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Neil Ferris stands down as MD

Monday 30th October 2023

To my dear friends at Wimbledon Choral,

Recently I gave Alex notice that this would be my last season as your Music Director. To say that arriving at this decision has been difficult is an understatement of great proportions - I continue to be very proud to be your conductor and count myself very fortunate to be with you all each Monday evening - but I always wanted to make sure that when the time came to hand over the reins it would be whilst both parties were happy with the relationship. That's certainly the case on my part and I hope it is with you too!

By the time I finish with you in June I will have been with you 15 years, and I hope you feel that over time I have done justice to the wonderful inheritance that I had from Michael Ashcroft. I am leaving with a very heavy heart, and I think it is important to give you my assurance that it is for no other reason than to create a bit of space and to begin to think about the next stage of my working life. I am still filled with the happiest of feelings every Monday evening and cannot thank you all enough for what has been such a special and fulfilling part of my musical life. 

I have no doubt whatsoever that you will be inundated with applications to be my successor and I also have no doubt that the wonderful officers of this great organisation, led by Alex, will steer this ship on a purposeful and steady course. I am incredibly grateful to have worked alongside the best accompanist anyone could wish for, some brilliant and dedicated people on the committees and two, now three, superb chairs. I have already apologised profusely to Alex that this is one of the first things in his in-tray.

I know I will miss you all terribly - individually and as a body of wonderful people - very much indeed. Some of the most special moments of my life, memories that will stay with me forever, have been in your company. In the meantime, I am more than a little bit excited by the prospect of a sold-out Verdi Requiem in a few weeks, and a rich and varied remainder of the season. 

With heartfelt thanks, and with love and great respect to you all,


Posted: 11:51:27 - 31/10/2023

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