Kenneth Roberts has been Music Director of Bexhill Choral Society since 1996. He was born in Hastings and educated at York University where he gained BA and MA degrees in music. He works as Musical Director for numerous companies at home and abroad and has conducted over 250 opera, ballet and other theatrical productions. He has played and conducted at many prestigious venues including The Royal Albert Hall, The Festival Hall, The Britten Theatre, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court. His second opera ‘Mister Butterfly,’ which he wrote in 1994, was premiered in Hong Kong and subsequently performed at the Edinburgh Festival, and featured in a documentary shown by BBC television and BBC World Service Satellite. Between 2001-2011 he worked at the University of New Hampshire, USA, where he directed a new ‘African’ Musical which he was commissioned to write and also composed music for an award-winning ‘international’ children’s piece. He was also musical director and conductor for Plymouth State University’s Educational Theatre Collaborative. In 2002 he fulfilled a commission from the Purcell School in association with the Vaughan Williams Trust as part of their centenary celebrations to mark the birth of Sir William Walton, and in 2005 he completed a commission to write a ballet based on the novel ‘The Trumpet Major’ by Thomas Hardy. In 2010 he contributed music for the recently published musical version of ‘Pollyanna’ and also became a BIFF (British and International Federation of Festivals) adjudicator. For the last couple of years he has enjoyed teaching musical composition at Battle Abbey School.
His highly acclaimed reduced orchestral arrangements of operatic scores by Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini and others are currently being played all over the world and are available from ‘www.smallscores.com’.
In between times he has enjoyed giving his series of lecture recitals around the country at music clubs and on cruise liners, on subjects ranging from Mozart to ‘Jelly Roll’ Morton, and has released a CD of piano music entitled ‘Around the World in 80 Minutes’.
Accompanist - Nigel Howard
Nigel Howard became our accompanist in 2017. He was born and brought up in Hastings where he started piano lessons at the age of six. Later, he was a choirboy at Holy Trinity Church, Hastings, where he also had his first organ lessons. He continued this study at Trinity College of Music before going up to Durham University as an organ scholar. Here he continued lessons with the cathedral organist, and later attended specialised classes with Fernando Germani in Siena, Italy.
After graduation Nigel taught in Hertfordshire where his work included direction of orchestras and involvement with stage musicals. His work with school chors covered many popular parts of the choral repertoire, and also included participation in choral events abroad, particularly France and Italy.
Since retirement, Nigel has returned to his roots. He is organist of Holy Trinity Church, Hastings, works with various choral groups and local musicians, and is in demand as an accompanist for local singers and choirs.