Musical Direction

Music Director

Simon Over MA FRCO

Simon Over studied at the Amsterdam Conservatoire, the Royal Academy of Music and Oxford University. For ten years Simon was a member of the music staff of Westminster Abbey, and Director of Music at St Margaret's Church and the Palace of Westminster. He is Founder-Conductor of the Parliament Choir.

Founder of Southbank Sinfonia in 2002, he has conducted concerts throughout the UK and Europe including St James's Palace; The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; The Queeen Elizabeth Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. He has conducted on recordings with cellist Raphael Wallfish, tenor Andrew Kennedy, pianist Allessio Bax and soprano Ilona Domnich. In 2009/10 he conducted the orchestra in 71 performances of Every Good Boy Deserves Favour  (Tom Stoppard/Andre Previn) at the National Theatre. In 2011 Simon received for Southbank Sinfonia the Japan Art Association Grant for Young Artists in the presence of Prince and Princess Hitachi and Her Majesty the Queen.

For ten years he was Conductor of the Malcom Sargent Festival Choir and he has been Artistic Director of the Anghiari Festival (Tuscany) since 2000. Guest Conductor of the City Chamber Orchestra (Hong Kong), the Goyang Philharmonic Orchestra (Korea) and the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra (New Zealand), in June 2011 Simon directed operas for the Vestfold International Festival in Norway. In August 2011 he conducted the Orquestra de Barra Mansa at the Candelaria, Rio, Brazil. In 2013, conducting in Japan both the Southern Sinfonia (New Zealand) and the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra he represented Australia and New Zealand in Asia Music Week. 

Simon has worked both as conductor and accompanist with many intermartionally-acclaimed artists, including Sir Thomas Allen, Sir James Galway, Dame Emma Kirkby, Dame Felicity Lott, Sir Willard White and Dame Edna Everidge. As pianist, performances woth Americam violinist Miriam Kramer at Wigmore Hall and Lincoln Center, New York - as well as on several recordings - received high acclaim. 

Since March 2015 he has been Director of Music at St Clement Danes the central church of the Royal Air Force.


Chorus Master and composer in residence

Nicholas O'Neill MA FRCO

Nicholas O'Neill was born in Cheltenham in 1970 and is an award-winning composer and musician. In 2020 he was awarded the Saint Fin Barre Cathedral Composition Prize, in 2019 he was the winner of the Mayfield Festival Cantata Commission Competition, in 2012 he was awarded the American Guild of Organists Marilyn Mason Award for Organ Composition, he shared the Barbara Johnstone Composition Prize in 1995, won the Gregynog Young Composers' Award in 1993, and in 1992 he was unanimously awarded first prize in the Norwich Festival Composition Competition. He has been shortlisted for the William Mathias, Cornelius Cardew, Oare String Orchestra, Purcell and Vocalis composition awards.

In 2011 Nick was appointed Composer in Residence to the UK Parliament Choir in addition to his ongoing role with them as Chorus Master, and he is the first composer to be associated officially with Parliament for nearly 500 years. In 2008 he became the first musician to be appointed Composer in Residence for the Academy of Saint Cecilia where he is also an Honorary Fellow and a member of the advisory panel. He is President of Cantores Salicium, the chamber choir of the Yorkshire Dales, and Associate Director of Music at St. Mary Abbots, Kensington. He has lectured at Trinity College of Music, Birkbeck College (University of London), Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, and Morley College. He has also held posts as Organist of Brighton College and St. George's Cathedral, Southwark, and was Chorus Master of the Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir for over a decade. He also works regularly with Southbank Sinfonia, accompanying them to the Anghiari Festival in Tuscany, where he introduces each concert.

Recently completed works include the Cantata Of Saint Dunstan, commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mayfield Festival, an orchestral setting of Te Deum Laudamus for the Parliament Choir, and This Light Of Reason, a carol in memory of Jo Cox MP. His music has been broadcast multiple times on television and radio, and his Missa Sancti Nicolai was the Mass setting for the live BBC1 broadcast of Midnight Mass in 2011. Recent performance venues include Cadogan Hall, St. John's, Smith Square, Notre Dame de Paris and at the London Festival Of Contemporary Church Music.
By night Nick is keyboardist with rock band JEBO, who released their second album, Settle Up or Settle Down in 2012, described as 'genuinely ingenious...undeniably brilliant' by Venue magazine, and with funk band RetroChic. He is also a board game reviewer and blogger, writing for various websites and magazines worldwide.
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