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Musical Director

The post of Musical Director for the Spring Term 2018 is Daniel Galbreath

Birmingham-based conductor Daniel Galbreath is active in a broad range of music. He founded and directs Via Nova, a chamber choir dedicated to performing new music, which has participated in dozens of UK, European, and world premieres, and has been broadcast on BBC Radio3. Via Nova has also recently collaborated in a project with the Birmingham Conservatoire Composition Department.
He also conducts the Midlands Chorale and the Warwickshire County Male Voices, and is music director of Waste Paper Opera Company. The latter has taken him from performances in Birmingham warehouses and swimming baths to Glasgow cafes.
Daniel also frequently chorus-masters for operas and concerts in Birmingham and at Birmingham Conservatoire. Daniel is currently a PhD candidate at Birmingham Conservatoire, researching contemporary choral music. Other areas of interest include music and social theory, including nationalism and queer theory.
Daniel studied viola at the University of Wyoming in the United States, and has performed as a chamber musician, soloist in recital and concerto performances, and orchestral player. He also studied composition with Anne Guzzo.
His music has been performed by the San Francisco Choral Artists, University of Wyoming Collegiate Chorale, and the Schubert Ensemble, among other musicians.
His studies in Birmingham were with Paul Spicer (conductor) and Deborah Mawer (musicology).

The post of Musical Director for the Summer Term 2018 is Phil Ypres-Smith

Phil studied singing and organ at the Birmingham School of Music. During this time he worked closely with the Opera School. His Musical Direction included Don Giovanni, Albert Herring, Alcina (directed from the harpsichord at the Bath Georgian Festival), and the world premier of Giles Swayne’s Le Nozze de Cherubino. He was also involved in preparations for the first performances of Derek Bourgeois’ Kubla Khan under the late Sir Charles Groves.
Phil currently lives and works in Birmingham and is an experienced singing teacher and vocal coach. He has sung and accompanied for radio and has led many musical and choral groups throughout the country.
He has presented numerous lecture-recitals on subjects ranging from the history of Anglican church music to Italian opera. He also wrote and presented a programme for the BBC World Service taking a lighthearted look at the mysterious world of liturgical organ improvisation.
Alongside an extensive teaching practice, Phil is currently musical director of STAMPS and since 2003, Director of Music at St George’s Church Edgbaston.
He has an extensive portfolio of compositions and arrangements. Current projects include a new piano work to be premiered in London next month.
Future plans include playing piano for a recording of Joubert’s opera Jane Eyre and the composition of a cycle of four mini chamber operas for performance in 2017.

Daniel and Phil have both taken up the post of Musical Director by working term and term about.


For Musical Directors, pre 2011, please see CHOIR HISTORY