Julian Collings was educated as an organ scholar at Tonbridge School in Kent, before winning an organ scholarship to Christ’s College, Cambridge, in 1999. He gained the associateship diploma of the Royal College of Organists while still at Tonbridge studying under Thomas Trotter and Sarah Baldock. He continued his organ studies in Cambridge with David Sanger, graduating with a music degree in 2002. While at Christ’s, Julian accompanied the college choir on tour to Scandinavia, the USA and Canada both as organist and conductor, as well as playing on a number of critically acclaimed CD releases.
Julian is currently Director of Music at St Cyprian's Church, Clarence Gate, and regularly deputises as an organist at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street. In addition to his church work, Julian is Musical Director of the South London Singers, the Barnes Choir and London chamber choir Ad Libitum as well as founding Musical Director of the Arcubus Ensemble, an acclaimed vocal group promoting the choral works of living composers. In November 2015 Julian was appointed Musical Director of Epsom Choral Society.
As a recitalist he has performed extensively both in the UK and overseas as well as broadcasting for BBC radio. Recent recital engagements have included Sheffield Cathedral, St Alban’s Abbey and St John’s College Cambridge as well as a number of recitals around the Channel Islands, France, Germany, Spain and Estonia. As organist with Svyati Duo, he regularly collaborates with cellist Rebecca Hewes, performing concerts in the UK, Europe, Asia and the United States of America. They have also recorded three critically-acclaimed CDs on the Regent Records label with a DVD recording planned for 2017.
Marion Lea studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where, among other awards, she won the Bach Prize adjudicated by Myra Hess, and taught as a sub-professor. As a freelance pianist and accompanist she has performed in recitals and concerts with many singers and instrumentalists and broadcast on both television and radio.
In her last years as a student, Marion was asked by Ralph Vaughan Wiilliams to play at his Christmas party at his home near Regents Park; a memorable occasion!
Whilst she was working as orchestral pianist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra she played in the Poulenc two piano concerto, in many works requiring an orchestral piano, including Stravinsky’s Petrouchka and Shostakovich symphonies at the Royal Festival Hall, and the piano cadenza in Liszt’s “Liebestraum” for the Bolshoi Ballet at Covent Garden.
Later she played for many auditions for a number of BBC orchestras, and worked as orchestral pianist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in venues including the Royal Festival Hall, and Royal Albert Hall in the Promenade concerts, in both classical and modern works.
As a repetiteur she worked with the Almeida Opera in London and Island Opera on the Isle of Man, as well as for Nonsuch Opera and Bel Canto Opera.
In recent years Marion has played for the Epsom Chamber Choir and now is accompanist to Epsom Choral Society, Brockham Choral Society and Leatherhead Operatic Society. She plays as official accompanist for local music festivals, accompanies music examinations and diplomas and has also accompanied masterclasses given by eminent musicians. With singers she has played in recitals in St. Matthews lunch time concerts at Redhill, and in the concert she promoted for Smile Train in St Martins, Epsom, a few years ago.