Philip Viveash-Brainch: Musical Director

Philip Viveash-BrainchPhilip is a music graduate of New College, Oxford where he was a choral scholar. Subsequently, he trained with English National Opera’s Baylis Programme before studying at the Royal College of Music as a postgraduate singer. 

As a soloist, he performed in opera, oratorio and recital. 

As a choral singer he has sung with many choirs in concerts and in live radio and tv broadcasts, such as the BBC Proms, and toured America and Europe.

He founded and conducted a number of nationally award-winning children’s and youth choirs and conducted them on both BBC television and radio. More locally, he was Director of Music at St. Thomas-on-The Bourne. Whilst Assistant Director of Music at Tiffin School, and Director of Music at Tiffin Girls’ School, he prepared the school choirs for performances with major orchestras and opera houses including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle for recordings and live broadcast from the Proms, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Mariinsky Opera.

Since leaving teaching and music in 2016, and retraining at Chelsea College of Art, Philip is an interior and architectural designer, and has an office based in Farnham. but nevertheless, remains an active musician himself and passionate about music and arts education. Philip’s musical claim to fame is that Margery, The Odds esteemed accompanist, was his first-ever piano teacher!.

Philip joined the Odds as musical director in July 2023.

Margery Wakefield: Accompanist

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. 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.