Unique choral scholarships scheme announced

Ex Cathedra news

Ex Cathedra and Birmingham Conservatoire have joined forces to launch a unique choral scholarships scheme to support the finest young singers of the future.

Four Student Scholars from Birmingham Conservatoire and four graduate Scholars from across the UK will be selected through a competitive audition process.

Conservatoire Courses

Birmingham City University

The eight successful musicians will rehearse and perform with Ex Cathedra during its 2017-18 season, gaining on-the-job experience and giving high-quality performances of repertoire from Byrd, Carissimi, Monteverdi and Bach to MacMillan, David Matthews and Elis Pekhonen.

Ex Cathedra is a leading UK choir and Early Music ensemble with a range that reaches from the 12th to the 21st centuries. Since founding Ex Cathedra in 1969, Artistic Director Jeffrey Skidmore has acquired a reputation for identifying and nurturing outstanding young singers.

A long list of performers to have benefitted from working with Ex Cathedra at the beginning of their careers includes Carolyn Sampson, Paul Agnew (who is now also Associate Musical Director of Les Arts Florissants), Nigel Short (who founded Tenebrae after leaving The King’s Singers), Benjamin Hulett, Andrew Tortise and Samuel Boden, Marcus Farnsworth, current King’s Singer Patrick Dunachie, and many more.

Thanks to funding from Birmingham Conservatoire, the Foyle Foundation and others, this process will now be formalised and the young singers will be supported financially, to ensure the most talented singers have the best possible opportunity to develop a successful career.

Four Student Scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled at Birmingham Conservatoire for the 2017-18 year, and the successful students will receive a grant of £1,500 each. Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University, is one of the most respected music education institutions in the UK, devoted to the training of highly talented musicians in performance and composition.

Professor Julian Lloyd Webber, Principal of Birmingham Conservatoire, said:

“This is an incredibly exciting period for Birmingham Conservatoire. As we are prepare to move into our new building, we can further enhance the quality of learning and experience our students will enjoy.

Additionally, Ex Cathedra will award scholarships to four of the UK’s very best young singers, who are set to complete their formal education this summer or are otherwise at the beginning of their professional careers. This scheme is open to singers from across the country, and the successful candidates will receive mentoring and financial support of £3,250 each.

Jeffrey  Skidmore, who combines the role of Artistic Director of Ex Cathedra with that of the Early Music programme at Birmingham Conservatoire, said:

“I’m delighted to launch this scholarships scheme in partnership with Birmingham Conservatoire. We have a talented and loyal group of regular professional singers and I am very pleased that we will be able to train and support the next generation of singers alongside them in a series of very exciting concerts next season.”

Full details about the scholarships scheme are available online, and prospective candidates should apply by 9am on Monday 12 June 2017.

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