John Bate, Founder and honorary Vice President

John Bate was a cathedral chorister, conservatoire scholar and professor of Trinity College of Music. He has directed a wide variety of performing groups, including Thames Festival Orchestra, and has given many concerts in London and elsewhere in the UK. He has chorus-mastered the Philharmonia Chorus, the Royal Choral Society and the All-London 1977 Silver Jubilee Choir.


From 1978 to 2001 he was Director of Music Performance at Kingston University, where he was responsible for the performing groups and activities for which Kingston at that time became famous in the academic world.


 Looking back on the Choir's first 50 years, John Bate said: “Thames Philharmonic Choir, under its various names, has been a constant thread throughout most of my adult life and professional musical career. Choirs, orchestras and opera work, together with my teaching in schools and universities, have come and gone over the last half-century, while the Choir has progressed from its beginnings as a pair of local authority evening classes to a position where it is recognised as one of the finest around. I am very proud of what the Choir has achieved and delighted that so many members have remained for many years.”  

John Bate at his farewell concert with Thames Philharmonic Choir in Kingston, June 2019