Amici origins and aims...

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Amici Cantate is a Bishop's Stortford-based choir made up of parents and friends of students in the renowned Cantate youth choir. It was formed in 2005 by Cantate Founder Director Michael Kibblewhite at the request of many music-loving parents who wanted to come together for occasional rehearsals and sing together in the Cantate spirit. It has grown in size to over 70 voices: entry is open to all, and rehearsals take place in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, on Saturday mornings in an atmosphere of friendliness and fun.

Their Music Director is John Tripp and their accompanists are Charlie Penn, Toby Heath and Tom Mann. The choir is well known for its broad, eclectic repertoire, spanning several centuries and from all parts of the world.

They have toured Spain, singing in the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostella, Italy, including an appearance in St. Mark's Venice and a joint concert with the Coro Santa Maria Maddelena in Desanzano, and Belgium, singing in Brussels, Blankenburge and at the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. In November 2010 Amici Cantate performed at the St. Andrew's Festival in Scotland. Amici Cantate normally performs 3-4 concerts a year, often on behalf of local charities, and aims to undertake one foreign tour a year.

Amici Director...

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John Tripp

John is the Director of Amici Cantate. A Cantate parent himself, he worked with Michael Kibblewhite as assistant director for two years before taking over the helm in 2011. John is well known in Hertfordshire as a baritone soloist, chorister, pianist and performer, and has directed a number of groups including Imperial College Operatic Society, Imperial Opera, Ware Operatic Society, the Morgan Stanley Singers, recently establishing the Canary Wharf Choir in London Docklands.

Amici Accompanists...

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith was educated in Enfield and was a chorister at Enfield Parish Church, where he studied the organ with Eric Pask. He took a music degree at the Royal College of Music where the late Nicholas Danby was his organ tutor. It was whilst at the college he also took a piano accompaniment course with Robert Sutherland. Michael was Director of Music at Ware Parish Church for twenty years. He is currently Director of Music for three churches which make up the United Benefice of Standon and The Mundens with Sacombe. He leads the all aspects of the churches' musical outreach. He is an Associate of the Royal College of Organists and the Royal College of Music. Michael is a former primary school Headteacher, now working as a freelance musician and educator.

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Toby Heath

Toby has a degree in music from the University of Cambridge, where among other specialisms he studied Conducting and Rehearsal Techniques and Piano Performance under some of the country's pre-eminent musicians. He has worked as a repetiteur for numerous theatrical and operatic performances in Cambridge, and as a director and accompanist for the Homerton College Choir and Herts and Soul Community Choir. Since graduating, Toby has worked as an Early Years music specialist, a high school music teacher, a piano and flute teacher, and now as a primary school teacher in Much Hadham. "Helping people realise their full musical potential has always been a very rewarding experience for me".

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Tom Mann

Tom is a multi-instrumentalist and conductor. He has directed and played with a range of ensembles, including the Oxford University Big Band, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Halle Orchestras. At Oxford he led a critically acclaimed jazz quintet which toured nationally and internationally. Since graduating Tom has pursued a career in education, teaching Politics, Philosophy and Music. He plays piano with the English National Jazz Orchestra and is in demand as a session musician.

Amici on tour....

Amici tour bus photo

2007 Santiago de Compostella, Spain

2008 Venice, Italy

2009 Bergamo, Italy

2010 Desanzano, Italy

2010 St. Andrews, Scotland

2011 Lake Garda, Italy

2012 Blankenberge, Belgium

2014 Dinard/Dinan, France

2016 Trier, Germany

2018 Dinard/Dinan, France