Genesis Sixteen – Voices Of the Future
Genesis Sixteen is The Sixteen’s training programme that nurtures the next generation of talented young voices and specifically bridges the gap from student to professional practitioner.
The ensemble is the UK’s first fully-funded choral programme for young singers and the idea is to identify and nurture students with exceptional musical ability and the potential to become professional ensemble singers, an area in which The Sixteen is internationally renowned. Routes into the world of professional choral singing are reducing in the UK and music conservatories still tend to tailor their training towards solo careers.
During the course of a year, a series of intensive weekend and week-long courses for singers are led by key artists from The Sixteen, including founder and conductor Harry Christophers and Associate Conductor Eamonn Dougan. Participants receive group tuition, individual mentoring, and masterclasses run by the industry’s top vocal experts.
A unique partnership between The Sixteen and the Genesis Foundation means that the participants will receive a bursary for UK travel, accommodation and board costs while participating on the scheme’s four courses, around the UK.
“Our priority is to identify the next generation of ensemble choral singers and to give them the opportunity to train at the highest level. We are delighted that the generosity of the Genesis Foundation has made this possible.”
– Harry Christophers
The courses offer participants comprehensive training in the fundamental principles of consort singing, with an emphasis on ensemble, tuning and vocal blend, as well as introducing them to a variety of styles and periods of music.
Central to each of the four annual courses is the development of vocal ability, musicianship, team ethics, but also an awareness of the industry and how to become a successful freelance musician.
Highlights of 2016 include: festival performances at Sounds Sublime, a performance at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, a headlining slot at Cumnock Tryst Festival, and a number of concerts and evensongs throughout the course.
After months of auditions across the country, the 22 singers that will form Genesis Sixteen 6 are now confirmed as:
Soprano: Charlotte Bowden, Catriona Holsgrove, Sarah Keirle, Eleanor Oldfield, Danielle O’Neill, Eleanor Partridge & Jennifer Statham.
Alto: Francis Gush, Emily Harrison, Emily Hodkinson, Rebecca Leggett & Rosie Parker
Tenor: Thomas Brooke, Graham Cooper, Jonathan Hanley, Euan Williamson & Will Wright.
Bass: Nathan Harrison, Ossian Huskinson, Michael Lafferty, Chris Mitchell & Williams Stevens.
Conducting Scholar: Benjamin Cox
First introduced in August 2014, the Genesis Sixteen Conducting Scholarship offers unparalleled access to tuition from two of the country’s leading choral conductors and the opportunity to work with a young choir of the highest standard. The scholar is given the chance to observe each course, sing with the choir, lead their own rehearsals and conduct several pieces in each concert. They also takes part in The Sixteen’s education and outreach work in primary schools.
List of Genesis Sixteen Conducting Scholars:
- Benjamin Cox, 2016/17
The impact of the Genesis Foundation’s support for Genesis Sixteen is also apparent through the success of the alumni. Here are some of the success stories of previous Cohorts: James Newby was awarded prize at The Kathleen Ferrier Awards 2016; William Wallace was named winner of the London Handel Singing Competition 2016; Platinum Consort and Eo Nomine both signed to agencies; Fieri Consort were awarded a residency at Brighton Early Music Festival and undertook a major tour to Australia; Tim Morgan was awarded the Junior Kathleen Ferrier Award; Sinead O’Kelly won the Glenarm Festival of Voice and starred in her first professional opera ‘The Magic Flute’ with NI Opera; Emma Lewis, Jake Muffett and Jess Cale were accepted onto the Monteverdi Choir Apprentice Scheme; Ruth McElvanney took the lead role in the Spitalfields production of Acis & Galatea; Michael Yeoman and David Young were awarded scholarships at St Martin-in-the-Fields; Ed Kay, Angus McPhee and Nancy Cole were offered places at the Royal Academy of Music; and several alumni are now performing as regular deputies with The Sixteen.
“I feel so incredibly lucky to have had the chance to take part in such a wonderful, innovative, and unique scheme. I feel a lot more confident in my abilities, and my voice has matured so much in the past year.”
– Helena Thomson, Genesis Sixteen soprano
“Genesis Sixteen has taken my singing to new levels of technique, interpretation and expression. Personally, I have formed some very firm friendships, and I have to thank the scheme for obviously choosing diverse, yet like-minded people that got on without exception. I have gained in confidence greatly.”
– Joseph Wicks, Genesis Sixteen 2 tenor
Listen to their newly recorded Christmas Carols (2016) in partnership with Classic FM and Specsavers here