Musical Directors

Paul Day

Paul has been involved in the musical scene in the Southend area since the age of 6. He has sung in many local choral societies for many years and also plays regularly in local orchestras and pit bands. Paul was the Chairman of the Southend Philharmonic Orchestra and has also spent many years on the stage playing roles as diverse as Arvide Abernathy (Guys & Dolls) and Monsieur Le Clerc (‘Allo 'Allo).  As an MD/Chorus Master, he has worked with many of the local societies: Little Theatre Company, Southend Operatic & Dramatic, Mapa and many more.  For many years Paul has been the musical director for the Palace Theatre Summer Youth Project where a group of eighty 9-19 year-olds produce a full-scale musical in just 10 days.  Paul founded The Show Choir back in 2013 with the aim of bringing his love of musical theatre into the community. 

Guest Directors

Clare Penfold


Clare works locally as a musical director, accompanist, and educator. She has been involved with local musical theatre for over 20 years now, working with groups including Basildon Operatic Society, Chelmsford Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (CAODS), Thurrock Operatic Society (TOPS) and Little Theatre Company in Southend. Some of her favourite shows as MD include Evita, Side Show, All Shook Up, Company, Jekyll and Hyde and Guys and Dolls. Clare is an accomplished pianist, rehearsing with and accompanying not only New City Voices but also Men2Sing. This involves numerous concerts, shows and charity events. In addition, she also offers private piano tuition and is a Visiting Music Teacher at Brentwood Prep School.

Alex Wood


Alex Is a recent graduate of the Guildhall School of Music where he majored in percussion.  As well as being an accomplished pianist, Alex also plays Organ, Saxophone, Clarinet and Flute.  He has worked with many theatrical companies in the Essex area, both on and below stage and made his theatrical debut at the Palace Theatre in 'Company'.  As well as being an MD for a lot of the local societies he is also the pianist for a popular musical theatre sing-along event.

Andrew Palmer


Having completed a music degree course at the University of Surrey, Andrew Palmer has gained extensive experience as a piano accompanist, chorus master, arranger and musical director with many local groups including : Leigh operatic, Southend operatic, Billericay operatic, MAPA, Singer stage school, LRBC community choir, Trillogy and Cantare. 
Andrew worked as headteacher of Heycroft Primary School until recently where he ran the choir and orchestra. He is a board member of the Southend Music Hub which promotes music education. 

 Stuart Woolner

Stuart’s no stranger to the Show Choir having featured as a soloist in the Show Choir’s ‘A Night At The Musicals’ in 2017. Early on, Stuart spent a few years in Roy Marsden's 'Palace Theatre Company' as an actor/musician for a number of in-house and touring productions, and was also a drummer for a couple of celebrity pantos! Over the years, Stuart has played a variety of leading roles for LODS, CAODS, SODS, RUG OPERA, BOS and MAPA, as well as musical directing and/or conducting countless productions for LODS, CAODS, SODS. Working with The Music Man Project, Stuart, portrayed "Joe Dorado" in, David Stanley’s, musical 'From the Asylum to the Palladium', which debuted at the London Palladium, and he also now features on The Music Man Project’s new album ‘Follow the Music’ (available for streaming!). In Stuart’s spare time, he plays husband and Daddy-o to Emma and Sean!


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