Above, left to right: Rebecca Ramsey, Emily Armour, Sarah Denbee, Tom Drew, Eleanor Minney, Gordon Waterson (Credit: Jamie Simonds)
Four current and former Trinity Laban Chapel Choral scholars have just gained four of the eight places available on the Monteverdi Choir's Apprenticeship Scheme. Emily Armour, Gordon Waterson, Sarah Denbee and Eleanor Minney take up their places on the scheme this summer.
Rebecca Ramsey, a former Choral Scholar, will sing with the Monteverdi Choir in Salzburg in July; and Thomas Drew, a Trinity Laban violin student and current Chapel Choir Choral Scholar, has been accepted on the Genesis Sixteen scheme.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, founder and artistic director of the Monteverdi Choir, said:
"What is so refreshing about the candidates put forward annually by Trinity Laban for the Monteverdi Choir apprentice scheme, quite apart from the individual quality of their singing, is their openness to the rewards and creative buzz of ensemble singing at the highest level, whether in opera, oratorio ora cappellapolyphony.
Andrew Staples, international tenor, opera director and one of this year's competition adjudicators, also had praise for the Trinity Laban students:
"I was so encouraged and impressed to hear the talent that is emerging from Trinity Laban. The singing is of a considerably high standard - accomplished, committed and healthy; showcasing exciting young artists, whose passion for the music and storytelling is evident."
Richard Tanner, director of Chapel Music at Trinity Laban, said: "These student successes reinforce the wonderful skill boost offered through the Chapel Choir. Our choral students regularly secure prestigious apprenticeships and other performing opportunities - and no other conservatoire offers membership of a Chapel Choir.
"It's also a great reflection on the work of the Vocal Department as a whole at Trinity Laban under the superb leadership of Linda Hirst. Several of these singers have also been members of the Chamber Choir, through which they have been inspired by the world class direction of Stephen Jackson. I can therefore think of no better conservatoire to prepare singers for careers in professional choirs.
Notes to Editors
Trinity Laban is the UK's only music and contemporary dance conservatoire. As the only conservatoire of music with a chapel collegiate choir, the extraordinary environment of the Old Royal Naval College Chapel provides an ideal learning environment for those wishing to seek work in London's cathedral or church choirs, or beyond.
Trinity Laban's vocal ensembles seek to help students develop an understanding of musical styles from Renaissance and Baroque to contemporary music.
The Monteverdi Apprenticeship Scheme was set up in 2007 to address the problems faced by young singers attempting to embark on a professional career. The aim of the programme is to give the most promising young musicians on the verge of entering the profession, direct experience of the musical tradition of the Monteverdi ensembles and the working practices of Sir John Eliot Gardiner during a year-long apprenticeship scheme. It offers the participants a unique experience of music making at a world-class level within a high-powered and multi-national group of colleagues, making them exceptionally well-equipped to perform and teach at the highest level and to take up international professional careers.
Genesis Sixteen is The Sixteen's new training programme which aims to nurture the next generation of talented young voices and specifically to bridge the gap from student to professional practitioner.
This is the UK's first fully-funded choral programme for young singers and the idea is to identify and nurture students with exceptional musical ability and the potential to become professional ensemble singers, an area in which The Sixteen is internationally renowned. Routes into the world of professional choral singing are reducing in the UK, not least because Oxford and Cambridge choral scholarships are only available to those who obtain the very highest examination grades, and music conservatoires still tend to tailor their training towards solo careers