About Us

Formed in 1974 by the distinguished conductor Hilary Davan Wetton, Milton Keynes Chorale is the largest auditioned choir in the city, and performs inventive and engaging programmes in and around Milton Keynes, accompanied by some of the UK’s finest professional musicians, with soloists drawn from major London conservatoires. With an ethos that emphasises friendship and the enjoyment of singing good music together to a high standard, rehearsals mix excellent music-making with plenty of humour, and are led by our professional music team: Musical Director Mark Jordan, and Assistant Musical Director Alex Aitken. Our Patron is Jean Rigby; a long-time principal with English National Opera, Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera House.

Now comprising over 80 singers, the choir is approaching its 50th Anniversary season in September. We are one of the first choirs in the UK offering an annual choral conducting fellowship, funded by donations, which offers a young conductor the chance to develop and hone their skills with a large auditioned choir at the start of their career, under the expert guidance and mentorship of our Musical Directors. Our fourth conducting fellow, Natalie Dalcher, began working with us in September 2023. We are always looking for individuals who wish to support the fellowship financially.

Recent performances have included Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem, Bach’s St John Passion with the Musical and Amicable Society and soloists from the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, and the piano and choir première of Rebecca Dale’s choral symphony When Music Sounds. The choir have also featured on BBC Look East and on local radio, and continue to go from strength to strength. Our 2023/24 season includes a wonderful, varied and engaging mix of music, including works by Cecilia McDowall, John Rutter, Haydn, Gesualdo, and Vaughan Williams.

If you love singing and want to be challenged musically, whilst learning in a warm, nurturing and friendly environment, then please do come along to a rehearsal to experience what we do on a weekly basis. Rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings, from 1930 to 2145 at The Church of Christ the Cornerstone. Why not join us as we prepare to celebrate our 50th anniversary in style?

  • Four performances in and around Milton Keynes per year, accompanied by some of the UK’s finest professional musicians, with soloists drawn from major London conservatoires.
  • Inventive programming.
  • Led by professional musicians.
  • An annual Come and Sing day.
  • Fun rehearsals with high standards.

The Music Team

Our professional music team operates on the principle that high-quality music making should be both enjoyable and available to all. They combine their passion for detail and musicianship with a desire to promote the very highest standards of choral singing by programming a variety of rewarding music, both traditional and new.

We are delighted to offer a choral conducting fellowship to an emerging choral conductor at the start of their career. This fellowship allows them to learn from and observe the Musical Director in action, as well as taking an active role in the musical development of the choir by leading technique sessions, sectionals and parts of rehearsals. They will also have a chance to conduct in performance. Our Conducting Fellow for 2024 is Natalie Dalcher.

Mark Jordan – Musical Director

Highly regarded as a choral conductor, and with extensive experience of conducting choirs and orchestras, Mark works in all aspects of choral music. As well as being the Musical Director of MK Chorale, he is also the Musical Director of Oxford Pro Musica Singers, the Cavendish Singers, Voices in Partnership, and the Cavendish Ensemble. He is also one of the Artistic Directors at the Chester Choral Week, and a highly-respected conducting tutor at all levels for Sing for Pleasure and the Association of British Choral Directors.

Mark is also both a very experienced accompanist, having previously worked with the John Lewis Partnership Music Society, and an accomplished choral singer, having sung with a wide variety of professional, semi-professional and amateur choirs over the years. He was recently chorus master for Karl Jenkins’ Birthday Concert Tour, and loves Db major.

www.markjordan.me.uk

Alex Aitken – Assistant Musical Director

Alex is a West End Musical Director, with a national reputation as an outstanding conductor, pianist, organist, writer and educationalist. Having most recently spent three years as Children’s Musical Director and Cover Conductor on Cameron Mackintosh’s London production of Mary Poppins, he continues to maintain an extensive, busy and hugely varied schedule working with a number of the UK’s most eminent musicians, ensembles and organisations, as well as with choral groups and schools around the UK, and as a pianist for auditions and masterclasses in the West End.

Alex is also a Musical Director with the National Youth Music Theatre, and accompanist to the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain, Oxford Pro Musica Singers, the CBSO Chorus and Youth Chorus, Sing for Pleasure, and The Military Wives Choirs. He also frequently deputises as an organist, having accompanied at cathedrals throughout the UK, and toured throughout Europe and America. He hates C major.

www.alexaitken.co.uk


Conducting Fellowship

We are one of the first choirs in the UK to have offered an annual choral conducting fellowship, funded by donations, which offers a young conductor the chance to develop and hone their skills with a large auditioned choir at the start of their career, under the expert guidance and mentorship of our Musical Directors. Our fourth conducting fellow, Natalie Dalcher, began working with us in September 2023.

Applications open each November, with interviews with the Musical Director in December. The fellowship runs from January each year.

Thinking of applying? The application pack is here.

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