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Meet the team!

Thomas Mottershead
Musical Director

Thomas Mottershead is an award-winning conductor, animateur, tenor and pianist based in South Wales.

Originally from Colchester, Essex, Thomas has a BMus (First Class with Honours) from Cardiff University, an MMus (Distinction) in Choral Conducting from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) and a PGCE in Secondary Music from the University of Cambridge.

Known for his energetic, engaging and humorous rehearsals, Thomas has been conducting from an early age and has over 10 years’ experience of conducting choirs and orchestras. He has worked and studied with many conductors including Simon Halsey, Neil Ferris, Alice Farnham, Edward-Rhys Harry, Paul Spicer and Camilo Santostefano. He has been fortunate himself to have been conducted by some of the most well-renowned conductors, such as Sakari Oramo, Xian Zhang, Tadaaki Otaka, Mark Wigglesworth and Sir Andrew Davis. Whilst at university, Thomas received the Fujisawa Male Voice Choir Award for Choral Conducting (RWCMD) – for two consecutive years – and the Sir Geraint Evans Award for highest mark in a voice recital (Cardiff University).

Thomas Mottershead Musical Director Cheltenham


As well as Musical Director of Cheltenham Choral Society, Thomas is also Musical Director of The Malmesbury Singers in Malmesbury and The Athenaeum Singers in Warminster; an Animateur for Welsh National Opera; Director of Music and Organist at St. Mary's Priory Church in Monmouth; Artistic Director of the Prometheus Consort and Assistant Conductor of The Harry Ensemble (with whom, most recently, Thomas played organ and conducted on a tour to Italy in 2023, including in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City) . He is also the Co-Founder of Cardiff Opera and, in Summer 2021, conducted three sold-out performances of Mozart’s ‘Le nozze di Figaro’. 

Previous positions include Youth Opera Chorus Master of Welsh National Opera; Director of Music at St. Mary’s Parish Church, Whitchurch; Assistant Musical Director of Cardiff Bach Choir; Orchestra Manager and Assistant Musical Director of Serenata Singers and Cardiff University Operatic Society respectively; Chorus Manager and Assistant Chorus Master of the Cardiff University Symphony Chorus; and Musical Director Blank Verse and Musical Director of the Welsh Hospital Choir (South Glamorgan). In Spring 2017, the opportunity arose to study in America at the University of New Hampshire, which included an opera performance and an international premiere of his own compositions, conducted by Thomas himself.


As a singer, Thomas appeared on the 2022 series of ‘The Voice UK’ on ITV, singing as one half of 'Thomas and Emilie'. They had four chair turns and a block from Sir Tom Jones, with whom they eventually decided to have as their coach. Thomas regularly performs as part of the Llandaff Cathedral Choir, including for live and recorded broadcasts for the BBC. He has also been a Lay Clerk at St. Edmundsbury Cathedral and, whilst a student in Cardiff, held a bursary at the BBC National Chorus of Wales, performing at the BBC Proms on several occasions. Thomas has previously performed at the Royal Albert Hall, St David's Hall, Brangwyn Hall, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral and King’s College Cambridge, as well as venues in Germany, Italy, America and Hong Kong and is also a frequent soloist for concerts. On the stage, he has performed the roles of Khashoggi in ‘We Will Rock You!’ and Anthony in Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Sweeney Todd’, winning the Glamorgan Drama League award for “Best Performance in a Musical 2020”. Thomas works  with a number of charitable organisations, including Music in Hospitals and Care, Lost Chord and Tenovus as a singer, pianist and conductor.

Keep up to date with Thomas here:

Alison Howell

Alison Howell studied with Dr. Peter Hurford at the Royal Academy of Music and graduated with BMus(London). In 1985 she won the Open Class, the Recital Award, and the Michael James Scholarship in the West of England Organ Festival Competition held in Bath Abbey. Following a post-graduate year Alison was awarded scholarships by The Countess of Munster Musical Trust, The Tillett Trust and TheWorshipful Company of Musicians to continue her studies with Jacques van Oortmerssen at theSweelinck Conservatoire in Amsterdam and with David Sanger in London. In 1987 Alison gained the fellowship of the Royal College of Organists and won the prestigious Coventry Cathedral Recital Award for outstanding performance of the pieces. At this time Alison became a Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama on piano, passing with distinction. Alison is based in Bristol where she works as a freelance musician. She is the accompanist for Cheltenham Choral Society, the University of the West of England Singers and Bristol Cabot Choir. Alison is an organist of St John the Baptist Church, Keynsham, and, as a recitalist, she has played in many cathedrals, concert halls, and churches.

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