“I am delighted to have the opportunity to build on the successes and reputation of the choral department at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama,” said Neil. “The postgraduate programme set up by Adrian Partington already has an international reputation and in conjunction with the Jane Hodge International Chair in Choral Conducting, Simon Halsey, I am looking forward to fostering the next generation of choral conductors at such a thriving institution.”
Caryl Thomas adds, “It’s wonderful to be taking up this position at such an exciting time for the College, with its new world-class performance and rehearsal spaces. I’ve been on the teaching staff here for several years, working with the current Royal Harpist Hannah Stone, who is continuing her postgraduate studies here, and Gwenllian Llyr, who is studying for her Masters at the Juilliard School, New York. I welcome the chance to head up such a strong and vibrant department, working with such excellent students, and with all the exciting and varied opportunities on offer at the College.”
With a reputation as a conductor equally at home with choirs and orchestras, Neil Ferris will combine his conducting engagements with his new post at the College. He is also on the tutorial panel for the Association of British Choral Directors National Conducting Courses and has been a guest teacher for the Association of Irish Choirs and at Birmingham Conservatoire.
Caryl Thomas is a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and New York University. Widely recognised as one of the most accomplished solo recital harpists of her generation, she has performed to great critical acclaim throughout Europe, the United States, Scandinavia, Russia and Japan. In 2007, Caryl was Chairperson of Arpa Viva Cymru, the 7th European Harp Symposium.