Ex Cathedra & Birmingham Conservatoire launch unique choral Scholarships scheme

We’re delighted to launch a unique choral Scholarships scheme for the UK’s finest young singers. With the first singers starting in autumn 2017, 4 Scholars and 4 Student Scholars will be selected through a competitive audition process.

The 8 successful musicians will rehearse and perform with us during our 2017-18 season, gaining on-the-job experience alongside our professional singers, giving high-quality performances of repertoire from Byrd, Monteverdi, Carissimi, Charpentier, Bach and Mozart to James MacMillan, David Matthews and Elis Pekhonen.

Since founding Ex Cathedra in 1969, Jeffrey Skidmore has acquired a reputation for identifying and nurturing outstanding young singers. A long list of singers to have benefitted from working with Ex Cathedra at the beginning of their careers includes Carolyn Sampson, Nigel Short, Paul Agnew, Benjamin Hulett, Andrew Tortise, Samuel Boden, Marcus Farnsworth, Patrick Dunachie, and many more.

Thanks to funding from The Foyle Foundation, Birmingham Conservatoire, The Fenton Arts Trust, the Mercer’s Company, the Benarr Rainbow Trust, and the individuals who have supported the scheme in memory of Alice Corser, this process will now be formalised and the young singers will be supported financially, to ensure the most talented singers have the best possible opportunity to develop a successful career.

Ex Cathedra will award Scholarships to 4 of the UK’s very best young singers, musicians who are set to complete their formal education this summer or are otherwise at the beginning of their professional careers. This scheme is open to singers from across the country, and the successful candidates will receive mentoring and financial support of £3,250 each.

Additionally, in a unique partnership, 4 Student Scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled at Birmingham Conservatoire for the 2017-18 year, and the successful students will receive a grant of £1,500 each. Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University, is one of the most respected music education institutions in the UK, devoted to the training of highly talented musicians in performance and composition.

Professor Julian Lloyd Webber, Principal of Birmingham Conservatoire, said:

This is an incredibly exciting period for Birmingham Conservatoire. As we are prepare to move into our new building, we can further enhance the quality of learning and experience our students will enjoy. This unique Scholarships scheme with the world-class Ex Cathedra provides a new pathway for the UK’s very best young singers to study and to be supported at the start of their careers.

Jeffrey Skidmore, who combines the role of artistic director of Ex Cathedra with that of the Early Music programme at Birmingham Conservatoire, said:

I’m delighted to launch this Scholarships scheme in partnership with Birmingham Conservatoire. We have a talented and loyal group of regular professional singers and I am very pleased that we will be able to train and support the next generation of singers alongside them in a series of very exciting concerts next season.

Find out more about the scheme and apply, by 9am on 12 June 2017.

Posted in News
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