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Musical Director  |  Graham Coatman

Graham Coatman enjoys a busy career as composer, musical director, piano accompanist, continuo player and teacher. Following studies at Bristol University and Guildhall School of Music & Drama, his first appointment was Head Pianist and Musical Director at Arts Educational School, London. This led to theatre work, eg MD for the 25th anniversary production of Oh What A Lovely War! at Leicester Haymarket Theatre, and touring his own ACE commissioned chamber opera Giovanni’s Women, clocking up more than 30 performances.

Previous work as choral trainer includes 17 years as Musical Director of Leeds Guild of Singers, raising its profile significantly to be “one of Yorkshire’s finest small choirs”. The choir embraced repertoire across seven centuries, from Hildegard of Bingen, to new commissions, including Songs from Mount Grace by Philip Wilby for its 50th anniversary in 1998, and the première of Graham’s own Entartung (3 settings of Heine for double choir & saxophone) at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire. The Guild also performed Graham’s semi-staged choral song cycle In A Strange Land, with lighting and back projections.

Since leading music-theatre workshops for Altenburger Musik-Theater Akademie in 1990-91, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Graham has been much involved in community and education projects nationally. He was a founder member of London’s Wigmore Hall Education Advisory Panel, leading the Millennium Mysteries project, with designer/puppet-maker Russell Dean, and music and art projects with the Wallace Collection & RAM. He brought the first rapper to the Wigmore Stage in the Sound Exchange project, going on to lead a sub-regional Youth Music programme, Making Waves, across Yorkshire, with performances at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

Graham founded HISS (Historically Informed Summer School) in 2011, exploring early, folk & traditional music, now welcoming around 80 participants from across the world as well as UK. His most recent appointment is as MD for the enterprising Salisbury Community Choir.



Previous Musical Directors include, but not limited to:

William McElwee | Musical Director, St Mary of the Angels, Wellington, New Zealand
Peter Parshall | Chapel Music Co-ordinator, Jesus College, Oxford | Musical Director, Axminster Chamber Choir | Axminster & District Choral Society
Judy Martin | Music Department, St Swithun's School, Winchester | Axminster Chamber Choir
Helen Brind | Musical Director, Weymouth Choral Society
David Gostick | Musical Director, Bournemouth Sinfonietta Choir
James Henderson | Director of Music, Sherborne School | Director of Music & Organist, Sherborne Abbey
Peter Leech | Harmonia Sacra | Costanzi Consort | Spectra Musica
Steven Bell | Former Musical Director, Taunton Choral Society | Former Director of Music, Queen's College Taunton
Roger Durston | Former Director of Music, Wells Cathedral School | Former Principal Brit Performing Arts School
Guy Turner | Southwell Minster | Former Head of Music, Yeovil College
Anthony Saunders | Formerly Organist, St Mary's Church, Beaminster | Formerly Royal Academy of Music, London



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Yeovil Chamber Choir - Page updated September 2021