Choral course for young musicians taking place at St John's College

Posted on: 23 August 2019

Talented young musicians from across the UK are visiting St John’s College for a week-long summer school to learn from leaders in the field of choral music.

The Cambridge Choral Course, organised by the Rodolfus Foundation, will be hosted by St John’s College until 30 August and is aimed at young people aged 16-21 who have a talent and passion for singing and choral music.

Over an intensive seven-day period, 95 residential students will sample life as a Choral Scholar at the University of Cambridge. They will take part in a range of choral training activities, including individual singing lessons, workshops and both formal and informal performances in spectacular settings. The students will live at St John’s College for the week, giving them a taste of undergraduate experience at the home of one of the world’s finest collegiate choirs.

The full choir of students will sing a wide range of music spanning the last five centuries. They will also be separated into smaller ‘Consorts’ to sing music from Renaissance madrigals to a capella and jazz arrangements.

The students will be involved in exciting performing opportunities, including singing Choral Evensong in King’s College Chapel, directed by Daniel Hyde, St John’s College Chapel, directed by Andrew Nethsingha, and Trinity College Chapel, directed by Choral Course founder Ralph Allwood. Those who play instruments can also join the course orchestra, and there are further opportunities for organists and soloists to perform during the week.

Leading figures in vocal music will provide coaching to course students. Operatic tenor John Graham Hall will give a vocal masterclass and Ben Parry, Assistant Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge, will run a workshop on consort singing. Students will also receive tuition in areas designed to enhance their musical abilities, including sight-reading and aural tests.

These choral courses were founded by distinguished choral director Ralph Allwood in 1980, helping young singers develop their musical talents and potential. In addition to courses taking place in Oxford and at Eton College, the Cambridge course helps students to consider and prepare for a Choral Award at the University of Cambridge. These awards are offered by many Cambridge Colleges, enabling students to sing in a College Choir in addition to studying for a degree.

The Cambridge Choral Courses attract a wider range of students looking to perform music at a high level, many of whom will go on to explore a musical education at the University of Cambridge.

To learn more about the Choral Courses offered by the Rodolfus Foundation, visit their website.
To learn more about Choral Awards at the University of Cambridge, visit the webpage here.

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This week's webcast is the Eucharist held in memory of the fallen of both World Wars and all subsequent conflicts. The Choir sings Duruflé's masterful and moving setting of the Requiem featuring the treatment and weaving-in of traditional plainsong themes amongst his characteristic harmony.

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Fiona Maddocks, The Observer