Nigel is new music director of municipal choir

Nigel Wilkinson.
Nigel Wilkinson.

Burnley Municipal Choir has announced the appointment of a new music director.

Nigel Wilkinson, well known in the area and further afield as an inspirational conductor, has been a guest conductor with the choir since spring 2013 and since last season has also been leading rehearsals.

The choir is thrilled to have persuaded him to take over the role on a permanent basis and look forward to building on the successes it has already achieved under Nigel’s baton.

His musical accomplishment has been widely acclaimed by audiences and musicians alike during the past 35 years, but he has not held a significant musical position in his home town of Burnley for almost 20 years, and the choir is delighted to have finally secured his services.

Nigel was born in Nelson and is a graduate of Manchester University and the Royal Northern College of Music. For many years he was head of music at St Hilda’s RC High School in Burnley, where he directed an award winning choir, who enjoyed many successful European tours, and won the BBC Song for Christmas Competition. He was also music director of the East Lancashire Youth Orchestra for a decade, leading them to the final five of the Sainsbury’s National Youth Orchestra Competition.

In the 80s and 90s he was music director for many music theatre productions in the North-West ranging from Cavalleria Rusticana and Die Fledermaus to Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Barnum. For several years he was the music director for both the Burnley Light Opera Society, and the Burnley Gilbert & Sullivan Society, for whom he conducted all the mainstream G & S works – most of them several times. In 1998 he became music director and principal conductor of the Oldham Choral Society, establishing it as one of the leading choral societies in the region, and performing with them most of the major choral works, along with some less familiar repertoire, (including new commissions).

He is also the founder and director of the East Lancashire Sinfonia, an ensemble of professional musicians established in 2000 to accompany choral performances. In addition he has also worked with the National Festival Orchestra and the Wexford Sinfonia.

Burnley Municipal Orchestra And Choir perform Karl Jenkins’ “The Armed Man” with extracts from Howard Goodall’s “Eternal Light” on Saturday, November 21st, at 7-30pm at St Peter’s Church, Burnley.

For more information ring 01706 826919 or visit www.burnleychoir.co.uk.