We are delighted to have Simon Mercer as our Musical Director.
Simon was brought up on the South Coast where he studied the organ with Alan Thurlow at Chichester Cathedral and the trumpet with Crispian Steele-Perkins.
He read for the Degree of BMus(Hons) at the University of Sheffield continuing his organ studies with Graham Matthews at Sheffield Cathedral. Simon developed a passion for conducting at this time and directed a number of the University Ensembles and Choirs.
As an RNCM Postgraduate, he studied organ with Eric Chadwick, Ronald Frost and Gillian Weir and harpsichord with David Francis before returning to Sheffield to research The Victorian Organ and its repertoire.
Simon has held numerous important musical posts in the area. He was Assistant Organist at St. George's Church Stockport, Assistant Musical Director of St. George's Singers Poynton and repetiteur with Stockport Festival Chorus. He has also directed the King Edward Musical Society of Macclesfield and Marple Choral Society.
Simon is a highly respected teacher having been Assistant Director of Music at Cheadle Hulme School; Director of Music at St. Ambrose College and Music co-ordinator at Cheadle and Marple 6th Form College. He concluded his 25 year career in schools as Director of Music at the King’s School in Macclesfield.
He is in his 23rd year as Senior Academic Tutor and Organ Tutor at the Junior Department of the Royal Northern College of Music where he is also Director of the JRNCM Vocal Ensemble; he has recently been appointed Conductor of the RNCM Symphony Chorus. The Hallé Choir recently launched the ground breaking “Hallé Academy” with Simon as conductor. Simon is also an Examiner for The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.
He has given Organ Recitals in the cathedrals in Arundel, Chichester, Dunkeld, Sheffield and Vienna. Simon and his wife Kate, also a Sheffield music graduate, live in Whaley Bridge with a variety of dogs and cats. For further information please visit his website at www.simonmercer.org.uk
James was born in Manchester in 1978 and grew up in Stockport where he still lives. Until recently, he was focussed on performing, with particular emphasis on piano accompaniment for both choirs and soloists. However; since his diagnosis of high-functioning autism (previously known as Asperger's Syndrome) in April 2015 he has decided to resurrect his love of creating music (he gained I00% for composing at GCSE level) and expand his repertoire. Having been involved with several choirs he felt it natural to contribute to the choral repertoire in particular: In their last concert Prestbury Choral Society performed the premiere of his work, A Shropshire Lad, to great acclaim. His influences are numerous, but his own favourite composers are Beethoven, J.S. Bach, Debussy and Vaughan-Williams. James is currently Assistant Musical Director for two choirs: Prestbury Choral Society and Marple Choral Society. He also sings with the William Byrd Singers and is their in-house pianist. He holds professional diplomas in Performance (piano and flute) and Music Theory, and is working towards a Master's qualification in composing (FLCM).