Willard Welsford - Music Director


“It’s wonderful to see what a great rapport Will has with the children.  They work hard, but he makes them laugh too, and that happiness shows through in their singing.” (Alison, Choir Parent)"

Will started his musical career when he came to study at Leicester University in the 1980s. During this time he acted as a Songman at Leicester Cathedral, where he made many of the musical connections he still uses today.  Later, as the Founder and Music Director of the East Midlands-based ‘The Ensemble’, he was involved in performing contemporary music including works by Nyman, Pärt, Tippett, Feldman and Stravinsky. During this time Will conducted the UK 
premiere of a piece by Xenakis, he also conducted one of the first performances of the Gorecki "Totus Tuus" in a late night candle-lit concert for the Leicester International Music Festival. 


His love of music directing, and encouraging people of all ages to participate, has led Will to work with several choirs and choral societies across the Midlands, including The Bardi Chorus, The Leicester University Choral Society, Sinfonia Viva, Leicestershire Chorale, Leicester Bach Choir and he was for many years the Music Director of St Andrew’s Church, Aylestone. 


He has acted as Musical Director for both the Leicester College of Performing Arts and Leicester College and could be found in the orchestral pit working with Choreographer and Director Greg Pichery on shows as varied as ‘A Chorus Line’, ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ and ‘Witches of Eastwick’.  Will also finds time to teach in several schools, both in Leicestershire and further afield, and has supported many students in taking their music exams.


He first got involved with this choir in its former guise of Leicester Phoenix Youth Chorale in the early 2000s, taking over from the outgoing Musical Director, David Lawrence (now a world renowned choral animateur and Patron of NLYC).  In 2014 Will was instrumental in re-launching the choir as the New Leicester Youth Chorus and continues as Music Director to this day.


"It was a wonderful musical event, beautifully conceived and amazingly challenging for your youngest members, prepared by Will, as ever, to a high standard only to be admired…….He is a remarkable musician and communicator” (Robert Mandell, Patron)

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