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Musical Director

The choir is directed by Joanna Eames.

Joanna has been studying music since the age of 11 when she took up the flute and joined West Sussex County Girls Choir. She gained her degree in Primary Education Studies with Music at Reading University, studying the flute under Nick Cartledge and was both a member of the Reading University Singers and conductor of the Reading University Concert Band.

Joanna joined Songbirds as a singer in 2005 and was soon asked to take on the role of Musical Director. During her time as MD, numbers have risen from 8 to 45 and the choir have taken part in a number of exciting events including the BBC programme Last Choir Standing, choir ‘tours’ to the Isle of Wight and an exchange event with a French choir, Le Renouveau.

Last summer, Joanna conducted Songbirds and various other local choirs in a performance of Zimbe!, with the composer Alexander L’Estrange and his Call Me Al jazz quintet. A sell-out performance at The Hawth Theatre in Crawley, it was a very successful concert that featured in Crawley Music Festival 2013.

Joanna enjoys singing as much as she enjoys conducting. She has performed as a soloist in various productions with Forest Amateur Musical Entertainers (F.A.M.E.) and is a member of Billingshurst Choral Society, last year singing with them in the national première of Ståle Kleiberg’s Requiem. She recently sang on the CD recording of Alexander L’Estrange’s new choral work, Ahoy!

The choir performs to backing tracks and a capella (without backing). Occasionally, songs are accompanied by piano, played by Joanna or various willing accompanist-friends of the choir!  We are keen to recruit a regular accompanist so please contact us if you are interested.