Thomas Leech – Musical Director

Thomas Leech - Musical Director

Thomas Leech, Musical Director of BFCS since 2008, enjoys a reputation as an outstanding and inspirational choral director and organist, with a passionate commitment to improving access to and equality of opportunity in choral music.
Educated at Cambridge University, where he held the Organ Scholarship at Downing College, he is the Director of the Diocese of Leeds’ internationally acclaimed Schools Singing Programme directing one of the most innovative and successful choral programmes in the country, involving over 70 schools and around 6500 children weekly. The programme’s choirs broadcast regularly on BBC radio and television, enjoy international competition and concert success and were awarded a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society award for their work during lockdown. As part of this role Tom is a consultant for the National Schools Singing Programme, developing similar programmes across the UK’s Catholic dioceses.
Tom combines this work with his role as Musical Director of Bradford Festival Choral Society and frequent appearances as a guest conductor and workshop leader, with projects as diverse as Paco Peña’s flamenco Requiem por la Tierra, Bach St John and St Matthew Passions, Britten War Requiem, Elgar Dream of Gerontius, Mahler Symphony 2, Symphony 8, Verdi Requiem, the choral soundtrack for the film London Fields, Leeds College of Music Chamber Choir and Gabrieli Consort and Players’ youth choir programme, Gabrieli Roar.
His numerous recording credits include the complete choral works of Duruflé and complete organ works of Arvo Pärt for Brilliant Classics and he has broadcast on BBC1, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, Classic FM and Radio France.  Solo recitals have included many of the major UK venues, including Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and King’s College, Cambridge. In 2018 he was the Artistic Director for the Association of British Choral Directors’ Annual Convention; his educational work has been recognised with the Worshipful Company of Educators’ Masters’ Award. In 2022 he was shortlisted for Making Music’s best Musical Director award and alongside BFCS and BFC colleagues won Making Music’s Group Hero award.

For more information visit his website and follow him on twitter @thomas_leech

‘Leech’s outstanding performance…these performances would meet with Pärt’s unqualified approval’ [gramophone]

‘Leech steers his choir to extract as much as possible from Durufle’s perfumed harmonic writing’ [choir and organ]

Christopher Pulleyn – Assistant Musical Director

Christopher Pulleyn - Musical Assistant

Christopher Pulleyn, our accompanist and Assistant Musical Director, has worked with BFCS since 2010.

 A graduate from the University of York, he then spent two years in Japan studying piano with Hiroko Ono. Chris is in much demand as an accompanist and has performed in recitals and concerts both around the UK and Japan. He is fortunate to work regularly with a wide variety of performers, from young talented instrumentalists at the start of their music career, to established and celebrated West End stars and international Opera singers. Since 2013 he has been the répétiteur for Opera North’s Children’s Chorus and Youth Chorus. He was the répétiteur for an original opera ‘The Selfish Giant’ devised by Justin Doyle around arias and recitative from Handel Operas for the Children’s Chorus, playing continuo for performances at the Northern Aldeburgh Festival and Howard Assembly Room. In 2015 he became an Education Repétiteur for Opera North, supporting their growing outreach programme. He will shortly be touring around the North of England, accompanying the Chorus of Opera North alongside hundreds of school children to perform an original work inspired by Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and working with the Youth Chorus on a production of Kurt Weill’s Down in the Valley for the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, directed by Jack Furness.

Chris is also resident accompanist for Greenhead College, Huddersfield, and regularly accompanies at Leeds College of Music, University of Huddersfield, and University of Hull.

Follow him on Twitter @kurisup