Welcome to the official homepage of the Elizabethan Madrigal Singers–more affectionately known as “Mads.” Formed in 1950, Mads remains Aberystwyth University’s longest running society (with a reign longer than Queen Elizabeth’s!). Since its infancy, this auditioned group has become the university’s prime chamber choir, boasting of a rather prestigious and extensive history. Each year, hundreds of ex-Mads organize a reunion event taking place in Aberystwyth, inviting the current choir along for a weekend of choral workshops and classes.
Meet The 2022-2023 Committee!
Conductor and Treasurer – Christian Berlin
“Hi, I am honoured to be the conductor and treasurer of this lovely choir for the next year and I’m looking forward to welcoming both current members and new singers to a year of good music, singing-joy and lots of fun! I’m a third year student in Human Geography and have a strong passion for music. Since I was seven I’ve always sung in a choir, along with playing violin which I am receiving a scholarship for from the university. I have also taken various conducting classes and studied conducting for a year through a talent program at the Norwegian academy of music. If you like a rich repertoire and have a passion singing, the MADs Is the place for you!”
President – Scarlet Porteus
“Hiya I’m Scarlet, I am in my second year of studying international relations and military history and I’m very excited to be president of this wonderful choir for the next year. I have been singing since I was around 7 or 8 and have been in many various choirs and singing lessons over the years and have always had a love for music and how it brings people together. MADs is a wonderful community to be part of and is always the highlight of my week. I am looking forward to working with current and future members with both the beautiful music and the friendships that can be made in MADs so I hope to see many of you soon! 😊 “
Secretary- Ally Bartley
“Hi, I’m Ally and I am looking forward to being secretary of the MADs for the coming year! I am a third year Fine Art student, and I’ve been part of this choir for one year. I’m so glad I joined, as I have loved being able to meet the fantastic people involved and having the opportunity to sing a wide variety of pieces in a welcoming environment. I was part of a choir for 9 years which gave me the opportunity to tour and compete internationally, and I also obtained my grade 8 singing qualification and enjoy playing the piano. The MADs has been a great experience for me so far and I can’t wait for a year of fun rehearsals, sharing the MADs’ 70+ years of history, and making beautiful music! “
Co-Conductor – Henry Howe
“Hi there, my name is Henry. I am the Assistant Conductor for the upcoming year. I am currently in my second year of studying Computer Science. My musical career began around the campfires of Beaver and Cub camps. However, I truly gained a love for music as a Chorister in Lincoln Cathedral. Alas, my voice is no longer high, but low. I’ve loved my musical time in Aberystwyth so far, having performed in both Vivaldi and Mozart’s requiem and the multitude of Welsh Madrigals, have really pushed my pronunciation. I can’t wait to see what excellent music the year will bring, and I am looking forward to many great performances and memories.“
Mads performs from a vast collection of repertoire, ranging from sacred pieces to folk music, as well as the madrigals you might expect. Alongside singing in and around the town of Aberystwyth, Mads go on tour every summer to various international locations, performing in UK-based festivals and competitions all through term-time. Furthermore, Aberystwyth University invites Mads to perform at its graduation ceremonies every year, including a traditional performance of Laudate Nomen Domini for the Vice Chancellor’s luncheon.
- Our Mission:
- The Elizabethan Madrigal Singers shares our passion for choral music with the Aberystwyth community and surrounding region through performances that exemplify music’s unique power to touch the human heart and mind.
- As a small chamber choir ensemble, we offer outstanding performances of diverse repertoire reaching across genres, time periods, and cultures–specializing in early Renaissance madrigals–and bringing to varied audiences a deeper understanding and broader appreciation for choral music.
The Mads will be recognized as Aberystwyth’s premiere chamber choral ensemble. We will be valued for our commitment to enriching the cultural landscape of Aberystwyth and the surrounding area, our connectedness to the Aberystwyth community, and our dedication to innovative collaboration with artists or other musical groups to bring unique and varied musical experiences to our community.
- Musical Excellence–We strive to engage in performances of exceptional quality across a broad spectrum of musical periods. We value excellent musicianship that includes interpretation of the text, context of the music, and intent of the music to convey emotion as well as technical skill.
- Connectedness–In order to create a unique shared musical experience from which every participant benefits, we value connecting with each other, our collaborators, our audiences, and the broader community.
- Passion–Our passion for musical expression starts with each other during the process of concert preparation, and we strive to communicate that experience and energy to our audiences during performances. We want to reach, inspire, and engage our audiences through exploration of a wide range of emotions and musical histories. We want our audiences to feel entertained, moved, exhilarated, and impressed.
- Legacy–We contribute to the enduring legacy of choral music for current and future generations and promote appreciation of choral music as a distinct art form. And lastly, we hope to put the Old College on the map once again for university students to love, participate in, and appreciate as a musical hub in the small coastal town of Aberystwyth.