The Choir

is a whopping jewel

in Clare's musical

crown

Giles Swayne, Composer-in-Residence
  • Graham Ross
  • Junior Organ Scholar
  • The Sir William McKie Senior Organ Scholar
  • Senior Choral Scholar
  • Choral Scholar
  • Choral Scholar

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.
     
  • Junior Organ Scholar

    Evelyn Perfect

    Evie Perfect spent her gap year as Organ Scholar at Hereford Cathedral and is currently studying Music. After starting to learn the organ with Adrian Partington when she was 13, she became the Organist at St George’s Church, Brockworth and subsequently was the Junior Organ Scholar at Gloucester Cathedral. At A level she enjoyed studying Maths, Physics and Music, and combined these interests by writing a paper on the development of temperament. Although primarily an organist, Evie also sings regularly and was the inaugural head girl chorister at Gloucester Cathedral. She is also a ‘cellist and played in the Gloucester Youth Chamber Orchestra, during which time she took part in a virtual recording of the Egmont Overture by Beethoven during the pandemic. She currently studies with Gerdi Troskie and enjoys playing a wide range of musical styles from Bach to Hakim. Her ultimate aim is to become a Cathedral organist in the future.

  • The Sir William McKie Senior 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

    Emily Coatsworth

    Hello! I’m Emily, and I’m in my fourth year at Clare, studying languages (this year, I’m doing Russian and Ukrainian). I’m a soprano in the choir, and before coming to Cambridge, I was a chorister with Frideswide Voices at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. Singing at Clare has really shaped my time at university - I’ve met the most amazing people, and the opportunity to sing such a wide variety of music so regularly brings us all together and enriches my week. This will be my third year in the choir, because I spent last year on my year abroad in Tbilisi, where I got to hear (and occasionally sing!) traditional Georgian polyphonic music. I was also lucky enough to join the choir for their tour to the US, singing in North Carolina, Vermont, and Tennessee. Tours are always a highlight of the year: we’ve sung with the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra in Denmark, and even performed in the stunning Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavík (where we also saw geysers and visited the Blue Lagoon). When I’m not singing, I play the violin with the CCMS orchestra and teach English to some students I worked with in Tbilisi. 

     

     

     

     

  • Choral Scholar

    James Kitchingman

    James is a first-year undergraduate from Harrogate, studying music at Clare and singing tenor in Clare College Choir. He was a boy chorister at Ripon Cathedral, going on to study piano and voice at junior RNCM in Manchester. He spent last academic year as a choral scholar at Worcester Cathedral.

    He particularly enjoys opportunities for solo work in Clare Choir, which present themselves for all choir members most regularly. The varied repertoire of the choir appeals greatly, ensuring each service presents a welcome challenge. The choir’s tour to the USA in April has been the highlight thus far – it’s an honour to be able to travel such distances to sing with such a talented choir, free of charge. James hopes to be a key member of Clare’s prestigious music society in his second year, to further elevate Clare’s musical offerings, for the public and for college members alike.

    Aside from music James is a keen footballer, playing every Saturday. His marked lack of ability is balanced by his unwavering passion for the sport. His commitment to the post of vice-vice-captain has been one of great honour and privilege over the past academic year.

     

     

     

     

  • Choral Scholar

    Isabella Theodosius

     

     

    Hi, I’m Izzy and I’m a (second) year undergrad at Clare studying English. I joined Clare as an alto (the best section) in first year. Since joining the choir I have had the opportunity to go to both the Netherlands and the USA on tour and have sung with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in our Christmas performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Outside of choir I have enjoyed getting to work with the organisation Sing Inside, a charity which works in UK prisons putting on singing workshops. I have also valued the opportunity to perform in the CCMS chorus as well as their termly recital series. Despite not studying music I have found the routine of choir helpful and often the highlight of my week. The atmosphere is always supportive and the weekly commitment, though demanding, still allows space to pursue other interests alongside choir.