Choir People

Jim Watson – Musical Director and Conductor

Jim WatsonJim was a teacher of Mathematics but singing has been a major part of his life since joining a church choir at the age of six. He progressed down through the voice ranges ending with the tenors – probably the most sought after voice! After many years on the “back row” he found a teacher and began to take singing more seriously, eventually achieving an A.R.C.M. in Singing Performance. He has won many awards at music festivals and has taken lead rôles in oratorio, operatic events and in concerts. He has a wide experience of choral singing from small groups to large choirs, including the BBC. Northern Singers and under the direction of a great variety of conductors.

Jim has been a choral conductor for over twenty years and has led The Condate Singers for the last six years. He works hard with the choir to pass on the nuances in singing that he has spent so long learning and practising for solo performance. His great satisfaction comes from achieving a good performance, but even more so from seeing the pleasure, enjoyment and excitement in the faces of his singers. This is the fundamental objective of the choir.

Jim still sings regularly with a choir and is frequently called upon to assist with other groups having ‘tenor problems’.

Jim  has three sons and six grandchildren.

Janet Scott – Secretary

Janet Scott Janet hails from Ross on Wye in rural Herefordshire. She trained as a teacher in Manchester where she met her future husband, Graham. Most of her working life has been spent in Mid – Cheshire schools but she is now busily retired. Her love of singing began at school where everything stopped for choir practice after lessons on Fridays. She studied music at college as one of her subsidiary subjects but has taught geography and mathematics for most of her teaching career.

When she moved to Cheshire in 1968, she joined the Northwich & District Festival Choir, led by Cyril Dawes. She remained with the Festival Choir until its demise in 2001. Still wanting to sing on a Thursday evening she joined with other like minded singers to found the Condate Singers. She has been the choir secretary since its inception. Janet and Graham have two children and five grandchildren.

Mike McNeal – Treasurer

Mike McNeal

I have always enjoyed choral singing and can’t remember a time which I wasn’t a member of a choir. I started singing at school followed by ten years as a chorister at my church choir in Blurton, Stoke-on-Trent. I carried on singing at Chester College and was part of the choir that came second in its class at the Llangollen Eisteddfod.

During this time I was a member of the Gilbert & Sullivan Society performing in the chorus of HMS Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance and the role of Dick Dauntless in Ruddigore. While living in Sandbach, I sang with the Belmont Choir and the Winsford Operatic Society and on moving to Cuddington joined the Northwich Festival Choir where I remained for many years until it was disbanded. I then became a member of the Condate Singers when they formed in 2002 and am currently the treasurer of the choir.

Judith Tomkinson – Chair

Judith Tomkinson Judith’s musical journey began in school, where she discovered her passion for singing. However, she didn’t pursue singing seriously until her 40s when she joined the Wirral Community Choir, rekindling her love for music. In 2005, after relocating to Northwich, Judith explored several choirs before finally finding her perfect fit with the Condate Singers, where she has been a dedicated member ever since. 

Professionally, Judith had a dynamic career in the robotics industry, where she specialized in sales. Later, she ventured into entrepreneurship, successfully running a business with her husband for nearly a decade. This combination of professional experience and her commitment to choir singing showcases Judith’s diverse talents and dedication.