Tell us a bit about yourself, and your training to date.
I was born in Oxford, but grew up in Birmingham. It’s a city with a vibrant musical life, and my earliest singing memories were at St. George’s Church, Edgbaston, as well as forming part of the CBSO’s youth choirs and Ex Cathedra’s Vocal Academy. After leaving school and a much-appreciated gap year, I studied Music at Royal Holloway with a Choral Scholarship, followed by a Master’s in Musicology at the University of Birmingham. It was during my masters degree that I participated in the Genesis Sixteen training programme: a fantastic experience, and brought me into the world of professional singing. I was an Apprentice with the Monteverdi Choir from 2018-2019, which was a rigorous year of training that greatly developed my skills as both an ensemble singer and a soloist. I now live in South West London and have been studying with my wonderful teacher Julie Kennard for the past four years.
What other musical ensembles are you involved with?
After completing my apprenticeship with the Monteverdi Choir, I now perform regularly with the group, and am so very grateful for the wonderful projects I’ve been involved in, my brilliant colleagues, and opportunities to perform all over the world. Another of my core focuses is vocal ensemble ‘Echo’ (http://www.echo-choir.com/) , in which I both sing and act as Co-Artistic Director alongside conductor Sarah Latto. We’ve been active since 2017, and aim to produce accessible and innovative performances of the highest quality. We haven’t yet performed in Oxford… perhaps a collaboration is in order?!
What attracted you to the Oxford Bach Soloists?
Oxford is a place that is special to me, thanks to the John Ratcliffe maternity ward and my Godmother, who I stay with during OBS projects (thanks Maddy and John!). The opportunity to sing regularly in the beautiful New College Chapel, work with such talented musicians, and perform Bach’s incredible vocal repertoire was one that immediately grabbed me, and I’m delighted to have become part of the OBS family. Sam Cobb
What are you most looking forward to as an OBS choral scholar?
Currently, I’m most looking forward to seeing everyone again, as soon as this unprecedented situation allows. I’ll appreciate the opportunity perform Bach’s sensational works together with even more gratitude and joy. What do you see as the value of ensembles like OBS to young aspiring musicians? It’s a great blessing to be able to form bonds – both musical and social – with other performers over a substantial period of time. Integrated and supportive environments such as this are essential for expanding musical experience, but also, essentially, building confidence in one’s artistic voice.