These are

experiences

that I shall treasure 

for the rest of my life

Nicolas Haigh, Organ Scholar (2009-2012)
  • Graham Ross
  • The Sir William McKie Senior Organ Scholar
  • Junior Organ Scholar
  • Senior Choral Scholar
  • Senior Choral Scholar
  • Choral Volunteer

Who's who

  • Graham Ross

    The Director of Music

    The Director of Music is always willing to meet with prospective music students and Choral Scholars at any point throughout the year

    Graham Ross is Director of Music and Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. Responsible for all practical music-making in the College, he builds on and seeks to enhance the continued excellence of musicianship of Clare’s instrumentalists, composers, conductors, and the internationally-renowned Chapel Choir. He continues to broaden the liturgical repertoire by commissioning new music, and to develop the Choir’s schedule of concerts, broadcasts and international tours. Since he returned to Clare as Director of Music in 2010, he has established a new recording relationship for the Choir with Harmonia Mundi, instituted the Clare College Masterclass Series, Friends of Clare Music scheme, Clare Choir Alumni Association and secured tours around the world.

     

    He has established an exceptional reputation as a sought-after conductor and composer of a very broad range of repertoire.  He is co-founder and Principal Conductor of The Dmitri Ensemble and Director of Music and Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, with whom his performances around the world and his extensive discography have earned consistently high praise.  In demand as a regular guest conductor of other ensembles in the UK and abroad, recent collaborations have included London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, Purcell School, and Australian Chamber Orchestra.  Highlights in the 2022/23 season include return engagements to BBC Singers, London Mozart Players, Aalborg Symfoniorkester, DR Vokal Ensemblet, and Salomon Orchestra, and debuts with Music in the Round, Gothenberg Symphony Orchestra, Tallis Vocalis in Hong Kong, and concerts with the Choir of Clare College across the UK and overseas in Denmark, the Netherlands, and the USA.

     

    At the age of 25 he made his BBC Proms and Glyndebourne debuts, with other opera work taking him to Jerusalem, London, Aldeburgh and Provence.  He has conducted and recorded world premières of a wide spectrum of composers, including James MacMillan, Judith Bingham, Giles Swayne, Vaughan Williams, Imogen Holst, Nico Muhly, Brett Dean, Lydia Kakabadse and Matthew Martin.  He has conducted more than twenty albums and since 2011 he has recorded exclusively for Harmonia Mundi, including a highly-acclaimed series of music for the church year.  His latest album Ice Land: The Eternal Music is was released in 2022.

     

    As a composer commissions have included BBC Concert Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, National Youth Choir of Great Britain, Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra, O Duo, Park Lane Group, Wigmore Hall and the Solstice Quartet.  As an animateur and through outreach work he has conducted projects in Tower Hamlets, Wigmore Hall, English National Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and overseas in Nigeria, Palestine, across Europe and the USA.  He is founder and Artistic Director of Singers Abroad, running annual courses for singers of all ages, and a Trustee and Patron of the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music.  He is a regular contibutor on BBC Radio, including as a recent guest presenter of Inside Music.  In 2021 he was made an Honorary Fellow the University of Macau, where he was presented with a Half Moon Award for the Arts in 2019.

     

    He studied music at Clare College, Cambridge and conducting at the Royal College of Music, London. He held a conducting scholarship with the London Symphony Chorus, has served as assistant conductor for Vladimir Juroswki, Diego Masson, Sir Roger Norrington and Nicholas Collon, and acted as Chorus Master for Sir Colin Davis, Sir Mark Elder, Ivor Bolton, Edward Gardner, Richard Tognetti and Lars Ulrik Mortensen. 

     
    Graham Ross is always willing to meet with prospective music students and Choral Scholars interested in applying to Clare College at any point throughout the year. There will be an opportunity to offer advice, informally sing a piece of your choice, and to discuss the choral admissions process.
     
  • The Sir William McKie Senior Organ Scholar

    Samuel Jones

    Samuel Jones is in his third year studying Music. He started playing the organ whilst at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford where he gained valuable experience accompanying the Chamber Choir at venues such as Keble College, Oxford and St. Paul’s Cathedral. In the Sixth Form, he was appointed Organ Scholar of the Chapel Royal, St. James’ Palace, London where he had the opportunity to play at a broadcast Ballroom Carol Service from Buckingham Palace and at the Royal Maundy service held at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

    After leaving school in 2019, Samuel spent a Gap Year as Organ Scholar at Portsmouth Cathedral, where he assisted in accompanying the cathedral choirs in their 8 weekly services and the Choral Scholars in concerts throughout the year. He also acted as choir librarian and worked in an administrative role at Portsmouth Grammar School.

    During his time at Clare he has enjoyed playing for multiple BBC Radio 3 Broadcasts and making a recording with the choir last Summer. In addition to his duties with the chapel choir, he last year also acted as organist for St. John’s Voices.

     

    Samuel enjoys performing as a soloist on both the organ and the piano, recently playing works such as Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. Aside from the keyboard, Samuel also plays the oboe in both a chamber and ensemble capacity. 

     

  • Junior Organ Scholar

    Daniel Blaze

    Daniel Blaze started playing the organ at All Saints Church where he spent two years as organ scholar accompanying the choir and playing voluntaries on the famous Frobenius organ. He went to Tiffin School and was an active member of the music department, running four different ensembles and playing in many more during his time at the school. Since leaving, he has accompanied the tiffin chamber choir on their tour to Winchester where he played for two evensongs and a eucharist service in Winchester Cathedral. He has spent his gap year playing for services in Sherborne Abbey for both the Abbey choir and Sherborne School’s choirs. Over the past year, he has also given many performances as a recitalist including performances of Widor’s 6th Symphony, Bach’s 4th Trio Sonata, and Whitlock’s Plymouth Suite. On top of the organ, Daniel is a keen Horn player, having studied at the Junior Academy of Music with Timothy Ellis. He also enjoys playing Trombone, Jazz Piano, and Singing.

     

  • Senior Choral Scholar

    Holly Sewell

    Holly is a third-year undergrad reading Maths at Clare. She sings soprano in the Choir and has singing lessons with Helen Groves. She also enjoys playing clarinet with the CCMS orchestra and giving recitals with her friends.

    This will be Holly’s third year singing in the Choir. After spending her first year performing only to virtual audiences across a livestream, she’s been loving the opportunity to go on tour and perform in places like the Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavik, and singing with the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra in Denmark. Outside of singing, Holly has enjoyed being a part of the student newspaper Varsity, working with Clare’s JCR and getting slowly more involved with the student theatre scene in Cambridge!

     

     

     

  • Senior Choral Scholar

    Hannah Dienes-Williams

    Hi, I’m Hannah and I’m a third year undergrad at Clare studying music. I’ve been a soprano in Clare Choir since my first year, and I was a chorister at Guildford Cathedral for 9 years beforehand! I’ve loved singing in Clare Choir for the past two years as the atmosphere is so friendly and there are lots of opportunities to do things outside of the Choir, but we still make great music together and are all good friends. Some highlights have included singing in the beautiful concert hall in Aalborg, Denmark, the striking Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavík and our annual Christmas concerts in St. John’s Smith Square. When I’m not with the Choir, I like to get involved in operas at Cambridge - I’ve been lucky enough to sing Susanna in Figaro and Adele in Die Fledermaus in my second year, as well as Mezzo-Soprano in the amazing two person contemporary opera ‘Denis and Katya’. I particularly enjoy singing contemporary music; one of the reasons I chose Clare Choir is because we sing a lot of modern music and music by underrepresented composers. This is something I hope to pursue when I graduate!

     

     

     

  • Choral Volunteer

    Derek Sorensen

     

     

    Derek is a final year (he hopes) PhD student at Clare. While his subject is not music, he has enjoyed singing and playing music all his life. He was in children’s choirs and school choirs before mostly focusing on developing his solo voice in his late teen years. His teachers all thought he should be a tenor because of where his voice cracks—but after several years attempting he realised that his voice actually resonates much better singing a bit lower. He sings bass with the choir with secret ambitions to being promoted to baritone. He will tell you that the best voice teacher he ever had was his Russian teacher, from whom he took lessons on a year abroad to Moscow. Due to a language barrier (read: Derek’s mediocre Russian), Derek learned by putting his hand on his teacher’s stomach and chest to feel how he breathed and how his voice resonated. Somehow those ended up being some of the most fruitful lessons of his life! Derek is also very active in college chapel life, and serves as a chapel warden.

    Derek says:

    “For me, the choir and the chapel are the backbone of my experience at Clare. Singing in the choir is a deeply meaningful experience, not only because of the high quality music that we make and the sense of togetherness we feel while we sing, but because we contribute liturgically to worship services. I love that our primary duties enrich a sacred space. This is also my first exposure to English choral music and liturgy. My musically-oriented friends all told me this would be rather special, and it has not disappointed one bit!"