|The Alma Singers||
Our first accompanist, Tessa Wood, was with the choir from the begining. She obtained a Junior Exhibitioner's Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music at the age of 11 and studied with Jean Anderson up to the age of 18. In her final year she had the opportunity of playing a Mozart piano concerto (K488) with the Middlesex Youth Orchestra and with the Royal Academy Orchestra, both in the Duke's Hall. Part of the performance was broadcast by the BBC.
Tessa spent three years at London University and obtained an honours degree in French with Music subsidiary. During that time she won the Driver prize for musical performance. She obtained the LRAM Performers' certificate in 1966 having studied further under Frederick Jackson and Virginia Black (harpsichord) at the Academy.
Tessa pursued a career as professional soloist and accompanist and for several years formed a partnership with Gwyneth Griffiths, who won the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier prize in 1968. They spent a week in Aldeburgh studying with Peter Pears at the house he shared with Benjamin Britten.
Since Tessa came to Bedford she has accompanied the St. Marys Singers, the Amici Singers and toured with Douglas Coombes and his wife Carol. She also accompanies the Locrian and has accompanied the Kempston Music Society. She has worked extensively with dancers in the past and met many famous people. Tessa taught piano at Bedford High School for fifteen years and played for all their Dance concerts.