Festival Board

Alex Hayes (Chair)

Alex began singing as a boy chorister at Jesus College, Cambridge.  Since then he has performed intermittently as an amateur countertenor, tenor and baritone across a wide range of musical genres, in a thus far doomed quest to alight on a context within which he is equipped to make any kind of helpful contribution.  A fundraiser for the University of St Andrews, he is permitted on occasion to participate in town and/or gown music-making in St Andrews if the risk of collateral damage is not too great.

Previously he worked in sponsorship for the Edinburgh International Festival and before that in financial services communications.  He is an enthusiastic advocate for vocal music, festivals, and the philanthropic support of both.

Nic Beech

Nic Beech is a Vice Principal of the University of Dundee and Chair of the British Academy of Management. He was previously Vice Principal at the University of St Andrews, the Lead Fellow of the ESRC Advanced Institute of Management and has held visiting chairs in the UK, the Netherlands and Australia. His research interests are in change, liminality and the construction of identity in creative industries (particularly music) and health care. He is a board member of Fife Cultural Trust, a director of Design Dundee Limited (which has responsibility for building the V&A design museum, Dundee) and Co-convenor of the Research Advisory Board for ICON: the international network of conservatoires. Nic is a former Chair of St Andrews Voices

Professor Stewart Brymer OBE, WS

Stewart is a solicitor in private practice in Dundee and Edinburgh and is an Honorary Professor at the University of Dundee. He has been involved with Dundee Choral Union, Angus Choral Society and the Cecilian Choir over many years and has sung throughout the UK and abroad. He helped set up St Andrews Voices and was also a founding director of The City of Discovery Charity Concert. He is married with a son and a daughter and lives in Dundee. He was awarded the OBE in the New Year’s Honours List in 2015 for services to culture and heritage in Dundee.

Sandy Chenery

Sandy Chenery is Director of Music at the Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools in Edinburgh.  He has enjoyed a varied career as a singer, organist and teacher. For twelve years he sang daily services in cathedrals and collegiate chapels, latterly as a counter-tenor lay clerk at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.  Before returning to Scotland in 2016 he was Director of Music at Brighton College and was also Director of the Esterhazy Chamber Choir and Director of Music at St John's Church, Brighton.


A native of St Andrews, Sandy attended Madras College and was a chorister in All Saints' Episcopal Church.

Michael Downes

Michael Downes became the first full-time Director of Music at the University of St Andrews in 2008, following a similar post at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Between 2014 and 2016 he was also the first Artistic Director of the Byre Theatre in its new era of University management, and he remains an Artistic Associate of the theatre. Michael founded an opera company in his first year in St Andrews and has conducted a fully staged production each year since. His work with the company (renamed Byre Opera in 2014) has attracted critical praise: Opera magazine described his conducting of Turn of the Screw last year as ‘impressive … maintain[ing] dramatic momentum while remaining acutely sensitive to the needs of his cast’. Michael also conducts the St Andrews Chamber Orchestra and the St Andrews Chorus, Scotland’s largest choral society. In addition to his conducting work, he writes frequently on musical topics (including a well-received book about the music of Jonathan Harvey) and has lectured on music and opera across the UK and Europe. Michael co-founded St Andrews Voices with Sonia Stevenson in 2012 and is delighted to continue to serve the festival as a Board member.

Rev Dr Marjory MacLean

Marjory MacLean is a Church of Scotland parish minister in the Carse of Gowrie near Dundee, and has served in the past as minister of Stromness in Orkney and as a chaplain in the Royal Naval Reserve.  Previous governance experience has included service as a Clerk to the General Assembly,  as a member of St Andrews University Court,  and as convener of the Church's Education and Support Committee.  She is currently convener of the Assembly's committee on forces chaplaincy.

Marjory sang in Orkney's Mayfield Singers from 1992-1998, and in the Edinburgh University Renaissance Singers from 1998-2010.

Professor Lorna Milne

Professor Lorna Milne is Master of the United College & Deputy Principal of the University of St Andrews.

Professor Milne graduated from St Andrews with an MA (Hons) in French and held posts with HM Diplomatic Service in London and East Berlin before combining further travels with a return to academia.

She completed a PhD on Michel Tournier in Auckland with the support of a New Zealand government scholarship, following which she took up a lecturing post at Aston University.

She returned to St Andrews as a Lecturer in 1996. Between 2006 and 2009 she held the position of Dean of Arts, and she was Vice-Principal for Education (Proctor) from 2011 to 2018.

Neil Price

As a graduate of St Andrews University, Neil trained as a Chartered Accountant with James Murray and Co in St Andrews before moving North to Inverness and then to Orkney where he established his own practice as a chartered accountant in Orkney which by June 2014 upon his retirement from the firm, had grown to three partners and twenty staff. Neil is a General Trustee of the Church of Scotland as well as trustee of three other small charities. A fanatical golfer since the age of 13, having been a member of Royal Wimbledon, St Andrews, Crail, Nairn, Orkney and  Stromness golf clubs (current handicap 13) and has an equally fanatical interest in good music having been a keen singer since the age of 8. Married to Andrea, Minister of St Michael’s Church of Scotland, Edinburgh they have three grown up children; Catriona, Julia and Marcus. 

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St Andrews Voices, Laidlaw Music Centre, Queen's Terrace, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9QF


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