Towards the end of 2019 the choir successfully applied for a grant from the National Lottery to replace its uniform. Shortly after, Macclesfield Town Council enhanced the fund with its own grant. On receipt of these funds, there was a flurry of activity and a new uniform was agreed (lounge suit, blue and white shirts and two ties of distinctive colour). Sadly the world then entered the Covid pandemic before the uniform could be purchased. Eventually after further global production and transportation issues, the new uniform started to be delivered towards the end of 2021. The choir wished to spend as much of the grant as possible locally thereby recognising the support of Macclesfield Town Council and the Choir's own promotion of Macclesfield. So the ties were designed and purchased via a Macclesfield company (Maccravats) who later donated 50 "Macclesfield silk" pocket hankies.
The uniform will have a trial at Rainow Church on 14th May and then be shown off in all its glory at the Choir's Gala concert - A Night at the Opera - on June 11th.
Robert Owens is a Conductor, Vocal-Coach and Classical Tenor from North Wales, currently based in Manchester. His passion for the male voice tradition started young, and when he was a child he sang for many choirs nationwide, including the Rhos Male Voice Choir, the Youth Choir of Great Britain and the Junior RNCM Vocal Ensemble. He began his journey as a conductor when at school, and at the young age of 14 with Cor Meibion Rhos- a mixed voice choir based in North Wales. Robert has gone on to work with many choirs across England and North Wales.
Prior to attending the RNCM for his undergraduate degree, Robert studied at the Junior RNCM where he had the famous Wagnerian tenor Jeffrey Lawton as his principal tutor. At the same time Robert studied saxophone, piano and conducting.
Robert graduated with Honours from the Royal Northern College of Music where he had studied Vocal and Conducting with principal tutor and professional singer and conductor Sir Matthew Best. Whilst studying at the RNCM, Robert was delighted to sing as a part of the RNCM Vocal Ensemble and Opera Chorus.
In 2015, Robert began working as the Director of Music for the Greater Manchester Police Choir. During this time, he led the choir at concerts nationally and internationally, including a highlight performance at Gaukirche St. Ulrich in Paderborn, Germany. In 2018, he was privileged to conduct the Emergency Services Choir as a part of the internationally televised Manchester Together With One Voice concert in the wake of the tragic Manchester bombing.
Robert has held the position of Director of Music with the Macclesfield Male Voice Choir since January 2018. Since then, he has led the choir across the national stage, including the International Eisteddfod and the Isle of Man Festival of Choirs. In 2022, he took over as the Musical Director of Audley Male Voice Choir. He looks forward to a bright future with both.