Chair - Maureen Howard
Secretary - Judith James
Music Librarian - Janice Robinson
Treasurer - Louise Watson
Publicity Officers - Judith James, Jill Pennell & Brenda Chidley
Springfield Junior Singers - Hollie Williams & Debbie Saunders
Honorary President - Dr Roy Sharma
Roy was raised in Rochdale, Lancashire and from the age of 10, went to Manchester Grammar School and then on to Queens' Cambridge and the Welsh National School of Medicine. He became a full time GP in Lydney in 1982 and stayed there until he retired in 2016. Since then he has worked as a "freelance" in surgeries and hospitals - which, he says, is great fun. His wife Julie introduced him to vocal music and his interest has continued. He says "It is a great privilege and pleasure to be involved with the Springfield Singers. I hope to get to as many of their performances that my schedule permits".
Roy - we will be pleased to see you.
Musical Director - Sarah Waycott
Sarah began her musical life with the flute but soon added the cello to her instruments and is now enjoying a varied career as a professional freelance musician.
Studying music at her local college, Sarah continued to read for a general music degree at Bath Spa University where she encompassed everything from classical to Jazz; Baroque flute and cello; the viol; and performed with the college orchestra and many diverse ensembles. Going on to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama she again specialised in performance, gaining her Postgraduate Diploma.
As an established freelancer, she has performed in the UK and overseas and enjoys the combination of teaching and performing. Among her most notable performances, Sarah has performed at St Martin in the Fields, for the Countess of Wessex, appeared in an advert for Sky Television and performed at the premiere of 'Pictures', a Thursday film production starring Andrea Corr and Neil Pearson.
Sarah regularly works as part of Tranquillo Duo with Hannah Mitchell - A flute and piano duo spanning all genres and bringing exciting twists to well known favourites, film music and new works. Tranquillo is an important part of Sarah's musical life see the website www.tranquillo.co.uk They perform across the UK and overseas for recitals, concerts, private and corporate functions, weddings, festivals and many other occasions. They focus on providing exciting and accessible music and although classically trained performers they like to add a certain hint of 'Classical Crossover' style to their performances. Tranquillo are also well known for supporting, performing and often premiering new works by composers and in 2010 they released their debut album which can be purchased from their website.
Through her varied career, Sarah has also found herself as the Musical Director of several choirs in her local area. Sarah is current Musical Director of Springfield Singers, a ladies choir, and the mixed community choir Forest Singers. Both perform regularly for charity, weddings and local events.
Sarah was a founder member of ELO Again as cellist for the popular tribute band and toured with them until early 2016.
A new collaboration in 2018 has evolved in the creation of Ex Animo, a flute and piano duo with pianist Yanna Zissiadou that specialises in 20th century music.
With harpist Jemima Philips, Duel, rework well known and popular music creating exciting programmes with the use of electronic effects and looping pedals.
Sarah has performed in workshops with Graham Meyger, Karen Jones, Ian Clarke, Phillipa Davies and she is currently studying with Susan Milan./p>
Accompanist - Yanna Zissiadou
For the next few months Yanna will be joining Springfield Singers as our accompanist. We are all extremely excited and look forward to welcoming her to our numbers.
Yanna was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. She has lived in the UK since 1993 and is a proud citizen of both countries. An educator, concert pianist conductor, accompanist, coach and proud grandmother of three beautiful girls.
Her music heritage transcends the traditions of her family's ancestry (Asia Minor) and the diversity of her musical education and her parents' eclectic taste in music which encompassed anything from Sinatra and Theodorakis to Wagner and Verdi.
Yanna is an experienced pianist and accompanist. In 1987 she was awarded the Dimitri Sgouros ‘Prize and Scholarship’ by the New Conservatory of Thessaloniki from where she graduated in 1988 with the ‘Diploma for Piano performance and teaching’. In the previous year she won a Youth Makes Music competition to represent Greece in the Senior category at the ‘Jugend Musiziert’ competition in Frankfurt.
During her years at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Yanna won the Cipriani Potter Exhibition prize in her second year as a student in the ‘Advanced Studies’ postgraduate course. She studied Advanced Studies piano with Hamish Milne, conducting with Denise Ham, Chamber Music with Malcolm Martineau and graduated with the 'Diploma of Advanced Studies' in 1990. An influential figure was the late John Streets MBE FRAM; a distinguished musician and hugely supportive tutor.
In 1989 Yanna toured Texas U.S.A. performing as a soloist with the Bochum Youth Orchestra following a successful performance with the same orchestra in Thessaloniki in 1987. Yanna graduated the RAM in 1990 and took a year out to tour Europe giving solo and chamber music recitals.
Yanna was accepted at the Eastman School of Music, U.S.A. in 1991 where she studied piano with Jeffrey Kahane. It was there that she discovered her real love for music, musicology, theory, forged lifelong friendships, worked in one of the busiest Concert Offices, was inspired by the Montessori education system and performed a vast amount of chamber music. It was there she worked closely with Malcolm Bilson, an influential piano pedagogue and specialist in early keyboard instruments and 18th-19th century music.
She gained her Master’s in ‘Piano Performance and Literature’ in 1993 and following a short spell back in Greece she made the decision of returning to the UK where she has lived ever since.
Yanna taught the piano in Greece since she was 16 years old and continued in the U.S.A. and UK until she decided to change direction and pursue a new career path as a secondary school music teacher. She was appointed Head or Director of Music in three of the seven schools she taught in, across the UK. In 2016, she made the decision to retire from classroom teaching and find other pursuits outside music or education.
Alongside Director Caroline Lumsden and Mina Lazarides, Yanna forged the first 'Sani Classic' Festival in Halkidiki Greece in 1994. Yanna conducted the 78-strong orchestra with one of Greece’s most famous pianists George Lazarides, performed Beethoven’s Triple with the Tivoli Trio and accompanied Greek leading Soprano Julia Souglakou.
Yanna has conducted small contemporary music ensembles, wind and brass bands and amateur orchestras but she mostly enjoyed conducting Musical Productions from the piano. Yanna worked extensively and for over 12 years with amateur Theatre and Opera companies but also Choirs as an accompanist both in London and Gloucestershire. She founded a Children’s Choir in the Forest of Dean and a Youth Choir within Gloucestershire’s Music Hub.
Working with amateur musicians has been hugely fulfilling. As part of her role as Director of Music or as a P/T teacher of Music, Yanna collaborated with many schools and organisations to create large scale events always striving to bring people together through music.
In 2018 Yanna has co-founded ANIMO, a flute and piano duo, with friend Sarah Waycott. Both at home in intimate and grand scale settings, Yanna believes in letting music speak for itself and directly to the audience.
Yanna now aims to start recording Greek piano music for YouTube and Soundcloud from her new Music Room (now established as Animo’s ‘Eden’s Hill Studio’) playing on a Bosendorfer 214 VC. She hopes ANIMO will take her on a new journey of performing live all over the world. Part of this new career drive is commissioning ‘new music’ for Animo as well as premiering new works for solo piano.
Yanna believes in living life to the full and sharing music without borders or conventions.
Accompanist - Richard Watson
Richard is a highly-accomplished and multi-talented pianist and drummer who has made a name for himself in a number of fields as a sought-after session musician, accompanist and composer. After studying English and Drama at Southampton University, Richard has for many years maintained a busy schedule as a musician alongside his work as an English teacher. He has worked as MD on countless shows, including Guys and Dolls, Chicago, Cabaret, Iolanthe and Camelot in Gloucester.
For over twenty years Richard has accompanied singers and instrumentalists in exams ranging from grade 1 up to Diploma standard. He has also acted as both repetiteur, musical director and choirmaster for many shows in musical theatre including: Cheltenham based Focus Theatre; the Gloucester Operatic and Dramatic Society; Dreamshed Theatre; Ross-on-Wye based Phoenix Singers and the Hereford Soul Choir.
As a performer he has played in many jazz and rock bands, including some time as keyboard player for tribute band Cheap Purple. Sadly, without long hair and a moustache, he looked nothing like Jon Lord!
Compositions include well over ten musicals for primary and secondary schools, including versions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Terry Pratchett's Moving Pictures and Twelfth Night. For Cheltenham-based Beaufort Productions he has written the music for Peter Pan, Saint Dracula, Sparkle City and Venice Revisited. He has penned background music for many touring theatre productions and has written a suite of pieces for solo piano. Richard is the resident composer for the Rain or Shine Theatre Company and provides all the music for both their summer and winter shows.
Just over a year ago Richard formed Serrated Edge Theatre with singer Isabelle Paige as a way of showcasing his songwriting skills and her astonishing voice. Their show Behind the Blinds is a dramatic song cycle which strips bare the private lives of the neighbours in a typical suburban street in a combination of Victoria Wood , Fascinating Aida, Tim Minchin and Stilgoe and Skellern style musical numbers.