RSCM St Albans, Hertford and Bedford Area Committtee

For general enquiries, please contact the RSCM St Albans, Herts & Beds using the e-mail form below.

E-mails are normally responded to within 48 hours.

Committee members may also be contacted by email using the form at the bottom of this page by selecting the intended recipient from the drop down list.

Area Chairman
Education and Training
Bishop’s & Dean’s Awards

Marie Price
Website:   Tel: 01727 751635
Marie has been running church choirs for over 35 years, as a choral scholar at Exeter University, where she took her degree in Music and teaching qualification, then as assistant choirmaster at Hendon St Mary (London Diocese) for 7 years and as director of Dunstable Priory Girls’ Choir for 13 years, for ten years directing two choirs at St Albans Cathedral — the Parish Junior Singers (known as the PJs) and the St Albans Cathedral Parish Singers — and now as Director of Music at St Nicholas Church, Harpenden. She has sung with numerous choirs including the Exon Singers and BBC Symphony Chorus; in addition to singing, her main instrument is the clarinet and she plays the piano, saxophone and double bass. Marie was Senior Lead Teacher for Hertfordshire Music Service until 2019. She was for 12 years Music Subject Leader at the Abbey School, St Albans, and for 8 years an animateur for the St Albans Chorister Outreach Project – taking singing out to primary schools across the region on behalf of the Cathedral, running workshops in schools for a term and bringing the schoolchildren to the Abbey to perform an exciting concert with the Cathedral Choristers. She has led courses and singing days for the RSCM and others in various parts of the country and is a certified Sing Up trainer for teachers.
Area Secretary
Nicholas Hopton
Nicholas lives and worships in Harlington. He is Head of English at Bedford School and a choral composer with numerous works published by United Music Publishing. Over the years, Nicholas has played the organ for church services and led amateur choirs in Fife, Lancashire, Suffolk and Gloucestershire. He currently conducts The Quintet Choir, a friendly group of singers drawn from several local congregations.
Area Treasurer-Elect, Consultant
Laurence Notley
Tel. 01727 760137
Laurence has been Director of Music at Dunstable Priory for the last 27 years, where he has maintained a flourishing choir of boys and men; in 1995 inviting Marie Price to set up a similar choir for girls. In recent years the choirs have sung at St George’s Windsor; St Paul’s, Lichfield, Rochester & St Edmundsbury Cathedrals & in France.

He began learning the organ with Ronald Ticker whilst at school in Somerset, subsequently studying organ and piano with David Patrick and singing with Prudence Lloyd. From 1981 until 1993 he was Organist & Choirmaster at St John’s, Whetstone and during most of that time sang for Martin How in the RSCM Southern Cathedral Singers and for the Summer Cathedral Residencies, usually at Canterbury.

He taught music and latterly worked in senior management in schools in Islington, Barnet and Enfield; his work since 2015 with office choirs has given many their first successful experience of singing and a new-found hobby.

In addition to his work at the Priory, for the last four years Laurence has also been Organist at St Saviour’s, Luton, where for half a dozen festivals each year he entices a group of very affable and very competent ad-hoc singers to sing a full choral mass setting.

At the end of December 2020 Laurence will relinquish his post at the Priory, whilst continuing at St Saviour’s Luton.
Child Protection Officer
Roger Carter
Tel: 01582 720095
Roger Carter studied the organ initially with Christopher Scarf and Richard Popplewell, gaining Fellowships from the Royal College of Organists and Trinity College of Music. He also participated in courses in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands to gain specialist knowledge of various sections of the organ repertoire. Performing widely as a soloist and accompanist in this country and abroad has offered him the experience of playing many different types of organs. He has been Director of Music at St John’s Church, Harpenden for many years and teaches for the Royal College of Organists, and Queenswood and The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ Schools. He is also a choral conductor and was, for a while, Assistant Director of the Harpenden Choral Society.
RK Publicity/IT
Rosemary Knight
Tel: 01727 766871
Rosemary studied German at UCL and taught German for a time before joining a major IT company where she trained as a systems engineer and spent the rest of her working life, mostly supporting a global financial system for General Motors. She began learning the organ in Skelmersdale and has played in various churches since 1978, when a church in Hoxton was desperate. Following a company takeover she was able to take early retirement in 2009, and spend more time on music. A pupil of Roger Carter, she passed the CertRCO in spring 2013, and in the same year she gained an MA in historical musicology from Goldsmiths, University of London. Since July 2013 she has been organist and choir director at Holy Trinity, Leverstock Green in Hertfordshire. She is also a member of the RSCM Area Chamber Choir. She is webmaster and newsletter editor for the Enfield & District Organists’ Association.
Consultant / Former Chairman
Christopher Muhley
Website:  Tel: 01727 753705
Christopher is a freelance Organist, Accompanist, Conductor, Teacher and Consultant who has been involved with the RSCM in this Area for over 40 years. He is St Albans Cathedral’s Parish Organist and Director of the Parish Choir, and an Assistant Organist at St Nicholas’ Church, Harpenden. He has directed our local RSCM Area Chamber Choir since its institution 11 years ago.He became Organist of All Saints’, Leavesden in 1974 before moving to St Peter’s, St Albans in 1976. Whilst there he ran a renowned choir of men and boys who made frequent foreign tours and recordings as well as initiating the first Girls’ Choir in the City and All-Age Orchestra. In 2000 he returned to St Saviour’s, St Albans, where he had received his first organ lessons, before becoming a freelance organist in 2004. In this capacity he has worked with many churches within our area and London Diocese. He had three finalists in the BBC Young Chorister of the Year Competition, with a winner in 1999 whom millions will have seen at the Millennium Dome at the turn of the century.

Throughout this time he has been on and off the local RSCM Area Committee, taking various roles such as Awards Officer, running courses, taking Area Choirs Festival rehearsals and directing two Festival Services. He was Area Chairman for 17 years and was presented with an RSCM Certificate of Special Service by RSCM Director, Hugh Morris, in September 2018.

His main job since leaving the Royal College of Music where he studied with Richard Popplewell and Herbert Howells was as a school teacher. He retired as Director of Music of Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in 2016 after 19 years service. Under his guidance the school gave frequent concerts at the Barbican Hall.

Christopher is keen to encourage church music as a worthy part of the liturgy, performed to the highest possible standard. Although his training is largely from a choral background he is eager to develop all musical styles provided they are “performed with the spirit and the understanding also”.

Derek Harrison
Tel: 07712 820325
Derek’s musical career began as a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral. An Oxford organ scholarship (St Edmund Hall) and FRCO followed alongside membership of the Clerkes of Oxenford. Then he sang as counter-tenor soloist with the much-recorded St George’s Canzona while also establishing a career in commercial IT. His music career then focused more on conducting choirs (including establishing two chamber choirs and later conducting 800+ Hertfordshire singers in major works in the Royal Albert Hall on four occasions). Derek has been MD of Hertford CS for more than half of its 80-year life and with them enjoys a varied repertoire and unusual accompaniments (see for more). For a decade he was an ABRSM examiner. Amongst other roles, he is now a lay clerk in the St Albans cathedral choir, plays the organ for services in various churches and gives recitals occasionally. Derek is also President of the East Herts Church Choirs Association.

Jill Knight
Website:   Tel: 01707 894949
Jill studied music and piano at Exeter University from 1979-1984. After graduating, she taught music in a variety of primary and secondary schools in Hertfordshire and from 2004-2010 was Director of Music at Manor Lodge School in Shenley. Her first experience of conducting church choirs was at St. Thomas à Beckett Anglican church, Hamburg from 1989-1991. On her return to England, she became the Director of Music at St. James’ Church, Goffs Oak and started her involvement with the RSCM as Education Officer for the St. Albans Area. This was followed by 6 years as Choir Director at Christ Church, Radlett.

In 2010 Jill joined her husband, Mark, on a secondment to Vancouver, Canada. During that time, she created a portfolio of compositions for publication, worked as a volunteer music teacher in a YWCA refuge, led music workshops, and sang in the choir and deputised on the organ at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Vancouver.

Since returning to the UK in 2012, Jill has returned to teaching piano and singing and in 2013 became Director of Music at St. Etheldreda’s Church, Hatfield. Having learnt to play the ukulele whilst in Vancouver, she set up “Uke for your Life” and has led numerous ukulele workshops for children and adults.

In 2019, Jill was appointed as Education and Outreach Manager for Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival aiming to engage, inspire and enable children and young people through a programme of educational concerts, workshops and other events and opportunities.

Jill believes that music brings people together; it should be fun, challenging both mentally and physically, spiritually uplifting and rewarding, but, most important of all, it should be open and available to everyone. The RSCM and parish church choirs are ideally placed to reach out and enable this to happen in our communities – and in so doing help to fulfil God’s will for us as expressed in Ephesians 3:18 – I pray that you……may have the power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ’.

Area Chamber Choir Secretary
Helen Carter
Tel: 01353 740214
Having pursued a career as a Perfusionist (technical side of heart surgery) for twenty years, she was forced, by registration changes, to give up her career when she had a family. Becoming a full-time home manager and part-time worker locally, she started, and ran for 16 years, the junior choir at her former village church. Helen attended her local music school as an instrumentalist in her early years and developed a love of music which has stayed with her. Having failed the audition for her school choir, Helen was delighted to join her church choir in Ilford when girls were finally admitted. She started her career in singing as an alto at the age of 20 and has since sung tenor and soprano too – a hazard of having married an organist and choir trainer (her first husband). She has continued to sing in choirs wherever she was living at the time and eventually, in 2006, achieved her dream of passing the gold award, which she had previously been too old to enter. Joining the area chamber choir gave her the opportunity of singing repertoire she couldn’t sing locally, though, since moving, she now sings with the adult voluntary choir at Ely Cathedral.

Further information about us, or contact with any of the committee members listed above, can be obtained by sending an email using the form below.

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