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This page introduces  David Woodman (assistant musical director), Andrew Hayman (our accompanist), Alex Poulton (our vocal coach), Joseph Padfield (a baritone soloist we have worked with on several occasions), and Southern Pro Musica (an orchestra that we frequently work with).

David Woodman

David Woodman's interest in music began when he was nine years old with piano lessons. He was nurtured through the Methodist Church, and initially used his new found skills to play for the weekly ladies meeting at a church in Bristol.

Upon moving to Southampton with his parents in 1957, he began to have organ lessons at St. James Road Methodist Church, Shirley, Southampton, where he became organist in June 1960 following the untimely death of his mentor and predecessor. He has been organist at this church for the last fifty four years, and has also played and accompanied in many other large churches - most notable of which is Winchester Cathedral. Since 1976 David has also been choirmaster at St. James Road, where the choir is known locally for its sensitive singing. Augmented choirs have performed works such as Handel,s Messiah, Faure’s Requiem, Parry's Blest Pair of Sirens and Stainer,s Crucifixion under his baton.

David was introduced to the Southampton Choral Society in 1984, and has sung under various Musical Directors, including Derek Goodger, our current President, Aidan Fairlie and Peter Gambie. He was appointed Assistant Musical Director by the Society, and has conducted the choir for various items on several occasions.

Upon early retirement in 1997 as a Computer Services Manager, David furthered his interest and expertise in the organ by working for Griffiths & Co. Ltd., Organ Builders - working on instruments across the south of England, Channel Islands and London. He continues to work part-time in the organ building industry.

As an amateur musician, David has been encouraged and enabled by so many professional musicians over the years, and wishes to pay tribute in particular to Derek Goodger and Peter Gambie for their encouragement.

Alex Poulton

Alex Poulton has performed in recital in major festivals throughout Europe and in many of the worlds leading concert venues from ‘The Wigmore Hall’, London to ‘The De Doelen’, Rotterdam. His core repertoire includes all three of Schubert’s song cycles. He also sings art song for BBC television and has appeared on ITV.

At Birmingham Conservatoire Alex won the Reginald Vincent Lieder Prize and was awarded a scholarship from the Joseph Weingarten Memorial Trust, to study lieder at the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest.

Recently he performed an English Song Recital with some rare works by Arthur Bliss for Arts in Residence and a recital of art songs from the Great War. Alex has been working in collaboration with BBC producer Keith Cheetham on dramatized performances of Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise. He is shortly to record a new album, this time of Ivor Gurney songs. 

Alex has sung most of the major baritone Oratorio repertoire such as Carmina Burana, A Sea SymphonyElijah and Finzi’s: Et in Terra Pax. Recent performances include solos in Faure Requiem, Elgar’s, Great is the Lord, Finzi’s Lo The Full Final Sacrifice & Let Us Garlands Bring  with Portsmouth Choral Union and St. Matthew Passion with Exeter Chamber Choir and Orchestra.

Forthcoming performances include Dichterliebe and Wolf Lieder for Portsmouth Music Club, Fantasia on Christmas Carols for Sidmouth Choral Society and Debussy’s Fêtes Gallants for Stansted House.  

Joseph Padfield

Joseph Padfield graduated with distinction from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Opera Course under the guidance of John Evans. Recent engagements include:

  • Spaun in Iain Burnside’s new play Why Does the Queen Die?
  • King Tartaglia, Little Green Swallow at the Peacock Theatre with British Youth Opera
  • Bear Prince, East o’ the Sun, West o’ the Moon at Tête-à-Tete Opera Festival
  • Erode, San Giovanni Battista, Fire Eater/Ape Judge/Big Green Fisherman/Ringmaster/Farmer, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Simeon, L’Enfant Prodigue, Il Re, Francesca di Foix, Coyle, Owen Wingrave at GSMD
  • Sprecher/Zweiter Priester/Zweiter Geharnischter, Die Zauberflöte with Garsington Emerging Artists
  • Colline, La Boheme with Haddo House Opera.

Joseph is regularly involved in the performance of new and contemporary music, performing in the past as a soloist in premieres at the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Silk Street Theatre. He has been engaged as a soloist in oratorios across the UK, enjoying a particularly strong relationship with Southampton Choral Society with whom he premiered Ian Schofield’s Freedom in 2013. In concert, Joseph regularly performs a broad range of art song, mélodie and lieder at venues across London.

Southern Pro Musica

The Southern Pro Musica evolved from the need for a professional orchestra to provide support for choirs based in Hampshire and West Sussex. The availability of increasing numbers of fine free-lance musicians choosing to base their careers in the south enabled the orchestra to enlarge its area of operations to work with choral societies further afield and also to undertake purely orchestral engagements. The orchestra’s first concert performance was an opera gala in Portsmouth Guildhall in August 1991.

In 1992 the orchestra was invited by the Southern Orchestral Concerts Society to become the resident chamber orchestra for its annual concert series based at Petersfield Festival Hall. In this series it performed with many distinguished national and international soloists, including in recent years Alison Balsom (trumpet), Natalie Clein (cello), Michaela Petri (recorder) Nicholas Daniel (oboe) and Antje Weithaas (violin). In an exciting further development, in 2013 Southern Pro Musica was appointed by Guildford Borough Council as their ‘principal provider of Classical music’, providing a broad range of orchestral concerts and educational outreach work in Guildford.

ProMusicaIn addition to its orchestral concerts, Southern Pro Musica undertakes an annual series of children’s concerts each year, introducing live orchestral music to many thousands of young listeners in Winchester, Petersfield, Worthing, Portsmouth, Chichester, Southampton, Guildford and Dorking – a series which has been generously supported since its inception by John Lewis partnership and, more recently, by the Foyle Foundation which has provided funds to enable children from state primary and junior schools to enjoy attending a concert. In its work providing first-class professional orchestral support for leading choirs in the south, the orchestra performs regularly with the Portsmouth Choral Union, Chichester Singers, Guildford Choral Society, Southampton Choral Society, and the Petersfield Festival and has also worked with the Winchester Music Club, Sussex Chorus, Dorset Guild of Singers, Leith Hill Festival, Epworth Choir, Froxfield Choir and the Wokingham Choral Society.

The Southern Pro Musica made its first commercial recording in 2001 when Priory Records issued a recording with the English Cathedral Singers, and further CDs have since appeared including a collaboration with the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain and music for narrator and orchestra with the distinguished musician and broadcaster Brian Kay. Another recent development has been the establishment of Friends of Southern Pro Musica. The orchestra’s Artistic and Musical Director is Jonathan Willcocks, whose international career as a conductor and composer has taken him to many parts of the world in addition to his extensive work in UK.