Our Leaders

inage: Julie Parker

Julie Parker studied singing at the Royal Northern College of Music and trained as a teacher at Manchester Metropolitan University. She currently works as a music teacher in a number of schools in Irlam and Cadishead and also runs the Irlam and Cadishead Kumon Centre.

Julie undertakes professional singing engagements and teaches singing privately at home. She is a member of the Association of British Choral Directors, and from 1994 to 2009 was the conductor of Manchester Girls’ Choir Junior Singers, and subsequently of Salford Youth Choir. She has conducted Urmston Choral Society since May 2009 and Irlam Male Voice Choir since March 2012. Julie co-founded the Ferry Warblers with Kathleen Hesford in 2019.


Kathleen started to play the piano at the age of four. She was accepted into the Junior Department of the Royal Manchester College of Music at the age of ten where she studied piano and flute. Kathleen continued her studies at the RNCM and, after graduating, she chose to specialise in accompaniment, studying with John Wilson and David Lloyd.

Kathleen was the accompanist with the Manchester Boys’ Choir, a post she held for 20 years. She travelled extensively with them, performing in Canada, Russia, Australia, USA and many European cities. Kathleen now works freelance in the Manchester area, working with several local choirs and teaching piano privately. For several years she has been a repetiteur at the Chester Choral Week. Kathleen co-founded the Ferry Warblers with Julie Parker in 2019.