Since 1983 Keyworth Choir has been directed by Colin Russell.
Colin began his musical education with violin lessons at the age of 9. At Reading School, he was then introduced to a wide range of orchestral and choral experiences (singing ‘treble’ in the Messiah was an early musical landmark, repeated a few years later – but as a ‘ bass’ !).
Whilst studying German and French at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, Colin played in a number of orchestras and ensembles and sang with the Merryfield Singers, as well as in his college choir, where he met the present accompanist of the Keyworth Choir, Alec McGregor.
After 2 years in Germany, where choirs and orchestras continued to fill his spare time, Colin undertook Modern Languages teacher training in Durham and he stayed in the North-East to begin his teaching career. During that time, he led the University Orchestra, played in the University Chamber Orchestra and was a member of the Durham Sinfonia.
In 1982, Colin moved to Nottinghamshire to take up a teaching post at South Wolds School, Keyworth. He joined the Nottingham Sinfonietta (later to become the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra) and found a local choir to sing in – the Keyworth Choir. After 6 months, he took over as musical director of the choir when the opportunity arose and he has since enjoyed over 30 years of rewarding music-making with them!
With the Keyworth Choir, Colin has conducted many of the major choral works from the 16th to the 20th century. Christmas and Summer Concerts also feature in the Choir’s regular programme, enabling the members to perform popular festive music as well as spirituals, operetta and opera highlights and arrangements of well-known West End musicals. Since 1985, the Keyworth Choir has enjoyed a musical partnership with the French twin town of Feignies and a joint concert is organised each year.
Since retiring from teaching in 2011, Colin has co-founded a professional String Quartet, the ‘Rosemount Quartet’, which plays for weddings and special occasions; he has joined the Nottingham Baroque Music Group and he has furthered his trombone playing, not only in the Muston Brass Quintet, which he co-founded, but also in the Nottingham Concert Band and the Uppingham Jazz and Soul Band.