Mark Humphreys-Green (Director)
A Wirral native, Mark played, sang, and conducted his way through seven years at Wirral Grammar School, whilst singing and conducting the choir at Christ Church Port Sunlight and playing cello in the Wirral Schools’ Orchestras.
As an undergraduate at Sheffield University, Mark sang both as a Choral Scholar at Sheffield Cathedral and as a member of the University Chamber Choir, and founded and directed the Sheffield University Students’ Orchestra. He also conducted Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’ at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with the Sheffield University Opera Company, ‘Operaworks’.
Mark holds a first class honours degree in Music from the University of Sheffield, a Masters with distinction from the University of Manchester, where he became a Lay Clerk at Chester Cathedral, and a doctorate from the University of Oxford. His academic specialism is the life and works of Daniel Purcell, a composer active in the church and theatre in London at the turn of the eighteenth century.
Married with five children, Mark works in a senior role for BPP Professional Education, a private University and training provider dedicated to business and the professions. A keen runner and triathlete, Mark can often be found pounding the streets of Birkenhead training for his next challenge.
Mark became Director of the Port Sunlight Choral Society in 2013, and has led the choir through a varied programme of music from Bernstein’s West Side Story to Mozart’s Requiem, though he counts the Karl Jenkins The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace (2016) and Handel’s Messiah (2016) as his highlights with the society – so far!
Robert Woods (Assistant Musical Director and Accompanist)
Robert Woods was born in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, in 1986. His interest in music began when he started his secondary education at the Royal School in Armagh, where initially he studied trumpet. At the age of 11 he joined St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir, and commenced study of both piano and voice with Canon Martin White, the then Organist and Master of the Choristers.
After initial study of the piano, Robert began to learn organ. Later he was appointed first trumpet and brass leader of the South Ulster Academy Orchestra and second trumpet of the South Ulster Youth Orchestra.
A few years later Robert was appointed organ scholar of Armagh Cathedral, and Vicar Choral, before also being appointed Director of Music at Tartaraghan and Diamond-Grange Parish. It was here that his compositions began to be performed, and where he began to work more closely with amateur singers. During this time he gained a place in the Ulster Youth Choir, and became a singer and accompanist with Cantelina, the Regal Singers and the Charles Wood Singers, under direction from David Hill.
After leaving school, Robert decided to study Biochemistry and Music at Keele University, but he later decided not to pursue this combination. At Keele he was the official accompanist for the Keele Bach Choir and the Keele Philharmonic Society. It was at Keele that he began to develop an interest in politics, fencing and lacrosse.
After a gap year, during which he was a Verger in his home Cathedral of Armagh and won an all-Ireland carol composition competition, Robert decided to pursue a degree in Music and Politics at Liverpool Hope University. He is currently a joint Choral and Organ Scholar at the University, as well as the accompanist for the University’s chamber choir. Robert receives organ tuition from Timothy Noon (Director of Music at the Metropolitan Cathedral), and he is a counter-tenor choral scholar at the Cathedral. More recently he has also been appointed the accompanist for the Frodsham and District Choral Society.