The Rev'd Canon Jeff Hopewell - bass
Jeff was born in 1952 and took his first degree in French at Leicester University, along with music as a supplementary subject in the days when David Munrow was teaching Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music there. Although he had been a chorister since boyhood, his formative years of church music-making were spent at the University church, St Nicholas, where he was joined later by both Richard Curtis and Sue Paterson. It was during vacations that he attended Alfred Deller’s Summer School in Provence; he also took part in a master-class with Peter Pears whilst at University.
However, it was all downhill from then on as training as a Chartered Accountant took over a large part of his life and then, later, training for the priesthood on the East Midlands Ministry Training Course. Only in recent years has he got back into singing, mainly as a soloist, and mainly giving concerts as fund-raisers for the six rural churches he now serves. Octave provides a very necessary and rewarding break from formal ministry in the company of others who know exactly what the strains and stresses of clerical life can be. Jeff has recently recorded his first solo CD, ‘Rise Heart’ featuring 25 British and American songs from the 1890s to the 1950s, accompanied by Simon Lumby on the piano and also Rowena Bass on the harp.
He has published several books – Pillow Lace and Bobbins, Leicestershire and Rutland, and Nottinghamshire – and a lengthy illustrated paper on the traditional playing cards of India ( a subject on which he can modestly claim to be the world expert). He is currently researching the life and work of the Glaswegian stained glass artist Douglas Hamilton.
Jeff is married to Margaret and they share their home with two black cats, Treacle and Molly.