Jenny Sumerling is a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge and London, where she studied under John Rutter, Robin Holloway, Hugh Wood and Philip Ledger.
While still a student, she founded and conducted The Arcadians – a small, mixed voice choir with whom she gave many concerts throughout the UK. Since then she has worked extensively as an accompanist and conductor to soloists and choral groups and regularly adjudicates at music festivals.
Jenny is an examiner for the Scottish Qualifications Authority and is a Senior Examiner for Music (Higher) as well as Principal Assessor for Advanced Higher Music. She was recently appointed by the SQA to the post of Subject Implementation Manager.
Until 2018 she was Curriculum Leader for Music and Expressive Arts at Portobello High School where she undertook many projects, including musicals, foreign tours and world premiere performances with composers and musicians. As Director of the Senior School Choir she has worked with composer Rory Boyle and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on the world premiere of The Fires of Bride and associated composition projects, as well as preparing singers from Edinburgh schools to work with the Swingle Singers. Jenny was also involved in a number of jazz projects, as well as hosting visits by Julian Lloyd-Webber, Allan Neave and Mehboob Nadeem.
In 1996 Jenny became Musical Director of the Hadley Court Singers in East Lothian. Her work with them included commissioning the Scottish composer, Ken Johnston, to write Song for St Cecilia, a work for double choir and organ which is featured on Cadenza’s CD Voices of Joy.
Jenny became Musical Director of Cadenza in 2000, and in the nearly two decades since then has introduced the choir to a wide repertoire of established and lesser-known classical works as well as contemporary pieces, developing the choir’s abilities and facility with a range of styles. She led the choir on touring performances in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, and Amsterdam, as well as directing them to five officially laurelled sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, performing major works by composers as diverse as Bach, Mendelssohn, Duruflé, Maxwell Davies and Puccini. Performances of Raymond Gubbay’s Carols by Candlelight in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Usher Hall were well-received by critics and audience alike. Jenny directed the choir to premiere the finalists in Waverley Care’s Christmas Carol Writing Competition, many of which songs feature on the CD Bright Star.