Top flight new director for Capital Chorus
Pippa Goodall, a music graduate and experienced conductor, is to be the new musical director of Capital Chorus, the West London men’s barbershop harmony club based in Ealing. She’ll join the chorus in mid-February, as preparations start in earnest for the annual British barbershop convention and national chorus competition in May.
Pippa began her musical career early. A former chorister at Salisbury Cathedral, she formed and conducted a girl’s close-harmony choir while still at school, but it was during her time at Manchester University that she was bitten by the “barbershop bug”. As an undergraduate she attended the boys’ chorus concert in her first term, and was transfixed throughout the whole performance. She went on to found a girls’ chorus among the students, Amethyst Cappella, in the process becoming the University’s first ever female student conductor. In her second and third year she conducted a local church choir, and another group specialising in early choral music. She achieved first class honours, and upon graduating Pippa joined Surrey-based Viva Acappella, an ensemble ranked among the top two-dozen female barbershop choruses in the world.
At the age of 23 Pippa will be the youngest person ever to have directed Capital Chorus, which was formed in 1984. She’ll also be one of the youngest directors of any barbershop chorus in the UK.
Pippa said "I am thrilled to have been appointed as the new director of Capital Chorus. I'm really looking forward to working with them, and cannot wait to see what great things we will accomplish together!"
Paul Gordon, the chairman of the West London barbershop harmony club said “We’re delighted that Pippa has agreed to direct our chorus. Her wide knowledge, understanding and experience of choral singing is impressive, and her enthusiasm for barbershop close harmony is infectious. The chorus takes it as a great compliment that she’s recognised our potential and would like to help us achieve our ambition to become even more entertaining and successful.”
Pippa will be working hard with the chorus over the next three months to prepare for the annual competition for barbershop choruses. She’s also hoping to lead a “learn to sing” course with the chorus later in the year, for men who’d like to try close-harmony singing, and perhaps adopt it as a hobby.