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.
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.
Charlie graduated from the University of Birmingham where he studied piano with Joseph Middleton. He is increasingly becoming known as a versatile young musician, specialising in work with choirs of all ages and abilities. In addition to his work with Amici, Charlie is Assistant Director of Cantate, recently winning two gold medals at the World Choir Games in Riga, and Assistant Conductor and Accompanist to Phoenix Chorale, Cambridgeshire. He is a Britten-Pears Young Artist, has worked with several renowned soloists including Sir Willard White and Wendy Dawn Thompson, and has performed on TV and radio. During his time in Birmingham, Charlie was director of Stone Choral Society and a visiting tutor at the Birmingham School of Acting. Previous engagements also include work with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the British national singing programme, Sing Up!
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".
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.
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