The Music Team
GEOFF LAVERY began his professional musical career in Ipswich. From there, he and his family moved to Lancashire and then to Bedford, where he conducted many orchestral and choral performances and musicals. He returned to Suffolk twelve years ago.
Geoff is conductor of Beccles Choral Society and Musical Director of the Phoenix Singers, Framlingham performing many of the major large choral works. In April last year, he conducted both his choirs and Lambeth Orchestra from London at Snape Maltings, in an all-Elgar concert, with Diana Moore as soloist.
Concerts last season included “The Armed Man” by Karl Jenkins and Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” with Beccles. Phoenix concerts included Puccini’s Messa di Gloria in December 2022 and a Coronation Concert celebration in July.
This season, in November, there is a “Messiah” in Beccles and then Family Christmas Concerts in both Framlingham and Beccles. However, the high-light of the season is to be another concert at Snape in May 2024, with both his choirs and Lambeth Orchestra, in a Vaughan Williams programme that includes the “Sea” Symphony. A further concert at Snape is planned for 2026.
In the past, for ten years, Geoff was Director of the Gippeswyk Singers, a chamber choir in Ipswich that he founded many years ago, He has also directed and accompanied many “Come & Sing” performances of a variety of choral works in the East Anglian region.
As well as conducting, Geoff has written a series of thirteen booklets about the symphonic repertoire, regularly plays the organ at Aldeburgh and also works as an accompanist and adjudicator.
Carolyn Gibley (accompaniest)
Carolyn went to Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester from the age of 14 as a recorder player and pianist changing, after a year, from piano to harpsichord. Following further studies at the University of East Anglia and as a post-graduate at Guildhall School of Music and Drama she has been lucky enough to combine her love of baroque music with that of working in a small chamber ensemble. Carolyn has played with Handel specialists The Brook Street Band since 1999, with whom she has played at major venues in the UK and around Europe such as Wigmore Hall, Snape Maltings, and festivals in Spain and Croatia. The Band teaches regularly at Dartington International Summer School and has released eleven critically acclaimed CDs, with Gramophone Magazine awarding several of them Editor’s Choice. The BSB’s recordings are regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and stations across the world. The Brook Street Band runs its own festival, love:Handel, in Norfolk. Carolyn has worked with The Sixteen and is a regular player with the Suffolk Ensemble. She has edited the songs of the 17th century Italian Luigi Rossi from a manuscript held in Christchurch College, Oxford, and for The Brook Street Band has transcribed Bach’s Organ Trio Sonatas for two violins and continuo and Handel’s recorder sonatas for cello, both of which The Band has recorded. Whilst she specialises in the Baroque, Carolyn has continued to play the piano throughout her career. During her time at UEA Carolyn was the accompanist for Wymondham Choral Society and then in London was the musical director for several amateur dramatic companies including New Maldon and the NatWest Theatre Company with whom she played in some productions of Sondheim. Carolyn now lives in South Norfolk and is delighted to be working with Beccles Choral Society