David OgdenDavid Ogden

David Ogden was appointed as Director of the Choral Music Centre and conductor of the Senior Girls and Boys Chamber Choirs in September 2008, succeeding Bob Latham on his retirement from the post.

David Ogden is a professional conductor and composer. As well as Bristol Youth Choir he conducts Exultate Singers, City of Bristol Choir, the RSCM Chamber Choir, and the Royal Mail Choir. He recently founded a new ensemble of young singers, Celestia. He is Director of Music at Holy Trinity Church, Westbury-on-Trym in Bristol. For over 25 years he has worked with numerous professional and amateur groups of all shapes and sizes in many fields of music making, including church music, concerts, musical theatre and opera, community projects, primary and secondary level educational workshops, from small children’s groups to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

David has conducted choirs on BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and the World Service, and worked as conductor, arranger and music adviser on BBC TV’s Songs of Praise. He is Religious Music Adviser for the BBC’s hit series Call The Midwife, and worked with the Royal Mail Choir in the BBC Two series The Choir: Sing While You Work. David conducted the choir for a charity single with X-Factor winner Joe McElderry in 2013 in aid of Prostate Cancer UK and on the 2013 Royal Mail Christmas TV advertisement.

He has conducted choirs in concert halls, cathedrals, churches, chapels, monasteries, convents, castles, conference centres, the Houses of Parliament, stately homes, prisons, theatres, gardens, retirement homes, shopping centres, restaurants, pubs, building sites, golf clubs, schools, car showrooms, business clubs, hotels, farmers’ markets, hospitals, TV and recording studios, Royal Mail sorting offices, underground stations, zoos, marquees and on boats, in the UK, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, USA, Portugal, Holland, South Korea, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, Philippines, and Hungary.

His compositions are published by the RSCM and White Light Publishing, and are performed in schools and churches worldwide. His music is broadcast frequently on BBC radio and television. In 2004 David was made an Associate of the Royal School of Church Music in recognition of his services to church music.

Martin Le PoidevinMartin Le Poidevin

Martin Le Poidevin was born in Essex and educated at Colchester Royal Grammar School and Bristol University, where he gained a First Class Degree in Music.

He is a well-known oratorio soloist in the west country, with a wide repertoire in many styles. He has performed as soloist with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Brno Philharmonic and many other orchestras. Recent engagements have included singing with the Tallis Scholars and I Fagiolini, and taking the leading role of Stalin in a new music-based play. Martin has sung a wide range of operatic roles, including Ford (Falstaff), The Count (Marriage of Figaro) and Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas). He has created a number of roles. He is also a recitalist, specialising in the classical song cycles and English song. Alongside his professional singing engagements, Martin is a member of the music staff at Clifton Cathedral, with whom he has made countless recordings and broadcasts. He regularly directs the diocesan choir and visits and advises parishes to help with their music-making. He is a published composer - his St Luke Passion, an evening-long oratorio, was recently premiered to great acclaim. Martin is also a singing teacher with well over 50 students on his books, and runs a small internet programming agency specialising in music projects. He is married with five children.

Elinor CooperElinor Cooper

Elinor Cooper is a conductor, soloist and ensemble singer based in the South-West. She joined the Bristol Youth Choir team in September 2015, after graduating from Bristol University with a first class degree in music.

During her time at university Elinor sang professionally in consort with the Erebus Ensemble (artists-in-residence at the Bristol Proms), Mousai Singers, Symphoniae Sacrae and Icosa, and became a regular soloist and recitalist across the South West. She has been a member of the National Youth Choir and National Youth Chamber Choir of Great Britain since 2009, with whom she has toured to America and Malta, as well as featuring with them in broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and in consecutive BBC Proms with Vasily Petrenko, Bob Chilcott and Daniel Barenboim.

During her time at Bristol University Elinor took part in masterclasses with Ian Bostridge, Mary King, Voces8, and Sarah Connolly. She was also cast as Belinda in the Bristol University Opera Society production of Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell. Elinor was a member of Genesis Sixteen, a prestigious choral training scheme run by Harry Christophers and The Sixteen intended to provide support to the next generation of professional ensemble singers. In November 2014 she sang Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem with The Sixteen in Bridgewater Hall, and in February 2015 performed Dixit Dominus by George Frederic Handel in consort with the Royal Welsh College of Music’s period ensemble, Badinerie.

Alongside her work for Bristol Youth Choir, Elinor is a music journalist for BBC Music Magazine, Musical Director of Clevedon Choral Society, and works as a freelance soprano.

Website by Judith Ogden • Photography by Christopher Gray and Mark Ashbee