Andrew Parnell has conducted choirs and orchestras since his student days in Cambridge. For 25 years, he lived and worked in St Albans, as Assistant Master of the Music at the Cathedral (where he also founded the Abbey Girls Choir), as Choral Director at St Albans School and Conductor of the city’s Symphony Orchestra. Highlights during that time were Verdi’s Requiem with St Albans School and St Albans High School; Bach’s St Matthew Passion with St Albans Bach Choir; Britten’s War Requiem and Berlioz’ Te Deum with combined local societies. He also directed the Cathedral Choristers in a performance and recording of Orff’s Carmina Burana with the LPO conducted by Franz Welser-Möst at the Royal Festival Hall. Andrew often directed or played for the BBC Singers in Radio 4’s Daily Service.
As an organist, he performed in Cathedral services; high-profile special occasions, often attended by royalty; foreign tours; recordings; broadcasts on radio and TV; and solo recitals both home and abroad.
Conducting has remained a major part of Andrew’s three-fold career after he turned freelance in 2001. In addition to ECS and the newly-established Ely Youth Choir, he conducts the Cambridgeshire Choral Society, the Wymondham Symphony Orchestra, and, annually, the St Albans-based chamber choir Carillon.
Andrew specialises in working with amateur music-makers, encouraging them to enjoy their singing, while they develop their skills to the highest standard of performance and is often invited to run choral workshops.