OUR MUSIC TEAM

Headed up by the chorus’ Musical Director, John Palmer, the Music Team is made up of very experienced and seasoned singers, who help plan the future of the chorus, its goals, aims and also to help choose the music we sing!

Each section within the chorus has a leader who attends Music Team meetings. Their job is to guide and assist the members with learning music, and every few months they will hold a section rehearsal. In addition, the Music Team have a skilled Choreographer, who plans and teach movements that are necessary to enhance a song. After all, we are not a choir who stands still – we like to make the most of the visual aspect.

We also have an Assistant Director who steps in and directs the chorus during rehearsals or coaching sessions as well as to offer expertise.

  • Cathy Ball
    Cathy Ball Assistant Director

    Cathy started singing in choirs and school musical shows from a young age. She discovered Barbershop in 1977, and started singing as a tenor with Wessex Harmony chorus. She won a silver medal in national quartet competition in 1978, and a bronze medal in 2012, this time singing baritone. Cathy was a member of Wessex Harmony for over twenty years and was their Assistant Musical Director. She joined Spinnaker in 2007 and has been Assistant Musical Director since 2011. Cathy’s favourite Spinnaker song is ‘Something inside so strong’ by Labi Siffre. She loves spending time with friends and family and sharing a glass or two of red wine with them.

  • Joanne Bradwell Choreographer

    Jo has a performing background as a professional dancer and she’s always loved music. She started singing barbershop eighteen years ago. She was originally asked to create the choreography for Spinnaker’s up-tune performance at convention in 2007, but she enjoyed working with the chorus so much she decided to join shortly afterwards. Jo continues to act as the chorus choreographer and coaches the chorus in performance techniques. Her favourite song from the repertoire is ‘Skyfall’ by Adele. When she’s not singing Jo enjoys time with her family, being mum to her three children, going to West End shows and (when she can) attend pamper days with her friends.

  • Karen Riley Tenor Section Leader

    Karen started singing barbershop over 35 years ago. She has a wealth of chorus and quartet experience, as well as an impressive list of awards and medals won in competition. “Barbershop is a way of life for me,” she says. Her successes include singing in Chorus at the Sweet Adeline’s International conventions in Nashville and Houston, and in quartet in Denver and Hawaii. She has also won Gold and Silver quartet medals in European competitions as a member of ECHO. Karen is a founding member of Spinnaker and has enjoyed seeing the chorus progress. Her favourite song is ‘I never meant to fall in love’, by Joe Liles. When she’s not singing Karen loves spending time with her family.

  • Laura O’Connell
    Laura O’Connell Deputy Tenor Section Leader

    Music has always been a big part of Laura’s life. She played recorder and clarinet and sang in the choir at junior school. At senior school she joined the brass band playing the B♭ cornet and the E♭ soprano, and won the school music prize. She continued to play in local bands after leaving school except when raising her children. Laura is a founder member of Spinnaker and in its infancy had a supporting role as assistant music director and baritone section leader. Her favourite song is ‘Defying Gravity’ by Stephen Schwartz. Laura is still a member of a local band playing the flugelhorn. She enjoys looking after her grandchildren and spending time with family and friends.

  • Julia Wallis
    Julia Wallis Lead Section Leader

    Julia began singing at a young age appearing in school productions such as Sweeney Todd and Carousel, as well as performing on the Rolf Harris show when she was just 10 years old. At 14 she was the youngest member of the Milton Glee Club but left after 12 years to bring up her family. Julia was introduced to barbershop in 2002 after an early morning encounter with the late Lucinda Rogers-Belk, who she caught wearing crazy nail varnish on her way to barbershop convention. Julia’s favourite song from the repertoire is ‘You’re so vain’ by Carly Simon. When she’s not singing Julia enjoys watching period dramas, reading about Henry VIII and the Plantagenet’s and revamping furniture.

  • Liz Waddon Deputy Lead Section Leader

    Liz started singing in choirs as a child, and proudly sang solo as an angel in the school Nativity play three years running. She first saw Spinnaker perform at a school Cabaret night when she was on the PTA. She was instantly impressed by the quality and accuracy of the singing and the fellowship of the group. Liz joined Spinnaker in June 2012, and chorus night has become a highlight of her week. “I am proud to call Spinnaker ladies my friends,” she says, “and I love the ‘pay it forward’ attitude across the chorus.” When she’s not singing Liz enjoys spending time with her family, cross stitching and being creative.

  • Helen Childs
    Helen Childs Baritone Section Leader

    Helen took up classical music in junior school and had piano lessons until she was seventeen. She finds playing an instrument very relaxing and so resumed her piano lessons in her ‘30s. She was invited to a Spinnaker ‘learn to sing’ day by a work colleague and instantly loved it. “It was goose bumpy good!” she says. Helen started singing bass and sang in two quartets, firstly as a bass, and then as a baritone.   She’s been a baritone ever since and leads the baritone section. Her favourite song from the Spinnaker repertoire is ‘At Last’ by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren. When she’s not singing Helen stays fit through her love of swing dance and Lindy Hop.

  • Beckie Puncher Deputy Baritone Section Leader

    Beckie has always loved singing. She discovered barbershop in 1999 and has competed twice in the International barbershop convention with Surrey Harmony, and twice with her quartet Echo. In 2005 she became a founder member of Spinnaker chorus. Beckie relishes the hard work that goes into preparing for barbershop convention each year, and loves the dynamics of competition songs. “The harmonies and big crescendos make my hair stand on end,” she says, “and when we sing really quietly it’s quite beautiful.” When she’s not singing Beckie enjoys her job at Sainsbury’s serving and chatting to customers. She is also in training for the Moon Walk in aid of breast cancer.

  • Barbara Corstorphin Bass Section Leader

    Barbara was introduced to choral singing aged twelve.  She sang in a small chorus directed by Miss Florence Greaves who set up the Portsmouth Music Festival.  Barbara also sang in the school choir and took piano lessons alongside her children.  In 2005 she attended a six week singing course after seeing Spinnaker perform at the Emsworth Food Festival.  The following year she proudly sang with Spinnaker at convention in Plymouth when the chorus won a gold medal.  Her favourite song from the repertoire is ‘Young and Foolish’.  “I love its passion and tenderness,” she says.  Barbara can often be found singing on her allotments when she’s not looking after her adorable twin granddaughters.

  • Colleen Potter
    Colleen Potter Deputy Bass Section Leader

    Colleen has recently been appointed to help run our Bass Section with Barbie Corstorphin.  They make an excellent team and are working together to ensure the Bass Section is one to be reckoned with.  Colleen’s profile can be viewed on the Spinnaker Board page as she is our Secretary too! Give a busy lady a job…

  • Liz King Music Team Co-ordinator

    Liz grew up in a musical family and enjoyed singing in choirs when she was at school. More recently she met a member of Spinnaker who invited her along to a rehearsal evening, and Liz quickly got the bug for barbershop singing. She joined the chorus in January 2014 and sings in the Baritone section. “I can’t get enough of singing with Spinnaker,” Liz enthuses. “If I have to miss a rehearsal it leaves a huge gap. So I do everything I can to get there each week, and I always go home on a real high.” When Liz is not singing she likes to spend time with her partner Tom and going to the theatre, especially to see musical productions.