Tom Fowkes began his musical studies at a young age, specialising in piano and organ studies, and in 1991 became a Junior at Trinity College of Music where he continued his piano studies alongside instruction in composition and conducting. In 1993 Tom became Organ Scholar at All Saint’s Church, Northampton where he received tuition from Richard Tanner and, latterly, David Sanger, There, he was able to regularly build on the practical experience of Choral Direction he had acquired at Junior Trinity in addition to regular organ scholar duties from organising choristers to programming and playing the music.
During his time as a student at Northampton School for Boys, Tom was heavily involved in both music and the theatre: performing onstage and providing Musical Direction. In addition to this, he conducted the School Orchestra on several occasions, composed and directed the incidental music for a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and worked as accompanist and assistant conductor to the school choir.
After leaving All Saint’s in 1996, Tom fulfilled roles as Director of Music at St John the Baptist, Kingsthorpe, followed by Holy Trinity Church, Northampton, whilst continuing organ studies under Dr John Winter in London, at Junior Trinity. His studies there also enabled him to enhance his experience in both choral and orchestral conducting.
At Birmingham University Tom studied piano under James Walker and organ under David Saint and David Bruce-Payne. As Artistic Director of MADSOC he acted as Director and Musical Director on the main production, Little Shop of Horrors, in addition to producing Willy Russell’s Stags and Hens. As Principal Conductor of the University Sinfonia, concerts included the Haydn Trumpet Concerto and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.
Tom returned to Trinity College of Music, transferring his BMus studies to study composition under Daryl Runswick and conducting under Gregory Rose. In addition to composing and directing his own works, Tom was involved in various college projects, including conducting the première recording of a newly commissioned work, Silver Kisses, by Dai Fujikura featuring the choir of Cooper’s Coburn and Company School, Upminster.
Shortly after graduating Tom worked as Director of the Camberwell Choir School and Director of Music of St Laurence Church, Catford.
In addition to deputising on several shows and being involved in various performances in and around London, Tom was appointed Musical and Artistic Director of the London Equity Choir in September 2007, going on to develop a Theatrical Showband comprised of the best talents from the Equity Choir called In The Meantime. He also acted as Acting Musical Director and then Musical Supervisor at Holy Trinity Church in Winchmore Hill, whilst continuing his relationship with St Ignatius Catholic Church in Stamford Hill acting as Principal Guest Conductor to the choirs.
As a musical teacher, Tom has been involved in a number of situations. He was Head of Music at Wilmington School, Kent, spent a term at Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar as Acting Head of Music, and was Acting Assistant Director of Music at Mill Hill School where he was also the Chapel Organist. He is currently Musical Director and Head of Academic Music at the Susi Earnshaw Theatre School in addition to providing musical direction, choral leadership and and curriculum consultancy to a variety of schools, colleges and educational institutions in the North London area including St Gildas’ Junior School in Crouch End. Tom is also an instrumental tutor for the London Borough of Haringey.
Tom has played keyboards on the Hackney Empire’s 2009 production of Mother Goose in addition to fulfilling other deputising roles on London productions. He was Musical Director for Thom Southerland’s 2009 production of Call Me Madam, and was Musical Director of the Tottenham Community Choir prior to becoming Musical and Artistic Director of the New Tottenham Singers in November 2010.
He was the Musical Director for Lip Service’s 2010 touring production of Desperate To Be Doris and has been Acting Director of Music at several churches, mainly St Michael the Archangel, Wembley, but also Holy Trinity, Winchmore Hill and Hornsey Parish Church. He is currently Director of Music at St Pancras Old Church.
In addition to working with a wide variety of age groups and cultural communities in choirs and orchestras, Tom has also had experience of smaller ensemble and solo work, both in the concert hall and in several Jazz clubs and venues in and around London.
Tom believes the best form of leadership is positive enthusiasm, and his experiences in the concert hall, church and the theatre have taught him the value of a well-motivated, happy and organised team.