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Paul Provost

Musical Director

Paul Provost

Paul Provost was the Musical Director of the North Downs Consort from September 2010, until December 2014. During this time, he has led the Consort in a wide variety of concerts, ranging from performances of ever-popular works such as Fauré Requiem and Allegri Miserere mei to much lesser known choral works by composers such as Eric Whitacre and Humphrey Clucas. He enjoys guiding the singers through challenging works, whilst making sure the simplest of pieces is well crafted.

Paul began studies on the Piano and Cello at the ages of four and six – his early musical inspiration came from attending choir rehearsals at the local church. Since then church music in particular has played a large part in his life. He was educated at Chetham’s School of Music, where alongside the cello, organ became increasingly his principal study. During this time, Paul gave many organ and cello recitals and was a member of Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra and the Wolstenholme Piano Trio, who were highly regarded at the Lake District Summer Music Festival. He was also Organ Scholar at Manchester Cathedral between September 1999 and 2004 - a wonderful and important formative experience.

From 2004 to 2007, Paul was Organ Student at St John’s College, Cambridge, where he was responsible for accompanying the daily round of services, and assisting the then Director of Music, David Hill - now chief conductor of the BBC Singers - in training the famous chapel choir. With St John’s, he toured to Paris, Austria, Estonia, the USA, Holland and Venice, in addition to numerous concerts, recordings, and broadcasts much less further afield. Outside the chapel, Paul conducted the St John’s Singers and worked with CUBE (Cambridge University Baroque Ensemble) both as a keyboard player and director.

Immediately following on from University, Paul was appointed Assistant Director of Chapel Music and Assistant Organist at Winchester College. There, he had a wide variety of duties as accompanist, choir trainer, organ tutor, and classroom teacher. Whilst at Winchester, he accompanied the Chapel Choir on its tour to the USA, for two recordings, was the pianist for Winchester Music Club’s performance of Rossini Petit Messe Solenelle, and directed the Winchester Quiristers in a complete performance of Britten Friday Afternoons.

Paul is currently Sub Organist at Guildford Cathedral, a post which he took up in September 2009. His work includes playing the organ and conducting the choir at the Cathedral’s daily liturgies, assisting in training the boy and girl choristers, along with numerous other duties associated with a busy Cathedral music department. At Guildford, he has played for two BBC broadcasts, recorded a CD of Christmas music with the choir, and taken part in a major series of events to commemorate Guildford Cathedral’s Golden Jubilee in 2011. Paul is still very active as a freelance conductor and accompanist, and has given organ recitals in such venues as Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Kings College, Cambridge, and in the Buxton Festival, as well as playing continuo organ for such groups as the Britten Sinfonia, Florilegium, and the Southern Sinfonia.

Paul is married to Ruth, a freelance singer working internationally, and they occasionally combine to perform song recitals. When not fulfilling their busy schedules, and given the weather, they can both be found somewhere in the Cumbrian mountains.

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