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Blake The Snowman

Gregory Batsleer Chorus Director
Hugh Dennis  

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Gregory Batsleer

Gregory Batsleer Chorus Director

Gregory Batsleer is widely regarded as one of the leading Choral Conductors and most innovative musicians of his generation. Gregory is Chorus Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and Director of the Huddersfield Choral Society. Gregory has received widespread critical acclaim for his work in both raising musical standards as well as widening the artistic activities of each ensemble.

He has held the position of Chorus Director with the RSNO since 2015 and has in that time overseen an improvement in the overall standard of the RSNO Chorus, as well as a rise in the RSNO’s choral activity. This has included the inauguration of the RSNO Chorus Academy, Singing Days, and the establishment of regular Come and Sing events with the Orchestra.

As Guest Conductor; recent and forthcoming highlights include performances with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Hallé Orchestra, Black Dyke, National Youth Choir of Great Britain, Orchestra of Opera North, Manchester Camerata, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Academy of Ancient Music, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra; with whom he appears on a number of occasions throughout each season.

As Guest Chorus Master Gregory has worked with orchestras including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestra of Opera North, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Houston Symphony Orchestra, and works regularly with leading conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Robin Ticciati, Sir Andrew Davis, Thomas Søndergård, Vassily Petrenko, Sir Roger Norrington, Philippe Herreweghe, Maxim Emelyanychev and Emmanuel Krivine.

Gregory is deeply committed to extending the reach of classical music beyond the concert hall and exploring new ways of presenting music. Gregory is co-Artistic Director of Festival Voices, a professional vocal ensemble dedicated to the performance of choral music reimagined with live electronic music. In recent seasons Gregory has curated and conducted cross-art performances at Latitude Festival, Wilderness Festival, Southbank Centre, London Handel Festival and at the Royal Northern College of Music. Gregory has worked as an artistic advisor at the Sam Wannamaker Theatre and on various projects with leading contemporary artists such as Elbow, Damon Albarn, David Lang, Carlos Acosta, Clean Bandit, Guy Garvey and Joy Division.

From 2012 – 2016 Gregory was Artistic Director of the National Portrait Gallery’s Choir in Residence Programme, the first in-house music programme in a museum or Gallery in the world. Together with the Portrait Choir he recorded a much acclaimed Choral Audio Guide to the Gallery’s permanent collection.

Outside his work as a performer, Gregory is a director of innovative performing arts charity Future Stages and is sits on the boards of Manchester Camerata and Charades Theatre Company. In 2015 Gregory was awarded the first ever Arts Foundation Fellowship in Choral Conducting. He has previously held conducting posts at the Hallé as its Youth Choir Director and at Manchester University as Director of Choirs.

Hugh  Dennis

Hugh Dennis  

Star of BBC2’s hit topical panel show Mock the Week, and BBC1’s hit sitcom Outnumbered, Hugh Dennis began his performing career in 1985, as one half of double act Punt and Dennis. Regulars at London’s Comedy Store and Jongleurs, they soon moved on to Channel 4’s Saturday Live and teamed up with Jasper Carrott to appear on all three series on Carrott Confidential for BBC1.

The Mary Whitehouse Experience followed, running for 45 shows on Radio One, during which time it won the Sony Award for Best Comedy before transferring to BBC2 where it achieved instant success and a cult following, enabling them to embark on the national sell-out Milky Milky tour. They were then given their own Punt and Dennis show on BBC1. Hugh combined this with being one of the regular voice artists for Spitting Image, playing the part of Dr Piers Crispin in six series of My Hero for BBC1, and being a guest presenter for Have I Got News For You.

Hugh is also a regular voice on BBC’s radio network both writing and presenting Radio 4’s award winning comedy The Now Show, Radio 2’s It’s Been A Bad Week and writing The Party Line (starring James Fleet) for Radio 4 and BBC7.

Hugh and Steve Punt have toured their live show Stuff and Nonsense around the UK.

As a writer, his books include The Mary Whitehouse Experience Encyclopedia and The Punt and Dennis Instant Library. He is also a contributor to the Sunday Telegraph Review Section and along with Steve Punt and Nick Hancock he wrote Me, You and Him, a six part comedy for ITV.