Musical Director and Accompanist
George Salmon - Musical Director
George Salmon is about to begin his third year as Musical Director of Sittingbourne Orpheus Choral Society, having taken over in April 2018. Since he became the MD, the choir has performed a diverse programme of music, ranging from Bach, Fauré and Rutter to Gershwin, The Beatles and Queen. The choir has also taken part in ambitious projects, such as its Armistice Centenary Concert which pulled together over 200 singers from across Swale and is the biggest event that the choir has ever arranged, along with a recent trip to New York to perform in the 20th anniversary of Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man in the Carnegie Hall with 260 other singers from across the globe. Exciting and creative enterprises such as these form a large part of George’s vision for the choir, alongside its traditional aims of performing great music to a very high standard in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for all.
He is also currently serving as Musical Director of the Phoenix Choir of Crawley, the Chorus of Our Lady of Lourdes, and the London Philanthropic Orchestra, which, in its first year, has raised over £2000 for three different charities. Recent choral performances have included major works from the standard repertoire such as Handel’s Messiah and Schubert’s Mass in G, as well as lesser known works like Schumann’s Requiem in D-flat and smaller pieces spanning from the Renaissance to the present day, including his own arrangements of jazz and pop songs.
George has a long history in music as he began playing music at the age of 3, when he took up the violin. He studied music at the University of Birmingham, and went on to achieve a distinction in his Masters degree in conducting at the University of Surrey, receiving an exceptionally high grade for his final exam performance of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. He has studied with world-renowned conducting tutors such as Colin Metters, Peter Stark and Jorma Panula, including international masterclasses in Spain and Bulgaria. Aside from conducting work he is also active as a violinist, viola player and singer, and holds a choral scholarship at Hackney Church in London
Michael Burleigh - Assistant Musical Director and Accompanist
Michael was born in Sheerness. He was educated locally at Borden Grammar School and then took a Graduate course at the Royal Academy of Music in London. At that time he was
focussing on harpsichord and viola, but now tends to concentrate more on piano and organ. After leaving the Academy, he worked for the Armenian composer and conductor Loris Tjeknavorian as his score writer . A major part of this was a monumental oratorio "The Last Judgment" which was a setting of every word in the Book of Revelation.
Having worked with conductor Loris Tjeknavorian, Michaels turned to teaching and playing. Michael has taught at most of the local schools and is head of music at Elliott Park, Minster.
Michael has accompanied the Orpheus for many years, and has been associated with many other groups; such as Medway Opera and Freeguard Singers. He also directs the Isle of Sheppey Singers and sings tenor with the Royal Choral Society in London.