The Magic of Mozart

  • Venue:
    Halifax Minster
  • Start:
    October 15, 2022 7:00 pm
  • End:
    October 15, 2022 9:30 pm
  • Cost:

Overgate Hospice Choir will present The Magic of Mozart in Halifax Minster on Saturday 15th October 2022 under the baton of Guest Conductor, Thom Meredith.

The evening will include Mozart’s Requiem and Clarinet Concerto, with soloist Colin Blamey.

The choir looks forward to performing again with soprano soloist, Jane Burnell, in the Requiem, and who will also sing Dove Sono from The Marriage of Figaro. We are delighted that Sarah Ogden (Mezzo) and Quentin Brown (Bass) will be with us once again and that Ernesto Vacarezza (Tenor) will perform with the choir for the first time.

The choir will be welcoming the National Festival Orchestra for this concert, the funding for which has been given in memory of a choir member’s relative, Alec Brand, whose favourite piece was Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. Grateful thanks for financial support and sponsorship are also extended to Mr and Mrs Colin Dent, the teams of Walker Singleton and Charnock Bates, and choir members.

Tickets are priced at £12 and are available from:

Overgate Hospice, 30 Hullen Edge Road, Elland HX5 0QY

Harveys of Halifax, Commercial Street, Halifax HX1 1LJ

To purchase tickets online please visit

Additionally, you can obtain tickets from Choir members, by calling 01422 373252 or emailing






Thom Meredith – Guest Conductor

 Thom was involved with music at an early age, singing with Leeds Youth Opera Group and then Leeds Youth Chorale.  As a treble he sang many solo roles including the Shepherd Boy in Tosca (Opera North).  He studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford where he was awarded an Exhibition as conductor of the Chapel Choir (1985-87). Following a PGCE qualification from the University of Leeds he taught music in schools in Yorkshire and, since 2004, has cherished his role as Principal at Musica Kirklees.

With his wife, Lynn Hudson, Thom is a director of Harrogate Festival Choral Course, which has staged many major choral works and choral courses over many years for singers across the UK and abroad.  Works include: Haydn’s Creation; Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore; Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle; Mendelssohn’s St Paul and Elijah; Gounod’s Messe Solennelle de Sainte-Cécile; Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast; Britten’s The Company of Heaven; Janacek’s Otčenáš; Alexander L’Estrange’s Zimbe!; Ola Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass and Paul Carr’s Seven Last Words from the Cross. The D & S Times wrote: “In this feast of music, the HFCC was eloquently and sensitively conducted by Thom Meredith… who has a wealth of experience in teaching, directing and arranging.” (Irene MacDonald).

In addition to his passion for conducting choirs and orchestras, Thom has established a reputation as a fine baritone soloist and has performed various works from well-known choral works to new compositions.  Performances include Bach St Matthew Passion, Carl Orff Carmina Burana, Stainer Crucifixion, Brahms A German Requiem, Handel Messiah, Vaughan Williams Sancta Civitas, Five Mystical Songs and Dona Nobis Pacem, the Requiems of Fauré and Duruflé and Handel Saul.  In 2009, he released a CD Let Beauty Awake which is available on iTunes and features English song cycles by Vaughan Williams, Butterworth and Finzi.  In September 2021 he performed Vaughan Williams’ song cycle Songs of Travel with pianist Chris Pulleyn.

Thom leads choral workshops and masterclasses for singers of all ages, teaches singing and arranges music for male, female, mixed choirs and orchestra.

Thom is delighted to be working again with the Overgate Hospice Choir and to support them in the amazing work they do.

Colin Blamey,  Solo Clarinet

Colin was born in 1976 and brought up in Lochgelly, Fife. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, graduating in 1999 with a B.Mus.Hons, a Postgraduate Diploma and a Professional Performance Diploma (the College’s highest award).

Still based in the North West of England, Colin enjoys a varied freelance career. He is currently the clarinettist in Cameron Mackintosh’s International Tour of Les Misérables. This is his third contract for Mackintosh productions, having previously held chairs on tours of Mary Poppins and Barnum. He has performed as guest principal with orchestras such as the Hallé, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, National Symphony Orchestra, Welsh Chamber Orchestra and Manchester Concert Orchestra. He is also Principal Clarinet of the National Festival Orchestra, the resident orchestra of the International G & S Festival. A keen chamber musician, Colin is a member of the award winning Fell Clarinet Quartet, with whom he has performed live on BBC Radio and at venues such as the Purcell Rooms and Kings Place in London, and the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. With the Fell Clarinet Quartet he has also released two CDs, Knotwork and Bohemian Rhapsodies, for Delphian Records, which have met with much critical acclaim. Other projects of note include performing for Katherine Jenkins’ tours, including the release of her Live at Llangollen DVD. He has also recorded Dallapiccola’s Goethe-Lieder for Delphian Records and German’s operetta, Tom Jones, with the National Festival Orchestra for Naxos

Jane Burnell,  Soprano

Jane is studying an MMus at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) under the tutelage of Linda Richardson. Prior to this she studied at Leeds Conservatoire under the tutelage of Adriana Festeu where she received The Leeds Rotary Club Music Prize and The Peter Roberts CBE Memorial Prize. Jane won the Coro Nuovo Sussex Young Musician of the Year Award in 2021 and was a finalist in the 2022 Joyce and Michael Kennedy Award for the Singing of Strauss at the RNCM.

Her opera roles include: Pamina The Magic Flute (Leeds Youth Opera), Due Donne* Le Nozze di Figaro (RNCM Opera), Zerlina (scenes) Don Giovanni (RNCM Opera), Guilia (scenes) La Scala di Seta (RNCM Opera), La Novizia Suor Angelica (Random Opera Company)Adele Die Fledermaus (LCSU Opera Society), Belinda/Second Woman Dido and Aeneas (LUUMS Opera Society) and Mabel (cover) Pirates of Penzance (Rocket Opera). She has also started to explore contemporary opera and recently performed Pauline in The Language of Flowers, a contemporary feminist opera, at the Mercer Art Gallery in Harrogate.

Jane is a regular concert soloist, performing with choirs and orchestras all across the UK. Her performed repertoire includes: Mozart Exsultate Jubilate (Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra)Handel Messiah (Skipton Camerata)Bach B Minor Mass, Dvorak Stabat Mater, Mozart Requiem, Brahms Requiem. For the past couple of years Jane has performed for The Great Yorkshire Proms with the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra alongside Sir Willard White, Wynne Evans, Lesley Garrett and Aled Jones.

As a recitalist, Jane has performed at The Bridgewater Hall (RNCM Songsters), Leeds Town Hall (Leeds International Concert Season) and the Howard Assembly Room (Opera North Partnership concert). She also performs numerous song recitals in various churches and cathedrals across the UK.

Alongside performing, Jane is a keen conductor and in 2021 she conducted Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas with the Leeds Conservatoire Student Union Opera Society. She also works closely with Leeds Lieder Education Programme delivering art song workshops in schools.

Jane’s studies at the RNCM are generously supported by the Richard Newitt Fund.

Sarah Ogden, Mezzo Soprano   

Growing up in the beautiful Yorkshire town of Holmfirth, Sarah’s love of music and singing began in early childhood. By the age of 12, she was a performing member of local brass bands, playing the trumpet and cornet. At 14, Sarah began vocal classes and quickly discovered that singing was her passion, her purpose – and her perfect career.

She studied at the University of Birmingham and later completed postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music – winning numerous awards and scholarships at both institutions.  Other awards include Kirklees Young Musician of the Year.

Sarah’s classically trained mezzo soprano voice gives her great versatility and she loves her career as an operatic, concert and oratorio soloist. She has performed in many fine UK venues including Wigmore Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, York Minster, Leeds Town Hall, Huddersfield Town Hall and the University of Oxford’s chamber music hall, the Holywell Music Room. As a soloist, she has enjoyed the great privilege of working with outstanding conductors including Sir Mark Elder, David Hill and Clark Rundell. Sarah also combines her love of singing and brass in her long musical partnership with the world-class Black Dyke Band and their Musical Director, Professor Nicholas J. Childs.

But singing is not her only passion: having worked on Opera North’s flagship education programme across the North of England, Sarah has flourished as a skilled conductor, vocal coach and animateur. Now an experienced choral conductor, she is currently the Musical Director of Cawthorne Choral Society. Her vocal insights, energy and a magical ability to inspire choirs to be their very best make her a highly popular guest conductor and vocal workshop leader.

Ernesto Vacarezza, Tenor

Born in Buenos Aires and a law graduate from the Argentine Catholic University, Ernesto joined Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance for his Graduate Diploma Programme as a Tenor in 2021 after working for years in the legal industry in Argentina, Brazil and London. He joined Morley College’s Morley Opera school from 2017 until 2019. He is currently learning singing with Austin Gunn, after previously being tutored by Neil Baker in London, Murilo Neves in Rio de Janeiro and Daniel Bonnardel in Buenos Aires.

He has performed the role of Arturo in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” and the role of Kaspar in excerpts from Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” as part of his studies at Trinity Laban. In July 2022 he performed the role of Monteverdi in Trinity Laban-produced premiere of “Strozzi!” with music by Barbara Strozzi and Carlo Gesualdo and libretto by Jennifer Hamilton. He will perform the role of Macduff in Verdi´s “Macbeth” with Uncovered Opera Company in February 2023 in London.

Quentin Brown, Bass

The son of keen amateur singers, Quentin began his musical life as a boy chorister at Rochester Cathedral under Dr Robert Ashfield. As an adult he became a lay-clerk in the Choir of Leeds Parish Church and pursued vocal studies with Sybil Chambers, John Carol Case, David Mason and Paul Wade. He was a member of the BBC Northern Singers under Stephen Wilkinson, with whom he toured and frequently recorded for the BBC. Much of Quentin’s work has been undertaken as principal bass for St Peter’s Singers of Leeds, where he was fortunate to work with Dr Simon Lindley for over thirty years. The extended baritone solo in Francis Jackson’s Stabat Mater premiered by SPS in 1997 for the choir’s twentieth anniversary was written by the composer especially for  Quentin, who has sung this fine work many times.

He performs a wide repertoire ranging from Bach and Handel to Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Elgar, and Vaughan Williams. In 2000, Quentin was among the soloists in a performance of the St John Passion given by the Goldberg Ensemble to mark the 250th anniversary of death of J S Bach, and he has appeared with Manchester Camerata and with the English Symphony Orchestra under the late Dr Donald Hunt. In October of 2018 he took the bass role in the first performance of Matthew Oglesby’s acclaimed new Requiem, Penthos. Recent performances include Messiah, and, (before the pandemic), Bach’s St John Passion and Mass in B minor.