Matthew Redfearn has been music director of Glossop Choral Society since September 2014. He is a Sheffield-based musician who, over the last twelve years, has worked in the areas of church music direction, instrumental teaching, ensemble conducting, and arranging and composing music for liturgical and concert performance.
Matthew has participated in choral and instrumental music-making from an early age but it was not until part way through a medical degree, when he was also busy engaging with university and church music, that he realised he wanted to pursue music more seriously. Whilst working part-time as a medical doctor, he completed a music foundation course at the West London Institute of Higher Education and continued his studies at Goldsmiths’ College, London University where he completed a music degree and a trumpet teaching qualification. At Goldsmiths’ he studied composition with Diana Burrell, Edward Gregson and Sadie Harrison, trumpet performance with Andrew Hendrie (BBC Symphony Orchestra), 20th Century music with Keith Potter and performed regularly with the music department brass ensemble, big band, orchestra and choir.
Having discovered a particular liking for composing, he progressed to Trinity College of Music where he completed a postgraduate composition course, studying with Daryl Runswick and Andrew Lovatt, and gained further performing experience singing bass in the college choir, founding and directing a mixed choir at his local church, playing trumpet and flugel horn in a semi-pro big band and jazz quintet and playing principal trumpet in Southwark Concert Band. These studies and performing opportunities convinced Matthew that he wanted to make music his life’s work and since 2002 he has worked full-time in music.
As church music director at All Saints, Ecclesall from 2002 to 2015, he managed a team of seventy instrumentalists and singers providing music for worship in a wide variety of styles. In 2005 he arranged and directed the music for a BBC Advent service broadcast live from All Saints and his music composed for liturgical use includes several hymn tunes published by Stainer and Bell. He has also written vocal and instrumental pieces for concert performance. In December 2015 his composition, ‘I knew a simple soldier boy’, a setting of a Siegfried Sassoon poem for choir, snare drum and piano, was performed in Sheffield by the Westside Singers and ‘Longing’ for flugel horn and piano, written in memory of a GCS choir member, featured in the choir’s May concert. He has maintained his performing skills on the trumpet and flugel horn giving informal recitals with pianist and singer friends and playing in the trumpet sections of Sheffield Chamber Orchestra and Sheffield’s Hallam Sinfonia.
As a church music director Matthew particularly enjoyed directing the chamber choir and larger mixed ability choirs and it was this experience which led him to pursue choral society music direction. He is enjoying working with the members of Glossop Choral Society to help ‘keep the hills alive with the sound of music’!
You can find out more about Matthew’s musical activities at matthewredfearnmusic.wordpress.com