President of Chesterfield Male Voice Choir
Martin Thacker was born and raised in Chesterfield. He is proud of the fact his family have been in the town for at least four centuries!
He is Headteacher of a local school and was County President for Derbyshire of the National Association of Headteachers for three years. Martin is closely associated with the community. In 1988 he was elected Vice President ‘for life’ of the Chesterfield Deaf Society and awarded an M.B.E. in the New Year Honours List in 2000 for services to the deaf community in North East Derbyshire. He is also President of a local branch of the Royal British Legion.
Martin is a lover of music and a particularly appreciates the work of Edward Elgar. In 2000 he became Patron of Ireland Colliery Chesterfield Brass Band and the following year was elected President of Chesterfield Male Voice Choir. He feels privileged to have remained in that role ever since and says: “We are fortunate that our Borough retains the tradition of its Male Voice Choir. I look forward to a continued association with the Choir for many years to come.”
Chairman and Concert Secretary
Mike started singing at school, joined Chesterfield Operatic as soon as he left & was a founder member of Chesterfield Gilbert & Sullivan Society. He now runs his own amateur production companies – Peak Performance & Peak Youth – as well as continuing to perform for other companies and being a regular soloist at CMVC concerts.
He joined CMVC in 2008, soon became a member of the Committee and was elected Chairman in January 2014. His local reputation, experience and many contacts also made him ideal for the recently created position of Concert Secretary, which he now fulfils alongside his duties as Chairman. In the past he has also been Deputy Musical Director and fulfilled that role admirably when the choir was between MDs.
He describes our current MD Andris as “the most technically gifted MD” he has ever worked with and looks forward to helping him continue taking the choir to a new level. Of the choir, he says “It is a pleasure and privilege to be Chairman of such a dedicated, loyal and talented group of men who always give of their best.”
Andris is from Latvia, where he achieved a Bachelor Degree at the J. Vítols Academy of Music, formerly the Music Conservatory, in Riga, specialising in choir and symphony orchestra conducting. Whilst still living in Latvia he took part in many international choir festivals and tours in Italy, Germany, Norway, Finland, Australia, Canada and the USA, working as a musical director, choir, symphony orchestra conductor and professional chorister.
Since moving to the UK in 2007 with his wife Janina and daughter Eva, he has continued to work freelance as a professional musician in a variety of roles. These include organist, vocal coach, piano teacher and Musical Director (MD). As well as being MD of Chesterfield Male Voice Choir (since June 2013), Andris is also MD of Barnburgh MVC near Doncaster, Conductor of Castleford MVC and Director of Music at St John the Baptist Church in Dronfield.
When he is not involved in music Andris’ hobbies include travelling, playing chess and watching ice-hockey.
Janina joined Chesterfield Male Voice Choir as its Accompanist in July 2013, joining her husband Andris who had become Musical Director the previous month.
She is currently Music Director and an organist at St. John the Baptist Church at Dronfield and also offers private piano lessons. Janina also holds the position of Accompanist for Barnburgh Male Voice Choir (Doncaster) and Karla Ladies Choir (Barnsley). As a piano accompanist she has worked with choirs, singers, professional soloists and amateurs of all ages and ability levels and has participated in various concerts and performances all over Yorkshire, Humberside and Derbyshire.
Her love and appreciation for classical music developed at an early age, particularly when she started her musical training as a pupil of Music School in Latvia, and later in college. She studied at the J. Vítols Latvian Academy of Music, formerly the Music Conservatory in Riga, Latvia to obtain her Bachelor Degree in piano and organ. Subsequently she worked for many years as a piano teacher and accompanist in Music School and college (Latvia) and has extensive experience in choral accompaniment throughout Europe.