Our Musical Director

Miguel Fernandes
The Downsmen's Musical Director is Miguel Fernandes, who joined us in 2016.

He was born in Gaia, Portugal, the place from where Port wine is shipped. Initially he studied law and worked as a lawyer for 2 years. After a sudden moment of inspiration, he decided to devote his time and effort to something much more important: music. He had also been studying conducting at a conservatoire.

Miguel has conducted many choirs and 3 orchestras in Portugal for 22 years, as a professional. Apart from very occasional piano accompaniment, the choirs sang a capella. He founded 6 musical ensembles during this time. He was also a music teacher, having been appointed Music Development Manager in 2006 with the local music service. In 2012, due to the country's financial struggle, the Portugese government shut down all music services.

He came to England with his family in August 2012.

Miguel has conducted more choirs here in 4 years than in Portugal. He has also enjoyed an international conducting career, having conducted the Chamber Choir of Europe in Germany and the Orchestra da Camara Fiorentina in Italy, among others. He was trained as Choral Conductor mainly in England: MMus in Performance (University of West London) and a PGDip in Choral Education (Roehampton University).

Downsmen with Miguel Fernandes 2