Key People

ANTHONY PEACOCK | MUSICAL DIRECTOR

Solway Singers’ Musical Director is Anthony Peacock, a well-known figure in local classical music circles.  Born in Edinburgh and brought up in the Scottish Borders, Anthony Peacock comes from a musical family and is married to Kathleen, another well-known local singer who now sings with Solway Singers.

Having studied with the eminent Carlisle-based singer and teacher Ena Mitchell and the International tenor, Ian Partridge, Anthony had a successful career singing professionally all over the UK, and he still undertakes the occasional solo performance.   His first love in terms of his own singing is oratorio and recently he performed the tenor solos in Haydn’s Creation at the 2013 Lanercost Festival. Anthony was also a founder member of and principal tenor for Cumbria Opera for 18 years.

Nowadays the majority of Anthony’s musical activities tend to be focused on choral conducting.  Having been invited to lead Solway Singers in 2004, he has developed the choir into one of the best in the area, attracting singers with good musical backgrounds.  The beautiful tonal quality of the choir is due in part to Anthony’s experience as a singer and singing teacher, and members of the choir benefit from his knowledge in terms of tips on technique throughout rehearsals.

Anthony is a particular devotee of the music of English composers, and is of the view that some are under-valued.  His taste is reflected in many of the concert programmes, with works ranging from Byrd through Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten to Rutter and Chilcott, as well as works by many foreign composers.

AVRIL TISDALL | ACCOMPANIST

Avril grew up in Carlisle, where she was a former piano pupil of Dr F W Wadely. Whilst still at school she gained her LRAM, at a time when the minimum age for receiving the award was 18. A regular trophy winner in the piano classes at Carlisle and other festivals in the north, Avril went on to study at the Royal Manchester College of Music, piano with Derrick Wyndham and Dennis Murdoch, and violin with Rudolf Botta. She graduated with special merit in performance.

A career in music education followed; having spent 15years in primary schools as a music specialist, she became an advisory teacher for primary music in Wigan and then deputy head of Knowsley MBC’s performing arts service. The last 16 years of her career were spent lecturing in music education at Edge Hill University, and included a few years as an Ofsted Inspector.

She has always loved accompanying, beginning with her school and church choirs, then staff and student recitals at Edge Hill. More recently, since returning to Carlisle, she has become the regular accompanist for Solway Singers and an official accompanist for Carlisle & District Music and Drama Festival, of which she is also the Chair.