Musical Director

Val Beynon BEM

In 2011 when Val became Musical Director of HCS, she was already a familiar face to the choir having both sung as a choir member and on occasion stepping in to conduct when the previous MD had been away for one reason or another.

Val was born and brought up in Sheffield and from an early age enjoyed music, dancing, singing and piano. As a child, she attended weekly concerts by the Halle Orchestra under the baton of Sir John Barbirolli and later at school in North Wales, furthered her musical studies, playing 3rd violin in the school orchestra and leading the choir. After attending Dartington College of Arts she studied at Rolle College, Exmouth following a course for musical education in schools. She continued her singing studies and achieved her ARCM in singing teaching. 

Returning to Sheffield to begin her teaching career, she joined the Bach choir, often travelling to Huddersfield, Leeds and Bradford to give concerts. In 1970 she moved to Oxshott with her parents, taking a teaching post at Danes Hill School, where she moved from Director of Music to Head of Pastoral Care and also conducted the Chamber Choir at the school. 

Increasingly involved in village life, Val formed the Oxshott Junior Singers, a village choir for children and also took on the WI choir. Her own choral singing with the Leatherhead Choral Society and her involvement in the Leith Hill Musical Festival led her to re-found the Oxshott Choral Society in 1975, which immediately took part in the Festival. With Horsley Choral Society also singing in the Festival, Val finds herself very busy competing on two LHMF days, in addition to her role as Assistant Secretary (Music) to the Festival. 

Although now living in Cobham, Val retains a very active life in Oxshott and is Director of Music at St Andrew's Church, Oxshott. Thanks to Val, Horsley and Oxshott Choral Societies are now firm friends and have performed together on several occasions. In 2023 Val was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community in Surrey. The award came as recognition for all Val has done in encouraging music making and singers through the various choirs she has conducted in the County.

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