Nicholas Houghton: Director
Nick is an experienced choral conductor, organist, accompanist and workshop leader.
He’s currently Music Director of the Lewes Singers, the East Sussex Community Choir and the Lewes Chamber Choir, and recently became Chorus Master of New Sussex Opera. In autumn 2019 he will be taking up the position of Music Director of the Brighton Singers. Nick also works with many other local groups including the Brighton Orpheus Choir and Eastbourne Choral Society.
In a conducting career spanning over forty years, including eight years with the Reading Haydn Choir and fifteen with the Downland Chorale in Surrey, Nick has been fortunate to work with many orchestras and fine musicians including Dame Emma Kirkby, Dame Felicity Lott, Sir John Tomlinson, Julia Bishop, James Bowman, Alison Bury, Anthony Halstead, Neil Jenkins and Judy Tarling.
Having been a chorister at Coventry Cathedral, Nick studied organ with David Lepine, Robert Weddle and Nicolas Kynaston, and music at Bristol University. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. Now a full-time freelance musician, for 35 years Nick also held a variety of teaching roles in both the independent and state sector including five years as Head of the East Sussex Academy of Music (ESAM) in Lewes.
Nick is the organist at St Michael’s in Lewes where he founded the First Sunday Recitals Series. He also maintains a busy concert schedule as a continuo player, generally playing his own Goetze and Gwynn chamber organ (a beautiful 17th century-style instrument) and Bizzi harpsichord.
Howard Beach – Accompanist
Howard studied piano and harpsichord at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GSMD) between 1984-1990. During this time he worked with many prizewinning singers, including Bryn Terfel, (with whom he played concerts and appeared on TV and radio broadcasts), Catrin Wyn Davies and Toby Spence. From 1991 until 2001 he was official accompanist to the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.
Howard has performed with the London Mozart Players, Les Arts Florissants and on opera projects for Channel 4 TV. He was an accompanist at the Dartington International Summer School between 1991 and 2004, working with many international instrumentalists and singers in classes and the concert platform.
From 2000-2011 Howard was the harpsichordist in Red Priest, and was featured regularly on Radio 3 and Classic FM and in 2005 was the subject of an ITV South Bank Show programme. They toured all over the world playing in most European countries, 40 states of the USA, Japan, Australia, the Caribbean and, of course, all over the UK and Ireland.
Since leaving Red Priest, Howard has been teaching piano, coaching singing and performing concerts with orchestras, chamber groups and singers in the Sussex area. He has also performed with the Shoreham based guitarist Richard Durrant, with the BBC Singers, and at Glyndebourne.
(Photo: Emma Bailey)
Members of the Lewes Singers
Nick Houghton’s flagship choir is the Lewes Singers which he began with his wife Robin over fifteen years ago. An invitation-only group, the choir specialises in singing services at cathedrals when the resident choirs are on holiday, and giving occasional concerts. In 2020 they will be returning for their fifth visit to Westminster Abbey in the summer, and at Christmas concert in Lewes.
Singing in our Magnificat workshop will be four members of the Lewes Singers who regularly perform as soloists: Liz Kelly (soprano), Briony Lambert (mezzo), David Chapman (tenor) and Reuben James (bass).