The Sixteen announces the 14th cohort of Genesis Sixteen  

21 June 2024

A grid of headshots of Genesis Sixteen cohort 14.

Ground-breaking partnership between The Sixteen and the Genesis Foundation has now supported over 300 young singers 

The Sixteen is pleased to reveal the names of the 22 young singers who will join Genesis Sixteen’s 14th cohort this autumn, as well as announcing Emma Warren as the Genesis Sixteen Conducting Scholar.  

Supported by the Genesis Foundation, Genesis Sixteen is The Sixteen’s free young artists’ programme for 18-23-year-olds which aims to nurture the next generation of talented ensemble singers.  Now entering its 14th year, Genesis Sixteen is the UK’s first ever fully funded programme of its kind. Participants, of which there are now more than 300 throughout its history, have gone on to perform, record and tour across the world with professional groups, including The Sixteen.  

The new cohort are: 

Sopranos Altos Tenors Basses 
Lingling Bao-Smith Rachael Best-Babayeju Monty Charles Thomas John  
Madeline Eaton Adrianna Forbes-Dorant  Temi Lasekan John Rhys Liddington 
Nasreen Gill Eve Garrard Joseph Martin Donncha McDonagh 
Ischia Gooda Benjamin Irvine-Capel Benjamin Thompson Iris Oliver 
Talia Liebermann Lily Robson Hugo Williamson Joseph Ward  
Katie Meredith    
Eleanor Miles-Kingston    

Read a short Q&A with each of the singers.

A headshot of Emma Warren

Each year, Genesis Sixteen also offers a conducting scholarship, which is fully funded and offers young conductors the opportunity to be mentored by conductor Harry Christophers CBE and associate conductor Eamonn Dougan, as well as the chance to work with some of the best young ensemble singers in the country. The scholar is given the chance to observe each course, sing with the choir, lead their own rehearsals, and conduct several pieces throughout the year, including for BBC Radio 3 broadcast. The 11th Genesis Sixteen Conducting Scholar will be Emma Warren, a London-based conductor who is making waves in the conducting world with current roles including as Meaker Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music, Artistic Director of Inchant and Music Director of the High Holborn Chamber Choir.   

During the course of a year, a series of week-long and weekend courses are led by key figures from The Sixteen, including Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan, who provide one-to-one coaching to the singers. Participants also receive group tuition, individual mentoring, one-per-part consort training from members of The Sixteen and masterclasses run by some of the world’s top vocal experts. Support from the Genesis Foundation means participants receive free tuition and a bursary to cover all additional costs.  

Alumni of the programme have gone on to sing with leading professional groups such as the BBC Singers, Monteverdi Choir, Swingle Singers and The Sixteen itself and a number of them have established their own independent ensembles. Several have also distinguished themselves as prize winners in high-profile events such as the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, most recently Matthew McKinney, tenor alumnus from the eighth cohort, who won first prize at the 2024 awards. This summer alone – five alumni singers will be appearing in Garsington Opera’s summer season – soprano Camilla Harris, mezzo-soprano Bethany Horak-Hallett, tenor James Way and bassists James Newby and Ossian Huskinson; while Joseph Taylor has recently been selected as the new tenor for the critically acclaimed British vocal ensemble, Apollo5.  

The current cohort of Genesis Sixteen will culminate their training with a showcase performance at Sounds Sublime Festival – The Sixteen’s annual showcase of young choral talent – taking place at St James’s Piccadilly on Saturday 13 July.  

Emma Warren, Genesis Sixteen Conducting Scholar 2024

Sounds Sublime celebrates the passion, joy and diversity of the human voice with a day-long festival of events, singing workshops, pop-up performances and free concerts from some of the UK’s most talented young vocal ensembles.  

Further highlights of Sounds Sublime include a choral extravaganza featuring performances from some of London’s most vibrant youth choirs, a special showcase performance by London Youth Choirs, a family of 10 choirs for young people from school year 3 to age 23; Come & Sing workshops; and a Choral Tots performance – an interactive concert for 0-5 year-olds.  

In training the ensemble singers of tomorrow, The Sixteen is committed to broadening access to classical music and increasing the diversity of Genesis Sixteen to reflect our present-day society. Last year marked the beginning of new partnerships with London Youth Choirs and the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme, offering young diverse singers in London and Leeds the opportunity to develop their skills and discover pathways into the industry. Following the brilliant success of these partnerships through The Sixteen’s new Talent Development Pipeline Project, this year sees the start of a third new partnership, with Mat Wright MBE and Barnsley Youth Choirs. This programme is predominantly for young people from under-represented groups within the industry, and there are plans to further expand this programme to communities across the UK in the coming years. 

Harry Christophers CBE, Founder & Conductor of The Sixteen and Eamonn Dougan, Associate Conductor of The Sixteen said: “When we started Genesis Sixteen over a decade ago, we had no idea what a success the whole project would be. Quite frankly, it has far surpassed our expectations and as we enter its fourteenth year we are as excited as ever to welcome a new cohort of singers. We have worked hard to spread the word and the excellent group of singers we have assembled is our most diverse yet.  Everyone who sings in choirs, whatever their background, should see themselves as a potential member of this unique programme. Our aim is always to allow personalities to develop and express themselves through their singing and to communicate to everyone around them without inhibition. Above all, singing is fun, it’s collaborative and with Genesis Sixteen lifelong friendships are created. We cannot thank John Studzinski and the Genesis Foundation enough for having the vision and determination to help us make this programme the success story it is.”  

John Studzinski CBE, Founder & Chairman of the Genesis Foundation said: “I am incredibly proud of our ground-breaking programme, Genesis Sixteen, which has now nurtured and supported more than 300 singers since it began almost 15 years ago. Watching these singers as they move onto the next stage of their careers is always exciting and a testament to their talent and passion as well as to the quality of the mentorship provided by Harry Christophers. We look forward to meeting the 2024 cohort and following their progress.”   

The Genesis Foundation has supported thousands of artists in their career development since 2001. Through its partnership model, it provides opportunities for talented artists, principally in theatre and music. The Sixteen has been associated with the Genesis Foundation for just over 15 years and launched Genesis Sixteen together in 2011. 

Emma Warren, 11th Genesis Sixteen Conducting Scholar says: “I’m completely delighted to have been selected as the next Genesis Sixteen Conducting Scholar! I’m really looking forward to meeting and working with the singers in my cohort, and I can’t wait to see how my conducting develops under Harry and Eamonn’s guidance. August can’t come soon enough!” 

Learn more about this year’s cohort

Read more about the Genesis Sixteen programme