Tell us a bit about yourself, and your training to date.
Growing up in Oxford, I’ve been exposed to choral and collegiate music for most of my life. When my voice broke, I started getting more involved in taking part in this tradition and then started more serious training when I left school, with Genesis Sixteen and the National Youth Choir’s Chamber Choir. I was a choral scholar at King’s Cambridge which gave me more exposure to the professional side of choral singing as well and many amazing performing opportunities. This year I have really enjoyed continuing my training with OBS and also as a lay clerk at Magdalen.
What other musical ensembles are you involved with?
This year in Oxford I have got involved with many different ensembles to explore different areas of musical life. I have been a lay clerk at Magdalen College to see more regular church choral music, done some opera scenes with Oxford Opera Society, done my first contemporary opera with Oxford Contemporary Opera Society. Singing with the Delius Singers under Alexander Pott let me work on some bigger, more complicated choral music, and with New Chamber Opera I performed a little-known Handel opera with a masterclass from Laurence Cummings.
What attracted you to the Oxford Bach Soloists?
I have always loved Bach’s choral music, so the opportunity to work with a group focussed on singing his music in an innovative yet historically sensitive way was irresistible for me. Having detailed preparatory sessions on the music and also language is the best way to approach this glorious music. Regular performance exposure with a group of players and singers of such a high calibre is also a great privilege.
What has been your favourite moment as an OBS choral scholar?
I think the highlight of my year with OBS would probably be a concert where we had a guest tenor soloist who had been a choral scholar at Cambridge a few years above me. He sang one of the most difficult pieces of music I have ever heard, and made it sound so effortless that it was a great inspiration for how virtuosity can become real music.
What do you see as the value of ensembles like OBS to young aspiring musicians?
For musicians at this point in our lives, the value of a group like OBS cannot be underestimated. The encouragement and support combined with demanding standards and regular public exposure make a great training, not just for singing Bach’s music but also for many other skills needed for a musician to make it the professional world.