Toby Ward ~ artistic director
Toby Ward received his formative musical training as a chorister at Leeds Minster, where he studied the organ and piano under Dr Simon Lindley and David Houlder. He read music at King's College, Cambridge, singing in chapel choir under the late Sir Stephen Cleobury, with continued postgraduate study at the Samling Institute for Young Artists and the Royal College of Music. He is organist of the National Musicians’ Church, St Sepulchre’s, an associate of the Royal College of Organists, and Tenebrae Choir's Tenor Associate Artist 2020-2022.
He worked extensively in the North of England as a conductor and teacher of choristers after graduating from Cambridge, including teaching and conducting on the staff of Newcastle University as director of Newcastle University’s Chamber Choir, ‘New Vocal Ensemble’, and teaching the choristers of Newcastle Cathedral, Hexham Abbey and selected trebles at Durham Chorister School. He taught and directed former York Minster and Ripon Cathedral choristers in York’s superb York Chapter House Youth Choir, in repertoire as varied as Distler Es ist ein Ros and Cox Keep me as an Apple of an Eye; and held teaching positions at Queen Margaret’s School, York, and Uppingham School.
He co-founded Ensemble Pro Victoria at Cambridge in early 2015, to pursue solo voice performance of Iberian and English music from the Renaissance. His academic interests including our modern, received choral practice, choirbook performance and vocal technique through the ages, particularly our relationship with free vibration of the voice.
Recent singing highlights include Lysander (Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream), RCM Opera Scenes, Handel Messiah/Ampleforth Abbey, Talbot Path of Miracles, Tenebrae (Nigel Short)/Barber Institute and Poulenc Sept Répons des Ténèbres, (tenor solos and chorus) with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Bertrand de Billy)/Royal Festival Hall.
Regularly working as a consort singer, Toby sings and tours regularly with Tenebrae (Nigel Short), Ex Cathedra (Jeffrey Skidmore), The Instruments of Time and Truth/Oxford Consort of Voices (Edward Higginbottom), The Hanover Band, SANSARA and The Carice Singers.