Claire Pallett – Chair
Claire is originally from Sheffield. She studied civil and structural engineering at Nottingham Trent University, after which she moved to Lincoln, London and then up to Manchester where she settled and has lived since 1998. Claire works as a Project Manager and Civil Engineer.
In 2010 Claire decided that she would like to try to sing in a group and joined a show choir. This was great fun, however, Claire realised that she really wanted to sing in a choral setting. She joined the Manchester University Chorus in 2012 and then the Hallé Academy in 2013, after that she joined Salford Choral Society in 2014 and has enjoyed it ever since. In her spare time Claire is an active member of the committee for the annual Didsbury Beer Festival which is run for local charities and involves plenty of research (of course). She also enjoys visits to the Bridgewater Hall and for her holidays travelling to far flung places.
Tom Newall - Music Director
British conductor Tom Newall has established a successful freelance career in the UK.
He founded Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra in 2014 to give aspiring professional musicians experience in a high quality ensemble, helping to bridge the gap between a player’s studies and professional orchestras. The orchestra has established a busy schedule, with large-scale Symphony Orchestra projects at its community hub in Harpurhey in North Manchester. They also deliver the 'Young Explorers' concert series in collaboration with the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).
Aside from this, Tom has a particular passion for Opera. Recent highlights have included Macbeth, La Bohème, The Magic Flute, A Masked Ball and The Turn of the Screw with Leeds Youth Opera, Cosi fan Tutte with Flatpack Music, Die Fledermaus with Fulham Opera and two premieres with Manchester Opera Project. In Summer 2018, he made his debut at Buxton International Festival conducting The Orphans of Koombu.
Tom is very dedicated to music education and has worked on a number of outreach projects for Blackburn Cathedral and Opera North.
Highlights of the 2019/20 season include guest orchestral conducting engagements at RNCM and Leeds College of Music. He will also conduct The Planets and Also Sprach Zarathustra with Wilmslow Symphony Orchestra, and Petrushka with Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra. He has a busy choral season and will conduct a variety of works including Creation, Messiah, Duruflé's Requiem and Elijah. Tom is currently working on a collaboration between a number of ensembles and will conduct Mahler's Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection' in 2022. He has been Music Director of Salford Choral Society since 2016.
Roderick Barrand – Accompanist
Roderick Barrand is an honours graduate of Manchester University and Associate of the RNCM, with Diplomas in Teaching Performance and Accompaniment. He studied as a postgraduate with David Lloyd and John Wilson, followed by a year studying Lieder accompaniment with Professor Robert Schollum. He has been on the staff of the RNCM since 1979, and has worked with many teachers in masterclasses and lessons, enjoying a particularly close relationship with Barbara Rowbotham and, until his retirement, with the violinist Yossi Zivoni in the School of Strings. With the latter he has coached at summer schools in France and Belgium.
Roderick has appeared at Lake District Summer Music in vocal masterclasses and concerts as accompanist, as well as directing from the piano a double bill of Susanna’s Secret and The Telephone in collaboration with the British director Stefan Janski. Roderick is also accompanist to Sale Choral Society, and has appeared as concerto soloist with conductors Russell Medley, the late Dr James Eastham and Duncan Ward. In the summer of 2012 he gave a song recital with RNCM alumnus, the distinguished bass-baritone Pavlo Hunka, as part of the Ukrainian Art Song Project founded by Pavlo, first at the RNCM and then at Passau in Germany for its ‘European Weeks’ Festival. On his return to Manchester, he accompanied masterclasses given by Gyorg Pauk as part of the 'London Masterclasses in Manchester’ tour at the RNCM.