COMMITTEE PROFILES

Discover more about the volunteers who run RSCM France

John Crothers (Chairman) is an organist, choral conductor, composer, hymnologist and broadcaster. He obtained a BA (Hons) in French and German from Queen’s University, Belfast, and an MA in Twentieth Century French Studies from the New University of Ulster, and also holds DipEd, DASE and CELTA teaching diplomas. In 1994 he was decorated Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques by the French government for services to French language and culture in Northern Ireland. He studied organ with the former Belfast City and University Organist, Dr Donald Davison, and has played for a number of choirs during their visits to English and Irish cathedrals.

As a conductor, he directed choirs in radio broadcasts for the BBC and for RTE in the Republic of Ireland. In 2000 he became founder-conductor of the RSCM Ireland Singers, who later led the Hymn Society’s national Act of Worship in Dublin’s Christ Church Cathedral and appeared on nationwide BBC TV. Following a career in teaching, and a spell as Chairman of RSCM Ireland, John came to France in 2001 where he was a founder member of RSCM France in 2012. He is a regular contributor to the French radio programme “Magazine anglican” on Fréquence protestante FM, where he has talked about Anglican music and hymnology, and has introduced French-speaking listeners to the concept of “Nine Lessons and Carols” which has become an annual fixture on the programme.

Joan Marie Bauman (Vice-Chairman) is an American-born flautist and lyric soprano who is a much sought-after performer, teacher and lecturer. After obtaining her M.Mus. in Flute Performance from Northwestern University (Chicago) she went to Paris to study in the private class of Michel Debost, and has since stayed in the Paris region. She has taught master-classes in flute and voice technique and interpretation in numerous conservatories, universities, and conventions in England, Russia, China, France, Germany, and the United States. As Professor of Flute and Voice, she has taught on faculties in the U.S.A and France, and currently teaches at the Ecole de Musique de Mareil-Marly, France, and the American School of Paris.

An author and journalist, Joan Marie has published articles in the “National Flutist’s Quarterly”, “Flute Talk” magazine; and in “Traversières” magazine. Before choosing music for her career, Joan seriously considered studying medicine; fascinated by the rapport between these two fields, she has developed a popular course on the use of the resonators for singers and for wind instrumentalists, teaching it around the world. She joined the RSCM France committee in 2013 and is Music Coordinator at Holy Trinity Church, Maisons-Laffitte.

Shirley Rowson (Secretary) was brought up in an Independent Methodist family in England but, having attended Anglican schools, has enjoyed the best of both musical traditions and achieved A level Music. Most of her adult life has been spent as organist or pianist in non-conformist churches, plus leading guitar groups as a youth leader in Crusaders (now Urban Saints). In 1990 she and her husband moved to their local RSCM-affiliated Anglican church, where she was welcomed into the choir and as an informal deputy organist. She introduced the RSCM Voice for Life scheme for both adult and junior choristers, achieving the Bronze and Silver levels herself, and served on the RSCM Chester Area Committee.

In 1999 she moved to south-east France where she became Director of Music at the Anglican Church in St Raphael, forming a small choir which is regularly augmented by visiting choristers. She now oversees a music department of two organists, a visiting professional violinist, the choir, and a music group of guitarists and keyboard, and makes the most of this talent by arranging regular concerts and RSCM events in the area. She successfully completed the RSCM “Sacred Music Studies” course, which has helped her work in church music, and in 2012 was one of the founder members of RSCM France Area Committee.

Peter Rowson (Treasurer) spent his working life in Lloyds TSB Bank, with twenty years as a branch manager. As a result of this he has always been invited to be Treasurer or Planned Giving Secretary of the churches he has attended, as well as for Crusaders during his time as a youth leader. This has also been true since his move to France and the local Anglican church in 1999, apart from six years as Churchwarden.

Although he does not perform music himself, Peter is a keen listener and particularly appreciates cathedral music and Choral Evensong. He has always supported Shirley’s involvement in the music of the church, and the RSCM, and has proved to be indispensible as the Treasurer of RSCM France since its inception in 2012. It is Peter who has kept our heads not only above water but swimming confidently into the future, overseeing the financial aspects of the ever-increasing number of events organised each year by RSCM France.

Zachary Ullery (Safeguarding Officer) is a native of Maysville, Kentucky, and graduated summa cum laude in 2004 with a B.Mus. in Music Education from the University of Kentucky, where he studied violin, piano, organ, and voice. In 2008 he received dual Masters Degrees from the University of Kentucky in Choral Conducting and Music Education, and has also completed advanced studies in Orff-Schulwerk. Zachary has been full-time Director of Music at the American Cathedral in Paris since 2011, and is also Artistic Director of Les Arts Georg V, the American Cathedral’s arts organization which hosts concerts and nurtures the creative impulse of the cathedral community; Conductor/Musical Director of The Paris Choral Society; and Musical Director for the annual conventions of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe.

As a conductor he has conducted major works including the Requiems of Mozart, Duruflé, Fauré and Brahms, as well as Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s Messiah, and the masses of Haydn, Schubert, Vierne, and Langlais. Zachary is an accomplished organist and has accompanied choirs and played solo recitals in numerous cathedrals throughout the United States, the Bahamas, and Europe. He has been on the RSCM France committee since 2014.