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.

  • Laura O’Connell
    Laura O’Connell 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.

  • Karen Hewson Deputy Lead Section Leader

    Karen started singing and dancing in school musical productions as a child in London.  Then as a teenager she enjoyed singing jazz with the huge Brent Schools’ Choir. Karen was introduced to Spinnaker by a friend in 2011 “when I first heard Spinnaker sing their close harmonies at their rehearsal it was literally life changing, I had to join them. The enormous bond of friendship within Spinnaker is so important to me as is the emotional experience and excitement of glamorous costumes, performing and competing, winning medals and trophies.” Karen also enjoys classical singing as first Alto with Portsmouth Choral Union, visiting family around the world, boating, motor biking and helping to care for her beautiful new granddaughter, Lilly.

  • Liz King Baritone Section Leader

    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.

  • 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…

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