We believe that anyone who wishes to sing with other people should be able to do so, regardless of experience, and without any financial barrier. Based on the belief that singing is good for you, and following over a decade of collaborative research, we act as an umbrella organisation to make opportunities for caring through singing.
The Trust’s work
Put simply, we sing – for pleasure, for health, for friendship, and for the enjoyment of others. To be more specific, the Trust runs, supports and funds local singing groups, enabling people to sing regularly and enjoy the benefits. Each group is concerned with caring through singing, caring for each other and demonstrating care for others in the community through a range of activities and performances.
Canterbury Cantata Trust achieved Registered Charity status in 2015. In 2010, together with colleague Roger Clayton, Grenville Hancox established the first Skylarks, a singing group for people with Parkinson’s, using methods based on his research into the health benefits of singing. Grenville then founded the Trust itself in 2012, to establish the importance of group singing in the community and to encourage younger people to be involved with their communities through practical music activities. We continue to follow the founding ethos of the Trust – that anyone who wishes to sing with other people should be able to do so, regardless of experience, and without any financial barrier.
The Trust is run by a Board of Trustees, all of whom are volunteers. We rely on the valued support of our trustees, patrons, sponsors, friends and donors to run our choirs, and put on events for our community. The Trust is grateful for the support of its patrons, Robert Willis, The Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, Matthew Rose, one of the most celebrated English operatic bass-baritones, and Mark Padmore, world-renowned tenor.
Professor Grenville Hancox, BA, MEd, LTCL, DipEd, FRSA, MBE
Artistic and Musical Director
Artistic and Musical Director
The Trust’s Music and Artistic Director (and Founder) is Professor Grenville Hancox MBE, well known for his work as an educationalist, performer and conductor, together with his ground breaking research with Professor Stephen Clift on the benefits of singing for health. “Singing should be on prescription,” he says.
As a former Trustee of the Creative Foundation in Folkestone, Grenville has championed engagement in the arts as a means of social regeneration, with the firm belief that music should be at the heart of every community.
Until March 2012 he was Head of Department and Director of Music at Canterbury Christ Church University, having been made the first Professor of Music in Kent in 2000. Amongst many achievements whilst in post were the forging of a very special relationship between the University and the Master of the Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies; and the founding of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health in Folkestone. Grenville raised all the funds for the transformation of the iconic St Gregory’s Centre for Music.
Grenville has directed many performances including some of the most challenging works in the choral repertoire, (including Britten’s War Requiem with Ian Bostridge and Benjamin Luxon). As a clarinet player he has performed extensively throughout the UK, in Europe and the USA and appeared amongst others with the London Mozart Players, and the Sacconi and Maggini String Quartets.
He was awarded the MBE for services to Music in 2005 and presented with a Civic Award by Canterbury City Council for services to the community through music in 2006.
The Very Revd Dr Robert Willis
Robert Willis is an Anglican priest, theologian, chaplain and music composer who waimages installed as the 39th Dean of Canterbury in July 2001. He is an accomplished pianist, and an opera enthusiast, and has written many hymns as well as contributing to the recent editions of Hymns Ancient and Modern and New English Praise.
“The Mission Statement of Canterbury Cantata Trust -Caring through Singing -is one that I find very attractive indeed. Throughout my life, music has played an enormous part in helping me both to get to know others in different communities and to share in widely different cultures, even when my knowledge of their language is sketchy. Music can break down barriers but also enable people to find creative gifts within themselves which have not been realised. I know that we all wish the Trust well and much success in the future.”
Matthew is a former student at Canterbury Christ Church University and member of Cantata choir. He has appeared at the Edinburgh Festival, BBC Proms and his 2015/2016 season includes performances with the Royal Opera House, English National Opera and Glyndebourne Festival.
“It is so wonderful to see the Canterbury Cantata Trust choirs going from strength to strength. I cut my teeth as a young student, rehearsing on Monday nights with Grenville Hancox and performing around Kent and the South-East. Grenville believes, as I do, that music – and especially singing – can do wonders for the human condition in many different ways.”
Mark Padmore was born in London and grew up in Canterbury. He has established a career in opera, concert and recital, was voted 2016 Vocalist of the Year by Musical America and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Kent University in 2014. Mark is Artistic Director of the St. Endellion Summer Music Festival in Cornwall.
|Chair||Roshna Ahmad||Wine expert for Shepherd Neame Brewery, music graduate and keen singer|
|Vice-Chair and Treasurer||Joanna Heath||Deputy Head Teacher of Davington Primary School and keen singer|
|Trustee||Laurence Green||A Canterbury-based dentist and keen supporter of music|
|Trustee||Blair Gulland||A Maidstone-based solicitor, well known and respected for his engagement with the community through the arts across Kent|
A writer and consultant on planning and environmental law.
|Trustee||Dr Sarah Montgomery||
Recently retired Folkestone GP with extensive international and cross-cultural experience of holistic primary health care.
View our policies and governance documents.