Ann Irons et Elaine Guy
THE CANTAMUS GIRLS’ CHOIR
The Cantamus Girls’ Choir was founded in 1968 by Pamela Cook (1937 – 2013). Based in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, Cantamus consists of 37 girls aged between 13 and 22 who come together for the sheer joy of singing and to be part of the Cantamus family.
Each girl receives private vocal tuition from the Director of Cantamus, Ann Irons, or from the Assistant Director, Elaine Guy.
Throughout the choir’s career, critics have acclaimed its performance and its impeccable technique. Its repertoire includes works from the 11th – 21st Century.
Cantamus is internationally renowned; 28 first prizes in international choral festivals have been won; in addition, they have won 8 Grand Prix.
Most recently, they competed in the Grand Prix of Nations in Gothenburg. In 2016 Cantamus toured Australia performing in several prestigious venues including the Sydney Opera House.
The choir has been featured in numerous radio and TV broadcasts and have had engagements with many professional orchestras. Their recordings have been distributed worldwide. Works have been commissioned from leading British composers in various genres (opera, jazz, ethnic) and some have gifted works because of their admiration for the choir.
Ann Irons (Director)
Ann took over the Directorship of Cantamus in July 2013 where her first role was to lead the choir to success in the First European Choir Games in Graz, Austria. She joined the vocal teaching staff of Cantamus in 1977 and was Director of the Training Choir from its inception whilst also fulfilling her responsibilities as Assistant Director of the Senior Choir. Ann read her degree in Bath where Singing was one of her main subjects. She returned to Mansfield in 1974 to become the Head of Music at High Oakham School, where she led a lively Music Department, directing prize-winning choirs and mounting numerous staged works. She also continued her own vocal training, studying under Pamela Cook who very quickly realised her talents as a choral director and asked her to join the Cantamus Family as a vocal coach. Numerous appointments followed in Nottinghamshire Schools culminating in her last post at Nottingham High School for Girls. She has been a regular conductor for the National Youth Choir of Great Britain Junior Girls’ Choir and conducted them in the choir’s 25th Anniversary concert in Birmingham Symphony Hall. In addition to her work in schools she has a flourishing private teaching practice, tutoring not only the girls from Cantamus but pupils from all over the East Midlands region. Ann also continues to sing professionally in concerts and oratorios.
Elaine Guy (Assistant Director)
Elaine is a former member of Cantamus, having been taught by Pamela Cook, and became a vocal tutor in 1981, having completed her LRAM.
As well as her private teaching, Elaine taught Music at Saville House School for 22 years, where she directed the choir and coordinated musical productions as well as classroom teaching. Elaine is currently responsible for the vocal tuition at Redhill Academy and Ashfield School where she coaches for GCSE and A level music recitals, university auditions and theatrical productions. At Ashfield she also directs the choirs, with the senior choir regularly performing to wide acclaim for churches and for organisations such as Rotary, Inner Wheel and the Freemasons; it has been featured on BBC Radio Nottingham. Annual concert tours are also undertaken which have led to performances in eminent venues such as Bruges, Cologne, Lille and Notre Dame, Paris, Cathedrals and Disneyland, Paris. Elaine’s work with the young people of the area, both within and outside of school, was recognised by an award from Ashfield District Council in 2013.