After 26 years as Precentor and Director of Music at Eton College, Ralph Allwood took up his role as Director of Chapel Music at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in September 2012. Now settled into the role, Ralph spoke about his plans for the Chapel Choir.
"It was really rather nice that I had a year after Eton doing all sorts of different things on Sundays, because I could then look for exactly what I wanted. Various possibilities came up entirely with professional singers, but then the opportunity to work with Trinity Laban came up, which is perfect, because it involves student singers who take their singing very seriously indeed.
"The main body of the choir is made up of choral scholars from Trinity Laban, and supplemented by a group of volunteers, all of whom are extremely competent. It's a splendid setup, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity."
Ralph's appointment was crucial to establishing Trinity Laban as the natural home for choral students, as it is the only Conservatoire to offer a sacred music module.
Ralph now has plans for developing and expanding the Chapel Choir's horizons in the future: "I'd love to do tours all over the UK and abroad. I would also love to make some CDs and I have a lot of ideas for things that this choir in particular could record."
Alongside his work with the Choir, Ralph continues to run his famed Eton Choral Courses during the summer months, conducting the acclaimed Rodolphus Choir, and Inner Voices, a new choir for young people from ten London state schools. Ralph was made an MBE in the 2012 New Years' Honours and has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Music by the University of Aberdeen. He also enjoys judging competitions, including a recent appearances on BBC Two's "The Choir: Sing While You Work" in autumn 2012.
Trinity Laban Chapel Choir sings two services per week during term time: Choral Eucharist on Sunday mornings at 11am and the more intimate, reflective service of Choral Evensong on Mondays at 6.30pm.