Duncan Aspden has spent twenty-odd years getting gradually worse at choral direction. As an undergraduate at Cambridge he directed endless choral services, concerts, world premieres, recordings and tours with complete conviction and unshakeable assurance. A few years wasted in pursuit of an actual career (interspersed with a handful of concerts with singers now known as the best in the business - funnily enough the concerts were pretty good) was only interupted when his then girlfriend suggested a trip around the world.
On a beach in the South Pacific (really!) he finally worked out that he could earn much less money and work twice as hard as a professional musician, and so resolved never to set foot in an office again. During a period of further study at the Royal Academy of Music he began to notice that choral direction was a bit harder than he had previously thought (and that one or two others were quite good at it), and when he began to work regularly with hard-nosed pros he finally spotted that exactly how well they sang depended upon how much he could avoid being rubbish.
Eyes opened, he now tries to avoid ruining about 30 concerts and over 100 services every year. A choral tart, he will conduct or play (organ or harpsichord) in more or less anything where there are singers involved, and that takes him regularly to places as glamorous as Swindon, Bracknell and Wendover. He’s a complete sucker for devoting hours completely unpaid and largely unrecognised putting together unusual programmes that only a few hundred people ever hear, just because the challenge of getting it more or less right pleases him. He’s also become thoroughly conviced that training choirs – presuming they can already do the boring stuff like read music and sing together – is just about the best fun you can have.
Duncan lives a few miles from Thame with his wife (the same girl whose daft idea this was in the first place) and two young children. He can be distracted from music by cricket, walks with the dog to the pub (to talk about cricket), and by screams of “Daddy, watch crikkit??”. Having recently bought an old, twice extended and rather confused house, he currently devotes much time to putting off its restoration.
We are actively seeking a bass
Contact Sue on 01844 215680 (evenings) or via email.