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Choir people

President: James Bowman CBE

Vice-President: Lilias Gillies

Martin Everett (Conductor)

Martin began his musical studies as Organ Scholar at Magdalene College, Cambridge.

He went on to the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied composition with John Gardner and conducting with Maurice Miles. At the same time he was an organ pupil of Guy Morançon in Paris, where his research into French organ music of the 19th and 20th centuries brought him into contact with Maître Jean Langlais, Mme Marie-Madeleine Duruflé and Mme Charles Tournemire (the composer's widow).

Later he took a Master’s degree in Music at the University of Surrey, and undertook research into the earliest versions of Handel’s Messiah and the songs of Philip Radcliffe.

As Musical Director of the Hammersmith Symphony Orchestra he gave the world première performance of Beethoven’s complete incidental music to Goethe’s Egmont in 1981. He spent several years as Lecturer in Music and Music Education at St. Mary’s College, Twickenham and at the University of Surrey, then became Director of Music at The Perse School for Girls in Cambridge. He now works as conductor, organist, harpsichordist, composer, examiner and writer.

Martin's connection with the South West London Choral Society goes back almost as far as he can remember, since his parents were both members of the choir in the late 1950s. He was invited by Charles Farncombe to become the choir's accompanist in 1969 and has worked with them continuously since then, as Conductor since 1983.

Martin is married to Harriet, who sings tenor in the choir, and they divide their time between London and Cambridgeshire.

Benedict Lewis-Smith (Accompanist)

Benedict Lewis-Smith was a specialist musician and organ scholar at Wells Cathedral School, Somerset before becoming organ scholar at The Queen’s College, Oxford (2007–2010). Previously Director of Music at St George’s School, Windsor Castle, he is now Director of Music at St Columba’s Church of Scotland, Knightsbridge, and also works with choirs at Westminster School and Hill House International Preparatory School in London.

In addition he enjoys a substantial freelance career in London which includes vocal coaching, accompanying and conducting. He has broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and recently recorded on the digital label Resonus Classics. Recent performances include recitals in the Victoria International Arts Festival, Gozo, and a concert tour of Buenos Aires, where he delivered classes in English song to the students at the Departamento de Artes Musicales y Sonoras.