Ex-choristers in harmony as they launch events firm

From left, Marcus Groundwater, D'Arcy Bleiker, Jonathan Groundwater and Matthew Lennox of High Row Music outside Ripon Cathedral. (140331M1a)
From left, Marcus Groundwater, D'Arcy Bleiker, Jonathan Groundwater and Matthew Lennox of High Row Music outside Ripon Cathedral. (140331M1a)

Four entrepreneurial musicians – three of them former Ripon Cathedral choristers – are launching a new music events company in the city.

Brothers Marcus and Jonathan Groundwater together with D’Arcy Bleiker and Matthew Lennox have pooled their talents to establish High Row Music, which will run exclusive musical evenings at local venues as well as providing musical acts for private parties, corporate events and weddings.

Between them the team have a wealth of musical experience. D’Arcy, Marcus and Jonathan are all ex Ripon Cathedral choristers, and D’Arcy and Marcus have recently returned to the cathedral as lay clerks, alongside Matthew.

Jonathan said: “I saw it as a great opportunity to work with my close friends in an area we all excel in and are very passionate about.”

It is their musical backgrounds, combined with their business skills, which the quartet hope will ensure the success of their new company. Marcus is a seasoned performer, and one half of local jazz act Frankly Jazz, but has also had a successful career in business. Jonathan works in sales and business development, while Matthew is a singer and vocal coach. D’Arcy is a professional opera singer but also has extensive experience in event management. 

Matthew said: “We were all regularly asked to organise or perform in events in our specific fields so it just made sense to come up with a way to combine our expertise.”

The company is hoping to set itself apart by being able to provide a complete service through the various musical styles and genres it can offer to potential clients.

Marcus said: “For weddings, for example, we can supply choirs or soloists for the ceremony, instrumentalists for a drinks reception, and a band or DJ for the evening do. We are a one-stop shop.”

The team has more big plans in the pipeline which include singing waiter acts, big band events with Marcus as Britain’s answer to Michael Bublé,and even burlesque nights.

To get the business off to a flying start, High Row Music is holding two Night at the Opera events at The Old Deanery, in Ripon on Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17, featuring performers from the professional opera stage alongside up-and-coming acts.

Tickets for High Row’s two inaugural events cost £60 which includes a glass of bubbly on arrival, a three-course meal and the evening’s musical entertainment.

To book a ticket or for further enquiries, telephone 01423 603013 or visit www.highrowmusic.com