My Music Groups
The girl choristers section of Exeter Cathedral Choir was founded by Stephen Tanner in 1994.
Unlike the girl choristers at many other cathedrals, the Exeter girls leave the choir at the age of thirteen. In 2008, Stephen Tanner decided to create an opportunity for former girl choristers to continue singing together and “Isca Voices” was born. After some four years as cathedral choristers, the girls are very experienced performing musicians both vocally and instrumentally. Isca Voices aims to perform not only from the vast wealth of religious choral music from across the centuries but also to sing music from the folk, jazz and popular repertoires in close harmony. More recently we have been delighted to welcome former Exeter boy choristers into the group on occasions, not only to sing lower parts but also as “The Isca Band” to add an instumental dimension to our concerts. Isca Voices has expanded yet further to include adult singers on tours to Paris (2017) and Rome (2018) performing in prestigious venues including La Cathédrale Notre Dame and L’Église de la Madeleine in Paris and St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Isca Voice recorded their first CD in 2019 tracks from which can be heard on the Listen page.
The Isca Voices web site can be visited here.
The organ has a very long and fascinating history and is a wonderfully versatile, colourful instrument. It has an extensive solo repertoire and is widely associated with the church and sacred music not least due to its superb abilities to accompany both congregations and choirs.
Stephen Tanner and Andrew Downton are both organists who have very wide musical tastes. They have worked together for some thirty years since Andrew was a pupil of Stephen’s at Exeter Cathedral School. They have collaborated with the Exeter Choral Society, which Stephen directed and Andrew accompanied for some years, through the musical direction of the Exeter Cathedral Chorister Outreach Project, which aims to raise the standards of singing in Devon primary schools and as an occasional concert duo, Organ2.
Organ2 showcases the organ for its ability to combine with other instruments through a programme of duets featuring arrangements of popular pieces from the world of Classical music and beyond.
Trombone and Organ
A new concert partnership with trombonist Dylan Brewer. Dylan comes from a long line of brass players in his family, which stretches back over a hundred years through the traditions of the china clay industry and St Dennis Brass Band, Cornwall. He has a successful orchestral professional playing career as a trombonist, having played with the London Sinfonietta, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the London Concert Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and many more. Our programmes include transcriptions of well-known works by the great classical composers which uniquely employ the voice like sound of the trombone and the myriad of colours and timbre possible on the organ as well as original contemporary works.
Exeter Philharmonic Choir
Stephen is the accompanist and Associate Musical Director of the Exeter Phiharmonic Choir working alongside Musical Director, Howard Ionascu. Recent performances have included Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Haydn’s Creation. Further information about Exeter Philharmonic Choir can be found here.
Organist and Director of Music
St Peter’s Church, Budleigh Salterton
Stephen was appointed Organist and Director of Music at St. Peter’s Church, Budleigh Salterton in March 2019. The church has a longstanding choral tradition and in addition to the regular Sunday morning Eucharist, the choir sings a full Choral Evensong once a month. There is a fine, versatile organ by Michael Farley which incorporates the former nave organ from Worcester Cathedral by Harrison & Harrison. The church is a fine concert venue and a major venue for the annual Budleigh Music and Literary Festivals.