Mat Wright has worked in a number of roles in education including as an Advanced Skills Teacher (outstanding teacher), Vice-Principal, Consultant and Advisor and currently works as the Deputy Director for Education for the Astrea Academy Trust, focused on whole school improvement, overseeing 23 schools. He has also worked in FE and been a guest lecturer at Universities as a teacher trainer. His teaching has been used as an exemplar for schools across England and Wales in DFE publications and he has won regional and national awards.
He founded Barnsley Youth Choir in 2009 which now has 6 separate choirs involving over 400 children who live in an area where 1 in 4 children live in poverty. The choir has won 8 first prizes in International Competitions including 3 Grand Prix Prizes and is currently ranked 4th in the World Rankings – the highest ranked choir from Great Britain. BYC won 4 gold medals (category wins) at the 2017 European Choir Games and has also been awarded the Queens Award (MBE) for voluntary service. The choir has performed in venues across the world and has gained widespread international acclaim. Mat has also helped to establish a large adult community choir in Barnsley in 2016 – Barnsley Singers.
Mat has acted as a guest conductor for choirs from this country and abroad including the Aurin and Miraculum Choirs (Hun), Tuks Camerata (RSA), Adolf Fredriks School Choirs (Swe) and choirs from the Paris Conservatoire (Fra). Mat has worked with outstanding choral leaders including Thomas Caplin (Nor), Laszlo Duranyik (Hun), Tony Margeta (Swe) Adolf Fredriks Music School, Michael Barrett (RSA) and Romans Vanags (Lat). He has worked closely with choirs from the Kodaly School in Kecskemet, Hungary and uses this system to develop singers and choirs.
He is a member of the International Jury and has adjudicated numerous competitions in this country and represented Great Britain on the panel at the World Choir Games in Sochi (Russia) 2016 and Pretoria (2018). He is in demand as a clinician and workshop leader and has lead evaluations and workshops in Barcelona, Stockholm, Sochi, Pretoria and Paris. He has experience of working with many different types of choirs and is passionate about supporting choirs of all ages and abilities.
Whilst he is comfortable working with all genres of music, and has a Cathedral choral scholarship background, he has a reputation for arranging and performing high quality popular, gospel and spiritual music and is in demand as composer and arranger. He specialises in engaging and inspiring those who lack confidence and experience, and his enthusiasm and energy is infectious. He is passionate about the use of singing as a mechanism to engage, connect and transform communities.