The musical director of The Aragon Singers is Gren Gutteridge.
Gren was born in a village south of Nottingham and gained much of his musical grounding there. He had no formal musical training, but rather gained a degree in Mathematics at London University and subsequently became a Maths teacher.
Gren had two musical brothers and the three of them performed many times under the guise of “The Gutteridge Brothers”. Gren developed his love for music at school and in the village chapel. Initially a trumpeter, he taught himself to play the piano to help in chapel and has since gathered quite a few musical instruments.
He plays none of them well. It was actually at the age of 18 that he picked up the baton for the first time when he was asked to lead choirs in the annual Sunday School Anniversary. Indeed, The Aragon Singers have included in their repertoire one of the numbers that Gren first conducted all those years ago.
Although Gren “plays” various instruments, it is as a singer that he has derived so much pleasure over the years. School, Chapel, University and Village Choral Society all served to give him a wide singing experience both as part of a group and as a soloist. It was in Chapel that he first went on stage in annual concert parties with The Men’s Circle. It is perhaps as a result of this that he subsequently sang for seven years as a Club Singer in the North of England. He can still occasionally be persuaded to don the makeup but he has done most of his choral singing in recent years with Male Voice Choirs where he picked up the baton again acting as deputy conductor on occasions. He is still very active as a singer as part of an octet, half of a duo, occasional soloist and part of the tenor section within another local choir.
He sort of trickled into The Aragon Singers, at first singing on the odd Monday evening, then appearing at the occasional concert until he became a regular member of the Tenor section. He joined to sing, and had to be persuaded to conduct the Choir when the need arose due to the retirement of its then Musical Director. He is now hooked on The Aragon Singers, spending much of his time on researching pieces for current and future repertoires.