Tell us a bit about yourself, and your training to date?
I began my training under Edward Higginbottom and Bronwen Mills at New College, where I was head chorister. Four years on, I continue to study with Bronwen and am a member of a number of choirs such as St Michael at the North Gate and Ralph Allwood’s Rodolfus Choir. When not singing, I’m studying for my A-Levels in Music, German, and French at Magdalen College School. I’ve also just finished working as the sound designer on a commemorative World War One production at school and I’m looking forward to conducting my setting of the Christmas poem Wonder at our school’s carol service next month.
As the youngest choral scholar in this year’s cohort, what are the challenges as a singer?
One of the great things about OBS is that there aren’t any particular challenges associated with being young. Most of the group are young singers and I just happen to be the youngest: in fact this being my third year singing with the group must make me something of a veteran! We’re part of a professional ensemble of musicians and all share the same goal: to produce a vibrant, exciting, and professional sound.
What attracted you to the Oxford Bach Soloists?
I’ve had a love of Bach since my days as a chorister, when I had the opportunity to perform many of his greatest works in concerts worldwide. I also find the music of Bach to be amongst the most uplifting to perform – there’s nothing quite like the final chorus of the St. John’s Passion, for example. Besides the music itself, the sheer quality of the musicians involved with OBS is enough to draw performers and audiences alike!
What are you most looking forward to as an OBS choral scholar?
I’m already really enjoying the scholarship, and the chance to perform some solo arias, particularly Mein Verlangen from BWV 161 has been great. The sessions with language coach Gerhard Gall, both individually and as a group, have made a massive difference to the authenticity of our sound, so of course I’m looking forward to continuing to learn from him. I also know we’ll grow even more as a group the more time we spend together, which is a very exciting prospect!
What do you see as the value of ensembles like OBS to young aspiring musicians?
OBS offers an unparalleled opportunity for young singers to experience music making at the very highest level. Working with professional musicians such as Tom and our incredible orchestra is an opportunity that simply isn’t available to most young musicians across the country. Add to that the experience that we gain from having our regular step-out solo moments, and from working with, and learning from each other, and you have a really special opportunity.
What are you future plans as a singer?
After my final year at school this year I plan to study music at university. In the future I’d love to have a career as a professional musician, and I hope the next three years at university will help to shape the direction that my career will take.