Conductor & Musical Director
Benedict Goodall (2021 – present)
Ben was born in Oxford, and grew up playing and singing through the Oxfordshire County Music Service and in his dad’s church choir. He went on to read music at the University of Birmingham (2016-19), studying conducting under Simon Halsey, Julian Wilkins, and Daniele Rosina, and directed many of the University’s choirs and instrumental ensembles throughout his years there, including two years with the 150-member Wind Band. During his time at university, he broadened his musical experience by working with as many musicians as possible, expanding his work as conductor, countertenor, and french horn player.
As a professional conductor and singer, Ben works with both vocal and instrumental ensembles across Oxfordshire and the West Midlands. He currently directs the Telford Orchestra, newChoir Oxford, the Wyre Forest Young Voices, and the Oxford University Press Choir. He recently took over as Musical Director of the Chipping Norton Choral Society and is delighted to be working with so many like-minded and interesting singers.
In 2021 he was selected for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain’s Fellowship Scheme, led by Ben Parry and Ruth Evans. As well as working with all the ensembles in the organisation he also took part in masterclasses with musicians such as Voces8, Bob Chilcott, and Suzzie Vango.
Alongside his regular conducting engagements, Ben sings for the Birmingham Oratory, having previously been a Stipendiary Clerk at Magdalen College Oxford, and a Lay Clerk at Birmingham Cathedral and Coventry Cathedral. He is also a member of a The Acafellas, a barbershop quartet which he formed at university. He is regularly engaged as a soloist and as a guest conductor and enjoys teaching singing and brass to both children and adults.
In his own words:
“I believe that if you can speak, you can sing. The normal range people use when they speak, the dynamics (loud and soft) and the pitch modulation (high and low) are a sort of singing. It’s my job as a choral conductor to help people understand and enjoy using their voices, working together to create something magical! I love dissecting and explaining the music we sing, so that everyone can learn and appreciate how amazing it is what we do, even if they can’t read music. I think it’s so important for people to join in and give it a go – it’s such a lifechanging thing to be part of a choir.”
The Chipping Norton Choral Society rehearses on Wednesdays 7:30-9:30pm, currently in the Methodist church in Chippy, and afterwards go to the Chequers pub. If you have thought about singing and wonder how and where to start, pop into the pub after a rehearsal during our term time (see ‘Members’ on the website and click on ‘Rehearsals’). Ask any of the staff at the Chequers to point us out – they know us well.”
– March 2022