The Torkard Ensemble are a group formed in 2010 with the intention of making music for personal enjoyment, and to provide an opportunity for local groups and charities to hold fund raising events using music.
The Ensemble is made up of two groups; a singing group, which has grown from a handful of members in 2010 to around 30 in 2012, and an instrumental group. The choir and instrumental group rehearse on different evenings under the direction of Sally Watson and Ant Dean. This enables members to participate in both groups if they wish.
Membership is open to musicians from any background, and musical qualifications are not required to join. (however, for instrumentalists astandard of grade 5 or above is recommended) The music that we perform ranges nearly all styles. There are opportunities for smaller ensemble work-solos/duets/trios and also performance as part of the whole group and choir.
Concerts are held throughout the year. In the past , we have put on concerts in aid of the local Rotary Club , Christian Aid, and local groups such as churches and schools, raising between £250 and £500 per concert.
Ant was born and raised in Nottingham and led a relatively music free life until his inspiring music teacher introduced him to the joys of music making and performance.
He discovered conducting at the age of 18 directing The St Mary's Chamber Ensemble in various programmes over five years.
He became Music Director of the St. Mary Magdalene Ensemble, Hucknall in 2008, leading to his current position with Torkard Ensemble in 2010. He has also worked with local orchestra J26, based in Derbyshire.
Ant's encyclopaedic knowledge of all types of music led to him winning the popular radio 4 quiz programme Counterpoint in 2011.
Sally began studying the piano aged 7 and aft showing considerable talent on the instrument, went on to gain her LRSM and took a music degree at Durham University between 1992-1995. Sally qualified as a Music Therapist in 1996, and has worked in that field along with piano teaching since.
In 2011, Sally performed Mozart's Piano concerto number 21 with local orchestra J26. She has made several recordings, but her main area of expertise is accompanying. Along with being Musical Director of our singers, Sally also runs a children's choir.
Our instrumental group repertoire includes descriptive classical favourites such as Peter and the Wolf, Carnival of the Animals, Swan Lake, and Carmen. Other more majestic classics include Music for the Royal Fireworks and Jupiter from the planets suite. We have a number of folk tunes from all over the world in our repertoire too, as well as music from films and shows including such favourites as My Fair lady, Pirates of the Caribbean, West side Story, and The Wizard of Oz.
We also include smaller instrumental and singing groups in our concerts, adding variety and texture to our concerts.
The choir have a large and ever growing repertoire including many different styles and periods of music. The classical repertoire covered by the singers is made up of beautiful sacred works such as the Vivaldi Gloria and Handel's Messiah, and secular works by Bartok and Rutter, amongst others. We also enjoy singing works from stage and screen, as well classic popular music such as Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and Close to You by the Carpenters.
Both the singers and the instrumentalists also have a broad range of Christmas music ready to perform.
With such an extensive range of style we can find music that will appeal to most tastes and provide a programme of music tailored to your event.
For Charities and Organisations using our services......The Small Print!The ensemble is available to hire for functions and concerts of charitable organisations and groups in the local area (we are based in Hucknall )
There will be a small fee to go towards our music buying costs and rehearsal costs which is dependant on venue and playing time. We are not a profit making organisation, and our aim is to give a high standard of performance whilst helping to raise money for local groups and charities.
We look forward to building long lasting relationships with local organisations.