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Change of Music Director

Change of Music Director

As another Cantate season comes to a close we are sad to announce that Nicholas Shaw will be leaving after being a part of Cantate for 16 years, the last 9 as joint Music Director with Graham Install.

Under Nick and Graham’s direction Cantate has taken part in overseas tours to France; sung in St Albans Abbey, the Royal Albert Hall, Twickenham Stadium and local venues; recorded CDs; performed with local school children and as part of Gabrieli Roar; and taken part in the National Festival of Music for Youth, the Mid-Somerset Choral Festival, the Llangollen Eisteddfod and brought home 2 gold medals from the World Choir Games in Riga.

Nick has provided a few words about his time with Cantate :

“My introduction to Cantate was on a wet February day in Harlow in 2003 where as a young organist and conductor I found myself answering most interview questions with the answer ‘I don’t know, but I’m willing to learn’. Amazingly this seemed good enough and several scary rehearsals later I found myself on tour in Italy with the Junior Choir, playing music that was a million miles away from the church hymns and anthems that I had been brought up on.

Fast forward to 2009 via several notable concerts and tours of all descriptions, and the announcement that Cantate’s Founder Director, Michael Kibblewhite was leaving the choir and the opportunity to take over with Graham presented itself, which I jumped at, and since then the choir has continued to thrive. I have loved my time with Cantate and it has been the backbone to my professional life for 16 years. When the chance came to further my skills as Youth Chorus Master of Opera North it seemed the natural progression and it is an environment where I find that I constantly draw on my Cantate experience. The job is based in Leeds, but it takes me across the North of England working with a team of choral conductors and several choirs, and sadly it became clear that I wasn’t able to give Cantate the time and commitment that it needs and deserves. I will miss it enormously together with so many friends that I have made over the years. It’s been such a privilege to be have been part of the Cantate story.”


Graham Instrall has decided that now is also the right time to step down as joint Music Director as other areas of his professional life develop. We are delighted that he will still remain a part of Cantate, providing percussion training for all choir members.


From September 2019 Lucy Morris will be joining Cantate as music director.