Music Team

Stephen Bell, Musical Director
Belfast-born Stephen Bell has built a hugely diverse career in both commerce and music in and around Northamptonshire spanning over 35 years. Stephen is equally at home directing choirs as he is a Brass Band, Symphonic Wind Band or Orchestra and has significant experience with each genre.

For Stephen’s full biography, including his fund-raising and running obsession story, along with his seemingly endless energy, read here




Sue Rayment, Principal Accompanist

Sue grew up in a musical family and started piano lessons at the age of 5 and viola lessons at 11.
After obtaining a grade 2 distinction on the viola her mother persuaded her to play one more year before changing to the oboe, which she wanted to play in the school wind band. She achieved grade 8 distinctions in both piano and oboe, but when a career choice was needed Sue decided she would rather become a nurse and keep music as a hobby (she managed to combine both by playing oboe in the St Thomas’ Hospital orchestra).

Sue has played the piano at Westminster Chapel, London and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Northampton, and now plays organ, keyboard  and coordinates the music at Moulton Parish Church, Northampton.  Prior to the appointment in October 2023 as Principal Accompanist she was Associate Accompanist for NMVC and rehearsal pianist for the Northampton Gilbert and Sullivan Group.


Paul Darnell, Associate Musical Director
Paul learned to read music at a very early age (7) and has been singing ever since.  He has sung in many local groups, choirs and societies and has taken leading roles in many musicals, operettas and plays around Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. A late second career as a Police Officer meant that stage performance was put on hold for10 years but since retiring from the Police he is back on stage with the Northampton G&S Group, Wellingborough Arts Barn Society, sings occasionally with the Wellingborough Singers and Earls Barton Music and, of course, is heavily involved with the Northampton Male Voice Choir.




Andy Poole, Associate AccompanistAPwebMTphoto
Andy studied music at Goldsmiths College in London and spent many years teaching music in Secondary Schools. During that time school concerts and musical productions were a particular favourite. Later on Andy worked in IT, and taught adult students Maths and English, whilst pursuing music as a hobby. He spent many years as accompanist for “Opus One” where he met Andrew Howes. He joined the Male Voice Choir in 2006 and thoroughly enjoys accompanying them. He also enjoys singing in the Northampton Bach Choir.



Julie Unwin – vocal coach to Northamptonshire Male Voice Choir

Julie Unwin studied at The Guildhall School of Music & Drama and at The National Opera Studio sponsored by the Royal Opera House. Some of her most distinguished awards include The John Christie Award and the Esso Singer Prize from Glyndebourne as well as The Rosenthal Opera Award at the Guildhall school of Music and Drama.

As well as a successful career on the concert platform performing oratorio and recitals both in the UK and abroad, Julie has won critical acclaim for her many roles including her portrayal of Madamma Butterfly (Holland Park), Tosca, (ETO & St John Smiths Square) Mimi –La Boheme (Opera Zuid Holland) and The Countess, Marriage of Figaro, (Glyndebourne & Holland Park) 

Other roles include, Anna Bolena (ETO), Tatyana, Eugene Onegin (Holland Park and Stowe), Tosca, (English Touring Opera)Nancy in Silas Marner – Graham Vick Birmingham Touring Opera, Alice, Falstaff (ETO), Donna Anna (Glyndebourne), Pamina Magic Flute, (ENO), Donna Elvira (Iford), Micaela, Carmen (Royal Albert Hall & (WNO), Madamma Butterfly (Holland ParK) Giorgetta in Puccinis Il Tabarro, (ETO), Lady Billows Albert Herring(Opera de Bauge France) Euridice, Orpheus & Euridice (ENO) Suor Angelica & Giorgetta (with Antonio Pappano at ROH).

Julie is a professor of singing at Nottingham University.  She has been coaching the Northampton Male Voice Choir for over a year now. She also teaches privately in Northamptonshire and in London. Julie has a passion for sharing her knowledge and techniques. Julie has also adjudicated for competitions and final recitals at colleges and schools including The Guildhall School of Music, The Royal College of Music and the Royal Irish Aademy of Music.

Julie is a soprano specialising in vocal coaching/technique/speech & drama /presentation. Julie can be contacted via 07931 558 757 /