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 is a conductor, composer and harpsichordist, currently living and working in the East Midlands. Born and raised in Nottingham, Paul has had a long involvement with music, especially sacred and choral music. He held cathedral organ and choral scholarships, as well as being involved in parish music at different levels before being appointed to two assistant cathedral organist posts and a similar post at a public school. Paul has also played for tours and choir residencies, a royal visit, undertaken CD recordings and broadcasts, and has a fine reputation as an accompanist and improviser. His organ tutors have included John Keys, Colin Walsh and David Briggs. As an organist and player of other orchestral keyboard instruments, Paul has appeared in a variety of chamber music, including with the Nottingham Chamber Ensemble saraBande, which he has also directed. His chamber music experience includes accompanying soloists and ensembles, playing continuo in early music, and playing in chamber versions of larger works including Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. With this solid musical background, Paul decided to diversify his keyboard experience by making the harpsichord his first study, and learns with Francis Knights of Cambridge University. He performs on the harpsichord and organs as a soloist and as a continuo player. Paul owns a 1969 Wittmayer Harpsichord which is available for hire.
Paul is also an experienced conductor, having directed the Chesterfield Bach Choir, served as assistant musical director to the Brecon Singers, and currently directs the Ruddington and District Choral Society with the Ruddington Chamber Ensemble in Nottingham. He also has a great wealth of experience directing liturgical choirs in concerts and services. Paul has directed or helped prepare choirs for works such as Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, requiems by Durufle, Faure, Rutter and Verdi, masses by Haydn and Mozart, Oratorios by Handel, and a variety of other works with organ or orchestral accompaniment. Paul has also led a variety of workshops and successful “come and sing” days. He has studied with the Association of British Choral Directors, completing their course for advanced conductors after studying with Peter Broadbent, Neil Ferris and other tutors. 
Paul holds a degree in music from the University of Wales, Bangor and diplomas from Trinity College, London and The Royal College of Organists. Further information, along with various editions, arrangements and compositions that have been made for his choirs can be downloaded from his website at 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.