Meet our Management Team.
Manvinder Rattan is Chief Executive Officer and Head of Conductor Training at Sing for Pleasure. He oversees all the charity’s activities, which include a wide range of courses, publications and singing events for adults and children, and he leads a team of tutors who teach around 200 conductors a year. The accredited conductor training programme which he steers is a graded scheme that has the capacity to take conductors from their very first downbeat all the way through to advanced work with a substantial choir and orchestra, using its renowned teaching syllabus and supportive, pro-active teaching style.
An expert choral and orchestral conductor, Manvinder has been Musical Director of the John Lewis Partnership Music Society since 1995. Having inherited one choir, the society now has over eighteen. It also has an orchestra, rock band, and Music Tuition Service on two sites; they gave over twenty-five performances last year. In addition, he is Musical Director of Serafine Chamber Choir and Sinfonia, with whom he has recently released the premiere recording of Oliver Tarney’s Magnificat.
Freelance engagements also keep him busy, with numerous guest conducting, teaching, singing and adjudicating engagements in the UK and abroad. In 2012, Manvinder was a judge for ‘The Choir’ with Gareth Malone, focussing on singing in the workplace and he recently performed as soloist in ‘The Armed Man’ at the Albert Hall with Brian Kay.
Catherine Beddison is Head of Strategy for Sing for Pleasure. The charity has significantly grown and evolved in recent years, investing in choral futures through significant fundraising, scholarship programmes, training programmes and a range of choral initiatives, and Catherine is leading its future strategic development. She is also a senior conducting tutor within the organisation.
An expert in music education, Catherine has an impressive proven track record of setting high standards, enthusing children and encouraging them to fully develop their musical skills. She is Head of Prep School Music at Cranleigh School within the outstanding ‘Cranleigh Music 7-18’ programme, which links the musical education for children throughout the junior and senior schools. Currently on sabbatical from SfP, she is involved in strategic work at Cranleigh and is involved in establishing musical links with Cranleigh’s sister school in Abu Dhabi.
Catherine also works as a freelance conductor, adjudicator, consultant, lecturer and singer; and has presented at the MMA Conference, the Leith Hill Music Festival and the Music Education Expo. She conducts Harlequin Chamber Choir, Cranleigh Prep School Chamber Choir, Farnham Youth Training Choir and Cranleigh Choral Society.
Don Gillthorpe is Head of Publications for Sing for Pleasure, overseeing a team of composers, arrangers, typesetters and editors to produce a series of successful songbooks for children and adults. He is a senior conducting tutor for SfP courses and a specialist in working with boys’ changing voices. A singing teacher, performer, conductor, choral animateur, adjudicator and workshop leader, he is in demand around the country.
Currently Director of Music and Performing Arts at Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy in Lancaster, Don leads a thriving department which boasts seven choirs, including a large boys’ choir and robed chapel choir. As part of the school’s wider remit, Don is also an accredited Specialist Leader in Education, supporting music departments in other schools and leading a school-centred Secondary Music PGCE programme. The school is hosting the MMA Conference in 2016.
Alongside this, Don is Director of Church Music for the Morland Choristers’ Camp (a unique summer course for children from school and church choirs) and Assistant Director of Music at Lancaster Priory; he also directs Vox Boys’ Choir (an auditioned consort for boys aged 14-19), and has been a guest conductor for the ABCD North-West Cambiata Choir.
Ula Weber is Head of Events for Sing for Pleasure, organising conducting and singing courses across the UK and abroad. She is also a senior conducting tutor and Course Director for their annual Summer School. A choral animateur, singer, teacher trainer, conductor and workshop leader, Ula’s work has taken her as far afield as Poland, Ukraine, Thailand and China.
A former “Outstanding” (Ofsted 2004) primary school teacher, Ula is now Vocal Projects Leader for Sandwell Music and Arts Service promoting classroom and choral singing. As a co-founder of music education organisation Vocal.Point, Ula is also a lead vocal strategy consultant for Dudley Performing Arts. Ula sings with the renowned choir Ex Cathedra and is one of their lead education vocal tutors. She co-created Ex Cathedra Education’s internationally acclaimed and award winning Singing Playgrounds project.
Ula currently conducts SO Vocal (the 200-strong community choir of CBSO), Birmingham City Council Choir (featured in BBC2’s programme ‘The Choir’), Echo Doliny (a national Polish folk choir) and the recently formed National Teachers’ Choir (who performed at the opening of the 2015 ‘Teach First’ conference). She is in great demand as a workshop leader across the country.
Mark is a member of the Managment Team in the role of Assistant to CEO. He is a freelance musician who works in all aspects of choral music: as conductor, accompanist and singer. He moved into choral conducting after many years as a successful accompanist and repetiteur. He is the Musical Director of Oxford Pro Musica Singers, Milton Keynes Chorale and a member of the choral conducting team at the Cranleigh Choral Week. He is also a regular deputy for The Cathedral Singers of Christ Church, Oxford.
He works closely with the Head of Conductor Training, Manvinder Rattan in his work with the John Lewis Partnership Music Society both as a conductor and accompanist. Mark is also a highly experienced choral singer having sung with several award-winning amateur choirs including Canzonetta, Choros Amici, Encoro, Chantage, Ensemble 45 and others.