Christopher Cromar was born in Scotland where he was a chorister at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Dundee. In 1992 he won a scholarship to Chetham’s School of Music, studying the organ with Christopher Stokes at Manchester Cathedral, and with Nicolas Kynaston and Kimberly Marshall in London. He was a finalist in the 1995 and 1997 National Young Organist Competitions at Plymouth.
In 1997 Christopher moved to France to pursue his studies with Marie-Louise Langlais at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris, and privately with Marie-Claire Alain. Living in France for three years, he was organist at St. George’s Anglican Church, and deputised frequently at the grand orgue at Sainte-Clotilde for Jacques Taddei, and at La Trinité for Naji Hakim. He regularly played the orgue de chœur at the Cathedral of Notre Dame for concerts and services organised by the Paris Branch of the Royal British Legion, and for ecumenical services during Christian Unity weeks.
Christopher has given organ recitals at many prestigious venues including: Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, King’s College Cambridge, St. Giles’ Cathedral Edinburgh, the Caird Hall Dundee, in the United Kingdom; Notre Dame, Sainte-Clotilde, Saint-Germain-des Prés, Saint-Roch, Saint-Étienne-de-Caen in France, and throughout Germany, Greece, Holland and the USA. He has played with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and Orchestre de Paris, and recently performed the Poulenc Organ Concerto in Guildford Cathedral with Southern Pro Musica.
Contemporary music is a prominent feature of Christopher’s repertoire. He premiered Errollyn Wallen’s Tiger at the 2001 Oundle International Festival, and gave the piece its London premiere later that year at St. Paul’s Cathedral. He has worked closely with many contemporary composers including Peter Aston, Peter Maxwell Davies, Jonathan Dove and Naji Hakim, frequently in preparation for first performances and broadcasts.
Choral conducting and church music also form a major part of Christopher’s career: in London he has deputised regularly on the music staff at St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey since 2005; recent conducting credits include Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius at the RNCM (with Salford Choral Society and members of the BBC Philharmonic), Bach’s St. John Passion at Keele University Chapel (with Northern Baroque); forthcoming conducting engagements include Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s St. John Passion with Congleton Choral Society and Northern Baroque.
Illustrious choruses with which Christopher has worked as guest chorus master and accompanist include the Chorus of Radio France, BBC Singers, Manchester Chamber Choir, RSNO Chorus and the Vasari Singers.
The Bach Choir is extremely fortunate to be supported in our practices and concerts by Colin Druce, professional pianist and organist. Colin trained with Roger Fisher, the Organist and Master of the Choristers at Chester Cathedral, and later at the Birmingham Conservatoire, where he won the Ludlow Philharmonic Concerto Competition Prize. Colin gives recitals and concerto performances at venues throughout the country as a concert organist, concert pianist, and is very well known in his local area of Leamington Spa and Warwick.
He is also known an accomplished accompanist, not least through his long association with the Royal Leamington Spa Bach Choir and the Warwick and Kenilworth Choral Society. Colin is a sought after teacher and has a thriving private piano and organ teaching practice in Warwickshire, and gives lessons for both adults and children from complete beginners to Grade 8 and Diploma level. For more details of Colin’s activities, please visit “http://www.colindruce.co.uk”