Conductor - Simon Capet
Simon entered the Royal College of Music at age 15 and later attended the Royal Academy of Music on an exhibition scholarship. After the RAM, he served as music director of multiple London ensembles, including the Pegasus Ensemble and Battersea Arts Centre Opera, before moving to Canada where he took up the post of Assistant Conductor with the Vancouver Opera. In Vancouver, he also became the Music Director of the Modern Baroque Opera. His work with this innovative company won him the Brian McMaster Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera and a Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award.
Over the following twenty years Simon has worked as a freelance conductor directing orchestras, opera companies and choirs in the UK and across North America.
As well as conducting the Dartington Community Choir, Simon is the founder and CEO of Koor, a free app that helps choral singers learn, improve and enjoy singing. See koor.app for more details.
Since the purchase of the Dartington Hall Estate in 1925 by Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst, the Arts have been an integral part of its activities. The founder Trustees welcomed and encouraged participation by the local community.
In 1942 when Imogen Holst was invited to join the staff at Dartington to train young music students, she established both an orchestra and a choir to which all the community were welcome. Dartington College of Arts continued this tradition with local participation in the college choir until 1982 when in the autumn of that year a new choir was formed known as the Dartington Community Choir. Membership was to be non-auditioned and open to all who wished to participate in choral singing.
With the kind permission of the Dartington Trustees the Dartington Community Choir was able to use the venue vacated by the previous choir. To this day the choir is privileged to rehearse and hold concerts in the magnificent 15th Century Great Hall at Dartington.
Accompanist - Clare Talbot
Clare is a graduate of the Royal College of Music where she studied both piano and violin. Her career was mostly spent in teaching and she was Head of Music at several schools including St. Paul’s Girls Prep School, London.
After escaping the classroom, in need of a change, she spent nine years at Benslow Music, as Development Co-ordinator for the Instrument Loan Scheme, helping talented young musicians. Clare then retired to Devon with her husband, where she has been busier than ever!
Clare has much experience in accompanying both choirs and soloists, and as an orchestral player she is a member of Devon Philharmonic Orchestra, the ISCA Ensemble and Exeter Camerata. She plays both piano and string chamber music regularly and enjoys her family, reading and dog walking.
In recent years, the choir has performed the following works: