Vox Cantab is lucky to work with a series of distinguished guest directors. Two of them are introduced below.
Patrick Allies is Artistic Director of Siglo de Oro. He is active as a singer, conductor, teacher, researcher and writer on music. He is currently a member of the REMArkables, the professional development scheme of the European Early Music Network.
Patrick began his musical education as a chorister at the Temple Church in London, under Stephen Layton. He sang in Gloucester Cathedral Choir before taking up a Choral Scholarship to study Music at King’s College London. Patrick went on to postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge where he sang in Jesus College Choir.
While Patrick was an undergraduate, he founded the vocal ensemble Siglo de Oro. He has directed the group ever since, as well as holding conducting and teaching roles at Morley College, City Literary Institute, and West Sussex Music. Patrick is in demand as workshop leader, in particular on the subject of the performance of Renaissance polyphony, and has led sessions on performance practice across the UK and in the USA.
Alongside his work as a conductor, Patrick is a DPhil student in music at the University of Oxford, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Patrick’s research involves fifteenth-century choirs and their performance spaces.
Sarah directs a versatile array of professional and amateur choirs both in the UK and abroad and has conducted the Hilliard Ensemble, Chamber Choir Ireland, Cape Town Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, the Kantorei der Friedenskirche Düsseldorf, English Baroque Choir, Reading Bach Choir, Granada International Festival Choir, Harlow Chorus, the RWCMD Chamber Choir, and College Chorus and, as General Manager, worked worldwide with The Sixteen. As guest chorusmaster Sarah has prepared numerous choirs (including the BBC Symphony Chorus) for Proms directed by Ed Gardner and Andrew Davis, among others, and currently works with the CBSO’s community choir SOVocal. She is artistic director of professional choir Singscape, and chamber choirs NC3 and Encoro, and directs the Dubai Opera Festival Chorus which made its debut at the 2019 BBC Proms Dubai singing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
In huge demand as a teacher, Sarah tutors choral conducting worldwide as well as for Trinity, Jesus, and Hertford Colleges in Oxford, Sing for Pleasure, and the Association of British Choral Directors. She ran ABCD’s first convention in Oxford and subsequently served as a manager and director of the organisation. She featured as conducting mentor to actor Bradley Walsh on BBC2’s popular TV series Maestro and is a choral conducting tutor for the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Women Conductors Programme, as well as the English Choral Experience.
As a singer Sarah performs throughout the UK with leading professional female consort Papagena whose Christmas album The Darkest Midnight topped the 2018 download charts, and whose third album Hush! was released on the SOMM label in February 2020. The group has performed throughout the UK; recent concerts have included performances at the Edinburgh, Christchurch and Three Choirs Festivals, live broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and collaborations with the Orchestra of the Swan in Stratford and Birmingham.