Now back in term after the Easter break, we have heard some very good news from Hannah Woodhouse (year 3), who has been accepted onto The Sixteen’s prestigious apprentice scheme:
A couple of weeks back I learned the exciting news that I had been accepted onto the 2014/2015 Genesis Sixteen choral scheme for young singers. Established three years ago, the course involves weekend and week-long courses led by Harry Christophers, founder and conductor of The Sixteen, and Associate Conductor Eamonn Dougan. Throughout the year participants of the scheme receive tuition from multiple vocal coaches from the music industry and receive group and individual advice on ways to improve their vocal abilities. The course provides a foundation for those wishing to pursue a career within the music industry and many recent members have gone onto pursue careers in the arts and to sing alongside The Sixteen.
I first heard about the scheme when visiting The Sixteen website which linked to the Genesis Sixteen programme giving details of the opportunities the course provided. Applying involved an audition process in which candidates had to perform two pieces from a set list and a piece of their choice. The audition was quite informal with two interviewers and an accompanist. Both the interviewers were very welcoming and made me feel at ease with the process. While the sight of a video camera made me slightly apprehensive, I soon settled into the audition. After saying my name and chosen pieces, I gave a short recital, followed by some sight-reading before the audition came to a close.
When I received the phone call confirming my place after a successful audition, I was told that this year had seen the most applicants ever, and from 125 sopranos only 7 were selected, one of them being me. I couldn’t have been happier! I view the scheme as a fantastic opportunity to further my vocal abilities, meet people with similar career prospects, work with fantastic conductors that have boundless knowledge of choral singing, and provide an insight into the music industry which I hope to be a part of.
The scheme will run alongside the postgraduate degree I am undertaking at the University of Cambridge in September in Secondary School Music Teaching. I hope to continue my singing with the University of Cambridge at Jesus College where I have been offered college membership. Achieving a balance between singing and teaching will allow me to pursue the career I hope to achieve in the music industry.
Genesis Sixteen is the first fully-funded programme available to young singers and I am very excited and grateful to receive the opportunity to partake in this fantastic scheme.
Here’s a video about The Sixteen’s apprenticeship scheme for young singers – check out Southampton graduate Harry Bennett in the basses (Harry belonged to the scheme in 2012 during his final year at university, and is now sings with the up-and-coming a capella ensemble Apollo5 :