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Introduction Geoff Porter – An Introduction Committee Music Team Accounts Privacy

About the choir

This section introduces you to some key people and legal information.


  • "Geoff Porter – An Introduction" – Find out about our Musical Director.
  • "Committee" introduces key members of the Executive Committee.
  • "Music Team" introduces the musicians who lead us.


  • "Accounts" are provided from the past 6 years.
  • "Privacy" lists the Choir's GDPR Privacy Policy.
Geoff Porter – An Introduction

Geoff Porter, conductor, singer, pianist and organist

Geoff, our Musical Director, brings to us a wealth of experience. Below is an interview he gave to Simon O'Hea of the Music in Portsmouth website that gives an insight into his musical background.


Who or what were the main influences on your decision to pursue a career in music?

I was fortunate to be at The Kings' School, Ely, which was strong in music. I also attended The Mackenzie School of Music and Drama in Cambridge for singing lessons. Subsequently, I secured key roles as a tenor in The Magic Flute by the Ely Opera Group and in A Country Girl by the St. Ives Operatic Society.

Who have been the most important influencers on your musical life?

Dr Arthur Wills, Organist of Ely Cathedral and Director of Music at The Kings' School, taught me piano. At The Teacher Training College at Milton, Portsmouth, Margaret Jewell (Head of Music Department) persuaded me to switch from maths to music and Hugh Davis (Assistant Organist at Portsmouth Cathedral and conductor of the Portsmouth Choral Union), my tutor, arranged for me to have singing lessons in London, under the tutelage of the tenor, Gerald English.

Hugh also encouraged me to join The Cathedral Choir and I was appointed to Portsmouth Grammar School as Director of Music for The Lower School. Later, I became Director of Music at St Albans, Havant, where pupils – and I – became accustomed to brass band practice at 8 o'clock in the morning!

What have been the greatest challenges of your musical career so far?

I have been engaged as a tenor soloist for many local choirs. This has led to several memorable and challenging performances, including The Messiah with the Drayton Choral Society (later the Portsmouth Baroque Choir) at Portsmouth Guildhall. Whilst Director of Music at St James' Church, Emsworth, I arranged broadcasts for TV and radio, including Songs of Praise. On two occasions, I sang Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with The South Downe Music Society at the King's Theatre, Southsea.

What for you are the particular pleasures and challenges of collaborating with other musicians?

Singing with others in a group or choir is always rewarding. As a director, it is so satisfying to see how far people can be encouraged to come on a journey of musical improvement.

How would you describe your musical language?

As a soloist, I liked to bring out the emotion and drama of a piece. As a conductor, I try to work on contrasts of dynamics, rhythm and melody.

How do you work?

I like to choose and conduct pieces that will demonstrate the performers' strengths, with suitable, but challenging material, which I hope the audience will enjoy.

Which works/performances are you most proud of?

I've already mentioned Die Fledermaus. I deputised for Raymond Calcraft as director of music with the Highbury Singers which became The Renaissance Choir. In 1986, in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, I conducted the choir in the pre–performance rehearsal of hitherto unperformed works by Guerrero and Rodrigo, who himself was present. To raise money for Stansted House, I have arranged forty Musical Evenings there in The Music Room. In 2013, I set up Los Ladrones, a vocal quintet. This group specializes in the revival of gems of Victorian and Edwardian British Musical Theatre and especially the lesser known works of Arthur Sullivan.

Are there any composers with whom you feel a particular affinity?

I enjoy the music of Handel and have performed as soloist in The Messiah 13 times. I was a founder member of Havant Light Opera in 1978 with whom I have directed works by Arthur Sullivan, an under–rated composer who wrote many fine pieces, both with and without Gilbert. I have been MD for The Mikado with both Littlehampton and Chichester Operatic Societies.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

13 choirs (over 600 voices) were involved in The 2016 London Welsh Festival of Male Choirs at the Royal Albert Hall. In preparation for this, I navigated The Solent Male Voice Choir through rehearsals, when seven songs had to be sung in Welsh, by heart.

What advice would you give to those who are considering a career in music?

As an amateur, try out lots of different sizes of groups and types of music making, taking any opportunity to perform solos.

How would you define success as a musician/composer?

Simply seeing both performers and audience enjoying a concert.

What are your immediate plans?

After several happy years with The Solent Male Voice Choir, I'm excited about the prospect of conducting The Hampshire Police Male Voice Choir and directing them in the Cornwall International Male Voice Choir Festival in 2021.



Chairman: Richard Ironmonger


Richard joined the choir around March 2017. He is a career police officer having joined Hertfordshire Police as a cadet in 1966.

After 4 years as a Police Constable he left to join the Bermuda Police where he remained for 7 years before returning to join Hampshire Police in 1980. On promotion to Sergeant he spent 2 years at the District Police Training Centre at Ashford in Kent as a Police Instructor. He has served at various locations in Hampshire including Control Rooms until he retired from Havant in 2006 at the rank of Inspector. He then took a second job as Deputy Head of Security for the University of Southampton for a further 7 years before final retirement. More…

Vice Chairman: Nigel Cooper


I joined the choir in 2016 when I was persuaded by the then M.D. (Terri Freeman) to come along and give it a go! She heard me singing with a Ukulele group which I was a member of and collared me after the session. I have always enjoyed singing and was brought up in Wales where I attended a Welsh Baptist Chapel. We only had four tenors in the congregation which encouraged us to "sing out". I enjoy playing the guitar and singing alongside and also still play occasionally with my Ukulele group. I love dogs and keep myself fit by walking our Saluki Greyhound (Coco) and playing a lot of Golf! I am married to a lovely Welsh girl called Nerris who sadly does not share my enthusiasm for singing.

Secretary: Chris Holland


I joined the choir in May 2013, having moved to the area from North Hampshire where I had been a member of a male voice choir for 24 years, holding various offices there. Retired solicitor, born 1944, widowed with 2 children and 2 grandchildren. Volunteer with National Coastwatch Institution. Other interests include sailing, bird watching, bridge and gardening with the occasional bit of cycling and walking.

Colin Thorpe


Jim Travers


Social Secretary:
Ed Kopinski

Music Team


Musical Director: Geoffrey Porter, B.Ed (Hons)


During the Advanced Music Course at Portsmouth College of Education, Geoff studied with the tenor, Gerald English in London and became a Lay Clerk in Portsmouth Cathedral Choir. He was soloist with many local choral societies.

He has been Director of Music at Portsmouth Grammar School, Lower School and St. Alban’s School, Havant, as well as MD for Opera South and operatic societies in Chichester and Littlehampton. He co-founded Havant Light Opera and The Bognor Regis Music Club Singers.

Geoff runs his own vocal quintet, ‘Los Ladrones’ and was Assistant MD to The Solent Male Voice Choir, becoming MD in 2016.

In 2020, he was appointed Musical Director of The Hampshire Police Male Voice Choir, after the retirement of Terri Freeman.

Sian Bibby‑Hsia


Nigel Smith




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