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Patron: Nicholas Daniel

President: Adrienne Cleary

Conductor: Andrew Parnell

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On this page we profile some of the key personnel of Wymondham Symphony Orchestra - our Musical Director, President, Patron and Leader.

Andrew Parnell

Musical Director - Andrew Parnell

Andrew Parnell has conducted choirs and orchestras since his student days in Cambridge. For 25 years, he lived and worked in St Albans, as Assistant Master of the Music at the Cathedral (where he also founded the Abbey Girls Choir), as Choral Director at St Albans School and Conductor of the city's Symphony Orchestra. Highlights during that time were Verdi's Requiem with St Albans School and St Albans High School; Bach's St Matthew Passion with St Albans Bach Choir; Britten's War Requiem and Berlioz's Te Deum with combined local societies. He also directed the Cathedral Choristers in a performance and recording of Orff's Carmina Burana with the LPO conducted by Franz Welser-Möst at the Royal Festival Hall. Andrew often directed or played for the BBC Singers in Radio 4's Daily Service.

As an organist, he performed in Cathedral services; high-profile special occasions, often attended by royalty; foreign tours; recordings; broadcasts on radio and TV; and solo recitals both home and abroad.

Conducting has remained a major part of Andrew's three-fold career after he turned freelance in 2001. In addition to Wymondham Symphony Orchestra, he conducts the Ely Choral Society and Ely Youth Choir, and has directed the Cambridgeshire Choral Society and the St Albans-based chamber choir Carillon.

As well as conducting, Andrew's present career sees him playing the organ in solo recitals, accompanying choirs, or deputising at cathedrals around the country. These have included Ely, Canterbury, Wakefield, St Edmundsbury, Rochester, Peterborough and Southwell.

Andrew's compositions, sacred and secular, choral, instrumental and orchestral, have been performed in the UK and abroad. He has written major works for Ely Choral Society and Cambridgeshire Choral Society which have been performed in Ely Cathedral and King's College Chapel, Cambridge. Fenland Images, commissioned for the 2017 Isle of Ely Arts Festival, was performed in Ely Cathedral during the concluding concert of the Arts Festival in July 2017. A second performance was given in Wymondham Abbey in 2019. Everyone Sang, for choir, organ and clarinet, was premiered in October 2018.

Andrew specialises in working with amateur music-makers, encouraging them to enjoy their playing or singing, while they work to develop their skills to the highest standard of performance.

Nicholas Daniel

Patron - Nicholas Daniel

We are delighted to have such a distinguished internationally renowned musician as our Patron.

At the age of 18 Nick won the BBC's prestigious Young Musician of the Year Competition. Since then he has been heard in recital on almost every continent, and has been a concerto soloist with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the Netherlands and Bavarian Radio Orchestras. He has been a guest artist with every BBC orchestra and has appeared several times at the BBC Proms. Nick co-founded Britten Sinfonia as Principal Oboe and regularly appears as soloist and director with them. He is also a founding member of the Haffner Wind Ensemble, and plays regularly with pianist Julius Drake.

Nick has premiered many works, including such luminaries as Henri Dutilleux, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Sir Michael Tippett, and John Woolrich. Additionally, composers such as Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, John Taverner, Oliver Knussen, Michael Berkeley and David Matthews have written pieces especially for him.

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President - Adrienne Cleary ARCM

Born in Wiltshire Adrienne has lived in both Suffolk and Norfolk. She studied at the Royal College of Music and for all her working life she has been teaching piano and recorder privately and at Old Hall School, Hethersett, and Wymondham College in Norfolk. She was a founder member of the Friends of Norfolk Youth Music (FONYM), running workshops for young musicians, and is frequently invited to be a guest conductor of the Norfolk Recorder Society.

She founded the Wymondham Symphony Orchestra in 1984 and has kept busy behind the scenes not only as secretary for the first ten years and then its President. She is also an active member of the orchestra playing piano, celeste and percussion.

In December 2019 Adrienne was shortlisted for the Cultural/Arts Person of the Year Award, sponsored by Broadland & South Norfolk Council, as part of the Stars of Norfolk & Waveney Awards 2019. Later at a ceremony in the 'Open', Bank Plain, Norwich, she was presented with the winner's prize.

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