ALISON HOWELL

Alison began learning to play the organ with Eric Hemery in Devon. She continued her studies 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 The Worshipful Company of Musicians to continue her studies with Jacques van Oortmerssen at the Sweelinck Conservatoire in Amsterdam and 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 frequently accompanies choral groups and soloists throughout the UK and Europe. Alison is currently the accompanist for the Avon and Somerset Constabulary Male Voice Choir, Cheltenham Choral Society, Redmaids’ High Junior School Choir and the University of the West of England Singers and Chamber Choir.

She is organist of St John the Baptist Church, Keynsham. With the choir there Alison has made numerous recordings (including programmes for BBC Sunday Half Hour), and has accompanied for many tours and cathedral visits. She sings with the St John’s Consort; an “a cappella” group specialising in Tudor and Renaissance music.

As a recitalist she has played in many cathedrals, concert halls and churches. Recent venues have included Bath Abbey, Truro Cathedral, St Mary Redcliffe Church, Westminster Cathedral, Westbury on Trym Parish Church and the Central Freemason’s Hall.

Alison works as an examiner for the Royal School of Church Music and also teaches piano and organ. Her interest in music education led her to research interactions between sight reading ability in young pianists and variables including motor ability, handedness, reaction times and aural imagery ability to complete an MA at Reading University.