Conductor & accompanist

Robin Cook    Accompanist

Robin hails from Watford, in Hertfordshire. He began playing the piano at the age of eight. Six years later, he took up the clarinet, achieving a pass with distinction in the Associated Board Grade 8 exam within twenty months of beginning his studies.

His formal musical training began at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, later moving on to the Royal Academy of Music, graduating in 1976 with an A.R.C.M. diploma and a G.R.S.M. degree. This was followed by a year at the Institute of Education at London University to qualify as a teacher.

In 1978, he joined the Hertfordshire Music Service as a peripatetic woodwind teacher, while developing his skills as a piano accompanist, and also gaining valuable experience in rehearsing and conducting ensembles of various sizes. Shortly after this, he was invited to become Head of Woodwind and principal accompanist at Dame Alice Owens School in Potters Bar, a state school with a strong musical tradition. He held this post for thirty-five years, and latterly became the Senior Moderator for Hertfordshire, working to maintain a high standard of instrumental teaching across the county.

Robin retired officially in 2014 to concentrate on his first love -  playing the piano in an accompanying role.

Jennifer Sterling began her training as a chorister at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh alongside studies of violin and piano at St Mary's Music School. She subsequently read music as a first study singer at The University of York before returning to Edinburgh to work as a singer, choral conductor, teacher and arranger. In January of 2019, she took up the role of Choral Delivery Artist with Opera North, conducting a wide variety of choirs and delivering vocal workshops across the north of England. She performs regularly as a soprano soloist, as a Scottish folk singer, and as a member of the award-winning Edinburgh based vocal ensemble, Octavoce.

 Jennifer has a wealth of experience working as a musical director and facilitating workshops. She has worked with organisations including the National Youth Choir of Scotland, Horsecross Arts and Opera North and conducted choirs from amateur through to professional levels including chamber, community, work-place and youth choirs.

 Jennifer is delighted to take up the role of musical director with Otley and Ilkley Choral Societies and is looking forward to exploring a diverse range of exciting repertoire with the choirs.

Jennifer Sterling     Conductor