Jonathan Kilhams BMus (Hons) ABRSMdip MISM
Jonathan started his music career as a Chorister in Chichester Cathedral where, from an early age, he realised his love of choral singing. This continued to flourish at his secondary school, Lancing College, and resulted in him gaining a choral scholarship to Royal Holloway University of London where he was a member of the prestigious Chapel Choir. Through this choir Jonathan recorded nearly ten discs on the world renowned Hyperion record label and toured this music around Europe, America and China. Being a soloist on several of these albums has resulted in him performing live on American, British and Estonian radio. Jonathan has also performed to people such as Charles, Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cambridge as well as performing in prestigious venues such as The Barbican Centre, Royal Festival Hall and The Royal Albert Hall.
Jonathan graduated from Royal Holloway University in 2012 with the highest mark ever given to a choral conducting student. He studied under Rupert Gough and got his first conducting post two weeks after finishing his conducting course. His conducting career has flourished and he is in high demand in London and Surrey. His belief that choral singing is a universal language which has the power to bring people together in times of need is infectious. Jonathan has built up a reputation of injecting boundless energy in to the projects that he touches and the most successful of these being his choir, Walton Voices. When Jonathan took up the post as Musical Director in 2013 there were only 20 members in the choir. There are now close to 100 and they have built up a reputation of being one of the most professional amateur choirs in the South.
When Jonathan isn’t conducting adults he is often found conducting youth groups. He is the Head of Music at Cleves School in Oatlands, Surrey and has been solely responsible for the music at the school for the past five years. He conducts both school choirs which have close to 100 children in each and has formed a handbell group that has become quite famous in the handbell world. He has also recently formed the Elmbridge School Choirs Festival which gives children from across the borough a chance to come together and sing their hearts out! Last year saw the festival engage with 20 primary schools combining to create a massed choir of close to 500 children. His encouraging and ambitious approach has led to many singers of any age being inspired to take singing seriously and recognise their true potential.
When Jonathan isn’t conducting he likes to play hockey, watch cricket and spread awareness of plastic pollution. In 2019 he raised over £4000 for The Marine Conservation Society and he regularly collects crips packets, sweet wrappers and bottle caps at his choirs’ rehearsals to send off to recycling. Not to mention the various beach cleans he has done.
If you would like to find out more about Jonathan then please visit his website or follow him on social media. This can be done by going to: www.jonathankilhams.com.
During his time with WMVC Ed has served as Baritone Section Representative, Secretary, Stage Manager and Chairman. As one of the Choir’s solo entertainers he is renowned for his humorous monologues.
His role as Deputy Conductor is to complement and support the Musical Director and he has relished the opportunities to conduct both in weekly rehearsals and in concert. During the period of uncertainty following the illness and subsequent passing of Christine Best in 2012 and again in 2013 with the retirement through ill health of Gareth Giles, Ed was pivotal in ensuring that the choir's performances continued, taking over all rehearsals and concert performances, including participation in 2012 in the Five Choirs Concert in St James' Church, Weybridge and the Diamond Jubilee Massed Male Choir Festival at the Fairfield Hall in Croydon.
Mike read Mathematics at the University of St Andrew’s in Scotland followed by post graduate studies for a Masters. It was here that he developed his love for walking, skiing, sailing and, of course, golf.
He was appointed assistant organist at St Mary’ s in Sunbury on Thames when he was 14 and maintained his interest in music and the organ, deputising at many churches during his student years.He was appointed assistant organist at St Mary’ s in Sunbury on Thames when he was 14 and maintained his interest in music and the organ, deputising at many churches during his student years.
After university, he joined IBM working with a number of large companies specialising in engineering, transport, international banking, retail and natural resources. His clients included Rolls Royce, British Rail, London Transport, Standard Chartered Bank, Woolworths, Harrods and British Petroleum. During this time he was accompanist to local choirs and choral societies, occasionally taking charge of the baton, as well as acting church organist. Since retirement he has been Chairman of Carers Support Spelthorne, a charity that offers confidential services, support, advocacy and practical help to carers with a connection to Spelthorne. He is currently organist at St Nicholas Church in Shepperton.
Mike joined the Weybridge Male Voice Choir in 1992, originally as a bass singer. Concerts with the choir have taken him to Germany, the Czech Republic, Belgium and France, as well as many venues throughout England and Wales. He says that it has been a great pleasure and privilege to be associated with the choir for so long and it continues to be a lot of fun. He regards the opportunity to accompany the choir on some of the finest cathedral organs in England as one of the many benefits afforded to him.