Leslie Olive

We are extremely privileged that Leslie Olive has agreed to play piano for the Festival Choir rehearsals. He is himself a top class conductor and choral trainer, as well as former head of music at Colchester Royal Grammar School (he still teaches there as well as being in increasing demand as conductor and musical director).

Born in Wales, he grew up in Surrey, studying music at Reigate Grammar School. He studied music at Reading University and conducting at The Royal Academy of Music. As a young teacher he founded and directed one of Kent's most successful youth choirs. Director of Music at Reigate Parish Church from 1980, he was later invited by the BBC to become the first music director of Radio 4's new-style Daily Service, where he directed numerous broadcasts.

Leslie is founder and artistic director of The English Arts Chorale, one of the country's best choirs. He also founded Reigate Summer Music, and has worked with children and senior citizens, pioneering the INROAD choral courses for beginners. He has conducted The Philharmonia Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, The London Mozart Players, the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, and a range of choirs.

When Les is not making music he is usually in a boat or talking about sailing.