Sunset Profiles

The Soloists

Crow has put together a good ensemble of musicians to perform the Requiem for its Premiere on March 10.
Here is a brief profile of each of the principal artists.

Geoff Wickham, conductor

Geoff studied conducting with George Hurst, Michael Rose and Louis Halsey. He has been conductor of Yate Choral Society for 45 years and was Musical Director of Bristol Catholic Players for 14. As Conductor of Bristol Cathedral Choir School Choral Society for the past 10 years he has conducted them in concerts in Krakow, Dubrovnik and Budapest. He has also enjoyed conducting them when they have joined with other choirs on several occasions to form a 200-strong choir in the Cathedral. He has also conducted the Bristol Musical Comedy Club, Mercury Players and other groups.


Katie Bilner, soprano

Katie has a Postgraduate Diploma at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she was taught by Gail Pearson. Katie enjoys singing both as a soloist and in choirs, and often sings as a soloist in Canterbury Cantata. Canterbury was where she studied for her music undergraduate degree and a highlight was soprano soloist at Canterbury Cathedral performing Haydn’s Nelson Mass. Katie plans to become a primary school teacher specialising in music.

Linda Hansard, cello

Linda studied cello under Douggy Cummings at the Royal Academy of music and went on to teach the cello for Swindon LEA and privately. Since returning she has performed regularly as a soloist in the Bristol area as well as performing in a variety of chamber ensembles. She is currently Principal Cellist at Keynsham Orchestra and also plays with Trowbridge Concert Orchestra and Bath Symphony Orchestra.

Helen Sherwood, violinist

Helen grew up in Chipping Sodbury. After graduating from Lancaster University with a first class honours degree in Music, she trained as a teacher and spent 24 years in the classroom in Kent and Essex schools. Since moving back to the area, Helen has been working as a freelance teacher of violin, flute and piano. She has also set up business as a calligrapher. Helen plays regularly in the Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra, the New Bristol Sinfonia and Bristol Concert Orchestra.

Nick Sherwood, tenor and organist

Nick hails from Essex, and after university in Exeter and Cambridge taught in schools for 20 years. He had a parallel career as a singer, accompanist and conductor, and this became a full-time occupation from the year 2000. Nick met Helen while conducting an orchestra of which she was Leader, and five years ago they moved to Yate to be near Helen’s family. Nick enjoys ‘working in retirement’ and is currently organist for the St Monica Trust, a deputy Vicar Choral at Wells Cathedral, and a private teacher of singing, organ, piano and theory. He would love to do some conducting again, and is waiting patiently for an opportunity to present itself!

The Arcus Singers

Jonathan has formed a vocal ensemble from local choirs including singers from the Yate Choral Society, Wotton parish church, Chipping Sodbury parish church, Coalpit Heath parish church, Hawksbury parish church with additional support. The ensemble will be conducted by Geoff Wickham conductor of the Yate Choral Society.

Robin Pillinger

Robin is a 6th form student at KLB  school who is going to Kings College Cambridge next year as their organ scholar. He won the Bristol Eisteddfod Bach under-18 competition in 2017.  He is a pupil of Nick Sherwood and is an excellent performer. He will accompany the cellist.

Jonathan Crow

The composer, Jonathan, will be playing the keyboard. He was born in Paisley but has spent most of his life in England, with spells in Croatia, Bosnia and most recently a 4 year contract in Munich. He is currently acting organist and music director at St John’s Church, Chipping Sodbury. He studied music and organ at Bristol University and enjoys singing, performance and composition. Among his compositions that have been performed are a Millennium setting of the Gloria, a beautiful setting of Psalm 23, musicals “Eden” and “Dare to Hope”, and a Hebridean Song Cycle.