Leicestershire choral conductor returns to inspire new generation of singers

An article on Emma featured on the Leicestershire County Council Chairman’s blog, original can be found by clicking here.

Following on from my recent updates about the future of choral music in the area, I thought I’d share with you this news about Emma Goddard, a professional choral conductor, voice teacher and soprano soloist from Leicestershire. After being introduced to the world of choral music through Leicestershire Arts in Education, she now works with Leicester Cathedral to develop singing in schools and church choirs.

Emma graduated with a BA(hons) in Music and French in 2010 from the University of Bristol where she conducted the University Chamber Choir. She then attended the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, graduating in 2012 with an MA in Choral Conducting, having studied under Simon Halsey, Neil Ferris, Adrian Partington and Sarah Tenant-Flowers.

Emma has returned to Leicestershire to work with young choirs.

She recently returned to Leicester and has taken on the role of Leicester Cathedral Choral Director based in the Loughborough area working with 10 primary schools on the Diosing! programme and directing Loughborough Children’s Choir (loughchoir.co.uk). She is also currently Musical Director of Redland Green Community Chorus, Bristol, and is involved in numerous other choral projects. She had this to say about her experiences:

“Music has always been a huge part of my life, which is why so much of my childhood was spent involved in rehearsals and concerts for Leicestershire Arts in Education ensembles. I started learning violin with the service at the age of 6, and a few years later soon joined the Junior Strings, and began working my way up through the orchestras over the years. I was encouraged to try the viola when I was 13, and as it suited me better I never looked back!

“In my final year of sixth form I was lead viola in the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra and the Senior Strings, which was the highest rank for a viola player in the arts service. I also took part in a national chamber music competition with the Leicestershire Arts in Education string quartet which was a fantastic opportunity. I loved going on tour with the orchestras because it strengthened the ensemble and we began to really play for each other. I even sang a solo with the LSSO on tour to the Loire Valley when I was 17, which was a great honour.

“Choral singing is a major passion of mine, sparked as a young child when taking part in the Leicestershire Arts massed primary school choirs projects. I knew I wanted to be a part of the buzz of people singing together more long term, but I didn’t know quite how I would achieve it at the time. I joined the Leicestershire Arts in Education Youth Choir when I was 12 and was a committed member until I left to go to University.

“I was given solos and even a conducting opportunity or two as I explored my skills as a choral leader, encouraged by Sophie Pascall. I came back a few times to work with the Junior Choir and help out at the same massed choir events which gave me a stronger sense that I definitely wanted to work in children’s singing.

“I had a dream and a passion and have always worked towards that. The staff at the Arts in Education service always encouraged me and gave me great opportunities. I honestly don’t think I would be where I am today without them and without the whole system. I only hope I can be just as inspiring to the children and adults I work with now.”

For more information about the Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service, visit:www.leics.gov.uk/lsms or email lsms@leics.gov.uk