Roger Shelmerdine

Roger studied composition and piano with Professor Franz Reizenstein (a distinguished pupil of Vaughan Williams) at the Royal Manchester College of Music. He went on to London University to complete a teaching degree, specialising in Primary School music. Since then he has held posts as the permanent Musical Director for Sale Operatic, and guest MD for the Trafford Margaretians, West Manchester, and Urmston Operatic Societies.

He has composed five full-scale musicals. His first was premiered by Sale Operatic Society in 1977 when he co-wrote "The Royal Rose" based on "The Prisoner of Zenda" by Anthony Hope. This was followed by writing the libretto and music of Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre". To see the work come to fruition Roger set up his own Society, "Stage One". He assembled a cast of 60 players, a 25 piece Orchestra, engaged a producer, hired professional costumes, scenery etc and performed it for a complete week's run at the Sale Town Hall Theatre in 1991.

The Stage One Orchestra has continued to play annually in the Trafford Young Composer and Poet Competition. Roger began this venture in 1992 to give youngsters a unique chance to hear their compositions and poems performed live, in front of sell-out audiences. To date, over a thousand "masterpieces" have been arranged by Roger for professional musicians and actors. He also devises an annual Concert for Children involving hundreds of young people. These are fun evenings where the children can join in with games, and have practical music experiences with the Orchestra.

Roger has been guest conductor of the Manchester Opera Orchestra and the Hale Light Orchestra. He has been on the Judging Panel of the Sale Festival Junior Choir Competition for several years and regularly helps in the organisation of the Altrincham Schools' Music Festival. Manchester Education Authority appointed him principal conductor of the Northenden Senior Choir in 2001.

Roger has also conducted seven Junior School choirs but not all at the same time. One was considered good enough to perform in "Prom Praise" (the children's version of the BBC's Songs of Praise) at the Bridgewater Hall in 2007.

Over many years, Roger has been commissioned to write songs and nativity presentations for Trafford schools. Latterly, he has returned to composing larger scale works for adults.

He was appointed President of Altrincham Choral Society in November 2009.