Behind the Scenes
Stef Conner is a composer and choir-leader whose work forges connections between the ancient and modern worlds. She studied music at the University of York, graduating with a starred first in 2005, and was then awarded a scholarship to complete an MA in Jazz Studies. In 2007 she joined the Northumbrian folk/pop group The Unthanks and performed at such venues as The Barbican, Covent Garden Opera House, Glastonbury, Womad, the BBC Folk Awards and the Mercury Music Awards. Her approach to music-making was deeply affected by The Unthanks’ sensitive and honest style of musical storytelling. In 2012 she completed an AHRC-funded PhD in Composition at the University of York, which focused on the use of language as musical material. Her recent awards and commissions include the RPS Composition Prize, ISM Composers’ Competition, Rednile ‘Factory Nights’ Unique Commissions, The Esoterics ‘Polyphonous’ competition and the Making Music/Sound and Music ‘Adopt-a-Composer’ Scheme. Performers of her work include The Kreutzer Quartet, Juice, The Nieuw Ensemble, Cadenza, The Philharmonia Orchestra, John Potter, The Renaissance Singers and members of Ensemble 10/10. Two of her pieces premiered at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and she has received performances in York Minster, The Royal Festival Hall, Queen’s College (Cambridge), Cheltenham Festival, Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre and Beijing Conservatory, as well as broadcasts on BBC Radio 2 and 3. In October 2013 she was appointed Composer in Residence for Streetwise Opera.
General Manager, Cambridge Timeline Choir
Meg Spencer-Thomas is a singer, songwriter and music leader, who has taught for over eight years. She gained a scholarship to study Creative Musicianship at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London, from which she graduated with a distinction. Since then she has toured the country with a number of folk bands and run a variety of Singing For Fun workshops. She grew up singing in choirs, so is delighted to have joined forces with Stef to run Cambridge Timeline Choir.
As well as making sure that all the choir administration runs smoothly, Meg also helps to programme events, leads sectionals, chooses repertoire and conducts the occasional rehearsal. She also lead the choir in their first performance at the Cambridge Big Weekend on Parkers Piece.
Conductor, Leith Hill Timeline Choir
Biography coming soon…
Timeline Songs’ Resident Artists perform frequently with Timeline Choir and are creatively involved in programming concerts and designing projects.
Lisa J Coates
Lisa J Coates studied music in the UK and Canada, winning numerous awards as a young singer. She has gone on to perform in Germany, Italy, Spain, USA and China in opera, choral and contemporary music, and was a finalist in the 2013 Llangollen International Eisteddfod. Her operatic roles include Lapak Cunning Little Vixen (CO-Opera CO.), Shepherd Boy Tosca (Hashtag Opera), Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro and Andronico Tamerlano (Associated Studios Opera Scenes), Prince Orlofksy Die Fledermaus (University of York) The Sorceress Dido and Aeneas (University of Newcastle-Upone-Tyne) Mother Amahl and the Night Visitors (Opera Jorvik) she has created roles such as The Woman “Your Call…” (Kevin Jones – New York University Tisch and Tête-a-Tête Opera Festival 2014 & 2015) and Hera Hera’s List (Eve Harrison- Tête-a-Tête Opera Festival 2012). Recent highlights on the concert platform include solos in Handel Messiah and Duruflé Requiem. Commercial recordings include The Bee Symphony by Chris Watson and Marcus Davidson (Touch), which featured on the BBC Radio 3 Late Junction, and Faust music by Roger Marsh (Naxos Audio Books) with appearances on the One Show and Russian Channel 1 News. Lisa is currently a choral scholar at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel in Greenwich under Ralph Allwood MBE singing regular Eucharist and Evensong services.
Susannah Austin is a Sussex born folk singer and songwriter, whose sound has been likened to a young Joni Mitchell. Her collaboration with Ogilvy and Mather on their ‘Autotune’ campaign led to them taking home a Gold Lion in the 2013 Cannes Lions, and in between touring and recording with Tythe as a lead vocalist, in 2014 she released her debut album. She is in the process of writing and recording her second album in Dublin, whilst also working with Action To The Word theatre company on their new collaboration with the London Conchorde Ensemble ‘The Rhythm of Silence’. In 2015, she appeared with Streetwise Opera as the lead performer in Stef Conner’s opera ‘People Watch‘.
Timeline Songs creative projects have also featured exciting musicians from diverse backgrounds, ranging from early music to opera, electronica, jazz and folk, including:
- Juice Vocal Ensemble
- Les Canards Chantants
- Robin Bier
- Mandhira de Saram
- Anna Edgington
- Michael Christian Durant
- Jon Hughes
- Jamie Wright
We have been lucky enough to consult with Dr Clive Tolley on the pronunciation of Old, Middle and Early Modern English.
We are hugely grateful to Thomas Green for his support in setting up our first website.