South Bank Singers was formed in 2011 as an alternative to some of the more formal choirs around. We believed that it was possible to evolve a choir that did not have formal auditions yet sang to a high standard despite the singers being neither professional nor trained musicians. This philosophy has born fruit and the choir continues to improve and grow stronger.
We perform three or four times each year, often in aid of local charities. Charities that we have supported include Solace (a refugee charity), York Women's Counselling, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, St Nick's Environment Centre and the Wilberforce Trust.
As well as concerts, the choir organises an annual Come and Sing event which attracts a good turn out and gives us a chance to perform larger choral works.
Our founder and Honorary President is John Guest.
Charlie Gower-Smith works as a freelance musician across Northern England. He directs choirs including the South Bank Singers and the Chapter House Youth Choir.
In demand for his inclusive, informative and encouraging style, he works with many organisations to facilitate singing in the workplace. He has run regular workplace choirs for many companies and organisations.
Previous roles include assistant director of the Hallé Youth Choir and Hallé Ancoats Community Choir, and director of Leeds Chamber Choir, who gave regular broadcasts of the Daily Service on BBC Radio 4LW. He regularly sings with the choirs of Ripon Cathedral and York Minster.
David Hammond grew up in Thame, Oxfordshire, where he was taught piano by Judy Thompson. He has been working in York as a musician since graduating from the University of York in 2002, where he studied piano with Liz Haddon. His career has taken him to all sorts of varied places, such as Castle Howard, York Minster, the Royal Festival Hall and Bridgewater Hall.
Much of his work involves accompanying soloists and groups on the piano, including concert work, exams and university assessments.
He is a regular musician at the Unitarian Chapel in York and plays with several ceilidh bands.
Aside from this he runs a Community Gamelan group in conjunction with the University of York, and sings with the Clerkes of All Saints, a local liturgical choir.