THE CLASS OF ‘23-24
These young aspiring soloists sing with the Oxford Bach Soloists across the academic year from September to August. They make up the core of the chorus and help to maintain its musical integrity, and develop their own talents by taking on the challenges of step-out solos during our concerts. German language coaching is also provided as part of their training.
We are very grateful to our donors for supporting the Choral Scholarship programme. This year’s cohort has been generously funded by our Friends in the Dresden Court and a number of private donors who wish to remain anonymous. You can find out more information on our benefactors here.
Friends in the Dresden Court support young singers through our Choral Scholarship programme. You, too, can give this transformative opportunity by joining the Dresden Court from just £83.33 a month (£66.66 with Gift Aid).
TRUSTS & FOUNDATIONS
We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of a number of grant-making bodies who support our Choral Scholarship programme. We are always keen to develop relationships with Trusts and Foundations whose missions align with what we do. To find out more, please contact Lauren Martin on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the Scholars
Find out more about our individual Choral Scholars of 2023-24
Isabelle Davis, Soprano
Soprano Isabelle Davis has been a Choral Scholar for the past three years at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she read History. She has featured on albums of the music of Dan Locklair and Flor Peeters and recently recorded the duet in Paul Mealor’s ‘A Welsh Prayer’, from Decca’s ‘HM Queen Elizabeth II – The Commemorative Album’. Soloist highlights include Bach’s St John Passion and Handel’s ‘Messiah’ at St George’s, Bristol with the Choir of Royal Holloway, and Faure’s Requiem with the Brandenburg Chorus at St Martin in the Fields. Isabelle is thrilled to be joining the OBS team and looking forward to immersing herself in the works of one of her favourite composers.
Ciara Williams, Soprano
Ciara is finishing a masters in Medieval Literature from Merton College, Oxford. In addition to her scholarship with the Oxford Bach Soloists, from October 2023 she will be a choral scholar at St Martin-in-the-Fields and singing with the Magdalen Consort of Voices. She has previously sung as a scholar at King’s College London, Keble College and Merton College, Oxford. Recent solo highlights have included performances at the Sheldonian Theatre, the Barbican, and live on BBC Radio 3. Her operatic experience so far includes three productions of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, taking on various roles, most recently Second Woman when the work was performed as part of the Keble Early Music Festival 2022 with Carolyn Sampson and Roderick Williams. She is taught by Carys Lane.
Hera Protopapas, Mezzo-Soprano
Hera Protopapas is a Swedish-Greek mezzo soprano with a passion for storytelling. She is particularly interested in Baroque and contemporary music and fascinated by narratives that transcend time periods and styles. Having graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with first-class honours in 2022, Hera is currently pursuing a postgraduate degree at the Academy, supported by a scholarship and learning with Giles Underwood and James Cheung. She is a regular contributor to the ‘Bach in Leipzig’ concert series, through which she has worked with conductors such as Philippe Herreweghe, Masaaki Suzuki, Rachel Podger and John Butt. Hera is also a choral scholar at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Square.
Joshua Dennis, Countertenor
Joshua is an alto Academical Clerk at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he has just finished his second year studying music. He was previously a member of the Tiffin School Choir which saw him performing in some of the top concert halls and venues in London. He hopes to one day return to those venues, and is sure that his time with OBS will assist him greatly in that.
Oscar Bowen-Hill, Tenor
Oscar is a passionate Tenor who has spent the last four years completing his BSc in Cognitive Science and singing with the London Philharmonic Choir, the Trinity Laban Chapel Choir, as well as with the Rodolfus Choir. Having graduated with 1st Class honours, Oscar is excited to be embarking on the next steps of his singing career with scholarships at St Paul’s Knightsbridge as well as with the Oxford Bach Soloists, while also finding time to indulge his enthusiasm for being outdoors.
Highlights include being awarded a place in the 2023 Glyndebourne Academy, joining the Royal Academy of Music’s 2023 Chamber Choir tour to Neresheim, Germany, and also singing in the London Philharmonic Semi-Chorus for a 2022 BBC Proms performance of Elgar’s ‘Dream of Gerontius’.
Clement Collins-Rice, Tenor
Clement is a postdoc in the chemistry department. While a student at Oxford, he held a choral scholarship at Merton college, including termtime services, concerts, broadcasts, and recordings. Recent highlights have included tours to North America, East Asia, and throughout Europe including the first ever Anglican evensong at St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. The 2023 Passiontide at Merton festival culminated in performing the St John Passion with the Britten Sinfonia at the Barbican. He has also sung with ensembles including the Oxford Bach Choir, The Facade Ensemble, The Rodolfus Choir, and Ipswich Chamber Choir.
Jacob Fitzgerald, Baritone
Jacob holds a choral scholarship with the King’s College London Chapel Choir and is also starting this year as a bass lay clerk at St Albans Cathedral. He has previously sung with Hereford Cathedral Choir and currently enjoys a busy schedule of deputy work in various London churches. In addition to his engagements as a church musician, Jacob sings with the UK Japan Consort and the London Improvisers Orchestra.
Also a composer, recent work of Jacob’s is published in Trinity College London’s 2023 piano exam syllabus. Recent performances of his music include as part of the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music and numerous BBC Radio Three broadcasts.
John Morshead, Baritone
John is about to begin his second year studying French and Russian in Oxford at Magdalen College. Before coming to Oxford, he was a chorister at the Temple Church Choir for six years, where he found his passion for choral music; since then, he has sung regularly with several choirs, including the Rodolfus Choir. John is about to begin his second year singing as an Academical Clerk at Magdalen.
Oliver Turner, Baritone
Oliver began singing at the age of 10 when he joined the Hallé Childrens Choir and started performing in local singing competitions in Manchester. At the age of 16 Oliver was offered a place at Chetham’s School of Music, and following this attended the University of York reading Music. Finishing university with a first-class degree, he has spent a year working as a Graduate Music Assistant at Whitgift School and lay clerk at the Croydon Minster. Oliver now sings as lay clerk at Guildford Cathedral, and as a choral scholar for OBS and VOCES8.
Allyn Wu, Baritone
Australian baritone Allyn Wu is an enthusiastic and passionate young singer currently in his undergraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music. Allyn is a keen choral singer and is regularly involved in the Academy’s historical performance projects, having worked with conductors including Masaaki Suzuki, John Butt, Peter Whelan and Dame Jane Glover. Most recently, he worked with Dame Emma Kirkby and Academy of Ancient Music in the Academy’s Side-by-Side Telemann cantata project. Allyn will soon commence his time in the 2023-2024 cohort of Genesis Sixteen, and as a choral scholar of St.Paul’s Church Knightsbridge.