Our Musical Mentors

Stephen Petch - Musical Director

Steve PetchStephen Petch became Musical Director of the Rushmoor Male Voice Choir in 2001, after being a singer with them since 1997.

He grew up in Aldershot, but has lived in the Fleet and Church Crookham areas for many years.

Steve was a Chorister and Head Chorister in St. Michael's Parish Church Choir, and learned piano and clarinet whilst at Grammar School. He ultimately gained his Grade VIII certificate in piano under the guidance of Julia Wilson and Olive O'Keefe.

These days Steve runs his own company and promotes himself as a freelance soloist, conductor and singing and piano tutor. His own voice training began with Edwin Rolles (formerly Head of Music at Frensham Heights School), and over the next few years won more than thirty first prizes in competitive vocal festivals. He is well known as a tenor soloist in his own right, and recently performed with the Vivaldi Singers of Farnham in a Purcell and Britten programme, and the Holybourne Singers in a performance of Mozart's Requiem.

He was recently tasked with the co-ordination and performance of the choral input for the Wind Tunnel Project, a project dedicated to hosting an exhibition, open to the general public, within the old RAE's 24 foot wind tunnel (known as Q121) in tghe run-up to the Farnborough Air Show.

Steve is also Musical Director of Crondall Community Choir , the Alton Choral Society and the Kindred Spirits Choir, a choir of breast cancer sufferers, survivors and carers affiliated to Frimley Park Hospital, supporting, amongst other charities, Frimley Park's own Breast Care Appeal.

Steve is the Deputy Festival Director for the Festival of Male Voices hosted by Bournemouth Male Voice Choir - but hopes to continue as Rushmoor's Musical Director for as long as the lads want him!

Margery Wakefield - Accompanist

Margery WakefieldMargery's predecessors as accompanist for the Odd's 24 years to 1984 included Fred Titherington, Colin Campbell and Colin Wilson. Margery has played the piano both performing and accompanying since before her teens. Her piano teacher's brother (Johnny Dankworth) did offer to teach her the clarinet - there's a thought!

Margery graduated as a teacher from the Royal Academy of Music although her real wish was to accompany. Another student there was Julia Wilson. While she was being coached by Professor Maria Donska in the 1970's, Margery taught on Saturday's at the Royal College of Music. In the 1990's she was coached by Peter Element of the R.C.M.

Margery's first year as a teacher was in Peterborough, where besides music, she taught tennis, netball and diving! After marrying Don she taught at Ilford and successfully conducted the school choir from the piano.

Don joined Solatron in Dorking, so Margery taught music and technical drawing at Leatherhead but Solatron quickly moved to Farnborough, so in September 1962 they moved with their year-old daughter to Church Crookham. within a month Margery was the accompanist for the Waverley Singers (which she was for 25 years). In many concerts the Waverley's included a piano concerto for Margery to be the soloist. She was also a soloist for the R.A.E. Orchestra.

In November 1962, Margery joined Pax Hill (Finishing) School for Girls to teach piano. When Pax Hill was sold she joined the Hampshire Peripatetic Music staff to teach piano at a number of Rushmoor schools each week as well as to perform all over the County with other instrumentalists. When the organisation of peripatetic work changed in 1986 Margery applied to Lord Wandsworth College (south of Odiham) where she continues to teach piano at all grades and Diploma.

In 1984 Margery was invited to be the Odds accompanist and for a couple of years she accompanied both the Waverley Singers and the Odd Fellows.

In 1987 with kids grown up and parents deceased, Margery (with Don) tried skiing and cycling which has taken them around the hillier bits of Europe, USA, Canada and New Zealand but they still love taking their dogs to the Lake District. They try to keep fit at Cannon (Nuffield Heath) in Weybourne where, in 1997, a trainer cajoled Margery into running which has led to her running, for charities, the 2001 London Marathon and the 2002 and 2004 New York Marathons.

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