Dan Craddock – Musical Director
Dan took a keen interest in music early on in life, learning to play the piano at the age of 4 .He then went on to perform with a local amateur dramatics society in Salford, appearing in productions such as Carousel, The Sound of Music and Frankenstein the musical. At the age of 10, Dan auditioned for the Mark Stead Theatre School in Monton and managed to work his way up in the theatre company to perform at the Lowry Theatre on several occasions, starring in Chicago, Wizard of OZ and Miss Saigon. It was from here Dan took a keen interest in Male Voice singing, where he joined the Irlam Male Voice Choir at the age 14. Dan started off in the 1st Tenor Section then worked his way in to the bass section. Dan took over IMVC as assistant musical director, taking rehearsals and concerts when the MD wasn’t available. In October 2014 Dan was given the opportunity to conduct Haydock Male Voice Choir being only the 10th Conductor in the choirs 90 year history. Dan has had an exciting first year with Haydock, he has taken concerts live on television at Langtree Park in February along with a concert at the St Georges Hall in Liverpool in March as well as hosting Beaufort Male Voice Choir at the parish church back in September. Dan has taken the choir to its first competition under is direction and now looks forward to Haydock once again becoming a championship choir.
Ruth Webb – Principal Accompanist
Ruth was born in Plymouth in 1981 and comes from a large musical family. Her father has always been involved in the world of music, founding and still conducting the Laira Youth Brass Band and so encouraged his six children to learn to play musical instruments from a very early age. Ruth started to learn the piano at the age of five and the tenor horn at six..
Ruth was destined to pursue a career in music and moved to Manchester to study for six years at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Here she was awarded a First Class Honours degree in Music, a distinction on her Postgraduate Diploma course and finally completed her studies as a piano accompaniment scholar with Carole Presland.
Whilst at the RNCM Ruth joined fellow student Kathryn Eves to form the Hollick-Eves Duo giving recitals throughout the UK. They also performed successfully at festivals and competitions. Amongst their many awards, they gained the RNCM’s highest performing qualification, the “Professional Performance Diploma” with Distinction. In Spring 2008 Ruth and Kathryn accompanied the BCU at their concert but currently the duo is “resting’ as they pursue their own careers.
In July 2008 Ruth married Les Webb, another brilliant musician, who is conductor of the Marple Band. They live in South Manchester where Ruth is trying to build up a teaching practice. She has a very busy schedule combining working as a Staff Pianist at the RNCM and Leeds College of Music (Yorkshire Young Musicians), with being official accompanist to both BCU and the Haydock Male Voice Choir. Ruth has been with the choir for ten years, adding greatly to the quality of performance.
Rachel Fright – Accompanist
Rachel Fright started postgraduate study at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2014, having previously studied Music at Pembroke College, Oxford, where she held the Instrumental Scholarship. Rachel studies with Stephen Savage and David Jones and is supported by the Helen Mackaness Award. As a soloist, she has had the opportunity to take part in masterclasses by Robert Levin, Philippe Cassard, Kathryn Stott and Stephen Hough.
Rachel specialises in vocal accompaniment, and has received regular song duo coaching from Julius Drake and been programmed with singers in venues across the North West, including the Bridgewater Hall ‘Introducing’ series, Buxton International Festival, Didsbury Coffee Concerts, and the Sowerby Music concert series. Whilst at the RNCM, she has won the Clifton Helliwell Memorial Award, the Brodsky Prize, the Stella Bradshaw Award, the Alexander Young prize, the Frost/Brownson Award for Accompaniment and the James Martin Oncken Song prize. In May 2015, she performed live on BBC Radio 3 as part of a Young Artists’ Day concert, and in October 2016 she was chosen to represent the RNCM at the prestigious Gerald Moore Award at the Henry Wood Hall, London. Rachel is an alumna of the Oxford Lieder Festival Mastercourse, which she attended in October 2015, receiving tuition from Roger Vignoles, Imogen Cooper, Robert Holl and Ann Murray.