years. She loves her role, sharing the joy of singing and music with babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers.

Ailsa Cochrane

Director of Young Voices

Ailsa studied singing at the Royal Northern College of Music with Barbara Robotham.  She graduated in 1999 with a Post Graduate Diploma in Performance Studies.  In her final year she was kindly supported by The Countess of Munster Musical Trust and Sir James Caird’s Travelling Scholarships Fund.  Ailsa worked with D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in their Savoy Theatre productions of Iolanthe and Yeomen of the Guard, singing in the chorus and covering the roles of Queen of the Fairies and Dame Carruthers. She performed several roles including Berta in The Barber of Seville with Clonter Opera, Persephone in O4E for Opera North at the Lowry in Manchester, Fifth Servant in the Almeida Opera Company’s, Ion, by Param Vir and Filipevna in Evgeny Onegin with both Stowe Opera and First Act Opera.  Her concert work has included performances of the St Matthew Passion in St Nicholas Cathedral in Monaco, the Duruflé Requiem with Lichfield Cathedral Choir, Sea Pictures with Worcester Symphony Orchestra, The Magdalene Orchestra, Les Nuits D’été with Worcester Symphony Orchestra, Elijah and The Dream of Gerontius with Wigan Choral Society. She has performed recitals for Wolverhampton Music Society and The Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  Ailsa has performed with Clonter Opera, Opera North, the Almeida Opera Company and many others.  She performs opera arias regularly at Music Share events at Lichfield Cathedral, in order to introduce opera to a younger audience; has sung with the Lichfield Chorus in performances of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and most recently in Verdi’s Requiem; has sung at fundraisers concerts, including several Gilbert & Sullivan concert performances, and sang the role of The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors in a production there in 2011.  Ailsa has been a singing teacher to the Choristers at Lichfield Cathedral since 2007 and Director of Youth Voices since its infancy.

David Werry

Animateur

David was born in Wolverhampton in 1962. As a boy he sang in school choirs and eventually joined St Bartholomew’s Parish Church choir in Penn. He then sung in many other choirs over the years before becoming a Lay Vicar in Lichfield Cathedral Choir in 1996. He plays the flute and, somewhat less well, the piano. He also loved learning trombone alongside his primary school pupils and has been known to wield a violin. In other careers he worked as an accountant for six years, then in primary education for 27 years, including 12 as headteacher.

Sarah Croft

Animateur

Sarah studied at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London qualifying with a postgraduate diploma in Musical Theatre in 2001.  After performing off West End in a number of musicals, she performed both as lead production vocalist and solo cabaret artist for Fred Olsen and Starline Cruisess.

Whilst working professionally, Sarah continued her voice studies with internationally renowned vocal coach, Mary Hammond (Royal Academy of Music), further developing her knowledge and understanding of the Estill method.

In 2007 Sarah trained as a secondary school teacher.  Having already been a workshop facilitator for young adults with learning difficulties, she has always taken a strong interest in sign language and inclusive performance.  In 2017 Sarah established a sign language choir for the students at her school.  The choir has been highly successful and were selected for the National Junior Sign Language Championships in 2020.

Sarah continues to work as a professional singer as well a private vocal coach.  She is delighted to be a part of the MusicShare team. 

Laura Collins

Animateur

 Laura gained a Masters in jazz voice from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, after singing as a Choral Exhibitioner at Queens’ College, Cambridge University.  There she read Modern Languages and acted with the Cambridge Footlights.

Melding her interest in performance and high quality music-making, Laura has worked a professional choir director for amateur choirs, singing groups and Performing Arts Colleges since 2004.  In 2019 she kickstarted a local community choir with the aim of creating high musical standards, while focusing on enhancing well-being.  She has led singing groups and team-building projects for charities and public and private companies.  Laura’s notable clients included Standard and Poor’s, Essex County Council and University Hospitals Birmingham.

Laura is a trained teacher, having taught at the Birmingham Ormiston Academy from its inception, specialising in voice.  She gives private singing lessons from her vocal studio in Sutton Coldfield.  Her unusual background in both classical and jazz stlyes enables her to help singers with a variety of creative singing approaches.  She has studied a variety of techniques including the Estill method.  She is a member of the Association of Teachers of Singing, the British Voice Association and the Incorporated Society of Musicians.

Laura has appeared as a guest on a number of albums in the jazz/pop idiom and in 2010 released the album ‘Baltimore Oriole’ on Spotlite Records, which issues Charlie Parker’s Dial Recordings.  The album achieved critical success and launched in Chelsea’s prestigious 606 Club, featuring Jazz Messngers’ Jean Toussaint.  She has worked both singing and playing piano for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  She is the vocalist for ‘Birmingham’s hottest (big) swing band’, the Jim Wynn Swing Orchestra, with who she has performed at both the Symphony Hall and Town Hall.

 

Isobel Chesman

Animateur

 Isobel  is a secondary school music teacher, vocal health specialist, and private music tutor alongside her work with MusicShare.  She studied her Undergraduate Music Degree at Newcastle University, where she held a Choral Scholarship at Newcastle Cathedral and participated in the Genesis Sixteen training programme with Harry Christophers, CBE.  She later trained as a teacher at the UCL Institute of Education in London.  Isobel grew us as a chorister, and has maintained her affinity with church music through her work as a Deputy Lay Clerk and vocal coach at Derby Cathedral, and with the Royal School of Church Music.  She is currently studying for her Masters Degree in Performance Science at the Royal College of Music in London and is a qualified Vocal Health First Aider.

 

Eilidh Owen

Administrator & Trainee Animateur

 Eilidh began singing with MusicShare’s Young Voices in 2009 and in 2013 became a chorister at Lichfield Cathedral.  During her time in the Cathedral Choir, she took part in many large services with international tours to Italy, France and Germany.  After a year out for GCSE’s, Eilidh re-joined Lichfield Cathedral Choir as a Sixth Form Choral Scholar in 2019.  Through her A-levels, she found a love for composition which led her to enter and win the National Centre for Early Music’s Young Composer Award 2020, which meant her piece was recorded by the Tallis Scholars for BBC Radio 3.  She later composed a piece to be performed by the Cathedral Choir at Christmas.  She is currently on a gap year in which she is working for MusicShare along with continuing to study an extra A-Level in Music Technology.  She has also taken on the role of conductor of Fradley Community Choir.  She hopes to continue into higher education to study Music at university.

 

Ben Lamb

Director of Music, Lichfield Cathedral (regular pianist with the MusicShare band)

When not playing piano or drums for MusicShare, Ben spends his time training the choristers and directing the music at Lichfield Cathedral.  His love of choral music was kindled as a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral, and has been a key part of his life ever since.  He has held organ scholarships at Truro and Salisbury Cathedrals and spent some years in the classroom, latterly as Head of Music at La Retraite Swan School in Salisbury.  He is the founder and director of Sarum Voices, a semi-professional choir which he still runs today (for which Cathy is the principal accompanist), and with whom he has recorded several albums, and also runs Lichfield Cathedral Chorus – a large amateur choir that puts on regular concerts with orchestra in Lichfield Cathedral. Ben is delighted to be a small part of MusicShare, which has transformed the musical education of so many children across the area.

Richard Bateman

Regular Drummer with the MusicShare band

Richard taught himself drums from the age of 11, using fresh air, his imagination, and a very resilient carpet for a kit, and two A4 document spine-bars for sticks. Close study of Roger Taylor’s playing on the VHS of Queen: Live at Wembley ’86 completed this non-conventional pedagogical set-up. Since acquiring actual drums around the age of 16 he has become a well-known and versatile percussive presence – playing in pits for musical theatre productions, concerts for orchestras, on the wedding and function scenes and in jazz clubs – in the Midlands, and at various other times in York, Newcastle and Cambridge, where he now predominantly lives, having in 2018 completed a PhD there researching the links between African-American jazz, poetry and the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

In addition to drums and percussion, he is a professional baritone, choral conductor, electric bass player, and academic supervisor. He also dabbles in occasional web-design––a skill he acquired in his four years as the Administrator of the Lichfield Festival (2010–13), for whom he also managed the volunteers between 2007 and 2013.

Stephen Harrison

Regular Bassist with the MusicShare band

Stephen began playing the bass at the age of 14 and shortly after joined his school swing band, jazz ensemble and musical theatre band. He read music at the University of Leeds and now greatly enjoys his work playing the bass for local musicals, big bands, a jazz trio and various other projects such as MusicShare. He is a keen cyclist and also works part-time as a choral singer and accountant.

Young Singing Leaders

Young Singing Leaders

MusicShare Young Singing Leaders are a mixture of singers (chorister, former-choristers and non-choristers) who are learning how to lead singing in schools and who help with the delivery of our sessions.

The Young Singing Leaders can be in any year from Year 5-13 and are all students at Lichfield Cathedral School.

During usual term-time, outside of Covid-19 restrictions, they meet weekly to learn new songs and the techniques used to teach them.

At the current time they have been learning via training videos and some of them have even made their own teaching videos to be sent out to schools.

Volunteers

MusicShare would like to thank the following volunteers for their time and dedication to supporting all our work, both with our core ensembles and also with our large-scale concerts:

Helen Eardley-Taylor

Heather Gandhi

Richard Owen

Julie Skellern

Olivia Skellern

Philip Such

MusicShare, under the auspices of Lichfield Cathedral School is committed to equal opportunities and to the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults, and the care and nurture of children within our community.  To this end any recruitment of volunteers will be done in line with Safer Recruitment principles and all volunteers will be subject to DBS disclosure in accordance with the DBS Code of Practice. 

If you would like to learn more about volunteering opportunities at MusicShare please contact musicshare@lichfieldcathedralschool.com.

Board

Jennifer Mason

Senior Music Consultant, Entrust Music Service Staffordshire & LCS Governor

Andrew Stead

Precentor of Lichfield Cathedral & LCS Governor

Sue Hannam

Head of Lichfield Cathedral School

Claire Shaw

Head of Lichfield’s Diocesan Board of Education & Interim Chair of LCS Governing Body

Pauline Sharratt

Bursar, Lichfield Cathedral School