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, studying under Thomas Trotter and David Sanger.
He is currently Director of Music at St Cyprian's Church, Clarence Gate, a post which he combines with a busy freelance performing schedule. Much in demand as a choral director, he conducts numerous choirs in London and is founding musical director of the much acclaimed Arcubus Ensemble.
As an organ recitalist he has performed extensively both in the UK and overseas as well as broadcasting for BBC radio and television. Recent recital engagements have included Portsmouth, Gloucester and Guildford cathedrals, St Alban’s Abbey and St John’s College, Cambridge, in addition to concerts in the Channel Islands, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Holland and Estonia.
As organist with Svyati Duo, he regularly collaborates with cellist Rebecca Hepplewhite, performing concerts in the UK, Europe, Asia and the USA. The duo have three critically acclaimed recordings to their name on the Regent Records label and have commissioned a number of new works by leading UK composers. They received an invitation to perform at the American Guild of Organists National Convention in 2020 and regularly feature on the prolific US public radio broadcast ‘Pipedreams’.
Julian also performs organ duets with Benedict Lewis-Smith as the Oxbridge Organ Duo – recent engagements include Kristiansand Cathedral in Norway and the Victoria International Arts Festival in Gozo. Their debut recording of Stravinsky's Firebird in a transcription by Guy Bovet was released to unanimous critical acclaim in 2018.
Future engagements include further tours to the USA and a performance at Hong Kong Cultural Centre in 2023.
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.