Our Accompanist – Mark Dancer
Mark Dancer is Director of Music and Organist of St Peter’s Church, Petersfield, Conductor of the Petersfield Choral Society and Assistant Director and accompanist of the Portsmouth Festival Choir.
Mark began his organ studies at the Royal School of Church Music at Addington Palace with Michael Fleming. Whilst reading music at Durham University, Mark Dancer was Organ Scholar of the College of St Hild and St Bede, continuing his organ studies with Alan Thurlow and David Hill. He has been awarded many prizes in organ performance including the Associate and Fellowship Diplomas of the Royal College of Organists (ARCO, FRCO) and the Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM). An accomplished singer, Mark was a chorister at Ewell Parish Church (Surrey) and studied singing with renowned operatic bass Hervey Alan.
He has performed in St Paul’s Cathedral, Birmingham Cathedral and Town Hall, Portsmouth Cathedral, Guildford Cathedral, All Saints, Ryde, St Mary’s Buriton, Botley Parish Church, etc. as well as for the Petersfield Musical Festival and Portsmouth Festivities. His popular summer series of organ recitals in Petersfield is in its 17th season and offers an entertaining and varied programme of organ music. Mark was the Director of the Free Church Choir Union National Festival and President of the City of Portsmouth & District Organists’ Association.
Playing with “sparkle, imagination and a wide dynamic palette”, Mark Dancer is described as a “fine musician and sensitive accompanist” by Ann Pinhey in the Petersfield Post. He is very much in demand as choral accompanist and repetiteur. He has recently performed Schubert, Piazzolla and Rachmaninov at the the Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club Gala Concert in Portsmouth, Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben with mezzo-soprano Lucy Humphris, Vierne’s Messe Solennelle with the Botley Choral Society, Gustav Holst and Malcolm Arnold with the Gemini Consort and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Constant Lambert’s Rio Grande with pianist Emilie Capulet, in its two piano and percussion arrangement at Portsmouth Cathedral with the Portsmouth Festival Choir.
In addition to his private teaching practice, Mark is a visiting tutor in flute and piano at Bedales Preparatory School, Dunhurst (Hampshire), and is an examiner for the Royal School of Church Music.