Musical Director

Ashley Thompson

Ashley has been involved with choral music from his very early years; he was a published choral composer when still at school and by the time he was 18 he had sung at The White House and The Vatican. Ashley went on to study composition at London University with the experimental educationalist Brian Dennis, organ with Andrew Lumsden (Westminster Abbey), during which time he was sub-organist at Windsor Parish Church, and education at Durham University.

Commissions have included a rock reworking of Vivaldi’s Gloria and Come, O True Light, a drum and bass anthem written for Worcester Cathedral, and numerous children’s songs, including pieces in the Singing Sherlock - a song anthology for children. For many years he was Musical Director of The British Methodist Youth Choir with whom he produced A New Dawn, an album of his choral works; he has been Music Director of The Phoenix Singers since 1997.

Ashley has composed for numerous stage productions; his own danced musical, Looking On… toured widely. His other theatre work includes musical director for Strange Voyages at the Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent and rehearsal coach for Don Giovanni at the New Vic Theatre, where he has previously worked on Oliver!, Amadeus, Carmen, The Marriage of Figaro, Sweeney Todd, The Snow Queen and Anna of the Five Towns. Together with playwright Deborah McAndrew Ashley composed the cantata A Christmas Carol, retelling Dicken’s festive classic through song, and the award-winning Greenwood Dreams - The Silver Arrow, a choral fable based on the legend of Robin Hood. As an accompanist he has toured Japan and he has recently developed an interest in playing piano for silent films.

Until recently Ashley worked as Special Projects Manager for Music for Life, devising their highly acclaimed Whole Class Instrumental Teaching projects, introducing the joys of instrumental music-making to thousands of children in the North West; he is currently of Director of Music at Ranby House School in Nottinghamshire.

His music is published by Boosey & Hawkes and Stainer & Bell Ltd.
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