Thomas Allery is a highly experienced choral conductor, acclaimed for his vivid communication and dynamic conducting style. He works regularly with a variety of choirs in London and across the UK, including professional, amateur, and children’s choirs.
In 2018, Thomas was appointed Director of Music at the famous city church of St Mary-le-Bow Church, London, where he directs a team of professional singers providing music for liturgical worship and for the services of City Livery companies. He also holds the position of Assistant Director of Music at London’s Temple Church, where he plays a key role in the training of the choristers and regularly directs the professional choirs. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the admission of women to the Bar, Thomas recently directed a programme of works by female composers and a unique performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria for upper voices.
From 2014 – 19, Thomas was Director of Chapel Music at Worcester College, University of Oxford. Here he oversaw a varied programme of events for the two chapel choirs, of boys’ and mixed voices. He has directed several acclaimed CD recordings, including a disc of twentieth-century choral music which featured several premier recordings of lesser known works and composers, including HC Stewart and Robin Milford. Whilst working in Oxford, Thomas was involved in the performance of several premiere performances of works written for and commissioned by the choir. As a graduate of the Historical Performance departments of both the Royal College of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he has a particular specialism in seventeenth and early eighteenth century choral repertoire, and is devoted to bringing lesser known works to a wider audience. At Worcester College, he introduced regular choral performances accompanied by Baroque instruments, directing from the harpsichord.
Education and Outreach
Teaching and community engagement is at the heart of Thomas’s work with choirs. He is passionate about musical education, and in using the voice as a way for communities to come together. Thomas has been actively involved in teaching in many different contexts, in schools, in university, and in the community. Whilst working with the choirs of Worcester and Magdalen Colleges in Oxford, Thomas developed a particular interest in the musical training of choristers, and looking at how the training of choristers in a collegiate environment can lead to a wider musical skill set. Thomas has developed educational resources which link performance with musical theory, aural awareness, keyboard understanding, and harmony to encourage the development of a well-rounded musician. He regularly works alongside professionals in the field to develop new educational materials which encourage an understanding of musical theory through the repertoire that students are performing.
Thomas is in regular demand as a workshop leader for choirs of all kinds, and challenges choirs to think holistically about the music they sing, and encouraging them to develop wider musical abilities. He has led several ‘come and sing’ events which seek to bring together people of all ages and levels of experience to join together to enjoy the great choral works. Committed to bringing the enjoyment of choral singing to wider audiences, Thomas inaugurated an Epiphanytide Festival in Oxford in 2018, designed to bring choral music into the lives of people who would usually not engage with choral music. In 2019, he founded the Cheapside chorus at St Mary-le-Bow, an occasional choir whose members live and work in the heart of the City of London. During his time in Oxford, he also enjoyed co-ordinating musical education opportunities for local primary school children in Oxford, as part of the Magdalen College School Arts Festival and the English Music Festival. Thomas is also a regular coach on the Oxford and Cambridge Singing School courses for young musicians, in Oxford, London and Hong Kong.
Thomas is a ‘Live Music Now’ artist with Ensemble Hesperi, with whom he gives regular workshops in residential care homes, day centres and SEND schools across the UK. In 2020 the ensemble took part in a twelve week care home residency focussing on equipping staff with the skills to use singing activities to enhance the lives of their residents.