Neil Page – Director of Music (January 1986 – May 2007)
Having given twenty-one years of tireless and inspirational conducting, training and encouragement to the choir, Neil Page retired at the end of the 2006-2007 season.
Following his initial choral experience in the choirs of Durham Cathedral and Trinity College, Cambridge, Neil Page studied singing at the Royal Academy of Music with Professor Roy Henderson – by coincidence a former Chorus Master of the Nottingham Harmonic Society during the 1930s. He made his London concert debut at the Royal Festival Hall in Bellini’s Norma with Montserrat Caballé and José Carreras.
Despite the promise of a successful career as a solo tenor it was as a teacher and conductor that he made his mark. Having held teaching posts in London and Sussex he was eventually appointed Director of Music at Malvern College and Conductor of the Malvern Festival Chorus.
During his nine years on the Malvern Hills he conducted all the major works in the choral repertoire appearing as Conductor with the City of Birmingham, the Hallé and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras. In 1985 he became Director of Music at Uppingham School and the following January he also took over as Director of Music of the Nottingham Harmonic Society. During his sixteen years directing the choir of Uppingham School, they gained a national reputation with regular concerts in The Snape Maltings, Westminster Abbey, St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle and King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. Recital tours have taken them as far afield as Singapore, Sarawak, Malaysia, Maiao and Hong Kong.
Memorable events combining the Nottingham Harmonic and Uppingham School choral forces have included the Verdi Requiem and Britten War Requiem both involving 500 singers in Lincoln Cathedral.
Having retired from Uppingham in 2001, he now lives in Nottingham freelancing as a choral and orchestral conductor, in addition to being an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.
In January 2003 he was appointed Organist and Director of Music at St Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham. Under his direction the Choir of St Barnabas has flourished, giving many successful concerts in addition to their usual cathedral duties.
In recognition of his work with youth and adult choirs, Neil Page was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship.