Stephen Yarrow - Musical Director
Stephen was born in Dover and his first introduction to choral music was as a 7-year-old in the choir at St Andrew's Church, Buckland-in-Dover, under the guidance of then Borough Organist Reginald Adams. At the age of eleven, after a short break from singing, he was enticed out of retirement and recruited by Kenneth Best to the choir of St Mary-the-Virgin, Dover's ancient Parish Church, where he became Head Chorister. He has since had three spells as Director of Music at St Mary's, beginning his current tenure in 1999.
He was educated at Dover Grammar School for Boys, beginning to learn the piano at the relatively late age of 13, and organ at 15, under the tutelage of Adrian Boynton. He went up to the Royal Academy of Music in 1983, gaining ARCO and LRAM diplomas by the age of 20 and graduating in 1986 with GRSM (Hons) on his 21st birthday.
His association with Dover Choral Society began at the age of 17, when his father brought him along to rehearsals. Since then he has performed in the chorus on innumerable occasions, as baritone soloist a dozen times or so, as continuo player and even as timpanist. In 2003, Stephen founded Pharos Chamber Choir, an adult choir of around 24 mixed voices, which continues to give a busy programme of concerts.
Aside from his work as a performer and conductor, Stephen's 'day job' is as co-owner (with his wife Sue, who is also a member of DCS) of Forwoods Music, a specialist mail order supplier of printed music based in Dover. He is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Dover, President of the Old Pharosians' Association (for former pupils of DGSB), a Trustee of the Deal Festival, and was nominated in 2012 as a 'Local Diamond' by Stagecoach bus company, resulting in a rather large picture of him being boldly displayed on the rear of the number 15 bus, so his image now spends endless days travelling the highways between Dover, Canterbury, Sandwich and Deal!