Mark Edwards MMus

Director of Music

Originally from Edinburgh, Mark trained as a percussionist before taking up conducting and receiving an MMus with Distinction from Newcastle University, studying with Professor Eric Cross.  Mark is pleased to have studied and worked with many great conductors including: Sian Edwards, Pierre-André Valade, Philippe Bach, Rodolfo Saglimbeni, Philip MacKenzie, Christopher Gayford and Edwin Roxburgh. With a keen interest in contemporary music, Mark has worked on new compositions with Royal Northern Sinfonia, London Sinfonietta and Streetwise Opera. Previous engagements have included working with :   The Amadeus Orchestra, St Michel Strings (Finland) , Newcastle University Symphony Orchestra and London Firebirds Orchestra.

Recent highlights include performing at the Royal Albert Hall and Symphony Hall Birmingham; live broadcasts for BBC 3’s ‘In Tune’, ‘Words and Music’ and ‘The Choir’ programmes. Recent concerts included Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances, Tchaikovsky Symphony No 5 and Violin Concerto, Rachmaninov Symphony No.2, Mahler Symphony No.1, Strauss Till Eulenspiegel and Four Last Songs, Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem and Mozart Requiem. In June 2016 Mark was awarded third prize in the National Brass Band conducting competition.  Mark has been lucky enough to receive scholarships to participate in international conducting master classes with Sasha Makila in Finland, Dr. Laslio Norbert Nemes at the Kodaly Institute (Hungary), Sian Edwards at Dartington festival.

He is currently director of music for Northern Praeclassica, Felling Male Voice Choir, Hexham Orpheus Choir, Newcastle Sinfonietta, Workshop leader for Streetwise Opera, Associate Artistic Director for the Northern Chords Music Festival and sings with Voices of Hope who recently won Choir of the Year 2016.


Warren Smith

Deputy Director of Music

Warren is currently Director of Music and Organist for St Mary’s Parish Church, Ponteland; Assistant Director to the Hexham Male Voice Choir; Deputy Director of Music and Principle Accompanist for Felling Male Voice Choir; Director of Music for the chamber choir Jubilate; Accompanist for the Hexham Orpheus Choir; and a Teaching Assistant at a Hexham school.Warren inherited the title “Hexham’s answer to Gareth Malone” when he took on a choir made up of office workers, foster carers and children to compete in a National event in Cheltenham Town Hall. Recent events have included working with composers Bob Chilcott and Will Todd, both of which involved playing their Jazz Masses. In November 2013, Warren was the Choirmaster for the North-East’s BBC Children in Need choir – this involved 200 children performing ‘Sing’ by Gary Barlow live on BBC One. Other charitable events include directing a ‘Come & Sing Fauré’s Requiem’ in April 2014 at St Mary’s Ponteland, where 100+ singers took part to raise a large amount for the British Heart Foundation.

The opportunity to accompany the Brahms Alto Rhapsody in Hall One at the Sage, Gateshead was a memorable one, along with other collaborative performances at the prestigious venue.

Many of the choirs Warren has performed with have toured to other exciting venues, nationally and internationally. Performance highlights have been Antwerp, Berlin, Brugges, Dublin, Hannover, Milan, Paris, Prague, Rome, and Tallinn to name a few.


Colin Short

Assistant Conductor

Colin joined FMVC in 1 965 and was appointed Deputy Conductor in 1975. 1983 he filled the MD’s role whist a successor to Norman Williams was appointed. Chris Wiltshire took over in January 1984 and Colin was active as Deputy due to Chris’s worldwide commitments for adjudicating and examining. Chris left in 1996. Colin continued as Deputy acting as MD after the departure and a number of successors.Once Mark Edwards was appointed MD and Warren Smith his Deputy Colin was asked to remain a part of the Music Team and for the last few years has been used whenever there has a need both at rehearsal and performances.  He is also conductor of the Sunderland Singers.

Julie Lawrence

Julie recently rejoined the Felling MVC having previously been with them in 2009. She is currently Director of music at St. Nicholas Church Bishopewarmouth Sunderland. She studied music with the late William Cowell, organist at Fulwell Methodist Church, Sunderland and has an affiliation with this church to this day. Julie also played keyboards for various acts on the North East club circuit from 1980 to 2000.






 Stuart Dearlove  
  Responsibility.  To lead, manage and develop the choirs’ business in shared responsibility with the elected committee.



Mike Scott

Responsibility.  Dealing with all correspondence  regarding the choir, new members and the hire of the choir.      

Assistant Secretary    

 Rev’d Ted Marley OBE

 Responsibility.   Assisting the secretary in his duties, including minute taking, initial contact for prospective members including assignment of mentor, mentor coordinator, patron’s scheme (friends of FMVC) joint contact, and charity commission coordinator.



 Mike Killen

Responsibility.    All finances regarding the choir, keeping finance books upto date ensuring balance sheets etc. are made ready and available for member and committee monthly and at the AGM.


Assistant Treasurer  

 Ray Dean

Responsibility. To assist the treasurer in his duties.



Peter Bridgewood


Ian McCredie



Associate committee member 

Chris Bache

Responsibility Gift Aid and Patron’s newsletter

Line Steward

Responsibility. Keeping attendance record of section. Handing out and collection of sheet music in the section. Discipline of the section during practice and concerts.

Top Tenors                John Ferguson

Second Tenors         Malcolm Joiner

Baritones                 Mike Scott

Bass                         John Kerr



Geoff Fairlamb

Responsibility. Keeper of the choir’s sheet music. Handing out and collecting sheet music from the line stewarts. Issuing sheet music to new members.

Assistant Librarian

Ray Dean

Responsibility. To assist the librarian in his duties.