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
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.