FRANCIS FAUX

Musical Director

 

Francis started his musical career when, at the age of seven, he was awarded a scholarship to Westminster Cathedral Choir School. Coached by James O'Donnell, he recorded multiple Gramophone award-winning albums as a chorister, toured extensively to Europe and was interviewed on Radio 4's Midweek Choice.

 

He went on to be awarded a top scholarship to Eton College where he studied choral conducting under the guidance of Ralph Allwood, culminating in his co-direction of the album Christmas Music from Eton College. He also frequently recorded with the King's Consort and was selected as one of two soloists to perform for a televised concert of Yehudi Menuhin's 80th birthday celebration at the Royal Albert Hall.
 
During his tenure as musical director of the principal choir and chamber choir at Bath Spa University, he has inspired a whole generation of young singers and musicians, many of whom now sing for his acclaimed mixed-voice choirs, Lucis and Noctis. Highlights include tours to Italy, Czech Republic and the United States, the latter culminating in a performance at Carnegie Hall celebrating the music of Sir Karl Jenkins, collaborations and workshops with Will Todd, Ben Parry, Howard Skempton, Christopher Tin and Russell Hepplewhite, as well as concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Central Band of the Royal Air Force, Southern Sinfonia, Bath Philharmonia and the Lochrian Ensemble. 

More recently, Lucis and Noctis performed in a televised festival of music and dance for St Patrick’s Day in Armagh Cathedral and Noctis commissioned a new piece for their 2020 spring concert by Russell Hepplewhite. During the COVID-19 outbreak, Francis hosted a series of interviews with many of the world’s prominent choral composers and singers, including Eric Whitacre, Will Todd, Bob Chilcott, Ēriks Ešenvalds and Dame Emma Kirkby.

Francis is also an experienced piano teacher and repetiteur, having accompanied for Bath Opera and International Guitar Festival, and works as an examiner for ABRSM, both in the UK and internationally.

WILL ASHWORTH

Accompanist

 

Will has been playing the piano since the age of four and has been accompanying various ensembles since he was twelve, starting with Swing Bin and the Liners big band. Developing an interest in classical music later on, Will honed his skills with the aid of tutor Maxwell Steer, and was accepted to study music at Bath Spa University in 2005.

Graduating with a 2:1 in 2008, Will has since made a living teaching piano and accompanying choirs. Starting with Grenville Jones' Good Afternoon Choir, Will started working closely with local conductor Francis Faux. Starting in 2014, he returned to Bath Spa University as an associate lecturer and now accompanies three ensembles, including the principal choir, the all-new student-led Bath Spa Ladies Choir and The Octet.

He occasionally performs as a session musician, which has seen him take part in a acclaimed production of West Side Story at the Minack Theatre, and has a long-running history with multi-award winning group Exit Stage Left. He has been a typesetter for Michael Nyman (until Sibelius 6 put him out of a job!) and sings tenor with Noctis Chamber Choir. Will is also the director of music at St. John the Baptist Church with St Catherine, Batheaston, where he plays the organ and leads the church choir.