Our Musical Director, Anthony Bevan
As part of a large musical family, Tony’s first musical experiences lay in choral music. Aged 8, early promise and ability gained him a place at Westminster Cathedral Choir School and membership of the cathedral choir where a wealth of musical experience opened up to Tony. He was also a music scholar at Downside.
He won an exhibition to St John’s College, Cambridge and in the same year, a Stewart of Rannoch Scholarship in sacred music. At Cambridge Tony re-introduced the singing of Gregorian chant and polyphony at the Catholic chaplaincy, Fisher House, forming a choir of undergraduates which still flourishes today, some forty five years later. He also studied with Dr Mary Berry and was a founder member of her Schola Gregoriana which continues to promote the teaching and singing of Gregorian chant.
After graduation, Tony was for several years a member of the renaissance and medieval groups The Clerkes of Oxenford and The New London Consort, and contributed to the BBC series ‘The Crusades’. After trying his vocation at seminary he decided his future lay in music. Tony teaches violin and piano both at home in Croscombe, and at Downside School and in the local area.
He has conducted Croscombe Village Orchestra for forty years, and is organist and choirmaster at St Michael’s Church, Shepton Mallet. He is a regular guest conductor for choirs and ensembles including Spode Music Week in Derbyshire, and takes part in much music making locally.
Tony became Music Director of Cantilena choir in 1988 and soon included early church music and indeed plainsong in the choir’s repertoire. In 2000, Tony left the choir to spend more time with his growing family. Together with wife Alice, they continue to raise their own ensemble of very talented musicians.
Tony was able to rejoin Cantilena in 2010 and continues to encourage and lead the choir in a truly comprehensive range of music.