EX CATHEDRA | Academy of Vocal Music

Our Academy of Vocal Music choirs provide exciting opportunities for young singers aged 4-18.

Our approach enables us to get to know each singer as an individual.

We provide a variety of opportunities for training and performances alongside Ex Cathedra, and for a range of other partners, including The Nutcracker for Birmingham Royal Ballet.

We have a number of choirs, suitable for different ages and voices. Please get in touch if you would like more information:

  • Children’s Academy 1, 2 & 3 (boys and girls): Early Years to School Year 5
  • Junior Academy 1 & 2 (boys and girls): School Years 3 – 8
  • Senior Girls Academy: School Years 9 – 13
  • Senior Boys Academy: School Years 8/9 – 13 (when the voice begins to change)

The Junior Academy, Senior Girls Academy and Senior Boys Academy rehearse weekly on Wednesday afternoons. The Children’s Choir meets once a month on Saturday afternoons. Rehearsals usually take place at the Birmingham & Midland Institute in Birmingham city centre (near the Council House).

The team leading the choirs – under the direction of Jeffrey Skidmore – are:

  • Rebecca Ledgard (Junior Academy and Children’s Academy)
  • Suzzie Vango (Senior Girls Academy)
  • Ruairi Edwards (Senior Boys Academy)
  • Sally Spencer (Children’s Academy)
  • Rob Challinor (principal accompanist)

Find our designated Facebook and Twitter accounts.

How to join

We are always pleased to welcome new members. For more information, please contact Gemma King: gemma@excathedra.co.uk

What they say

….The most amazing choir, a group of incredible and influential Vocal Tutors and musicians and lifelong friends that I have made through singing with Junior Academy and the Girls Academy. The support and experience that Ex Cathedra has given to me has been amazing and I feel so very privileged and honoured … over the years I have not only developed my musical and singing knowledge but have also been equipped with invaluable communication, self-management and social skills. I have so many wonderful memories from amazing rehearsals, Rob’s funky piano riffs, my first time in the orchestra pit at age 6, singing at ArtsFest, singing in Carmina all those years back in Symphony Hall and attending annual Carols by Candlelight – a tradition that I know my family and friends will keep for a long time! So…! I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has made my Ex Cathedra experience such a valuable and treasured experience.”  (Martha Davis, member for 10 years)

The Shakespeare Odes concert at Southwell Cathedral was the best day of my life!” (Kirsty Fernie, Junior Academy member)

The Philip Bates Trust Scholarship

The Philip Bates Trust aims to advance the education of young people under the age of 25 in the arts by:

  1. The provision of awards to encourage and support their pursuit of creative and artistic achievement.
  2. The provision of financial support to projects or workshops, which aim to develop creative and artistic interests and skills in young people.

The Philip Bates Trust Scholarship is awarded to a senior member of the Ex Cathedra Academy of Vocal Music each term to support their membership.

The current recipient of this award is Jemimah Davies.

Jemimah Davies

Jemima’s dedication and commitment to the Senior Academy has gone way beyond simply turning up to rehearsals and joining in. This term, she has been enthusiastic and supportive to the other singers in the group, she’s been there to offer an answer to questions, demonstrate part of her vocal line when asked, asked useful questions and it is clear that she thinks about the ensemble and the music in between rehearsal times. This is someone who is relatively new to the group and has made an excellent start already. Thank you, Jemima, and we look forward to supporting you further through your choral journey with us, from Suzzie, Ruairi and Rebecca.

How you can help

If you would like to make a donation to support the Academy choirs, we would be extremely grateful.

We would like to thank all of our funders for their very kind support, including our Principal Education Sponsor, Sandvik Ltd:

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