An opportunity not

to be missed

William Cole, Choral Scholar (2010-2012)
  • Graham Ross
  • Sir William McKie Senior Organ Scholar
  • George Law Junior Organ Scholar
  • Lay-Clerk and Choir Librarian
  • 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. His performances around the world and his extensive discography have earned consistently high international praise, including a Diapason d’Or, Le Choix de France Musique and a Gramophone Award nomination. As a guest conductor he has worked with Australian Chamber Orchestra, Aalborg Symfoniorkester, Aurora Orchestra, Salomon Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London Mozart Players, European Union Baroque Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and BBC Singers, as well as acting as Assistant Conductor to Vladimir Jurowski. He is co-founder and Principal Conductor of The Dmitri Ensemble, and, since 2010, Fellow and Director of Music at Clare College, Cambridge.
    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. A passionate believer in the unveiling of both unjustly-neglected and newly-written works, 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 and Matthew Martin. Since 2011 he has recorded exclusively for Harmonia Mundi.
    As a composer commissions have included BBC Concert Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, National Youth Choir of Great Britain, O Duo, Park Lane Group, 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 Artistic Director of Fringe in the Fen, a music and arts festival in Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
    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 Sir Roger Norrington, Vladimir Jurowski and Diego Masson, 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.
  • Sir William McKie Senior Organ Scholar

    Eleanor Carter

    Eleanor grew up in Guildford attending Tormead School as a music scholar. She started learning the organ at the age of nine, quickly going on to study with Katherine Dienes-Williams at Guildford Cathedral. She latterly attended the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music where she studied organ with Anne Marsden Thomas and Peter Holder, with the cello as her second study.  
    She regularly accompanies services at various local churches, and has had opportunities to play at Evensong in Canterbury and Chichester Cathedrals. Eleanor has also given organ recitals at various venues, such as St. Lawrence Jewry in London, and has participated in local and county festivals.
    Eleanor is also a cellist and pianist - particularly enjoying chamber music, she has played with the National Youth Chamber Orchestra, and the International Chamber Music Academy for several years. Through this ensemble playing she has performed at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall and the Cadogan Hall.
  • George Law Junior Organ Scholar

    Ashley Chow

    Ashley grew up in Hong Kong and started playing the piano and violin at the age of six. Before Cambridge, he studied at Harrow School as a music scholar, where he started playing the organ and took lessons with Martin Singleton. There he assisted choir rehearsals, performed as a soloist and regularly accompanied school services.

    At Harrow, Ashley enjoyed being a member of Harrow’s orchestras and chamber groups, performing works such as Orff’s Carmina Burana and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast. He has had the opportunity to perform at St John’s Smith Square, Winchester Cathedral and Royal Albert Hall in the UK and in Bangkok, Beijing and Hong Kong whilst on tour with the orchestra.

  • Lay-Clerk and Choir Librarian

    Toby Hession

    Toby Hession comes from Peterborough, and is currently reading for an MPhil in Music (Composition) at Clare College, Cambridge. He graduated with a Double First in Music from Clare in 2018, having held a Choral Scholarship and Instrumental Award there.  He currently studies composition with Richard Causton, and has his works published by Edition Peters. He studies conducting with David Hill, and is the Cambridge University Musical Society (CUMS) Conducting Scholar for 2018-19.

    Toby is delighted to be continuing to sing in the Choir this year as one of the two graduate Lay Clerks, as well as working as the Librarian. Of his experiences in Clare Choir, he says:

    "The opportunity to be a part of an ensemble such as Clare Choir has been an invaluable part of my time in Cambridge. The combination of taking part in world-class music-making three or four times per week, alongside touring to places as far afield as Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia to the East, or Mexico and Canada to the West, really makes Clare Choir the kind of experience that one cannot find anywhere else. It is a musically stimulating environment like no other; as a composer myself, I’ve found that the vast range of repertoire (from plainsong to present day) has enriched my musical outlook. And more than this, I’ve made friendships and memories that will last forever.”


  • Choral Scholar

    Rhea Gupta

    Rhea Gupta is a third-year undergraduate at Clare, reading Classics. At Cambridge, Rhea studies voice under Nicola-Jane Kemp and sings as a soprano in Clare Choir, having been given opportunities to perform in America, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Malta and France, as well as all over the UK. Alongside singing in the choir, she has completed a solo recital at Clare Chapel, sung in musical theatre performances at the ADC and took on the role of CCMS Vice-President last year, as well as playing in numerous orchestras.

    Of her experiences in Clare Choir, she says -

    "My two years so far in Clare Choir have been incredibly special- not only have I had the opportunity to perform with world-class musicians and travel the world, but I have also found some amazing friends who I will remain in touch with long after I have graduated. Some of my favourite memories of my time at Clare so far have included the day I spent with Clare Choir in New York on our USA tour in December 2018, and the times we spent visiting the beaches in Malta and Gozo inbetween concerts on our tour to Malta in 2018. Being able to perform with my friends three times a week during term-time and then to have these amazing experiences travelling together afterwards has been a really special opportunity."


  • Choral Scholar

    Helena Mackie



    Helena is a second year undergraduate at Clare reading Music. She began singing at a young age and was a member of Salisbury Cathedral Girls’ Choir from 2007-2012. During secondary school she was in the oboe section of the National Youth Orchestra for four years, and was principal in her final year. She currently studies oboe with Nicholas Daniel and singing with Robert Rice. Outside her degree and choir commitments Helena enjoys playing in various orchestras and arranging for Clare de Lune, an upper voices a cappella group. 

    Of her experiences in Clare Choir, she says:

    “Singing in choir is such a fantastic way to experience a really high standard of music-making on a regular basis. We get to sing hugely varied repertoire in a way that no other type of musical ensemble really does simply because of the number of services we sing and performances we give. The tours we went on last year were so much fun, especially the USA and Malta, and getting to see some of your best friends four times a week in a place as busy as Cambridge is one of the best aspects of choir.”