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. 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 2020-2021 Committee!
President – Anna Wolski
“Hi, I’m Anna. I’m the President of the Elizabethan Madrigal Singers this year and a third year Human Geography student. I’ve been playing the clarinet since I was 7 achieving a distinction in my Grade 8 exam. Whilst I’ve been playing in music ensembles since I started learning the clarinet, I’ve only been in choirs since arriving in Aberystwyth. This will be my second year in MADs and I hope to make it an amazing year by bringing in new members into the MADs community.”
Vice President – Ishbel O’Brien
“Hello, I’m Ishbel and I’m Vice President. I am a 2nd year International Politics student, and I’ve been studying classical and opera singing since I was 6. Throughout that time, I’ve enjoyed participating in various ensembles and chamber choirs, as well as recording with the Gabrieli consort and players. After joining the MADs last year I found it to be a highlight of my week. This year I look forward to welcoming new members into the choir and sharing the MADs 70 year history.”
Secretary – Marissa Leo
“I’m Leo and I’m a 3rd year Creative Arts student. With a previous foundation in Graphic Design, as secretary I cover social media and marketing for Mads. While primarily a choral singer, I personally dabble in guitar, digital music, and recorder. Singing in choirs has been a large part of my identity since childhood and I’ve loved being able to continue singing in such an amazing group at university! One of my favourite aspects of Mads is learning about its 70 years of tradition, specifically at our large reunion held every year.”
Conductor and Treasurer – James Sale
“Hello, my name is James and I’m honoured to be the Conductor and Treasurer. I’m a third year student reading Accounting and Finance, but music is a very important part of my life. Along with singing bass in the Mad’s and church choirs, I’m an organ scholar and grade 8 pianist. In the past few years, I’ve taken the opportunity to accompany choirs of various sizes and learn from conductors with many different styles. I really look forward to working with the Mad’s and hope to create an enriching and exciting experience for all!”
Co-Conductor – Oliver Turner
“Hello! I’m Oliver, I’m a third-year Writing for Broadcasting, Media and Performance (scriptwriting of different flavours) and I’m delighted to be co-conductor of Mads for this academic year. While I’ve been singing enthusiastically since I was 6, in recent years I’ve found a real passion for conducting and guest conducted most of my college’s choirs and ensembles including the audition choir, Voci Forti. I remain a regular guest conductor of the Shropshire Pops Orchestra. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the bass section last year with Mads and look forward to assisting James in guiding the group artistically this year.”
Wellbeing Officer – Katie Rodge
“Hello, my name is Katie and I’m the Well-being officer for the MADs this year. I am a 3rd year Fine Art and Art History student and I have been singing since I was 4. I have had lessons in classical singing, opera and musical theatre since I was 12. When I came to Aberystwyth I was very keen on continuing to sing and I joined the MADs in my second year. Being part of such a wonderful musical group has been amazing and has also been a brilliant way to relax each week and just do what makes me happy. I was a little nervous to join but I am so glad I did and I hope I can make others feel confident enough to do the same.”
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.