An accomplished and versatile tenor soloist and choral singer of considerable experience, Francis has studied under some of the country’s finest singers, including Carys Lane, Bertie Rice, Bronwen Mills, Richard Strivens, Giles Underwood, and Margaret Kingsley. Francis’s relationship with singing started as a member of the Manchester Boys’ Choir, highlights of his time including being selected as a ‘pickled boy’ soloist for a concert of Britten’s oratorio St Nicholas, as well as participating in regular concerts at the Bridgewater Hall, where the choir held a long-standing artist residency.
Whilst in Oxford, Francis sang with The Choir of Merton College, Oxford, Schola Cantorum of Oxford, and also undertook dep work with several others of Oxford’s finest choirs, including Magdalen College, the Newman Consort, and The Queen’s College. He has toured extensively, including in Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, the US, and the Czech Republic.
Francis has appeared on a number of CDs as member of the choir and soloist/cantor. Listen to recordings on Spotify here.
Francis has a range of conducting experience, both choral and instrumental, his experience of performing at a high level in both disciplines informing his approach. Francis has studied with Ewa Strusinka, and participated in masterclasses run by Mark Heron, Clark Rundell, Ralph Allwood MBE and others. Francis made his conducting debut in Oxford in 2012 with the OUG&SS’s critically acclaimed production of Princess Ida. Francis went on to conduct a range of student ensembles and chapel choirs, and was in regular demand for sectional rehearsals for both wind and strings.
Highlights include a Gold Award for Oxford University Wind Orchestra at the National Concert Band Festival Regionals in 2014, and his Sheldonian Theatre debut conducting players of the Oxford University Philharmonia in Strauss’s Serenade for Winds. He has no regular conducting commitment at present, but has worked regularly with Cornwall Concert Orchestra. He is currently Assistant Director of Music at St. Mary’s Church, Nottingham.
Accompanist (Piano and Organ)
As an accompanist Francis has worked with choirs and solo singers in a variety of settings, including the Choir of St John’s College, Oxford, as Assistant Organist of St Catherine’s Church, Burbage, and as organ scholar of St Barnabas Church, Jericho in Oxford. He has also worked as accompanist for the Penzance-based chamber choir Laudate, as well as male-voice ensemble 8 in a bar.
Editor and Engraver
Francis is experienced as an editor and engraver, producing editions of a range of both early and contemporary music, regularly undertaking transposition and other bespoke engraving work. You can find samples of his work below.