We are fortunate to have the services of a hugely-talented Musical Director in Andris who joined Castleford Male Voice Choir in October 2015.
He achieved his Bachelor degree at the F. Vitols Latvian Academy of Music, formerly known as the Music Conservatory in Riga, Latvia (1989-1993) specialising in choir and symphony orchestra conducting. After gaining his degree he worked as a musical director, choir and symphony orchestra conductor, taking part in many international choir festivals and tours in Italy, Germany, Norway, Finland, Australia, Canada and the USA, both as a conductor and professional choir member.
His musical career continued when he moved to the UK in 2009 and he is currently Musical Director for The Fairburn Singers, The Chevin Singers, Castleford Choral Society, Barnburgh Male Voice Choir and Chesterfield Male Voice Choir, as well as the organist at St Edward the Confessor Church in Barnsley. He is also a private vocal coach and piano teacher.
When not involved with music, Andris enjoys travelling, playing chess and watching ice hockey.
Claire Burden was appointed as the choir’s accompanist in2002.
Claire started her music career as a pub organist at the tender age of 15.
She went on to study music at Huddersfield University where she was awarded the Hurst Prize for organ performance as an undergraduate. Under the tuition of Geoffrey Hamilton (piano) and Keith Jarvis (organ) she obtained her Bachelor of Music and a Postgraduate Certificate in Performance. After graduating, Claire won both the senior and advanced organ solo prizes at the Wharfedale Festival of Performing Arts.
In addition to the Castleford Male Voice Choir, Claire is also the accompanist for Castleford Choral Society and Melodia Ladies’ Choir and is the resident organist at both Ferrybridge and Brotherton Parish Churches.
She has previously been the organist at Castleford parish Church and the accompanist at Goole Choral Society, Rawcliffe Harmonics, Fairburn Singers and Musical Director for the Brotherton and Byram Entertainers. Claire has worked as visiting tutor at Wakefield College and Silcoates School.
Claire has her own private practice of over 25years teaching piano, keyboard, organ and music theory, with preparatory grades up to Grade 8 , with students from as young as five years old up to 90. She is a versatile accompanist for solo singers and instrumentalist.
Claire’s passion is for music of any style and for helping others to share in its enjoyment. For her, there is no place for musical snobbery. She firmly believes that all kinds of music have their place and can be rewarding, particularly when performed sensitively and integrity from the heart.
When she is not involved in music she enjoys reading, theatre, walking and she has a love of wild flora and fauna.
President: Lewis Wood
Vice-Presidents: Ian Jessop
Chairman: Ian Moss
Concert Secretary: Steve Haywood
Development Secretary: Paul Carr
Recruitment Secretary: Bill Bunton
Treasurer: Ian Denton
Librarian: Geoff Eames
Dep. Conductor: Sue Gwynn
Stage Manager: David Thatcher
Attendance Officer: Lewis Wood
Patrons Secretary: Bill Bunton
Uniform Officer: Joe Parton
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