Our Director

After studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Jane became Head of Music at Lady Lumley's school in Pickering.  In 1986 she left full-time teaching to concentrate on her work with choirs and as a singing coach.  This has included teaching singing at Queen Margaret's School and York Sixth Form College, working with Media Studies students at ARTTS International and adjudicating at the Norwegian Choral Festival in York.


Jane is well-known in North Yorkshire as a singing teacher, choir trainer and mezzo-soprano soloist.


She directed the Chapter House Choir in York for 12 years and has conducted the Chanticleer Singers since 1977.  Under her direction, both choirs have made television and radio broadcasts and have given numerous concerts in the UK and abroad.  When the Chanticleer Singers was involved in the BBC's Songs of Praise, Jane was the first female Musical Director of the programme.

“I have had a long association with the Chanticleer Singers - since 1977 in fact!  I thoroughly enjoy working with them.  We have a lot of fun but work hard to exacting standards.  There is an excellent atmosphere within the choir.  Everyone is friendly and there is a good team spirit.


"We’ve been on several tours together including Brittany, Holland, Scotland, Ireland, Dorset, Oxford and sung evensong at Ely cathedral.  These have been very successful both socially and musically.  In 2015 we were invited to give a concert and sing a service at the Catholic Cathedral in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, generously sponsored by Rosemary Brydon.  We have also made several recordings and our Christmas CD, 'Christmas at Castle Howard', was recorded in 2009.  We were one of 10 choirs throughout the country selected by Classic FM to perform a carol concert at Liverpool Cathedral which was then recorded on the Classic FM carols CD.


"As with any choir we’ve had some amusing moments, but perhaps my favourite, and strangely, also my husband’s, was on our visit to Ireland.  After a performance at St. Mary’s Church in Cork, a trio of delightful and enthusiastic ladies from the audience commented ‘You have them all under control – even the men!’  Another reviewer wrote (of my music-making, I hasten to add) ‘She knows what she wants and she knows how to get it!’  Well, I certainly get huge satisfaction from working with Chanticleer and look forward to doing so for a little while longer yet!”




Our accompanists



cropped head for website Geoffrey

Geoffrey Coffin

Much of the choir's work is sung 'a capella' but we are very fortunate to be able to call upon accompanist friends of the choir including Geoffrey Coffin and Paul Laidlaw.


Jane Sturmheit

Paul Laidlaw

Paul Laidlaw