Our Music Director

Charlie Perry

Charlie is a conductor, arranger, singer and composer based in the North West. He graduated from the University of Manchester in 2018 with a First Class degree and since then has been working as a freelance musician. In addition to his role as Musical Director of Stafford Choral Society he is also Director of Music at the Manchester Oratory; Musical Director of Cantores Olicanae, Ilkley and Assistant Conductor of Stockport Youth Orchestra. In 2021 he was part of the Crouch End Festival Chorus’ Young Conductor Scheme in London. 

Whilst at University Charlie was heavily involved in singing in both University choir and Chamber Choir as well as acting as Chorus Master for the 2018 Opera Concert and joint Choral and orchestral tour. Not restricting himself to exclusively classical music, Charlie was also Musical Director of a number of musical productions including Sondheim’s Into the Woods and a premiere of a student-written musical The Clockmakers Tale. In 2019 he also Musically Directed a production of Little Shop of Horrors at the Edinburgh Fringe with Manchester-based company Delicious Theatre.

As a singer he is a member of Kantos Chamber Choir which has involved singing a number of times on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Daily Service’ programme including a tour of Rome and Assisi with the BBC in 2018 and a recording with the RLPO for Decca Classics. Charlie has also had engagements with the BBC Daily Service Singers, Hallé Choir and Manchester Renaissance Ensemble.  

Aside from conducting and singing, Charlie is also a keen composer and arranger frequently producing music for his numerous musical groups, covering a diverse variety of genres. Charlie’s Christmas Carol ‘Always Winter, Never Christmas’ was selected as a winning entry in the Kantos Chamber Choir’s annual carol competition last December. Not restricting himself to the Choral world, Charlie is also working as Musical Supervisor for the development of a new theatrical production, Erainn, which is involving co-composing, arranging and orchestrating its music.

Sam Hayes  – Accompanist

Sam Hayes grew up in the Home Counties, and studied Music at Cambridge University, holding the Organ Scholarship at Queens’ College. He later went on to achieve the Associateship, Fellowship and Choral Directing Diplomas of the Royal College of Organists in the space of one year, in the latter, winning both of the major prizes. He later studied Choral Directing in Uppsala (Sweden), and Paris. Following his graduation, he taught and examined for the Music Degree at Cambridge, and later held the post of Musician in Residence at King Edward VI Upper School, Bury St Edmunds, where he taught A-level Music.

Between 2005 and 2022, he was Director of Music at Great St Mary’s, The University Church, Cambridge, latterly also holding the historic and prestigious office of University Organist. Here, his responsibilities included playing the organ and directing the 70-strong choral foundation in services, concerts and recordings. He moved, with his young family, to the West Midlands in summer 2022, and was delighted to join Stafford Choral Society in January 2023. Alongside his new musical projects in the Midlands, he maintains ties with his roots and continues to direct Godalming Choral Society and Godalming Children’s Choir in West Surrey. Outside of music, his passions include walking, cooking, DIY and classic cars.