The Conductor

DSC_8778Our  Musical Director, John Sutton,  started his musical career as a double bass player in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Whilst at school he was a founder member of the group that went on to become Mott the Hoople,   He gained a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, where he studied singing with Mark Raphael, double bass with Eugene Cruft, and conducting with Sir Adrian Boult.  Since leaving the RCM, John’s eclectic love of music has taken him throughout UK  and Europe, performing with a huge variety of musicians from the Walker Brothers to Pierre Boulez. —and in an enormous number of venues from Ronnie Scotts, to the back of a lorry in a carnival in Spain, to the Royal Festival Hall and the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall London!  He has conducted choirs and orchestras since the early 70’s and was also proud to be the Principal Guest Conductor of the Prague Academy Orchestra for several years. He has recently retired from his two London choirs (the M3 roadworks and  nightly diversions proved insurmountable!)   and now concentrates his time on Compton and Shawford Festival Choir. Winchester, where he now lives. However he has been assured that many of his London singers will be persuaded to join the ranks on the 15th October!DSC_1631

He takes a leading role in the planning and organising of concerts for  CSFC in the many activities they  perform each year, including “fun” singing workshops such as “Sound of Music” and “Oklahoma” for the local community.  Although there will not be a foreign choir tour this year,  he is hoping that  the future may  bring a European  concert or two  to relive the pleasure of performing great choral works in beautiful  venues.  His favourites have included  Prague, Lake Garda and most memorably, Reims, Sacre Coeur , Paris, Vezelay, Bourges and Toulouse, in France.

_MG_4755For over 40 years he has brought pleasure through music to many thousands of people.–as  a performer, conductor and teacher.  With the philosophy that music can be a medium through which  communities at large can benefit,  John has helped to raise many tens of thousands of pounds for worthy causes, and promote British music abroad, including many performances of the Armed Man, and Handel’s Messiah.

Recent comments on his performances have included “inspirational” “awesome” “great fun” ” most moving” —all of which he enjoys enormously!

Sir Karl congratulates the ConductorBesides music, John’s great love is sport. As a youngster he played representative rugby for the Three  Counties in the West of England , and later on was  a member of Twickenham Rugby  Football Club. But the world of football has also given him great pleasure–he has been an  avid supporter of Manchester City since his Dad took him to watch  Stanley Matthews against them  in 1957. Performing at Eastleigh Football Club will in October will bring him great pleasure, particularly after their excellent FA Cup run!

Nowadays, when not engaged in music making he can be found on the golf course or in France!