Lizzie Soden : Musical Director
Lizzie joined us as MD in September 2018 and we are impressed with her skill and real enthusiasm for the role. She has been a professional musician ever since graduating from the Colchester Institute with a degree in vocal performance. She works with adults and children of all ages teaching singing, as well as piano, ukulele, composition and other musical elements.
She had previously worked for many years as a vocal coach with our former MD Robin Martin-Oliver at his Stagecoach schools in Witney. She was also a pupil of his from 11-18 and he was a big influence in Lizzie’s career. Continuing this link brings us a lot of happiness given how fond we were of Robin.
She is a member of the Burford Singers under the direction of Brian Kay and his smaller ensemble, The BK Chorale. She sings professionally with Voces Ecclesiae and conducts multiple choirs in the Oxfordshire area. The Sutton Singers were formed 6 years ago and have gone from strength to strength, recently receiving a Highly Commended award from The Chipping Norton Music Festival. The Brize Norton Military Wives Choir have had Lizzie as their M.D for 4 years and have performed at some high profile events including a Christmas Cathedral Tour. The John Lewis Oxford store staff (Ox-Vox) are a brand new choir and will be performing at a Carol concert this year in the Royal Festival Hall.
From the first day we met her it was clear Lizzie was extremely excited to be taking over the Wychwood Singers and aims to continue with the high standard of performances….in fact she aims to make us better and better.
Lydia Tomita : Piano Accompanist
Lydia is our incredibly talented pianist and accompanist. She grew up in Bolton where she fell in love with the piano at the age of 5 (indeed her Mum and Dad always say it was hard to stop her playing the keyboard day and night). She began working as an accompanist at the age of 16, for local choral societies, amateur dramatics groups and soloists. Lydia studied music at Royal Holloway, University of London where she specialised in performance and was taught by James Kirby. After graduating she worked as a teacher and accompanist.
She also enjoyed a number of solo performances including Gershwin’s ‘Concerto in F’ with the Bolton Symphony Orchestra, and a performance of ‘Pictures at an exhibition’ by Mussorgsky in Southwark Cathedral. Lydia’s real love is community music making and since moving to the Cotswolds with her family 4 years ago she has been fortunate enough to work with the Rissington Singers (which she co-founded), the Bampton Singers and the Wychwood Singers, as well as teaching piano to 25 children at the Wychwood School.
Look out for her solo performances at our performances. We are lucky to have her with us every week.