Director of Music

Chris McDade, Director of Music

Chris joined Pangbourne College as Music Director in September 2020 and we welcome him as our new conductor. We are enjoying working with him and look forward to our first concert together in June.

As a Choral conductor, Chris has directed many services and recitals with school chamber choirs, as well as major choral works with adult choral societies and semi-professional orchestras in school chapels and major churches and cathedrals.

These have included Canterbury, Chichester and Rochester Cathedrals and St Albans Abbey in the UK and overseas in Barcelona and Cologne Cathedrals as well as St Mark’s, Venice. He has conducted many carol concerts and services, accompanied by organ and professional brass ensembles.

Major choral works conducted include; Gloria (Vivaldi), Nelson Mass (Haydn), Mass in G (Schubert), Requiems (Faure and Mozart), Mass in C minor (Mozart), African Sanctus (David Fanshawe) and The Armed Man – a Mass for Peace (Karl Jenkins), the latter two in the presence of the composer. Smaller scale works include Fantasia on Christmas Carols (Vaughn-Williams), Magnificat (Pergolesi), Mass of the Children and Te Deum (John Rutter).

Chris is a very experienced musician, with excellent keyboard skills (Piano and Organ) and almost 30 successful years in the teaching profession. He has a wealth of experience as a performer, notably as an accompanist, and as a conductor of Choirs and Orchestras. 

Chris has recently written an article in a magazine for independent schools about the importance of music education during the pandemic Music Matters Chris McDade.

He was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Huddersfield with specialisms in American Musicology (Opera and Music Theatre), Performance (Piano and Voice) and Conducting (Orchestral and Choral). He is a Licentiate of Trinity College of Music, London (Piano performance) and a Fellow of the Guild of Musicians and Singers.

He has a PGCE in Music from Bath College of HE and has been teaching Music in schools for 30 years in both State and Independent sectors.