Musical Director / Conductor
Gordon Speers with more than 30 years conducting the choir not only has the longest service as its conductor and musical director, but he has also brought much more honour than anyone else.
Being born and bred in Portadown, he has a great feel for the town and a great empathy with the choir and with music, and gives it that little bit extra as he produces tone and quality from his 40 men and true.
He cannot remember a time that music did not play some part in his life, for he claims his first public performance at the age of two (as a cherubic boy soprano) under the late John Donnan, responsible for the formation of St Mark’s Boys’ Choir. Mr Donnan was organist and choirmaster at the church and was later conductor of Portadown Male Voice Choir and Gordon was later coached by William Boyd and Frank Capper.
Gordon, an accomplished bass singer in his own right has won a veritable cabinet of awards, the premier prize at Portadown Festival, the Rose Bowl at Morecambe Festival, plus (and this is an extra special one) the Blackpool Festival Award for Songs by British Composers from 71 competitors drawn from all over the British Isles. He was also lead male singer with Lurgan Operatic Society for a number of years.
Gordon joined Portadown Male Voice Choir at the age of 17, again under the influence of John Donnan, then conductor. His musical talents were always a great asset to the choir, he became deputy conductor under Jack Braid in 1973, and moved up to conductor in 1976.
Always a perfectionist and not unknown to show the occasional touch of temperament to achieve the sound he aspires to! – Gordon has been the most successful conductor in the choir’s history as the records prove.
Steven Bell is our valued and highly talented accompanist.
He has been with the choir since the year 2000. His technical competence on the keyboard plus his ability to play all combinations of vocal parts is invaluable.
Steven is always alert to the musical directors instructions, the duo working smoothly together for the benefit of the choir. As a sole performer Steven can charm you with the classics but likes nothing better than breaking into a few Scott Joplin numbers.
Alan Turtle MBE