Mervyn Cousins was a Cathedral Chorister at Southwell in Nottinghamshire. He read for a Music Degree at Royal Holloway College, University of London, and was Organ Scholar there. He was a prizewinner both at University and at Royal College of Organists examinations. After posts in London, at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street and St James’, Sussex Gardens, Mervyn was appointed as Assistant Director of Music at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in 1987. He became Director of Music there in 1993 and was also Chorus Master of the Bury St Edmunds Festival Chorus. Mervyn was Director of Music at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral from 1997 until 2003, and he was also Organist to the University of Liverpool during this time. He has directed choirs and given recitals in many parts of the world as well as adjudicating at festivals in several countries.
He moved to Wales as Music Director of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in September 2003, becoming its Executive Director in 2008. Mervyn moved from the festival in 2011, combining work for Mid Wales Opera with ABRSM examining at home and abroad. He also returns to Merseyside regularly to promote singing in primary schools. In November 2015 he was appointed as ABRSM’s Deputy Chief Examiner, working partly from the music exam board’s headquarters in London. His other interests include walking, bird-watching and, increasingly, photography – and he lives with his wife Margaret on the Welsh-English border with their three-legged cat Missie!
Georg Grün is considered to be one of the most sought-after international choral conductors and specialists for choral sound. He founded the KammerChor Saarbrücken in 1990 and has been its artistic director ever since then. He has won the most important international and national choir competitions, he gives concerts at numerous renowned music festivals and he regularly produces CDs with Saarländischer Rundfunk, Carus and Rondeau Productions.From 2000 until 2013 he held a professorship for
choral conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts Mannheim.
There, he founded a chamber choir with which he also won several international prizes.
In 2012, Georg Grün changed to the University of Music Saar as a professor and became artistic director of the BachChor Saarbrücken.
Since 2008 he has been a baritone member of Daarler Vocal Consort.
Georg Grün works as guest conductor and guest professor, juror and tutor at international masterclasses for choral conducting around the world.
Since 2010 he has been a mentor at the forum for conductors of the German Music Council and since 2015, he has been Chairman at the jury of the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf since 2015. He is increasingly concerned with improvisation (piano / organ) and performance and is also active as a composer and arranger. The 2017-18 season of concerts, lectures, master classes and guest performances will take him to France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Spain and the United States.
Urša Lah studied Musical Education at the Ljubljana Music Academy and Choral Conducting at the University of Tromsø (Norway).
With Mixed Youth Choir Veter, APZ Tone Tomšič University of Ljubljana and the National Radio Chamber Choir, she has been involved in many première performances, and won many first prizes, golden plaques, special prizes and conducting awards at national and prestigious international choral competitions, including the Grand Prix of Europe (Debrecen, 2008).
In recognition of her valuable work with choirs, Urša received the highest award of the Municipality of Ljubljana for cultural achievement in 2008, and in 2009 the award of Public Fund of the Republic of Slovenia for Cultural Activities. Urša now lives in Norway, where she conducts the Choir of Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, she teaches Ensemble leading and choral conducting at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and works as a choir master for Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra and Artic Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a lecturer in educational seminars for choral conductors, a frequent member of adjudicating panels at international choral competitions, a guest conductor of recognised ensembles and one of two artistic leaders of the international Utopia & Reality Chamber Choir.
Shane Lynch, a noted conductor, composer, and music educator, assumed the position Director of Choral Activities at Washington and Lee University in the Fall of 2009. He conducts the University Singers, Cantatrici (women’s choir), and the Men’s Glee Club, and oversees W&L’s innovative and unique conductor mentorship/teacher preparation program. Dr. Lynch is a sought-after clinician, having worked with honor choirs in over 10 states. Quite interested in musical scholarship, some of his recent research includes trends of Neo-Impressionism in modern American choral music and eurhythmic movements in the choral rehearsal and performance setting. He is also noted for conducting large-scale productions, including operas, oratorios, and festival concerts. Dr. Lynch has led choirs on several national and international tours, including featured performances in Scotland, South Korea, Italy, and Ireland, and has served as composer-in-residence, guest conductor, and adjudicator for international choir festivals and competitions across the globe.
Dr. Lynch has received numerous awards as an educator, including the Junior Faculty Member of the Year at Monmouth College and the Outstanding Faculty Service Award at the University of Wisconsin—Barron. An active composer interested in a wide variety of compositional styles and mediums, he has commissioned compositions ranging from art song to octavos to choral/orchestral works. His music is known for its wide tonal palette, integrated performance movement, and creative use of unusual texts. Dr. Lynch’s composition Joseph and Grace premiered in Dublin, Ireland for the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising and recently won the 2017 National Collegiate Choral Organization composition contest, one of the highest honors for professional American choral composers.
Prior to his appointment at Washington and Lee, Dr. Lynch served as Visiting Director of Choral Activities at Monmouth College (Illinois) and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin—Barron as well as several past positions in church music and teaching high school science.
Shane Lynch graduated from Concordia College (Moorhead, Minnesota), with degrees in Music and Physics, received the Master of Music degree in Conducting from the University of Northern Colorado, and completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Washington.
Bernie Sherlock is a conductor, adjudicator, choral expert and teacher of conducting, with a steady flow of festival and workshop engagements around Europe and in the US, Canada and China. She is artistic director of the annual International Choral Conducting Summer School run by the Association of Irish Choirs at the University of Limerick, and has won prizes for her conducting in Finland, Hungary, Be
lgium, Italy, and Slovenia, as well as in Ireland.
Bernie founded the international award-winning chamber choir New Dublin Voices. Her innovative concert programming for the choir is critically acclaimed, and the choir is a multiple prize-winner at major international competitions in Hungary, Finland, France, Germany, Slovenia, Belgium, Italy, and Ireland. Most recently, New Dublin Voices won the mixed choir competition at the 2018 Béla Bartok International Choir Competition in Hungary and the Grand Prix at the 2017 International Baltic Sea Choir Competition in Latvia. It won the Fleischmann International Trophy at the Cork International Choral Festival in 2015.
Bernie is music director of Dublin’s Culwick Choral Society and of the female-voice choir Cantairí Óga Átha Cliath. She lectures in aural training, musicianship and conducting at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama where she is director of the DIT Chamber Choir – runners-up in the 2018 Fleishmann competition in Cork – and DIT Youth Choir. Bernie received her training in choral conducting during two years in Hungary with Peter Erdei and Ildikó Herboly Kocsár, followed by orchestral conducting with Gerhard Markson. She has a BA in music from Trinity College Dublin, and masters (NUI Maynooth) and doctoral degrees (Royal Irish Academy of Music/Dublin City University) in conducting.