We are a choir of 24 voices, drawing our singers from across West Sussex. Directed by Peter Allwood, we aim to share our love of choral music with audiences in the Chichester area.
Peter read music at King’s College, Cambridge, singing as a choral scholar under the direction of Sir David Willcocks and Sir Philip Ledger. After a year’s study in Durham, where he was conductor of the University Chamber Choir, he became Director of Music first at Leighton Park School in Reading, then Oundle School, Northamptonshire and, from 1985, at Christ’s Hospital in Horsham. During that time he conducted many operas and orchestral concerts, and worked with both adult and children’s choirs, recording a number of CDs on the Guild and Carlton Labels.
Peter was a director of the National Youth Music Theatre from 1978 – 2000, composing and directing many shows during that time. His compositions for the NYMT include Bendigo Boswell (BBC TV 1983), Jack Spratt VC (Edinburgh Fringe First 1985), The Little Rats (Sadler’s Wells 1989), Aurelius (Edinburgh 1997), and Pendragon (Far East, London, Edinburgh, Broadway, BBC TV, recorded on the TER Label). These are to be featured in the NYMT’s 40th Anniversary show in the West End in October 2016.
Other compositions include The Dream of the Rood (1993), a sacred music drama commissioned by St Albans Abbey for their Twelfth Century Celebrations, Out of the Mouths of Children (2011) for unaccompanied Double SATB and Children’s Choir, commissioned for the Tagore Festival in Calcutta, and a setting of Psalm 150 commissioned for performance by the Winchester Cathedral Choir in May 2014.
From 2001 to 2011, Peter was Headmaster of Lichfield Cathedral School, during which time it expanded from a prep school to an all-through, 3-18, coeducational school, and he was responsible for founding a new Girls’ Choir for Lichfield which is now thoroughly integrated into the Cathedral Choral Foundation.
Peter is now a freelance musician. He currently conducts the Portsmouth Festival Choir, the Sandgate Singers and the Chantry Quire on a regular basis, and is an occasional guest conductor with other choirs and orchestras. He is working on various composition projects, including a major revision of The Dream of the Rood for performance in Lichfield in 2018. In addition, he acts as a consultant on choral appointments, adjudicates choral and instrumental competitions, examines for the Associated Board and runs choral workshops and singing weekends in this country and abroad. He is Chairman of the Friends of Cathedral Music.