January 31, 2017

About Us

The Choir

Ruddington is a large village some five miles south of Nottingham. Ruddington and District Choral Society was formed in 1962 as an Evening CLass and has grown and developed since that time to a group of some sixty members who live in the Nottingham area. We meet on Monday evenings in school terms, generally from September to May.

We participate in a small number of concerts each year, accompanied usually by organ or by a small group of instrumentalists.  We generally give a charity concert at Christmas time, performing a Community Messiah (with audience participation) or a carol concert in alternating years, the latter alongside a local band.

Ruddington & District Choral Society is always very happy to welcome new members who wish to sing with us. Please use the link above for more information on how to join.


Paul Hayward – Musical Director

Paul Hayward read music at the University of Wales, Bangor and is currently studying for a research-based Master of Music degree via distance learning at the University of Aberdeen. This allows him to specialise in the composition of choral music with Professor Paul Mealor, who wrote a piece for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. Paul studied choral conducting with Peter Broadbent, Neil Ferris and other tutors on the Association of British Choral Directors’ course for advanced conductors, leading to the award of the Licentiateship of the Royal Schools of Music in musical direction – choral (LRSM). His other qualifications include the Associateship of the Royal College of Organists (ARCO), the Associateship of London College of Music in composition (ALCM), the Licentiateship of the Guild of Church Musicians (LGCM) and the Licentiateship of Trinity College, London in organ performance, awarded with distinction (LTCL).

Paul has held cathedral organ and choral scholarships, as well as assistant cathedral organist posts at Brecon Cathedral and Nottingham Roman Catholic Cathedral, where he also directed the cathedral youth choir. Whilst in Brecon, Paul was the assistant organist for Christ College, where he also taught piano and music theory, as well as the assistant musical director for the Brecon Singers Choral Society. Other secular appointments have included posts as the Musical Director for the Chesterfield Bach Choir, and a guest conductor and keyboardist for the Nottingham Chamber Ensemble saraBande. He is currently the Musical Director of the Ruddington and District Choral Society with the Ruddington Chamber Ensemble, as well as being the accompanist for the Cranmer Company of Singers. As a conductor and accompanist, he has worked on a variety of works including Elgar’s “The Dream of Gerontius”, Verdi’s “Requiem”, Haydn’s “Nelson Mass”, Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and Jenkins’ “The armed man”. He is an experienced teacher, has led “come and sing” events for choirs, and is regularly a guest conductor or accompanist.

As a composer and arranger, Paul has several pieces published by Chichester Music Press, and has both composed and arranged music for a number of groups, including Brecon Cathedral Choirs and the South Powys Youth Orchestra. His setting of Binyon’s word “For the fallen” was performed at the Nottingham Civic Service of Remembrance in November 2017. Paul makes several of his compositions available free of charge via this website in a bid to help choirs with limited financial resources to be able to perform new compositions and arrangements.

Paul performs as an organist and harpsichord in solo, continuo and accompaniment roles. He has given recitals in cathedrals and major parish churches around the UK, as as well as broadcasts and CD recordings, tours, residencies and a royal visit. As a solo performer, he specialises in English and North European keyboard music of the Baroque and late Renaissance eras and bases his programmes around this repertoire to great acclaim.

Further information can be found on his website: www.paulhayward.org.uk


Michael Overbury – Accompanist


Michael was born in 1953. His early musical influences centred on Farnham and London.  At his local Parish Church, St Andrew’s, he was introduced as chorister and Assistant Organist, to the glories of the English liturgical tradition, and it was here also that his organ teacher Stephen Thomson inspired in him a love of the harpsichord.  Also during these years at Farnham Grammar School, the nationally acclaimed Farnham Festivals provided opportunity for Michael to give a number of first performances on solo piano, including works by Richard Rodney Bennett and Leonard Bernstein.  These exciting and formative experiences were complemented by Saturday mornings at Trinity College of Music, London, where he held a Junior Exhibition.

Horizons broadened with an Organ Scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he read music, directed the College Chapel Choir, and studied the organ with Gillian Weir.  Harpsichord tuition continued with Kenneth Gilbert.  After graduating he was successively, an assisting organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, Assistant Organist at New College, Oxford, a deputy organist and choir master at the Cathedral and Abbey Church at St Alban’s, Director of Music at Eagle House Preparatory School for Boys, and Master of the Song School at Newark, Nottinghamshire. He was for 25 years Director of Music of Nottingham Boys Choir.

After winning First Prize in the 1982 Manchester International Organ Competition, he appeared twice as soloist at the Royal Festival Hall and has continued to play with numerous choirs and orchestras, including Sinfonia Viva (formerly the East of England Orchestra), the Wren Orchestra, the Orchestra of St John’s Smith Square, the Milton Keynes Chamber orchestra, and English Sinfonia, and has featured on several recordings, including five solo discs. There is a YouTube clip of Michael playing the harpsichord at “Elizabeth Walker plays Bach”.

Michael is currently Director of Music at the Priory Church of Our Lady and St Cuthbert, Worksop, a founder member of Mvsica Donvm Dei, playing on period instruments mainly in the East Midlands, with whom he recently appeared on Radio Three’s Eighteenth-Century season on In Tune live from Kedleston Hall. Michael is also harpsichordist for the chamber trio Continuum, with whom he has recently performed twice at the Handel House Museum in London. For 15 years he was the Director of Music of Worksop Priory.  For many years he was accompanist to Nottingham Harmonic Society, occasionally taking rehearsals in Neil Page’s absence. In 1994 he conducted their concert performance of Mozart’s Mass in c minor in Southwell Minster with the City of Oxford Orchestra. As need has arisen, Michael has frequently turned his hand to making choral arrangements tailored to the individual requirements of the group with which he has been working, for example Nottingham Boys Choir.   For many years he has written reviews for the Organists’ Review, and he has a number of compositions published. He lives with his wife, also a singing teacher, in Newark.