musical director: tom rodgers
Tom Rodgers has been involved in choral music since the mid-1990s when he first started accompanying the Chamber Choir at his secondary school in Hornchurch; it was this role that gave him a taste for supporting choirs because it took him to Canada on a school tour. At a similar time he accompanied The Sound Company (a local choir). Having achieved a music degree in 2001 Tom worked for some time in Chappell Of Bond Street before taking on his first choral director role in 2006 for the Hornchurch Passion Play. Since then he led a church choir in Tottenham, North London for over twelve years and musically directed the Hornchurch Passion Plays in 2011 & 2015 to great acclaim. It was following the final Passion Play that Tom founded the United Singers Choral Ensemble, formed from the members of the Passion Play Choir who wanted to continue singing after the production. In 2018 Tom rescued the Hornchurch “Can’t” Sing Choir from closure following their Musical Director retiring. Tom was very pleased to be awarded the role of Musical Director for the New Essex Choir and was enjoying his first term of leadership with the choir before the COVID-19 pandemic affected all of our lives. After many months, the choir returned to rehearsing in September 2021 and worked hard to deliver an excellent Christmas concert at the end of the year.
As well as working with the New Essex Choir, the United Singers and the Hornchurch "Can't" Sing Choir Tom is MD for Lennox Productions (the musical theatre company associated with the Lennox Childrens' Cancer Fund), accompanies the Billericay Choral Society and is Director of Music for All Saints Church in Cranham. This summer, he is also musically directing the Ingatestone Choral Society as interim conductor whilst they search for a new permanent MD.
Tom's aim, with all the choirs he leads, is to bring the joy of music to the singers, to teach good technique, develop their confidence in whatever style of music they are presenting and to produce high quality and professional performances. His rehearsals are normally both light-hearted yet intense; this mixture often leads to much laughter and enjoyment but a lot of learning! Tom is looking forward to welcoming new members into the choir in 2022!
official accompanist: janet baldacci
..Janet Baldacci began learning the piano when she was 8. At 15, she took up the organ and deputised regularly at a number of local churches. At this time, she had singing lessons with Edna Graham and passed her Grade 8 with distinction. After leaving school, Janet furthered her musical studies privately and gained her LLCM (Licentiate of the London College of Music) diploma in 1986. Janet has held regular organist posts over the years and is currently in great demand as a freelance church organist. Janet joined the Redbridge Ladies’ Choir as their accompanist in 2006 and became the Musical Director in 2013 until they closed in 2018. Janet was a singing member of the New Essex Choir for around 13 years before becoming their regular accompanist five years ago