Meet our team
Koruso! is managed by an enthusiastic and dedicated committee who help with everything from arranging concert venues to sending out press releases and selling raffle tickets.
The committee is elected each year in February at the Annual General Meeting – new members are welcome to stand for election.
Catharine Bull, Chair
When I nervously walked into Morley College to join the ‘Can’t Sing Choir’ back in 2008 I never dreamed that one day I would be a member of a choir that sang in a church designed by Sir John Soane, or a Cathedral, or a theatre. As a child, all my musical experiences were negative ones but since joining Koruso! in 2011, they have been erased.
I first heard about the choir from another member who extolled its friendliness. She was right, that was exactly what I stepped into when I went to my first Koruso! rehearsal. I am proud to have been the chair of such a great community choir for the past 2 years.
As a qualified building surveyor, my working life is spent involved in the repair and maintenance of historic buildings in and around London, so having the opportunity to sing in some of them as well, is like the icing on the cake.
Jeanie Taylor, Secretary
I joined Koruso! in its second week in 2008 having been persuaded by a friend. I hadn’t sung in a group since school days (mostly assemblies & carol concerts). I went along thinking they probably wouldn’t want me back but having experienced what I can only describe as the joy of singing, I was for ever smitten.
When funding from Southwark Council ran out in 2010 I was part of the steering group to form a new management committee, and have been on the committee ever since, mostly as secretary but doing other tasks as and when needed including keeping the members in touch with what’s going on and co-organising concerts and performances.
Why do I do it? Because I want to share what Koruso! has done for me, particularly for my confidence. My voice and singing ability has improved and I like to encourage others to try it out for themselves. I’ve met so many wonderful people, some have become very good and dear friends and I’ve had the opportunity to sing at various events in places that I never contemplated way back in 2008.
Adrian Harris, Treasurer
To me, Koruso is a simple pleasure of life. Once a week it allows me to sing away my stress and strain, with a band of likeminded souls. Being a non-auditioning choir nobody minds I sing monotone!
I run a community hub in Lambeth, South London that houses 18 disability organisations and a few carers charities
- My favourite music (listening) is Radio 4 or World Service
- My favourite colour in autumn is burgundy
- My favourite food – this go through phases. Currently I enjoy the simple delight of toast on a weekend morning with homemade preserves and topping the list at the moment are mulled wine marmalade or crab apple and japonica jelly.
- My favourite drink during the cold spell is a hot whisky toddy.
Junie Hollands, Membership Secretary
I am a founding member of Koruso! – I joined within the first two months. I have always loved singing but had never had the opportunity to sing in a choir. I began with a basic soprano voice but have improved so much over the years and feel so much more confident about singing in public.
As the Membership Secretary I look after any new enquiries from people who are interested in joining us and oversee the membership database and related paperwork. I enjoy the role as it gives me the opportunity to meet everyone, and to welcome them to the choir – many of them have gone on to become close friends.
Being in Koruso! has given me the chance to travel in the UK and Europe – Germany in 2014 and has also allowed me to sing in some exciting venues such as The Young Vic and The Tate Gallery.
Singing in a choir has allowed me to meet so many people. When I feel a bit down it has made me very happy and it relieves all my tensions.
We have a huge repertoire and I enjoy the variety but my favourite piece is Ave Maria, it was my mother’s favourite too. When I sing it – I sing it for her.
Jane Kartupelis, Web Manager
I joined Koruso! three years ago and quickly became involved with the committee in the role of Web Officer. Responsible for the choir’s website, I make sure that it’s up-to-date with details of the latest performances and news from the choir.
My day job as Head of Marketing at King’s College Hospital allows me to meet and work with all sorts of people both within the hospital and out in the community. I’m proud to be part of Team King’s.
I am married to Ron (who helps out with the choir too) and have two children and four step children so between them and work – life is busy. Koruso! is my stress release – it’s my time away from family and work, when I can relax with my fellow singers and sing my heart out.
Ian Sime, Ordinary Member
As a ‘non-singer’ who enjoyed community singing (church, football, ‘from scratch’), I turned up at a local rehearsal in April 2012 to see if this could possibly become part of my scene (I had my doubts). I had briefly tried the Rock Choir, but Koruso! was a community choir with a more diverse repertoire.
I run my own business with varying workloads, and I am also involved in other intermittent leisure pursuits taking up much of my spare time. I had found it difficult to commit to regular events such as weekly choir rehearsals that may be necessary to perform well. At Koruso! there is no great pressure to attend but I, like many of the other singers, have rarely missed a Thursday night practice – the two hour session is a huge pleasure and I therefore make time for it. I signed up with the under-represented basses but I love it – one team within a team, the choir works very well together.
I joined the committee this year as a ‘member-without-portfolio’, so I could assist in roles where required. This allows me to help in the longevity of the choir whilst not over-committing. Its a role I am happy to pursue to keep Koruso! thriving
Margaret Kitching, Minutes Secretary
I was coming up to retirement from full-time employment in 2015 and planning to enjoy some local activities that I hadn’t previously had time for. Joining a choir was on the list and I looked at what was available in the Peckham area. Sean (who is on the Committee as Publicity Officer) was a friend and neighbour and he told me about Koruso! I went to a first rehearsal in September 2015 with another friend and we were hooked. I sang at school but would not have had the confidence to audition so that was an added attraction with Koruso!
I particularly like the range of pieces we sing and the repertoire chosen by Andrew (who is a very lively musical director). Thursday rehearsals are both focused and fun. The experience of the weekly rehearsals is the highlight for me and I must admit that I hadn’t even thought about performances when I joined. But in one year I’ve sung with Koruso! in the beautiful settings of St Mary’s Church in Rotherhithe, St. Peter’s Church in Walworth, Tate Modern and the Imperial War Museum!
I’ve now got a role as Minutes Secretary on the Committee and the monthly meetings are friendly and informal – I’ve been surprised at how much organisation goes on behind the scenes.