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Our People


David Bednall

Music Director

David Bednall is recognized as one of the leading choral composers of his generation. He studied for a PhD in Composition with Professor John Pickard at the University of Bristol and is a House Composer at Oxford University Press. He has an extensive freelance playing and conducting career and is Sub Organist at Bristol Cathedral. He studied with Dr. Naji Hakim and David Briggs and was Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral.

He won prizes in Improvisation and Performance at the examination for FRCO and a CD of improvisations with Malcolm Archer received excellent reviews. He has improvised on live radio, and performed extensively in the UK and abroad, including a recital at Notre-Dame de Paris. He appeared as stunt-organist on Dr Who.

His compositions are widely performed, broadcast on Radio 3, 4, and Classic FM, and recorded. His first CD, Hail, gladdening light, was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice, his Requiem received similar accolades, and Flame Celestial, received a Gramophone Recommendation. Welcome All Wonders, was commissioned by The Queen’s College, Oxford, and their recording on Signum garnered superb international critical acclaim. The recording of Stabat Mater on Regent with Jennifer Pike (violin) and the Chapel Choir of Benenden School under Edward Whiting was an Editor’s Choice in the Awards Edition of Gramophone 2016. Recent projects have included a BBC Commission for James Gilchrist, Philip Dukes, and Anna Tilbrook which was premiered in Hull, City of Culture, in July 2017 a commission for the Presteigne Festival, and Make we Merry which was released in 2019.

More information can be found at


Raymond Warren


Raymond is a renowned composer and teacher, having held posts at Queen's University, Belfast, where from 1966 he held a personal Chair in composition. From 1966-72 he was Resident Composer to the Ulster Orchestra, writing for them a number of orchestral works and also conducting the Orchestra in a series of concerts of contemporary music. In 1972 he was appointed Professor of Music at the University of Bristol, a post from which he retired in 1994. He is the composer of numerous operas, oratorios and three symphonies. Recent works include his Symphony No. 3, a commission from the Brunel Ensemble. He is also author of the book Opera Workshop (Scolar Press, 1995).


Charlotte Obolensky


Charlotte was born in Cornwall and developed a love of singing at school and later at Durham University, where she sang in the university chamber choir as well as St Chad’s College choir, in the days before female undergraduates were admitted! She joined the Bristol Chamber Choir in 1994 as her night off from her young family, and is now at the point where she remembers items performed over 20 years ago coming round again… She is delighted to be the first female chairman of this historic and friendly choir with its unusual mostly unaccompanied repertoire.

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Kate Mayberry


Kate grew up in Bristol with American parents. She has sung in school productions—memorably in the chorus of two Britten operas—and belonged to various choirs through to university and beyond. She played piano at home and cello at school. In addition to gaining a degree in ancient and modern Chinese at Oxford University, from ages 17-25 Kate studied, lived and worked in New York, Washington DC, Paris and Taipei.  After coming home, she returned to music in London where she studied jazz harmony and then film music composition with Amit Sen.  Now a busy single mother to two musical teenage boys, she is happy to spend Wednesday evenings singing with the choir.

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Chloe Newman


Chloe graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in the summer of 2021 where she studied under the tutelage of Irish soprano Suzanne Murphy. During her time at music college she performed many choral works with the BBC chorus of Wales, including requiems by Mozart, Faure and Britten. She was also part of the college's Chamber Choir where she performed regular concerts at Llandaff Cathedral. She enjoys singing solo concerts and had solo roles in opera productions put on by the college. Chloe's treasury skills are put to good use both as Treasurer for the Bristol Chamber Choir and working in finance for a law firm in Bristol. Her favourite things about the choir are the people, the music and, when rehearsals finish, a large glass of wine.

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Rod Coomber

Publicity Secretary

Rod was born and brought up in Coventry.  He started singing when in the 6th form when a new music master decided to form a choir to sing Haydn’s Creation. He read chemistry at Imperial College where he met a metallurgist called Donia (2nd soprano and flute) who persuaded him to join Imperial College Choir. They got married immediately after graduation and started work at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough.  In 1970 they joined the Aldershot Choral Society (later known as the Rushmoor Choir) and it wasn’t long before he was ‘persuaded’ to take responsibility for publicity.  This set a precedent for every choir he has sung with since!
By the 1990s both of them were working in different Ministry of Defence offices in London and in 1995 were part of the huge MOD exodus form London to Abbey Wood.  Once settled in they joined Portishead Choral Society and Bristol Cathedral Special Choir.  After the Special Choir closed down they joined Bristol Chamber Choir in 2016.
When he isn’t busy with choir matters he paints in water colour and acrylics and is on the staff of two demanding cats.

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Amy Joyce

Social Media Manager

Amy joined the Bristol Chamber Choir in 2021 and found it fantastic to sing with a group of like-minded, friendly people; she instantly fell in love with the repertoire!

Born and raised in Bristol, Amy was a member of a youth choir for ten years. The choir twice took part in BBC Radio 3's 'Choir of the Year' competition. After moving to Sheffield to read English Literature and Theatre at university, she joined Sheffield University Performing Arts Society and the Sheffield University Theatre Company. She sang in a number of productions and played Maria in West Side Story and Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

After graduating, Amy returned to Bristol and got a job in marketing. She works a lot with social media and enjoys managing the choir's social channels. Amy lives in a converted pub with her partner and their tabby kitten, Pippin (big 'Lord of the Rings' fans!)

Simon Taylor

Librarian and Website Manager

Simon was born and brought up in Newcastle upon Tyne, where he took part in the wide variety of school choirs, youth orchestras and music groups running at that time. He went on to study music at university before settling in Bristol, working as a primary school teacher and music co-ordinator for sixteen years. He then made a career change and is now a Student Administrator at the University of Bristol. Simon has been a member of the Bristol Chamber Choir for five years, and, as well as singing, enjoys playing the piano and piano accordion, travelling by ferry and train around Europe, natural history, cooking and slowly learning languages.

Our People: Members
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