The Genesis Chorale is a mixed choir of more than 60 voices who are based in and around the Woking and West Byfleet area of Surrey, performing both sacred and secular music.
Julie Aherne is deputising as the guest Musical Director in the Summer of 2022. Rehearsal accompaniment is supplied by David Perkins on the piano.
The choir performs at least three concerts each year in the Spring, the Summer and at Christmas and tries to achieve a balance of singing new and lesser known works in addition to the firm favourites which are well known to audiences. We pride ourselves on achieving a high standard of concert performance. This is enhanced by hiring professional young instrumentalists and soloists to perform with us at many of our concerts.
The choir has always set out to be the friendliest in the area. New members rarely leave, because a heavy emphasis is placed on enjoyment both at rehearsals and in concert. For this reason, auditions are not required, and voices of all standards are invited to join. An ability to read music is an advantage, but not essential.
“Gemini Chorale” was founded in December 1979 under the Musical Directorship of Keith Mansfield. The first concert was given in October 1981. In the year 2000 Keith retired as Musical Director and the choir was renamed “Genesis Chorale”.
Over the years the choir has grown to over 70 members. Each year they give Christmas, Easter and Summer concerts which include a mix of new and lesser known choral works alongside the better known favourites.
The concerts, held in St John’s Church in West Byfleet, are supported by professional soloists and musicians, and attract large audiences.
The Chorale has been led by several Musical Directors over the years and more recently has forged links with young conductors who have recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, Royal Holloway College or the Royal College of Music.
Julie Aherne – Guest Musical Director
British-Irish pianist Julie Aherne is a co-founder, repetiteur, and producer for The Black Cat Opera Company, and in this capacity has worked on staged productions, gala evenings, and corporate engagements. In 2016, the company took their production of Cosi fan tutte to the Birgitta Festival in Tallinn, collaborating with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and acclaimed scenographer Lilja Blumenfeld.
Elsewhere, Julie has worked on productions for professional and amateur companies including Opera Della Luna, Celebrate Voice, Rocket Opera, Berwick Festival Opera, Opera Camaratina, and Park Opera.
Julie is a coach and accompanist for Melofonetica, an organisation whose research-based method helps singers achieve clear and expressive sung Italian. In addition to tutoring at their masterclasses and workshops and leading webinars for singers, she coaches and performs on summer schools in Bassano del Grappa, and at the Arte Lirica Festival in Asolo.
Julie is the Musical Director of Woking Ladies Choir and rehearsal pianist for Andover Choral Society. She also regularly deputises at other groups across Surrey and Berkshire including New Egham Singers, Voices Anon, Laudamus, and Genesis Chorale, for whom she will act as Guest Conductor for the summer of 2022. She is an accompanist for the Association of British Choral Directors and for the Royal Holloway, University of London.
Julie studied at Royal Holloway with James Kirby, and later with Matthew Stanley. She has performed concertos by Bach, Mozart, Grieg, and Finzi with orchestras including RHUL Symphony Orchestra and Westminster Chamber Orchestra, with whom she regularly appears as a continuo player.
Forthcoming engagements include choral concerts with Laudamus, Woking Ladies Choir, Andover Choral Society, and Genesis Chorale; Julie is also looking forward to working with the charitable organisation The Lost Chord, who improve the quality of life and well-being of those living with dementia through interactive musical performances.