top of page

Rutter Requiem & Carols

White Simple World Art Day Template (Flyer)-7.jpg



Good evening all and welcome to our Rutter Concert. We are coupling our Requiem again with some seasonal Carols.

I am delighted to have been able to invite some of my very favourite soloists  to come and perform with us tonight and we are very much looking forward to hearing Fran and Katie, and we are hearing James Gray play again this evening, accompanying Katie. I am also delighted that we continue in our mission to celebrate and develop the talents of the musicians in our choir and tonight we applaud the talents of Sarah, Lesley, Scarlet, Cathie, Leo who sing solo for us and we have so enjoyed hearing the beautiful clarinet playing from our stalwart alto Sally Manders. 


There are always so many people to thank when putting together a concert like this and I would like to extend my gratitude to all the wonderful committee of NCS who work tirelessly to support myself and the choir and to our fabulous accompanist Heather Toyn who has helped us enormously in rehearsals this term when our regular accompanist has been indisposed, we are absolutely indebted to her, and without her generosity we would have no concert tonight. We're delighted that she will also play for our rehearsals next term as well. I would also like to extend our thanks to our hosts at St. John's. We have loved being part of the St. John's family this last year and hope to be so for many more years to come. 

I do hope you enjoy our concert this evening. Our next concert will be an abridged version of Handel's great oratorio Messiah, here at St. John's on March 18th, celebrating 50 years of NCS. Then we follow that on June 10th with a potted version of Gilbert & Sullivan's hilarious Savoy Opera Princess Ida.  We have many events throughout the year which can be discovered via our website. Enjoy the concert and we hope to see you again soon.


Julie Bale Music Director


  John Rutter 


I. Requiem Aeternam

II. Out of The Deep 'Cello Fran Freer

III. Pie Jesu Soprano Lesley Dutton

IV. Sanctus

V. Agnus Dei Flute Katie Munn 

VI. The Lord is My Shepherd Clarinet Sally Manders

VII. Lux Aeterna Soprano Sarah Brameld


Composed 1985

The Requiem was written in 1985 and first performed in October of that year. Following the precedent established by Brahms and Fauré, among others, it is not strictly a setting of the Requiem Mass as laid down in Catholic liturgy, but instead is made up of a personal selection of texts, some taken from the Requiem Mass and some from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

The seven sections of the work form an arch-like meditation on the themes of life and death: the first and last movements (Requiem aeternam and Lux aeternam) are prayers on behalf of all humanity, movements 2 and 3 (Out of the deep and The Lord is my shepherd) are psalms, 3 and 5 (Pie Jesu and Agnus Dei) are personal prayers to Christ, and the central Sanctus is an affirmation of divine glory.

A Short Interval of 5 minutes

H. Berlioz  The Shepherd's Farewell


J. Rutter  Star Carol 

A. Adam O Holy Night 'Cello Fran Freer


G. Holst In The Bleak Midwinter Last verse Cathie Nevin


Traditional O Come, O Come Emmanuel First verse Scarlet Brett


M Leontovych Carol of the Bells  Flute Katie Munn & Piano James Gray

P. Tchaikovsky  The Crown of Thorns

Traditional  O  Come All Ye Faithful 

Arthur Warrell We Wish You A Merry Christmas  Solo Leo Hodes



Julie Bale  | Conductor

 Julie Bale is an eminent teacher of voice as well as being a well-loved soprano, conductor and Clinical Hypnotherapist for Singers. She has tutored many UK Choirs including the London Oriana Choir. She studied Music and German at Oxford Brookes University, continuing her studies with a PGCE from Goldsmith's College, University of London and an ARCM from the Royal College of Music whilst working with Elizabeth Robson. She continued her studies in singing and vocal pedagogy with Professor Janice Chapman AUM MOA and with Dame Josephine Barstow. She regularly leads workshops for choirs and has adjudicated a number of competitions. She studied conducting and choral direction with Manvinder Rattan and Sarah Tenant Flowers and with Amy Bebbington of  the Association of British Choral Directors. 


She continues to enjoy a busy career as a singer. She has performed the vast majority of the Oratorio repertoire with choirs all over the UK with regular appearances in Verdi's Requiem, Orff's Carmina Burana as well as numerous Messiahs and Elijah's and sings principal roles in opera with companies such as Dorset Opera, Berwick Festival Opera and OperaHerts. She is  a Clinical Hypnotherapist working with singers to create powerful performances and lives. 

Sarah Bio.JPG

Sarah Brameld | Soprano

Sarah has been singing in choirs since she was 18 and joined NCS in 2018. Along with NCS she is also a member of a musical theatre choir based in Watford. She has had some wonderful opportunities within both choirs to be a soloist from Rogers and Hammerstein to G&S operas and classical works such as The Messiah. She is currently a pupil of Julie’s not only for singing tuition but also as part of Julie’s Transform 12 programme, hypnotherapy for performance which has indeed transformed the way she performs! When she’s not singing, she is doing some sort of craft and is the queen of purple!! NCS has an amazing 22/23 season ahead and she is really looking forward to performing in The Rutter Requiem and hopes you all enjoy the concert.


Fran Freer | 'Cello

Fran Freer hails from a musical family and started to learn the 'cello at the age of 7, although her original plan was to play the trumpet, which her family were not so keen on! Having lived in Harrow she progressed through Harrow Young Musicians and subsequently studied the 'cello at Trinity College of Music. On leaving she played professionally in the West End, BBC, theatres and recordings. She gained her PGCE after her children were born and followed a second career in primary classroom teaching whilst still taking on as much playing as she could. Until recently Fran was head of music at a boys' prep school in south London however she has relocated to Northamptonshire where she is working, part time, as a supply teacher. Making music is now becoming a focal point of her life again!


James Gray | Piano Soloist

James completed his studies at Aldenham School in the summer of 2022 where he held both an academic and a Music scholarship in the Summer of this year. He also plays the Organ and was  a bursary winner from the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Organists Association. He is a huge fan of piano music, in particular Chopin, Rachmaninov, Debussy and Liszt. He studied piano with John Wyatt and achieved his Grade 8 Piano two years ago. He is  currently working on a Piano Diploma. James is also a very fine singer and is an invaluable member of our Bass section. In 2023 he will take up a place at University in Scotland to study Computing Science.


Lesley Dutton |  Soprano

Lesley is a Mathematics teacher who began singing around 25 years ago based near Sandwich, on the Kent coast. The local choir, The Manwood Singers, had close ties with a wealth of musical talent at Christchurch University, in Canterbury. It was here that her singing journey began.

As an active member of church choirs, in both Kent and Harefield, choral music has always made up a large part of her repertoire, although she also enjoys singing songs from musical theatre. 

She co-ran a small choir at Parexel in Uxbridge and now sings under Julie’s direction at NCS.

When she is not singing or teaching Maths, she enjoys Jazzercize classes and entertaining friends.


Sally Manders | Clarinet

Sally started learning the clarinet at 11 years of age and was part of the Croydon Schools' Music Hub until the age of 18, playing at the Royal Albert Hall three times with their wind orchestra. This was followed by more than three decades in the music wilderness, until a call came from her old music pals prompting Sally to take up the clarinet again and she joined Harrow Concert Band in 2016 and Misbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2021. She also sings alto in two choral societies - Harrow and Northwood. The last time Sally's name appeared on the bill as a soloist was in a school concert 44 years ago.'


Katie Munn | Flute

Katie finished her A Level studies at Aldenham School in the summer of this year. Whilst at Aldenham School she represented her house as soloist in the House Music competition and is currently working towards her grade 8 examination. Currently on a gap year, Katie hopes to take up a place at University to work towards achieving her dream of becoming a nurse.


Heather Toyn | Accompanist

Heather Toyn studied piano from an early age with Ella Pounder (a student of the renowned pianist Solomon), and continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music where she was awarded prizes for Piano Accompaniment. In her role as accompanist she has appeared at music centres throughout the UK and has also performed on BBC and ITV.

She taught piano at the junior department at the Royal Academy of Music, was Assistant Director of Music at Orley Farm School from 1997 – 2015, subsequently becoming Director of Music there from 2015 – 2017. Heather is co-founder of the G & T School of Performing Arts for Children aged 3 – 16 and combines this with her work as professional accompanist, teacher and coach.

Northwood Choral Society   


Sopranos:    Sarah Brameld, Lisa Cuschieri, Lesley Dutton, Moira Furber, Linda Gibson, Jane Hendly, Ina Mann, Cathie Nevin, Sally Rogers, Carol Went, Morfudd Wise


Altos:  Alison Atkinson, Scarlet Brett, Jane Connell, Vivienne Forsyth, Sue Spurlock, Sally Manders

Tenors: Andrew Bale, Leo Hodes, Sylvia Park, Alan Powell


Basses:  Chris Dutton, James Gray, John Ling, George Morris, Graham Wheeler

We are currently welcoming new members in the Alto, Tenor  and Bass sections. We rehearse on Sunday evenings from 7.30pm - 9.30pm at St. John’s Church Hall, Hallowell Road, Northwood. Please contact us via the website or by emailing 


Music Director: Julie Bale                      

Accompanist: Heather Toyn

Chairman: Andrew Bale 

Secretary: Sarah Brameld

Treasurer: Alison Atkinson

Committee members: Jane Connell, Carol Went 

Concert Managers: Chris Dutton & Lesley Dutton 


bottom of page