Musical Director

Ben Sawyer

Ben has been conductor of Tyndale Choral Society since February 2014, having previously been guest conductor in November 2013. He regularly conducts Hanley Voices, and was appointed as Musical Director for the award-winning Oriel Singers in February 2015. He founded Gloucestershire Boys’ Choir in 2019, and in that year was awarded the Joyner Cup by Cheltenham Arts Council for his outstanding contribution to the town’s cultural life.
For ten years until late 2022, Ben was vocal tutor to the choristers of Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum. 

He led an ambitious project in October 2022, when he founded Cheltenham Chamber Choir for a special concert celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Ben is is also in demand as a countertenor soloist.  He is a singing member of the award-winning a cappella group The Songmen, who have toured in USA, China and Europe.

Ben has gained an enviable reputation as a dynamic conductor and choir trainer, always able to draw the best from his singers.

"I really enjoy every minute of our rehearsals. They are always fun but purposeful and well organised from the warm ups and vocal training to the set pieces. I especially like the way Ben explains the way the composer uses rhythms, key changes and dynamics to convey a mood. He is always patient and encourages beginners and more advanced choristers to achieve their best."
Graham Hann, Tenor


Chris has performed as soloist and chamber musician at some of the most prestigious concert venues in the UK, including the Wigmore Hall, St John’s, Smith Square, the Purcell Room and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

He studied at St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh, and was a Foundation Scholar with Andrew Ball at the Royal College of Music, London.  While still a student, he performed as an orchestral keyboardist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and City of London Sinfonia.

He has worked with numerous composers, among them Judith Weir, and co-founded the Edison Ensemble, a contemporary-music group based in London. After a year’s tenure as the Richard Carne Junior Fellow in Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, he went on to become Head of Instrumental Music at the Godolphin School in Wiltshire.

Chris is a visiting teacher at Dean Close School, Cheltenham, Solihull School, and the Gloucestershire Academy of Music. 


Julian studied piano in Oxford with Lucy Van-Jung Page  (a pupil of Emil Sauer, himself a pupil of Franz Liszt), at the Guildhall School of Music with Cimbro Martin, and subsequently specialized in piano accompaniment with Paul Hamburger.

At the age of just 14 he played a Beethoven piano concerto in the Royal Festival Hall. The Sussex University Organist, John Birch, awarded Julian an organ scholarship there, where he continued his organ studies with John Birch and conducting with Laszlo Heltay.

After university he worked in Brighton as keyboard player, choir conductor and répétiteur, and later moved to Oxfordshire to be Music Editor and Manager of the Music Department at Oxford University Press. He frequently appeared as organist, harpsichordist and pianist with the City of Oxford Orchestra and the Academy of Oxford, and became chorus master of the choirs associated with both orchestras.

Julian and his wife, Linda, now live in Minchinhampton from where he works as a freelance musician and music editor.